I read in an electric newspaper that there is agitation to ban cars from Acland Street in St Kilda. It has been done before and traders were horrified and thought their businesses would be killed. In my memory, it was only a couple of weekends and shopkeeper pressure soon had cars back in Acland Street.
You would probably expect me to say, go ahead, ban cars and give the street over to pedestrians and trams, but no not this time.
Cars travel very slowly along Acland Street. It is one of the few streets in Melbourne where you could walk out in front of a car and not get a blast from a horn. There are a number of car parking spaces along the street that will not be available if cars are banned, but it is a very limited number.
At times cars when reverse parking delay trams, but this happens all over Melbourne, so nothing special there. So where is the push coming from?
I expect the push is coming from Yarra trams which is about to start receiving delivery of the new E Class tram. Yarra trams like a terminus big enough for two trams, in case one becomes defective, another can come over the top of it and continue the service. The E Class trams are 33 metres long, so two make 66 metres and a bit of extra space, around 70 metres of tram terminus. Add a disability compliant tram stop with a raised platform, and you can see why trams want to take up the whole street with no room left for cars.
R asked me why trams bothered to go to the end of Acland Street and not stop at Luna Park. I suggested a reason was to connect with long gone Victoria Railways tram in Barkly Street. For other reasons, I was looking at a map (I am a map obsessive) from when Melbourne had cable trams, and the cable tram went to the same terminus, so clearly my Victorian Railways tram theory was wrong as that was not built until much later.
If it was up to me, I would keep the 96 tram going down Acland Street and swing into Barkly Street and perhaps along Broadway and give the densely populated Elwood a tram service but that won't happen.