'The Cross' has changed a bit over the years. It doesn't feel quite as sleazy as it used to. Backpackers abound and there are plenty of average type tourists like us as well. There didn't seem to be the number of str8 aussie blokes there for the strip clubs or the number of strip clubs. The only time I saw girls hanging around in doorways was early one morning.
It is quite a pedestrian friendly area. The traffic all moves very slowly and it never gets congested, well not that I saw. At one end of the main area is the Al Alamein fountain set in paved park and the other end the huge messed up interesection of William Street and various minor streets. There are lots of trees for shade and it feels comfortable.
Most of the trees look to be London Plane trees, but the growth habit is not the same as in Melbourne. They have longer more spindly branches and seem to be reaching for the sky. The canopy is more open. I can only guess that this is because they grow more quickly in warmer climate.