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Monitors reveal local hot spots

By Bethany Williams

Despite Docklands’ commuter traffic doubling in the past four years, NewQuay hasn’t experienced a rise in pedestrians.

Data collected by City of Melbourne pedestrian monitors at Webb Bridge and Southern Cross station indicate a steady rise in pedestrian traffic since 2009, owing to more workers in the area.

However, NewQuay has failed to attract more pedestrians, with the monthly average remaining steady since 2009.

Docklands has five pedestrian monitors, located on the Webb Bridge, at Southern Cross Station, Victoria Point, NewQuay East and Waterfront City.

Docklands’ pedestrian monitors are part of a network of 20 sensors around the city that have been in place since 2009.

According to a City of Melbourne spokesperson, the sensors count pedestrian movement 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The spokesperson said the sensors were located under awnings or on street poles and counted pedestrian movements in two directions as people passed through the sensor’s zone.

“The system records movements, not images, so no individual information is collected,” the spokesperson said.

Data collected by the Southern Cross Station monitor on Collins St shows that the monthly average of 200,000 pedestrians in 2009 had risen to almost 350,000 people per month this year.

The Webb Bridge has seen a jump from a monthly average of just over 45,000 pedestrians to almost 120,000 per month in 2013.

In contrast, pedestrian traffic at NewQuay and Waterfront City hasn’t increased since 2009, despite there being more residents and workers in Docklands.

The combined monthly average of pedestrians recorded by the Waterfront City and NewQuay monitors in 2009 was just over 230,000 people, while this year it was just under 220,000 people.

Victoria Point is the only area that has seen a dramatic drop in pedestrian traffic, almost halving since 2009.

In 2009, the Victoria Point monitor recorded a monthly average of more than 150,000 pedestrians.

By 2012 the monthly average had dropped to just over 140,000, before dropping to an average of below 90,000 pedestrians per month this year.

The drop of traffic between 2012 and 2013 can be explained by the removal of the stairs on Bourke St that led to the Southern Cross Station concourse.

The stairs were removed due to construction of the Medibank building.

As a result, pedestrians who would have walked down Bourke St to reach the stairs have instead used stairs on Harbour Esplanade and avoided the monitor.

A publicly available online visualisation tool shows an hourly depiction of pedestrian traffic across Docklands and the city dating back to 2009.

You can view the visualisation at http://www.pedestrian.melbourne.vic.gov.au

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