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Docklands continues to embrace its surrounds with the Village Street upgrade

A section of Village Street Docklands, between Bourke St and Fishplate Lane is set to be converted into a one-way street, with traffic to flow in a northerly direction towards Etihad Stadium, in order to create a pedestrian and cycle-friendly precinct.

Long thought of as a street level 'wasteland', Docklands continues to be the focus of attention with the continued push to overhaul the precinct at urban/user/street level.

Places Victoria will begin work in the coming weeks to transform Village Street into a shared green zone capable of hosting street festivals and other events. According to Simon Wilson, Places Victoria General Manager Precincts, the work would take around four months to complete because of the need to remove concrete slabs from under the existing road.

Mr Wilson said Places Victoria had taken on board feedback from local businesses regarding loading access and overall the sentiment of the businesses in the area was extremely positive.

Our traffic study has shown that this section of Village Street is ideally suited for conversion into a shared zone, which will see less vehicles using the street and to give pedestrians and cyclists priority.This will allow the area to be a more people-focused space, taking advantage of its location close to some of Docklands’ fantastic restaurants, as well as Etihad Stadium.

The restaurants and cafes can see a real opportunity to activate this space.  

As part of this transformation, removable bollards will be installed to enable Village Street to be used for events. There is also quite a bit of work to be done to enable new trees to be planted on Village Street. We will be working with our contractors to ensure disruptions are kept to a minimum.

-Simon Wilson, Places Victoria General Manager Precincts

The transformation forms part of the City of Melbourne's Docklands Public Realm Plan, which identifies improvements to key streets and public spaces to ensure the delivery of public spaces in Docklands that provide better connectivity and experiences within Docklands and surrounding areas.

Village Street's current condition.

The overall vision seeks to create a seamless network of welcoming public streets and waterfronts and a well-linked family of diverse public spaces that provide a choice of experiences, activities and journeys, for many people at various times of the day and night and throughout the seasons.

Identified as a secondary street within the Docklands Public Realm Plan, Village Street has the potential to provide a greater experience to visitors, workers and residents beyond its current state as per the extract below:

Secondary streets

1.3 Design secondary streets primarily as a setting for pedestrian and cyclist movement, shopping, socialising, recreation, art and architecture and ensure they provide links to key public facilities and spaces.

Secondary streets are characterised by mixed use including retail at ground level. These play a significant role in supporting community life and fostering local identity as they provide opportunities for a community focus. They also provide connections to community facilities and key public spaces including the waterfront.

- Docklands Public Realm Plan, City of Melbourne

The proposed works include:

• Creation of a ‘shared zone’ using bluestone pitchers to create a flush road and footpath surface; 

• Installation of green spaces in the form of planter beds and more street trees;

• Additional seating, bike hoops and lighting.

Work on the Village Street upgrade is set to commence in late-January/early-February, 2017, and is expected to be completed by June 2017.

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