We live in South East Melbourne. It is equidistant [as the crow flies!] to most of Melbourne. BUT Melbourne is one of the most sprawled cities in the world. Most of that is to do with the “Great Australian Dream” – the family size house on a quarter acre block.
OK, well very few blocks actually are a quarter acre, but most of them used to be quite a significant size. A few suburbs did get some blocks of high density living, but not many. One thing Australia is not short of is space! The practicalities of that space is another issue entirely.
Back to “rebuilding”. So, a few years ago, the then State Government brought in new planning zones for areas that were considered “worthy”. The zoning is “mixed high density” and is for nominated “hubs” of new zones adjoining, in particular, railway stations. Another [bipartisan] policy they decided on was upgrading a number of railway lines where road crossings were plagued with issues such as congestion and or danger. That previous government had suggested 40-odd railway-road crossings would be removed.
This is a multi-billion dollar major project, the likes of which has never been undertaken in Melbourne, considering the multi-suburban scope and impact. Funding was going to come from “selling” [a long term lease] of the Melbourne Port. Once all the crossings to be removed were identified, then the arduous task of deciding the order was undertaken.
Then we had a state election. The Government lost power. The new Government made some alterations to railway-road crossings list to be done. One of our two locals had been on the original list. We ten found out it would be fast-tracked and expanded to include the other two very nearby crossings. This was a total of three stations & their accompanying crossings in the one project. Massive! The public consultation started within months – as soon as the contract had been awarded. The project consortium was the same as the one doing the first project. [The first one was completed by the end of 2015 [functionally – the landscaping was still going on well into 2016.]
Some minor works at our local station started before any decisions on the type of [engineering] project it would be – a pedestrian crossing was installed at the actual crossing. The public was getting a “vote” on whether the railway would go over or under the road. The main consideration was the fact that all three stations were amidst local shopping strips. The traders wanted the railway dropped and so did many locals. We got what we asked for – but not all the way along the roughly 3-4 kilometres of rail line. We got a gentle roller coaster. And three upgraded/modernised stations.
One of the better parts of the design is a storage room – for bicycles!
I think this is a great idea. I also think the design and execution is wanting. While the room can take many more bikes than what was the previous station situation, I feel an opportunity was missed. What do you think? Here are some more photos of the bike cage.
These are night shots [while walking the dog, around 9.30pm]. I am unsure how well the facility is being utilised at this stage. I’ll do another article soon.
I hope someone with some feedback on the stations cares to comment.
Peace to all,
KISS for Life.