Upgrading Acland Street – The Facts

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By Public Transport Victoria (PTV)

The Acland Street Terminus is the busiest tram stop outside the CBD on the popular and iconic Route 96, which ferries thousands of people to and from the city every day.

Each week there are approximately 30,000 passenger trips to the Acland Street Terminus, bringing residents and traders into the many bars, restaurants, cafes, speciality stores, markets and festivals that operate in and around Acland and Barkly streets.

In conjunction with the seven new state-of-the-art E-Class trams that are already operating on Route 96, Public Transport Victoria and Yarra Trams are delivering a range of upgrades that will significantly improve the accessibility, safety, comfort and reliability of this tram route.

The upgrades will increase the capacity of the route without any additional services, ensure the precinct is fully accessible, increase outdoor trading space, maintain intermodal connections with Barkly Street and will be complemented by the City of Port Phillip’s planned streetscape works.

In November 2013, following six months of consultation, the City of Port Phillip voted unanimously to support the project and deliver an integrated urban design plan to revitalise the Acland Street precinct.

During this process and more recently in an article published in the August edition of St Kilda News, some misinformation has been used to generate alarm about the perceived impacts of the tram upgrades.

We’d like to take this opportunity to share the facts.

There was a thorough and open consultation process

Throughout 2013, Public Transport Victoria released a number of different stop configurations for consultation.

The consultation process included a brochure and survey distributed to more than 10,000 homes and businesses in the St Kilda area, 11 information sessions and consultation meetings in the St Kilda area, and the establishment of a Community Reference Group.

The ultimate concept design for Acland Street was supported by the majority of the 408 people who provided feedback and incorporates changes made as a result of feedback provided.

The proposed upgrade won’t take away Acland Street’s alfresco dining

The proposed upgrade will create more opportunities for footpath trading through increased footpath and public space.

E-Class trams are not “monsters”

The new E-Class trams are 33.45m long, which is less than 1.5 metres longer than the Bumblebee trams that also operate on Route 96. One of the many great features of the new trams is that they carry more passengers than any of our other trams through smarter design and better use of interior space.

There is no proposal to change the level of the tram tracks along the street or install separation barriers

The tram tracks along Acland Street will be renewed and replaced at the same level as the existing roadway and footpath. Pedestrian movement across the street will remain the same.

There are no plans to install barriers or separation kerbing.

The end result would be similar to the footpath and tram stops in Bourke Street Mall, where the tracks are lower at the tram stop, but there is level access across the tracks for the remainder of the street.

Independent traffic and pedestrian studies have been conducted for Acland Street

Studies were commissioned by PTV, Yarra Trams and the City of Port Phillip to inform the decision making process. Findings were made publicly available last year and are online at ptv.vic.gov.au/route96stkilda.

The majority of shoppers don’t drive to Acland Street

A pedestrian survey in December 2012 found that approximately 70% of shoppers on Acland Street use a means of transport other than a car to get there.

The survey also found that an average of 76% of Acland Street shoppers said they would be encouraged to visit Acland Street more often if there were wider footpaths, reduced car traffic and parking areas, more bike infrastructure, pedestrian only space, and increased seating/dining space – things that the Route 96 improvements will deliver and enable.

Terminating Route 96 at Luna Park would be detrimental to Acland Street and surrounds

Acland Street currently serves 30,000 passenger trips each week and connects to bus services operating on Barkly Street. PTV investigated the proposed termination of Route 96 at Luna Park and determined that it would not meet the needs of residents, traders and visitors who use public transport to access the precinct.

The tram upgrades will be complemented by streetscape works undertaken by Council

The Acland Street revitalisation and plaza construction will be delivered by the City of Port Phillip, in consultation with the local community. This will provide increased alfresco dining, trading and pedestrian space, and the delivery of a multi-purpose plaza that will make it a vibrant, attractive and easily accessible precinct for residents and visitors.

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