Managing traffic in local streets

What we do to manage traffic

Being centrally located in a city of 4.4 million people means traffic will always be a reality for Yarra residents. We are doing our bit to help with a community-led place making program that has made Yarra’s local streets safer.

Much of our traffic is generated by motorists travelling through Yarra to access other parts of the city, and by the thousands of people who come to Yarra every day to work, dine, socialise, and shop.

We can not get rid of traffic, but there are a number of ways we can reduce its impact, including advocating for better public transport and for improvements to major busy roads.

Find out about what's happening in your area


What is Local Area Place Making? 

Place making is a collaborative approach to creating public spaces that best meets the needs and aspirations of the community which include walking, cycling, streetscaping, landscape, parking management and water sensitive urban design.

Engagement with the community forms the most important part of place making. The community are best placed to identify the issues and needs in their neighbourhood, and are vital in shaping the final outcome.

Place making also encourages greater collaboration between all areas of our organisation to ensure the best outcome is achieved.

Why we adopt an area wide approach

An area-wide approach means that we look at all the streets within a precinct rather than what is happening on a single street.

The key benefits of an area-wide approach include:

  • We can identify the source of a traffic or safety issue impacting a street. For example, a rat-running (i.e. non-local through traffic using a street) or speeding problem could be potentially resolved through the introduction of a turning ban on a street somewhere else in the neighbourhood.
  • We can develop solutions that do not transfer traffic problems onto neighbouring streets.
  • We can target the issues that would provide the most benefit to all of the community in the neighbourhood. This allows us to best use our limited funds.
  • All of the community within the neighbourhood can have a say in how traffic could be better managed and contribute to the success of LAPM studies

What we try to achieve

The aim of LAPM studies is to provide safe and liveable neighbourhoods by:

  • Reducing vehicle speeds and through-traffic (i.e. rat-running).
  • Tackling road safety issues.
  • Making it safer and easier to walk and cycle.
  • Improving streetscapes and encouraging street activity.

What can be done

Traffic Management comes in many forms.

Common treatments in Yarra include:

  • Speed reduction treatments such as road humps, threshold treatments and raised intersections.
  • Traffic volume reduction treatments such as road closures, one-way streets or turning bans.
  • Treatments that promote walking and cycling such as wombat crossings (i.e. wide road humps with a pedestrian crossing on top), zebra crossings, bicycle lanes and bicycle symbols.

Although perhaps less well known, the following traffic treatments are becoming increasingly popular with residents:

  • Centre of road street-trees.
  • Shared Zones (sections of streets which legally provide priority to pedestrians).
  • Painted streets. 

Improvements to safety and residential amenity achievable through well planned traffic calming are sometimes required to be traded off against a potential level of inconvenience for local communities.

Traffic treatments which seek to reduce through-traffic, vehicle speeds and crashes may result in increased journey times for local road users and in some cases require the removal of on-street parking spaces.

Likewise, the overall noise and emissions benefits resulting from a reduction in traffic using a street may be offset to some extent by noise associated with some traffic treatments.


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