Monday, March 23, 2009

MAJOR NEWS: Victorian Cycling Strategy released!

After the release of this plan was delayed in Feburary due to the bushfires, Brumby (premier) and Pallas (minister for roads and ports) today jointly released the "Victorian Cycling Strategy" (not the "Victorian Bicycle Plan" name I was using) at some park I could not identify when I saw footage on Ten News!

I have briefly read the plan and have summarised the planned improvements which are only relevant to "Melbourne Bike Routes" If you are looking for regional bike route improvements and other aspects of the plan which are non-route based (such as school education programs etc. etc., you should look at the plan yourself)

Whilst I think the statistics and graphs and tables are good analysis to the current cycling situation in Victoria, like yourself, I am only interested in what they are actually going to do in terms of cycling infrastructure in Melbourne. I will now start my comprehensive list of planned improvements relevant to MBR.

  • Federation Trail extension: Off-road bicycle path from Millers Road, Altona to Williamstown Road, Yarraville.

  • Merri Creek Pipe Bridge – Merri Creek Trail re-alignment path as part of upgrade of pipe bridge by Melbourne Water.

  • Bicycle crossing: At the intersection of Willsmere Road and the Anniversary Trail, Kew.

    Google Street View

  • Gardiners Creek Trail upgrade: Widening and general improvement works between Glenferrie Road and Toorak Road.

  • Fitzroy Street path: Off-road bicycle path between Acland Street to Albert Park, St Kilda.

  • Mount Alexander Road lanes: On-road bicycle lanes at the Shamrock Street/Grice Crescent intersection.

    Google Street View
  • Maribyrnong River Trail extension: Off-road bicycle path along Hyde Street, Somerville Road and Whitehall Street to Footscray Road.

  • Cecil Street lanes upgrade: Upgrade of on-road bicycle lanes along between Albert Road and Whiteman Street, South Melbourne.

  • Maroondah Highway footbridge: Construction of a new bridge over the Maroondah Highway in Lilydale to form an extension of the Lilydale - Warburton Rail Trail from Maroondah Highway to Lilydale Railway Station.

  • York Road traffic lights: Provision of a signalised crossing on the Lilydale-Warburton Rail Tail to provide access across York Road, Mt. Evelyn.

  • Bulleen Road lanes: New on-road bicycle lanes between the Koonung Creek (the creek bridge, not the trail) to Golden Way.
  • 10km radius priority cycle routes: The routes highighted in blue on the map below show routes (both on and off road) which will receive priority attention to help make inner city cycling faster and more comfortable.

  • Federation Trail - Maribyrnong River Trail link: Off-road bicycle path from Williamstown Road to Hyde Street, Yarraville.

  • Balwyn Road facilities: Provide on-road bicycle facilities on Balwyn Road, Balwyn.

  • Fitzroy bicycle priority traffic lights: Installation of bicycle priority signals at selected intersections in Fitzroy.

  • Williamstown - Docklands/CBD link: Connect Williamstown to the Melbourne CBD and Docklands.

  • Inner east route upgrade/extension: Upgrade the cycle route to the east, extending the existing route to Kew/Camberwell North.
    Note: I am not sure what this route actually is. If anyone knows, please leave a comment.
  • Gardiners Creek Trail further upgrades: Further upgrades (suggesting it will occur in sections other than Glenferrie - Toorak Roads as mentioned above) for the trail.

  • Maribyrnong River Trail upgrade: Suggests that it is just a general upgrade of existing sections of trail.

  • North inner city link upgrade: Link and possibly upgrade the link from Queens Parade to Albert Street.

  • Yarra Bend Park / Eastern Freeway link: Link the Chandler Highway to Wellington Street.

  • CBD on-road lanes: Improve bicycle facilities along William Street and Latrobe Street as primary routes into and through the CBD.

  • Inner north - south routes: Improve bicycle facilities on key north-south routes, including Royal Parade, St Georges Road and Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

  • CBD North bike bypass: Create a northern CBD bicycle bypass to the west to connect with the Maribyrnong River Trail.

  • Merri Creek Trail upgrade: Upgrade of the Merri Creek trail around Rushall Station.

  • Capital City Trail / Main Yarra Trail - Melb. Uni. link: Link Melbourne University with the Capital City Trail / Main Yarra Trail in the east.

  • Maribyrnong area links: Provide links outlined in the Maribyrnong Cycling Strategy, possibly including a link between Footscray and Sunshine.

  • Capital City Trail / Main Yarra Trail access upgrade: Improve access to the Capital City Trail on the south bank of the Yarra River near Alexandra Avenue at Yarra Street in South Yarra.

  • Footscray Road improvements: Improve cycling access along Footscray Road to the CBD.

