On 28 February 2017, Hugh Dixon, Senior Traffic Engineer, and James Reynolds, Business Development Officer, of HDS Australia's Victorian Office, attended an ITEANZ (Institute of Transportation Engineers Australia & New Zealand Section) and Transport Australia breakfast. The special guest speaker was the Hon Richard Wynne, Victorian Minister for Planning.
The Minster's presentation focused on the state government's plans for the future development and growth of Melbourne, in particular the Plan Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Strategy and continuing level crossing removals. Melbourne's population is projected to reach 8 million by 2051, which will require significant supporting infrastructure. Amongst the items discussed during the presentation and subsequent question and answer session were the recently signed off Environmental Effects Statement for the Metro Tunnel Project, the Western Distributor project and future opportunities to use light rail to service the Fishermans Bend area.
The breakfast also included the presentation of the ITEANZ awards, and brief discussion of the RACV's recently released vision for Sydney Road. Notably, the RACV's vision includes the relocation of on-street parking to off-street facilities and side streets to provide additional space for a separated bicycle lane. This is in contrast to the 2015 City of Moreland proposal that retained on-street parking on Sydney Road during off-peak periods, and had a 60cm wide bicycle lane between the parking and tram.
Hugh and James were both interested in the details of the continuing planning and development of Melbourne's transport infrastructure. HDS Australia has previously undertaken a functional design road safety audit of bicycle facilities along Chapel Street, which has a similar mix of on street parking, cycling and trams in a busy activity area, and so we are following developments on Sydney Road with interest.
The annual ITEANZ breakfast continues to be a great industry event, and we look forward to seeing you there again next year!