St Kilda Road in Melbourne demonstrates how even a primary arterial can provide a series of attractive and quality places along its length, utilising its huge street width to adapt to changing modal shifts within Melbourne’s street network.
This high place value is ascribed to its boulevard-type cross section which manages to accommodate public transport, private vehicles and freight, bicycles, and pedestrians fairly and equitably. The result is a high functioning, efficient street which is much enhanced by the avenue-style arrangement of beautiful, mature trees.
St Kilda Road is one of Melbourne’s premier boulevards and a world class street. Originally a dirt track leading to the coastal resort village of St Kilda, this street begins at the southern edge of the CBD, crosses the Yarra River and continues south through to the bayside suburbs of St Kilda and the Mornington Peninsula beyond.
The road reserve is generally consistent along its length and is over 60m in width, allowing the street to comfortably accommodate trams, dedicated cycle paths and buses, within a design speed of 60 km/hr. The well considered cross section design successfully manages the trade-offs between transport modes to ensure it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all users.
Another key defining feature of St Kilda Road is its formal landscaping of Elm trees at the edge of the wide, shared footpath on both sides of the street and the London Plane trees which are planted on both the grassed central’ median strips.
This street has high cultural and historical significance. However its design is timeless and applying a similar design to current wide roads in Auckland could significantly enhance both the street and the immediate local area.