eBook – This book is only available in digital format.
Dr Max Lay AM writes, “My intent in producing this book has been to provide a coherent, comprehensive and correct history of Melbourne’s inheritance of roads, streets and bridges. I believe that it is a story that deserves telling and preserving and am aware that others, perhaps a little silently, share this view. I certainly have received good feedback from the first edition. I also share the view of George Broadbent who observed in 1912 that “There is no more common interest than the common road.” Broadbent was a pioneer Victorian cyclist and map-maker and one of the founders of the RACV. More broadly, the great Australian author and poet Mary Gilmore wrote in 1922 that “Give a man a road and he has a library which neither comes to an end nor comes cheap and common. History lies written in them for those that can read.” I certainly share this view. In a paper on the historical relevance of roads, I noted that they tell us stories about past times, not only through the way in which they were constructed, but also through an understanding of why and where they were built, of who used them and maintained them, and of who benefitted or suffered from them.”
This second edition primarily takes advantage of the enhanced presentation and distribution facilities and on-line map databases now available to authors and their readers.
“Andrew Brown-May set me on the path to this book when he asked me to write a few thousand words on the history of Melbourne’s roads for “his” Encyclopaedia of Melbourne. When I had finished that task, I realised that there was a much larger story to record – a story that was as yet largely untold and threatening to pass into oblivion. I guess I had had some preparation for the accidental duty as I had previously written a history of Australia’s roads as a Bicentennial task and then a history of the world’s roads6 that had begun as a chapter in a technical text and ended as this book. For those happy quirks that led me to the current enjoyable challenge, I am deeply grateful.”
Dr Max Lay, a Melburnian, is an international authority on roads. His very many publications include the Source Book for Australian Roads, Handbook of Road Technology, History of Australian Roads, Ways of the World, and Encyclopedia Britannica entry on roads.
Dr Lay is also the past-president of both the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria and the Australian Automobile Association.
First edition published by Australian Scholarly Press in 2003 (now out of print)
This second edition was self-published by the author in 2022 (available as a downloadable eBook)
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