Movement and place

We've developed a smarter way to manage the increasing number of trips on our roads so that Victoria remains a great place to live.

Our SmartRoads framework is an approach that manages competing interests for limited road space by giving priority use of the road to different transport modes at particular times of the day.

By deciding which modes have priority on which roads, Melbourne’s road network can work better for everyone.

The framework recognises the increasing importance of public transport, walking and cycling as transport modes. It uses a set of guiding principles to establish the priority use of roads by transport mode, time of day, and place of activity. This approach also ensures that decisions about the operation of the road network support integrated land use and transport planning.

Under the SmartRoads framework, all road users continue to have access to all roads, but over time, changes are being made to how roads are operated to:

  • facilitate good pedestrian access into and within activity centres in periods of high demand
  • prioritise trams and buses on key public transport routes that link activity centres during morning and afternoon peak periods
  • encourage cars to use alternative routes around activity centres to reduce the level of ‘through’ traffic
  • encourage bicycles through further developing the bicycle network
  • prioritise trucks on important transport routes that link freight hubs and at times that reduce conflict with other transport modes.

These priority movements are assigned to arterial roads across the network forming SmartRoads Framework Network Operating Plan.

To learn more about the framework approach, watch the short video below or read the SmartRoads framework brochure [PDF 1 Mb].

SmartRoads framework network operating plan

SmartRoads framework network operating plans have been developed through extensive consultation with local councils, government agencies and relevant stakeholders over several years. These plans illustrate which transport modes have priority on the road at different times of the day and can even show priority at individual intersections for each of the local government areas.

SmartRoads framework map

The map shows the priority modes on each road that have been developed for each council area, and forms the foundation for the network operating plan.

Use the SmartRoads framework interactive map (External link) to access available maps.

We will continue to consult and work closely with local government to ensure that their SmartRoads framework plans continue to meet community and transport needs.

The next steps in the evolution of the SmartRoads framework

The SmartRoads framework approach enables planning decisions to be made in a way that supports access and the surrounding land use, it helps to manage the competing transport interests for limited road space. However, as we better understand the role a street plays we are recognising that a street can perform two functions: as a movement conduit and a place, a destination in its own right. 

It is through the continued development of the movement and place thinking that we can better understand the roles and challenges facing our roads and streets now and into the future. It is this type of thinking that will help in finding the balance between the transport planning needs to move people, and the place needs required to offer a great experience for people using public spaces.

Over the next 10 years Victoria’s population is expected to grow by 1 million people. In most cases, the width of our streets is fixed, so our thinking for the way the road network operates needs to evolve. We need to look for new ways for how we move people around to support places that invite people to work, play and stay.

With the movement and place thinking, the SmartRoads framework will be enhanced to consider the role streets play as a destination in their own right, as places we visit for leisure, recreational and other ‘unnecessary activities’, not just to access ‘necessary’ places for work or residence or to move through. 

Movement and place is way of thinking that helps us to:
  • Create better places by supporting the design of people-friendly streets
  • prioritise travel modes for different streets and contexts
  • define the way in which we understand problems, consider future needs, and look at the best outcomes for cycling, walking, and place making
  • support productivity by facilitating movement of goods and people. 

It is not prescriptive; it does not have defined outcomes with narrow objectives. Instead, it gives a platform for engaging with communities on where they want to prioritise travel movement, and where they want to encourage greater interaction between people and places. This next step in the evolution of the SmartRoads framework continues our aspiration for a holistic and integrated approach to transport decision making that has better outcomes for healthy and vibrant communities.


Contact Us

For more information about the SmartRoads framework, or if you have problems accessing the maps, please use our Feedback & enquiries form.

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