Extended operating time clearways on major Melbourne roads are starting to appear. Morning times are 6.30 to 10.00. Evening times are a bit more complicated.
Clearways are terribly important for tram and bus travel along busy roads. They remove parked cars and normal traffic along with trams and buses run much more quickly and smoothly.
Vic Roads and the state government wanted the evening times to operate from 3.00 until 7.00. Shopkeepers objected as they feared a loss of trade if someone could not park directly in front of their shop. After some protests, the government came up with a compromise.
The clearways will operate until 7pm, so that is clear.
The start time will be 4pm except for around three hundred metres either side of major intersections, where it will be 3pm.
So as you drive along the road from 3pm, there will still be parked cars but not right at intersections. At 4pm the road will entirely clear entirely of parked cars.
The 3pm time at the intersections will help greatly while make a small concession to the shop keepers by not having it along the full length of the road until 4pm.
However, I have noticed in some locations, that the clearway has just been set at 3pm and no adjustment at intersections. Absurdly along Dandenong Road where there aren't shops, the 3pm/4pm alterations have been posted. I predict in time that the 3pm/4pm system will generally disappear and only remain in expensive shopping strips in the eastern suburbs where the critics are very vocal and well organised.
Generally I see it as a win for trams, buses and cyclists and a loss for the amenity of shopping strips. I don't believe the affected shops will go broke though.
Now I just cannot wait until Toorak Road becomes a tow away zone. Why it isn't now when most clearway roads are was part of the deal ex Premier Kennett made with Citylink.
Meanwhile the very anti public transport City of Stonnington has been widening footpaths so that clearways cannot be imposed in their very posh north south running shopping streets, sadly funded I notice with Federal Government stimulus monies. Must be time for City of Boroondara to get busy with extending their kerbing in Burke Road at Camberwell Junction.