Bicycle Network: Take Action
VicRoads - The Principal Bicycle Network
VicRoads is responsible for providing bicycle facilities on the Principal Bicycle Network in Melbourne and on Priority Bicycle Routes in Metropolitan Melbourne.
Melbourne's new bike network revealed
14 November 2012. VicRoads has revealed the future shape of Melbourne's Principal Bicycle Network, and while our maps show how impressive the network is, they don't show where the Baillieu government has hidden the money required to build it.
VicRoads has been working on the updated PBN design for several years, consulting with councils and Bicycle Network Victoria along the way.
Its release is overdue, but welcome. This means the Baillieu administration has no excuses in finding high priority bikes routes ready for construction.
The new version updates the original 1996 version, and provides a much stronger focus on identifying the best commuting routes.
While the original 1996 PBN was very much aligned with arterial roads, the new PBN considers some offroad paths and other corridors such as rail and utility corridors in order to better connect to Melbourne's primary 'trip generators' or destinations.
Bicycle Network Victoria has conducted an extensive analysis of the planned network and we are impressed by the level of knowledge and understanding of bike transport that VicRoads has displayed on this project. (Although we are curious about some last minute alterations that seemed to have crept in without notification.)
The real question now is "Where is the money?". As the maps show, Melbourne has a great bike network—on paper. But it does not benefit the community until its gets built. We know that building out these lanes and paths will be the most cost-effective transport investment the government will ever make.
But while the VicRoads Bicycle Program budget sits at zero dollars, the opportunity is lost.
The images below show the PBN as it already exists, and the routes still to be built—quite a large area.
You can write now to remind the Minister and Premier to deliver on their plan. You may also wish to cc your local Member of Parliament (refer here)
The To-do list for the Baillieu Government
The VicRoads version is available here
There is a subset of the PBN, the Priority Bicycle Routes (PBRs) available here
Feb 2010 The Principal Bicycle Network (PBN) is a network of cycle routes that provide access to key destinations within the Melbourne metropolitan area.
This network was devised by VicRoads in 1994 and was largely based on arterial roads, forming a coarse rectangular grid of cycling routes. 100% funded by VicRoads, in 2010 it stands at on third completed. The Network is currently under review and should be adopted in mid 2010.
The new Principal Bicycle Network
Why is it being revised?
The PBN was originally formulated in 1994, mainly on arterial roads and done with a geographical equity approach, resulting in a rough grid. In many parts of Melbourne this worked, however it also meant many large trip generating destinations such as the Central Activity Districts, Universities and the like were bypassed by these routes.
The Network Operating Plan
In March 2010 The State Government released 'SmartRoads', a set of principles to establish the priority use of roads by transport mode. These priority movements are then assigned to arterial roads across the network. This plan is a fundamental shift in the way VicRoads operates and will see routes measured by how many people can be moved, not how many vehicles. Refer here for more details on how 'SmartRoads' will impact the bike network.
Bicycle Network Victoria has been consulted through the process and will be scrutinising the final release and will report on the results.
Dec 2006 - Peter Batchelor moves on from Minister of Transport role
The newly elected State Government has just announced a cabinet reshuffle that sees the Minister for Transport of the last seven years, Peter Batchelor, move to the roles of Minister for Energy and Resources and Minister for Victorian Communities.
Bike facilities across Victoria have improved significantly during Minister Batchelor's time in the role. In the first three years he committed over $4million per year to bike programs. This commitment continued through the second term of the Bracks government.
While a lot was built during this time, the Minister's biggest legacy for riders came early this year with the Transport and Liveability Statement. The statement commited over $110 Million for bike facilities over the next ten years, more than doubling previous bike program funding.
Bicycle Network Victoria is very grateful for Minister Batchelor's strong support of bike riding and wishes him well in his new roles. We look forward to seeing him riding on the next generation of bike facilities in the coming years.
The role of Minister for Transport has now been split into the Minister for Roads and Ports, which will be filled by Tim Pallas, and the Minister for Public Transport, which will be filled by Lynn Kosky.
VicRoads funding deadline
If you are considering applying for funds from the VicRoads Bicycle Program in your area, now is the time to be doing it!
VicRoads welcomes submissions for the VicRoads Bicycle Program at any time and is currently considering submissions for the 07/08 year and beyond.
You should be speaking to your relevant region of VicRoads who will then put submissions formally to the VicRoads Bicycle Facilities Program.
The Victorian Government has recently promised an increase to VicRoads funding for cycling and walking facilities from $4 million per year to over $10.4 million per year, for the next ten years ($64 million total new funds).