Last night we attended the above forum, conducted jointly by City of Melbourne who look after the eastern side of St Kilda Road, and City of Port Phillip who look after the western side of St Kilda Road. A year or more ago, it was decided that rather than each council go it's own way, there would be joint policies for the boulevarde. By the way, technically it is a real boulevarde. There is a world accepted definition.
It was held in the Hoopla Room at Malthouse Theatre. Although cool outside and it has a tin roof, it was very very hot inside. The sandwhiches and cakes were very good and we did not need to eat before we went, but we had.
While both councils have put considerable resources into plans, there won't be much decided before next year. It really was just a public relations exercise and while the room was full, half the people there were paid staff from various groups who have an interest. Interestingly Yarra Trams had two representatives there, but responded unsatisfactorily when a complaint was made about track repairs late at night affecting residents' sleeping. They did not know anything about track repairs the previous night.
It was a dissappointing turn up, although the room was full. COPP conduct there forums often, so they would know what sort of numbers that they get.
What struck me was the number of conflicting aims. Take this one which is perhaps relevant or of interest to some of my readers. Limit speed to 50kph, speed tram travel up, give more time for pedestrians to cross the road, widen and increase the length of safety zones (tram stops), widen the bike paths, maintain existing car parking spaces..............and yet, recognize that it is an important street for car travel so traffic flows need to be maintained. Some quite radical ideas are being thought about by the two councils and those with interests in the road.
The meeting concluded with a mini quiz on the history of the road and I could have answered every question bar one. I received a chocolate frog as a prize for one question I answered. The one question that I did not know, was that Prime Minister Bruce lived in St Kilda Road in the early part of the twentieth century. I wasn't sure if the right answer to the question how many tram routes run down St Kilda Road would include route 1 trams. The answer didn't.
Oh, and we did meet some other residents of the road. That was nice. There was one famous actor who lives in the Domain building, so famous I cannot remember his name.