  • Other links improvements: Improve key links in the Prahran area and Eastern suburbs.

  • Albert Street / Elizabeth Street improvements: Improve links in Albert Street and Elizabeth Street in line with works to be undertaken by Melbourne City Council.

  • Diamond Creek Trail extension: Off-road path between Diamond Creek and Hurstbridge stations.

  • Freeway paths: Off-road paths alongside the Frankston Bypass (Peninsula Link) and the Dingley Arterial (between Westall Road Extension and Dandenong Bypass).

  • Cycle route planning website: Development of a cycle route planning website with information about different types of cycle routes in the network and links to public transport. This website may be incorporated in or linked to the State Government’s journey planning website for public transport (Metlink).

  • Public bike hire scheme: This program, provided for under the Victorian Transport Plan, will establish a system for Melbourne based on successful systems in Paris and other parts of Europe. It will promote greater usage of existing cycling infrastructure in central Melbourne, and promote cycling for short trips in and around the CBD. The system will extend the reach of public transport at the destination, as cycling is faster than walking and more flexible than route-based public transport, and it will build on current strategic efforts by the State to develop safer and more accessible cycling infrastructure. The system will exist within central Melbourne providing access to the inner Melbourne cycling network. The proposed first stage will include at least 50 bicycle stations within central Melbourne, spaced approximately 500 m apart, with capacity for at least 600 bicycles at start-up and the option for quick expansion. The state will work in close consultation with the City of Melbourne and intends to issue a Request for Tender in 2009.
    Note: I want to know how they are going to stop people from stealing the bikes!

    UPDATE: I have found more information about this scheme. It should be up and running by 2010 and will offer memberships in the form of either daily, weekly or yearly periods. The first half hour of all trips are free as well with additional fees after that. It looks like you pay a fee to have access to the bikes, then you can ride around for free for half an hour, but if you return a bike to a station after that time, you will pay a fee.

  • Railway station bike cages: 26 bikes in each, with ability to expand, 18 already installed at metro stations, 10 more in future. Then case by case basis afterwards.
There it is folks. Feel free to comment. More posts to come in the future.


Grahame Grieve said...

I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago, and got around on Velib. I think it works real well.

Certainly the system has a lot of use. Really serious amounts. And it's easy to use, quick and simple. The bikes are simple, but well suited to inner city riding.

But I don't know how well it will adapt to Melbourne. Paris has a much higher population density, much worse traffic, and is flatter. In addition to this, there's a massive bicycle culture in Paris - bicycles *everywhere* - perhaps 10-fold what I see in inner Melbourne, and a serious commitment to bicycle paths everywhere.

The biggest problem I found with Velib: what do you do when you get to your destination, and there's no slot for returning your bike? Happened a couple of times out of about 16 times I used a velib, and one time me and a bunch of locals hung around looking impatient until someone took a bike. grrr.

As for stealing bikes - on Velib you pay a deposit, which you lose if the bike gets stolen. Seems pretty straight forward to me.

Luke W said...

Thanks for the comment. That gives me more insight into how this system could work. I was under the impression you put some money in a bike station pay machine, then you take the bike wherever, and get money back when you return the bike to a station.

Grahame Grieve said...

in principle you do, but you pay by credit card, and the first thing they do is bill you the deposit, which is refunded at the end of your period. That's the short term arrangement. I'm not sure what the long-term one is.

crapcyclelanes said...

Oh Well. The Melbourne scheme is now up and running, and not many people use it. Reason: helmet laws.
See my postings

melbourne bikes said...

I have seen many people riding bikes for miles in a Melbourne...some of them also take part in cycling races..amazing

cheap bikes melbourne said...

I think this cycling strategy will be helpful for people who are inner as well as outer city riders. Nice to see about the "Melbourne Bike Routes". Also Melbourne is improving the cycling strategy every now and then.

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satur000 said...

Used to ride into the City everyday for 6 years. Got so used to the bike tracks that now I am riding the opposite direction to Dandenong I miss them. 2 years now I have been riding to Dandenong and there is NO cycling infrastructure this side. The bike lanes don't marry up, you have to keep swapping sides when you follow the train tracks. I have sent numerous letters to Parliament and Council members on the obvious lack of facilities this side and keep getting the same response, it's someone elses job.
Did the whole ride to work thing, (I do it every day anyway) and stopped off in Dandenong for the community breakfast, what a joke. May aswell never have had it in the first place.
I am now one of the poor cycling cousins everyone talks about. Have you seen the amount of vacant land beside the tracks that runs all the way from Oakleigh to Dandenong. Enough room to put a road and a bike path.
I must say I am very dissapointed that once again we here in the poor end of town don't get a mention.

ganesh said...

Thanks for the comment. That gives me more insight into how this system could work.

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