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With record-breaking population growth, peak “hour” time in Melbourne is becoming longer and more painful practically every day.
With severe traffic congestion, slow or non-existent public transport, dangerous walking routes and frustrating noise issues, Melbourne’s suburbs can become almost unlivable during the busy times in the morning and evening.
The worst impacted suburbs are mostly located near the most congested roads in the state, with the majority in the north.
These are the Melbourne suburbs that are the worst to live in during those painful peak hours. Richmond
Nestled along what is commonly regarded to be the worst road in Victoria, Richmond and the neighbouring Hoddle Street becomes a sea of traffic congestion during peak times.
Congestion on Hoddle Street Photo: Josh Robenstone
Hoddle Street is a nightmare at the best of times, but during peak hours the long arterial is bumper to bumper, with the Richmond section faring the worst. Cars are allowed to park in the far lanes and there’s no bus lane on the northbound side, making the public transport options no faster than the cars, which travel at as slow as 8 km/h.
The suburb is also risky for pedestrians, with Church Street identified as one of the more dangerous areas to cross the road. Camberwell
Once you finally reach your home suburb, expect to be travelling nearly 80 per cent slower during peak times than you would normally. The suburb’s main thoroughfare, Burke Road, is a “redspot” according to the RACV, and the worst road in the entire country for traffic delays, according to AustRoads.
Traffic congestion on Burke Road, near Camberwell Junction. Photo: Chris Hopkins
The clogged artery comes to a head when six different roads come together in a dangerous intersection, with pedestrians usually inconvenienced by cars blocking their way, forcing them to dangerously weave through traffic.
A nearby intersection in the suburb has also been identified by Victoria Walks as one of the most dangerous in the state. Glen Huntly
Located 11km south-east from the CBD, far away from the north’s congested streets, you wouldn’t necessarily think of Glen Huntly as a pain point during peak times.
Waiting, waiting: The level crossing at Glen Huntly Station is causing angst among motorists. Photo: Paul Jeffers
And perhaps it wouldn’t be, if not for the much maligned level crossing just next to Glen Huntly station. It’s commonly regarded as one of the worst level crossings that the Victorian government is yet to commit to remove.
The boom gates are estimated to be down for more than 80 per cent of the morning and evening peak times within seven years. With little other options, this leads to huge congestion for cars, trams and pedestrians, and lots of frustration for local residents. Skye
While most of the inner city’s peak hour issues revolve around peak hour congestion and delays on public transport, the problem for this suburb 38km from the CBD is a lack of public transport entirely.
With large housing developments in the area in the last few years, population in the area has skyrocketed, but with few other options, most have had to turn to their cars. Come peak hour, the main roundabout comes to a standstill, and is ranked as the fourth worst redspot in the state by the RACV.
Works are currently underway to replace the roundabout with traffic lights, so in the short-term things are even worse. It’s part of the reason why the suburb has been named the least liveable in the state. Heidelberg
Nearly 2000 trucks pass through Heidelberg’s Rosanna Road every day on their way between the Eastern Freeway and Metropolitan Ring Road.
Rosanna Road, Heidelberg, resembles a car park come peak hour. Photo: Supplied
The suburb, 12km north-east of the CBD, cops the brunt of the noise and congestion caused by the trucks, which is worst during peak hours in the morning and evening.
A VicRoads safety assessment of the notorious road found it is a “high-crash location”, with 75 crashes on the street over the past five years leading to 15 serious injuries. Brunswick
Brunswick’s peak hour issues stem mostly from Sydney Road, which comes to a stand still every morning and evening. A VicRoads report found traffic to move at an average of 17km/hour in peak mornings and just 14km/hour in the evening.
The trams on the road aren’t given any priority so public transport users don’t fare much better, and suffer from severe over-crowding during peak times.
Traffic in Sydney Road, Brunswick. Photo: Paul Jeffers
The street is also the state’s worst tow-away zone, with about five cars removed every weekday.
If you thought it’d be easier to get home by buying a bike, you might want to think again, with Sydney Road found to be the most dangerous stretch for cyclists. Without a separate bike lane and with lots of street parking, more than 200 crashes were recorded on the street between 2006 and 2015.