When suburb names get stupid

Came across this business. They have two branches. They have a Chadstone branch, which is actually in Hughesdale, and they have a Bentleigh branch, which I’ll grudgingly admit is technically in Bentleigh, but is actually on Patterson Road, right next to Patterson station.

As I’ve noted before, Hampton East now stretches right the way to Moorabbin, as does Bentleigh — both now end just across the street from Moorabbin Town Hall and Moorabbin Station. Ditto Gardenvale, which is now tiny, wedged between Elsternwick and Brighton.

Moorabbin: Melway edition 1 vs now
Moorabbin in Melway edition 1, versus now

See, if I ran the world, none of this crap would happen. Areas would be named for what they’re actually nearby to — particularly when there’s things like railway stations involved, as consistent naming helps people navigate. They couldn’t just adopt some nearby suburb name that some upwardly mobile people aspire to cheat their way into: real estate bods wouldn’t be able to influence the movement of suburb boundaries (like the one The Age noted the other week — part of Bentleigh migrated over to East Brighton).

Walkability (again)

In some cities, they argue about whether or not streets should have footpaths. Thankfully not so much here.

Of course, for people to walk, they need somewhere to walk to.

An article in the local paper a few weeks ago highlighted the low Walkscores for some suburbs against others: Heatherton was the lowest in the area with a score of just 14.

Nearby Dingley (37 out of 100), Oakleigh South (38), Clarinda (34) and Clayton South (37) don’t fare much better.

Ormond, McKinnon, Bentleigh, Cheltenham, Highett and Moorabbin all scored between 71 and 80 – classifying them as “very walkable”.

Walkable Bentleigh

It’s no coincidence that the most walkable suburbs are all those on the railway lines. They were all first developed at a time before most people had cars, which meant transport had to be provided, and shopping centres grew up around them and have (well, mostly) remained vibrant places providing the kinds of services that Walkscore evaluates.

Malcolms Real Estate CEO Frank Hellier said a position within strolling distance of shops and services could add as much as 10 per cent to the price of a house.

Interestingly Walkscore is quoting a study which says that “one point of Walk Score is worth as much as $3,000 (US) depending on the metro area”.

I think that when you throw in access to high quality public transport (by which I mean trams or trains), which is probably present in most walkable suburbs anyway (at least in Melbourne), there’s definitely a premium, and I suspect it’s a lot more than 10 per cent. I know I was willing to pay dearly for it.

As they say: Location, location, location.

Street name clusters

On my day off yesterday we sauntered down to Jaycar in Cheltenham for electronic gadget goodness. I noticed looking at the map beforehand that a bunch of the streets are named after newspapers: Argus St, Herald St, Age St, Times St. No Sun St that I could see.

There are plenty of clusters of street names about the place. Some of the others that spring to mind include:

MurrumbeenaMurrumbeena has streets named after Australian cities — Brisbane St, Perth St, Adelaide St, Sydney St, Melbourne St, Hobart Rd.

Elwood/St Kilda — lots of writers and poets: Tennyson St, Dickens St, Milton St, Chaucer St, Wordsworth St, Shakespeare Gv, Shelley St, Byron St, Mitford St, Southey St… and of course Poets Gv. There’s probably a few others around there that more cultured persons than me might recognise, too.

Elwood near the beach: Spray St, Tide St, Beach Av, Wave St, Foam St. Maybe Docker St as well?

Caulfield South, around the area once called Camden Town, formerly occupied by a camp site for timber workers — Olive St, Poplar St, Birch St, Cedar St, Sycamore St, Larch St, Almond St, Teak St, Beech St, Maple St. Would Jasmine and Filbert count too?

Perhaps this sort of thing saved time when large numbers of streets had to be named, and it might save agonising over who in a local community should get a street named after them and who shouldn’t.

Thankfully most of them are more imaginative than what they ended up with in Parkdale: First St, Second St, Third St, Fourth St, Fifth St, Sixth St, Seventh St, Eighth St. Then they threw caution into the wind and made the last couple in the group Bethell Av and Stewart Av.