Inner East Review
Wednesday, 6 December 2023

Swan St masterplan aims to cut parking for open space

Updated March 15 2022 - 6:22pm, first published 12:00am
Less parking under council Swan St plan
Less parking under council Swan St plan

Car parking could be sacrificed in the Swan St precinct to provide more open space under the City of Yarra's masterplan for the area.

Among the plan's proposals are the conversion of council-owned car parking at Richmond Library, East Richmond station and Docker Street to increase open space, which would be landscaped and planted with trees.

A proposed 600 sq m public area outside the Richmond library would be created by closing the western end of Charlotte St to traffic and making landscaped "spaces to gather, sit, read and play".

Road usage around Wangaratta Reserve and Burnley Station could also be altered to expand green space and amenity.

At this stage. the projects are all subject to funding, further study and consultation, despite their inclusion in the master plan.

Begun in January 2021 and informed by two rounds of public consultation, the Swan St streetscape masterplan identifies "possible street and public space improvements" along its 3km stretch, and in selected adjoining laneways, side streets, and council and VicTrack-owned areas.

In addition to possible road and parking changes, the plan proposes to improve lighting and amenity in laneways, planting trees where possible, expanding footpath space on side street corners and "balancing outdoor dining with the need for pedestrian space".

It identifies more seating, bike racks, bins and drinking fountains as priorities, along with upgraded street lighting and uniform street paving.

At February's council meeting, more design elements to be considered - including the provision of disability parking, electric vehicle charging stations and vertical gardens - were introduced to the plan in a motion put by Deputy Mayor, Cr Edward Crossland.

Cr Crossland's motion, which also called for Yarra City Council staff to advocate for the Disability Discrimination Act-accessible tram stops to be funded and built, was passed unanimously.

The masterplan joins similar plans for Bridge Rd and Victoria St.


Jenny Denton


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