Urban Designers and Engineers: Losing the plot

Melbourne City Council has lost the plot.  Our Urban designers (Headed by Rob “Bamboo” Adams) and Engineers (Headed by Geoffrey Robinson) are slowly yet consistently destroying Melbourne and the things that make Melbourne.

The rot started back in 1996 when the Council back-down and supported the shift of Melbourne’s Museum from the City Centre to the Carlton Gardens. A move that was widely opposed by the general community. (The Museum should have been built as part of an expanded Federation Square or on the ill-fated CUB Swanston Street site)

Residents and traders managed to save Lygon Street from the destructive designs of Rob Adams who wanted to build balconies over the top of Lygon Streets Victorian Street Verandahs. (The City of Melbourne may still revisit Rob Adams nightmare on Lygon Street as the adopted Verandah policy has been allowed to slip out of sight and was not listed or included in Melbourne recent heritage review).

They just spent $5Million engineering congestion and reducing the number of traffic lanes in LaTrobe Street and now they have their sight on destroying the Queen Victoria Market extending Franklin Street so that it carves through the market car park and connects up with Duddly Street, increasing traffic where it is most definitely not needed.  Franklin Street should have been the new bike path and the precinct  should be encouraged to accommodate more pedestrian traffic.  If they had of channeled the money spent on LatTrobe street into Franklin Street redevelopment it could have made a positive contribution to Melbourne.

Clearly Road Safety is not on the Council’s agenda.  The other end of Franklin Street at the corner of Victoria Street is one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in Melbourne and a major accident hotspot. Channeling vehicle traffic down from Duddly Street down Franklin linking up to Victoria Street will only make this intersection worst.  The Council need to close Franklin Street between Swanston and Victoria Street and hand it over to RMIT to allow it to flow into the area and link in with the City Baths.

It is as if Rob Adams and Geoff Robinson are hell bent on destroying Hoddle’s Grid in what ever way they can.  The have extended Collins Street, tried to extend Bourke Street (In name alone) and turned LatTrobe street into a lane with dangerous cross street intersections.

The proposed Queen Victoria Market Franklin Street extension is their “piece de resistance” of utter stupidity in urban design and planning.

Proposed Upgrade of Queen Victoria Market Land Grab: Fails to enhance Melbourne’s iconic precinct

The Melbourne City Council’s concept plans for Melbourne’s iconic Victoria Market is nothing but a land grab that fails to deliver any benefit to the city, the people of Victoria or the interests of the market traders.

The existing car parking site to the South of the Market sheds needs development but it needs to have civic focus and not a high rise residential complex.

The height of the development on this site should not be allowed to exceed the height of the neighbouring Nonda Katsalidis  Equus, Mondo, Roma and Fortuna Terrace Apartments building at the corner of Franklin and Queen Street or the height of the Market historic sheds.

The site should facilitate an underground car park servicing the market and a cluster of laneway shops, dry goods store that complement the Market community services.

The market should also be able to trade 7-days a week with unrestricted times. Bring back wholesale local farmers produce, some bric and brac, second hand goods, local produce and reinstate the vitality it once had.

Remove the Italian house of leather from occupying a predominate spot that brings down the overall appeal of the Market. Bring back Punch and Judy and other community theatrical events. Turn it back into a market of authentic ethnicity.  This can be done now without redevelopment.

The worst aspect of the design concept, developed by Rob “Bamboo” Adams, is the proposed extension of Franklin Street to link up with Dudley Street.

It does not need a park, there is the Flagstaff Gardens nearby and it certainly does not need a road dividing it in half  If anything it should be an open hard edge public space full of activities and events.   The site could have an underground link to Flagstaff Garden’s railway station

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle’s talk of the Markets redevelopment being the Federation Square of the West is a joke.  Clearly the design concept plan is no Federation Square.