Update - August 2021 (James Street pop-up park and pinch point)

We are excited to announce that the James Street pop-up park and pinch point are now in place!

We have received a lot of great feedback so far and residents are enjoying the new open space and reduced through traffic on James Street.

"My family and I love it. I feel much safer riding here with my kids." - Local resident

Concerns have been raised about reckless driving through and around the pop-up park. Council have taken the following actions to address these issues:

  • Updating Google Maps to show this section of road as 'closed to motor vehicles'
  • Notifying the police of illegal driver behaviour around the park
  • Installing additional signs on the streets leading to the pop-up park informing drivers that the road is closed
  • Ongoing maintenance to repair any damage to fixtures within the park
  • Investigating alternative traffic calming measures for Cramer Street (following a Council decision in April not to proceed with additional pinch points)

While we are incredibly disappointed with the actions of a few dangerous drivers, we are hopeful that the above measures and settling in period will help eliminate this behavior.

These projects are ultimately about opening streets for up for people by reducing the number of cars speeding through the area and creating more space for people to spend time. We are confident that the pop-up park and pinch point contributes to this vision.

If you have any feedback about the projects, please let us know!

Update - May 2021

During a Council Meeting on 26 April 2021, a decision was made not to proceed with the construction of two pinch points on Cramer Street and investigate treatments.

The trial pop up park on James Street between Cramer Street and Hope Street will still proceed as planned.

Details of the Motion are shown below (Meeting Minute No. 21-112):

"That Council:

(1) Proceeds with a trial pop up park on James St between Cramer and Hope Streets as planned in Council’s 2020-21 budget;

(2) Implements a trial of signage seeking to deter non-local traffic from entering Cramer Street (West) and this precinct;

(3) Does not proceed with construction of two pinch points on Cramer Street (West) in the 2020-21 financial year and instead undertakes further investigation of other treatments to achieve the same purpose;

(4) Receives a report at a future Council meeting on the options for timing and scope of these further investigations."

The raised 'side street treatments' (i.e. pedestrian crossings) running along Cramer Street will be built at a later date subject to funding availability.

In 2018, Darebin City Council launched Streets for People, an exciting project to transform local street networks in Darebin into more people-friendly places.

Darebin Council has worked extensively with the community to develop and design the Preston Activity Link Concept Design as part of the Streets for People program.

Many people have let Council know what they think about draft plans for the Preston Activity Link (West) corridor including what they liked, what they would like changed, ideas and concerns. This process has helped us adjust and refine the plans to meet local needs.

At its Council Meeting on Monday 27 April 2020, Council endorsed the Preston Activity Link (West) concept design, for Cramer Street between St Georges Road and James Street, following two rounds of community consultation. At it’s Meeting on Monday 29 June 2020, Council also endorsed the concept design for the remaining western section of the corridor, between James Street and Elizabeth Street.

The endorsed design will improve the experience of walking, wheeling and riding in the local area and will include urban design and landscape elements.

Concept Design

The priority improvements that Council is planning to proceed with in the area are listed below and there is more detail in the concept plans. We expect these to make getting around locally safer, in particular for people walking, wheeling and riding to Preston West Primary School, Melbourne Polytechnic, Preston Station and Preston Market.

  • A road closure with pocket park (12-month trial) on James Street between Cramer Street and Hope Street.
  • Bike-friendly pinch points, on James Street near Eric Street and between James Street and Gilbert Road, that will help lower vehicle speeds and include landscaping where possible

Other treatments that have been endorsed based on community feedback include:

  • Upgrades to the Jessie Street roundabout including wombat crossings (raised zebra crossings).
  • Protected bike lanes between St Georges Road and Jessie Street.
  • Raised pedestrian thresholds on side streets along the length of Cramer Street, to improve pedestrian visibility, access and safety.

The concept design is shown in the image below, and can also be viewed in the Final Report and Engagement Summary in the document library.

What’s happened so far - engagement summary

The concept designs were developed through two rounds of community engagement which included:

  • Public survey on issues and opportunities (March 2019)
  • Public drop-in session on issues and opportunities (March 2019)
  • Street champion workshop on issues and opportunities (March 2019)
  • Community survey on the draft concept designs (February 2020)
  • Public drop-in session on the draft concept designs (February 2020)
  • Street champion workshop on the draft concept designs (February 2020)
  • Direct engagement with community on the draft concept designs for the James Street proposal (May 2020)

You can view the outcomes from each round of engagement in the Preston Activity Link Final Report and Engagement Summary, and the Council Report from 29 June 2020.

What's happening now?

The next step for the project, pending Council’s general budget process, will be the design and construction of four priority treatments:

  • A trial road closure and pocket park on James Street between Cramer Street and Hope Street
  • A slow point on James Street between Eric Street and Cramer Street
  • Two bike-friendly pinch points on Cramer Street between James Street and Gilbert Road.

These treatments have been identified as priorities because they are effective in creating a safer environment for people of all ages and abilities to walk, wheel and cycle.

In addition, Council will continue to monitor the impacts of the changes on vehicle volumes and speeds in surrounding local streets.

Project Background

As our city continues to grow, the role and function of our local streets is changing. Darebin City Council is committed to working with our community to help define what our streets will look and feel like in the future.

In October 2018, the Streets for People Feasibility Study was endorsed by Council, and two of the eight corridors were selected for investigation in 2019 – the Preston Activity Link and the Northern Reservoir Corridor.

The Preston Activity Link includes three sections:

  • Preston West - Eric Street and Cramer Street between Elizabeth Street and St Georges Road
  • Preston Central - Cramer Street and Gower Street between St Georges Road and Plenty Road
  • Preston East - Gower Street and Chifley Drive between Plenty Road and Darebin Creek

The corridor is affected by its intersections with major roads, tram routes and train lines, and has high levels of local walking and cycling activity by a range of people of all ages and abilities moving between homes, public transport, local business and schools. This route is also being considered for designation as a primary transport cycling route as part of the State Government's Strategic Cycling network. These various transport considerations must be balanced with the need to provide safe and attractive streets for the local community to not only use, but also enjoy and be proud of.

Our vision for the Streets for People project is:

to create a neighbourhood that is safe, green, clean and welcoming.

For more information on other Streets for People projects visit https://www.darebin.vic.gov.au/Parking-and-transport/Sustainable-transport/Transport-planning/Streets-for-People

Please note that the Preston Activity Link – Preston East has been postponed.

To receive updates please “Follow” the project from the button at the top of the page.