Smith Street part-time tram lane improvements trial

We're working with PTV and Yarra Trams to improve the performance of city-bound trams on Smith Street.

The Smith Street part-time tram lane improvements trial has been introduced to reduce delays to trams in the morning peak, and increase driver awareness of the part-time tram lanes.

Trams carry around 70% of people using Smith Street during the morning peak, but are often delayed by drivers not following the road rules around the existing part-time tram lane. 

What are part-time tram lanes?

Part-time tram lanes, such as those on Smith Street, typically operate during peak traffic periods when parking restrictions such as no stopping and clearways are in place.  During operating times, you’re not allowed to drive in a part-time tram lane unless you need to:

  • avoid an obstacle
  • turn right - you can only drive in the lane for up to 50 metres.
Part-time tram lanes generally operate during peak hours, and the days and times are displayed on nearby signs. Outside of operating times, drivers can travel on the tram tracks. 

What’s involved in the trial? 

This part-time tram lane was designed to help reduce delays to trams between 7am and 9am by restricting how cars use the lane. This trial aims to improve the journey times and reliability of Route 86 trams travelling to the city. 

To raise awareness of the part-time tram lane, we’ve made improvements including:

  • new road markings
  • a mix of overhead and roadside signs. 

We've painted new signs onto the road surface between the tram tracks to:

  • clearly tell road users about the part-time tram lanes
  • encourage road users to obey the signs. 

The painted signs show an image of a tram and hours of operation for the part-time tram lane. 

These signs are placed along the part- time tram lane in Smith Street between Queens Parade and Alexandra Parade. This only affects traffic travelling towards the city. 

Smith St tram lane trial map and signs

To improve visibility and safety for all road and tram users, we've also:

  • removed two parking spaces near the Alexandra Parade tram stop (between Council St and Alexandra Parade)
  • removed one parking space near the Queens Parade intersection (between Queens Parade and Hodgkinson Street).
We’re also working with the City of Yarra to improve bicycle safety in the area by installing new road markings on the Queens Parade approach into Smith Street. 

When will the trial begin?

The trial was installed in late January 2016 and runs for six months.  

What happens after the trial?

We’ll measure the success of this trial with traffic studies three and six months after the new signs and road markings have been installed. We’ll compare this data to earlier studies to determine if the trial has been successful in raising awareness of the part-time tram lane, and has led to an increase in driver compliance with the part-time tram lane road rules.

Contact us

To find out more information or provide feedback, please get in touch.

Email:  [email protected]

Write: VicRoads Metropolitan Projects Central, Level 4, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

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