Flagstaff Stn and William St pedestrian/passenger congestion needs fixing
This is Flagstaff station yesterday at 8:50am.
It’s not a once-off occurence, but happens regularly. As patronage has grown at Parliament and Melbourne Central, more gates have gradually gone in… fitting more in at Flagstaff is probably a challenge, but one that will have to be looked at, perhaps in conjunction with the conversion from Metcard to Myki gates in the next year or so.
But the problems aren’t confined to the station.
The footpaths on William Street and also Little Lonsdale Street no longer cope with the pedestrian traffic coming out of the station in the morning, and going back into the station in the evening.
Some people resort to walking on the road to try and speed up their journeys.
I haven’t got out there with a measuring tape, but my perception is that the footpaths around Flagstaff are narrower than comparable spots around the other CBD railway stations. It’s probably in part due to the fact that Latrobe and William Streets are some of the few CBD streets that allow two lanes of car traffic (in each direction) during peak hours.
Street furniture such as news stands and cafe tables are important for the street scape, but don’t really help pedestrian flows.
Given a clear preference for sustainable transport access into the CBD, I think it’s time that was reviewed. Something more along the lines of Collins Street might be appropriate — one lane for trams, one lane of traffic, a bike lane, and one lane either for parking or for tram superstops.
Of course it wouldn’t help traffic congestion. But parts of that area get clogged in peak hour anyway (especially on Friday night), even with two lanes of traffic.
If there are multiple demands on that space, the priority should be for the most space-efficient use of it — which is clearly pedestrians and public transport.