Monday, March 05, 2007


At the bottom right is where I live. I think the architect tried to make it look a bit more interesting by stepping the top back. It does make it more identifiable from a distance. The orangy colour is from the terracotta tiles on terraces. Alas we don't have one of those. I still get a kick out of seeing the building from a distance. I noticed yesterday that it is very visible from the train around Richmond Station.

There also seems to be a tram breakdown as there are several lined up at the Toorak Road stop. The 'gog' across the road seems much smaller in the pic. Even though it is not that tall, it is very dominating. The green on the right is the Albert Park Cricket Ground and on the left, Wesley College playing fields.

In the section of St Kilda Road in the picture, there are six sets of traffic lights, but in the parallel road top right, there is one. Queens Road is much better for driving along in a car and the only problem is when there is a bank up of traffic from the Westgate Freeway.

To the right of Queens Road is Albert Park, a huge area and about to be used by lots of fast cars driving around in a circle. To the left of the buildings on the left of St Kilda Road is Fawkner Park, another large park.

Perhaps a third or more of the buildings along St Kilda Road now are residential and by the end of the year or early next year, there will be five more.

There are big plans for a makeover of St Kilda Road, and some of them will happen and some won't. It is all made more difficult by City of Melbourne having control of one side of St Kilda Road and City of Port Phillip having control of the other. VicRoads, the main roads authority is also a player as is the public transport authority who control the trams and the private operator who runs them. Others who want a say are Bicycle Victoria, the South Yarra Residents Action Group and narky individuals such as myself who care about their local street. Oh, and the roads minister has stuck his bib in now, as have the private motoring club.

One plan is to change the bike lanes on this major thoroughfare and make them much safer. Rob wrote a good descriptive piece and had a letter published in today's The Age.

With so many people having a vested interest in the street, perhaps nothing will happen at all, or maybe the street should be bulldozed and rebuilt from scratch.

Pic courtesy The Age


  1. Yes, I used to work at The Alfred Hospital and travelled these roads on a daily basis. I used to try to get a good look at some of the architecture around me while I drove but in the end I just concentrated on the traffic ahead and around me, as I should :)
    I still work as a nurse (not at the Alfred)and and I see a fair few cyclists come in throught he door as a consequence of cyclist v's motorist on St Kilda Road. In the end, I think the road needs to be safe for all users. I hope the powers to be can get their shit together and consider community safety and not just theie "vested" interests. I liked Rob's article muchly.

  2. It's a beautiful building, Andrew; your street confirms I am a small-town hick!

  3. Thanks for the link. As you've pointed out, the batch of authorities involved in the one stretch of road is bound to lead to nowhere or some horrible watered-down vanilla 'concept' that aims to please everyone but fails. Sadly it will either take decades, a huge change of the system or a string of fatalities for anything serious to happen.

  4. I haven't actually seen a bike accident yet, but I can well imagine there are many. The cyclists are commuting and they travel quite fast and the mixing it with cars is dangerous.

    Thanks Daisy Jo. It is modest by the standards of some new apartments that have been built. Home is where you live. While I like it here, I have liked every place I have lived.

    Rob, there is a joint City of Melb, City of Port Phillip working group so along with the tram company, they should be left to do it and get the state out of it.

  5. I've always ridden my bike on the footpath on that stretch of StK rd - I generally travel on weekends or late evenings, so barely any pedestrians. V V hair-raising for cyclists on the road.

  6. I have no problem with cyclists on the footpath, unlike R who has been hit once and had a close call another time. But it isn't practical to have the numbers of commuter cyclists at speed on the footpaths during the day.

    I tried to ride along Bay Street recently and it was impossbible to do so when cars are trying to park, even though there was a bike lane. I am an ultra cautious cyclist.