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Melbourne's Footpath Kiosks Could Be Gone by the End of the Year

As part of the City of Melbourne's plan to reduce footpath congestion.
By Libby Curran
May 09, 2019
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Melbourne's Footpath Kiosks Could Be Gone by the End of the Year

As part of the City of Melbourne's plan to reduce footpath congestion.
By Libby Curran
May 09, 2019
  shares

Melbourne's CBD might be getting an overhaul to make it easier and safer to get around on foot, but that could mean saying goodbye to a few very familiar faces. As part of its Draft Transport Strategy unveiled last week, it turns out the City of Melbourne has plans to ditch a bunch of the CBD's long-standing footpath kiosks.

Two are already on their way out and seven more will be decommissioned at the end of November this year. The kiosks that'll be removed are the rectangular 'street-trading' kiosks (that sell the likes of newspaper, gum and cigarettes), not the cylinder kiosks. Which, thankfully, means that Swanson Street's La Petite Crêperie kiosk is safe.

The moves comes as part of the council's plan to tackle congestion and free up more space for pedestrians — it's estimated close to one million people walk around the CBD every day, and that this number will grow to 1.4 million in 17 years. It has identified the main footpath obstructions as being motorbikes, bicycle racks, construction hoardings and cafe equipment.

While kiosks account for just a small portion of overall obstructions, they've been deemed unnecessary additions and are being given the boot.

City of Melbourne Transport Portfolio Chair Councillor Nicolas Frances-Gilley said the kiosks simply take up too much space, and that declining cigarette and newspaper sales meant it was becoming tougher to find tenants for the streetside structures.

"People have told us they feel overcrowded while navigating footpaths around the central city," Cr Frances-Gilley said in a statement. "The data backs up what we're hearing from pedestrians, so we're responding."

The familiar kiosks won't be disappearing entirely, though. The council is looking to re-home them, with one heading to Collingwood Children's Farm and another gaining a second life as a ticket booth at Scoresby's Chesterfield Farm.

The Draft Transport Strategy 2030 scored an unanimous thumbs up at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting earlier this week, and will be up for public consultation until Wednesday, June 19.

cp-line

CORRECTION: May 10, 2019 — This article previously stated that Swanson Street's La Petite Crêperie could be one of the kiosks closing. The City of Melbourne has since confirmed that the nine kiosks being removed are the rectangular street-trading kiosks, not the cylinder kiosks (which the crêperie is). The above article has been updated to reflect this.

Published on May 09, 2019 by Libby Curran

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