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Melburnians are staying away from the city’s central business district on Wednesday, with foot traffic at some of the busiest locations down almost half.
Pedestrian monitoring data from the City of Melbourne shows that morning peak foot traffic around Southern Cross Station is down 61 per cent compared with the past month’s average, while at Flinders Street Station underpass the numbers are down 45 per cent.
Foot traffic outside Southern Cross Station – usually one of the busiest in the CBD – is down by more than half.Credit:Joe Armao
These two stations are typically the busiest sensor locations for foot traffic in the city each morning, although it’s worth noting that the drop may be partly due to more Melburnians opting to drive to work today rather than taking public transport.
At Southern Cross Station there were 739 pedestrians logged between 8am and 9am this morning. On a typical morning over the past month, about 1800 people have passed through the area at this time of day.
Meanwhile, at the Flinders Street Station underpass, there were 1192 pedestrians recorded, down from 2172 on a typical weekday morning:
The data shows that today’s foot traffic is hewing closer to average weekday foot traffic over the past year – a figure that has been driven down considerably by lockdowns over that time – than the average over the past month.
The City of Melbourne has set up pedestrian monitoring sensors at 72 locations within its boundaries, which were set up to aid city planning policies.
One of the locations where sensors have been installed includes the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre – the site of one of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination centres – which Melburnians have flocked to in large numbers since of the start of this week.
The pedestrian data shows that the area has been far quieter in terms of foot traffic so far on Wednesday than at the start of the week.
This graph shows pedestrian numbers at the main Clarendon Street entrance of the Convention and Exhibition Centre since Monday, and the average weekday foot traffic average for the past month has been included as well for context.
On Monday (the dark purple line), there were far more people visiting the centre during the morning and around lunchtime than on a typical weekday over the past month (the green line).
Between 2pm and 3pm, the sensors there logged 2476 pedestrians – the highest weekday total for that time of day so far this year and more than twice the average number of people milling about the area on a typical weekday.
On Tuesday (the light purple line), there wasn’t quite the same rush as on Monday, but foot traffic was tracking above average during the morning and lunchtime.
So far on Wednesday (the orange line), there were 916 pedestrians logged in the area between 8am and 9am, slightly below the weekday average of 1036 people for that time of day. But it’s worth noting that this drop in pedestrian numbers is not as steep as some of the other areas of the city.
The graphs in this story will be updated throughout the day, and a section on lunchtime foot traffic through Bourke Street Mall will be added later this afternoon.
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