Bicycle Network: Metro Routes
South: St Kilda Rd-Brighton Rd-Nepean Hwy
One of Melbourne's best loved boulevards needs to be improved for bike riders.
Cars give way to people on Princes Bridge
28 March 2013. Princes Bridge will have its traffic lanes rearranged in order to better manage the huge numbers of bikes, pedestrians and trams now crowding the Yarra crossing during the peak periods.
Cars, which are dwindling as a proportion of travellers across the congested city entry point, will be reduced to two lanes.
Bikes, which now outnumber cars in the adjacent lane during the peak periods, will take over two of the lanes previously dedicated to motor vehicles.
Pedestrians will regain full use of the footpath as the supplementary bike lane on both footpaths will no longer be needed. Pedestrian crossings will also be increased in capacity.
Trams will gain more separation from the traffic to prevent careless drivers blocking the world's busiest tram route.
And in phase two of the project, the Federation Square tram stop—the fifth biggest 'station' in all of Melbourne—will be enlarged to accommodate more tram travellers.
Phase one comes at a remarkably small cost—$150,000—for such a huge benefit for commuters.
The changes, previously outlined in the City of Melbourne's Transport Strategy, and written into the budget last year will be explained to stakeholders in the coming weeks, and implemented before the end of this financial year.
It is clear from the Strategy that the changes are essential to provide capacity for the surging number of public transport users, pedestrians and bike commuters in the Flinders Street Station-Federation Square precinct.
Central Melbourne's economic expansion will add hundreds of thousands of trips to the CBD in the next 15 years, which will require major expansion of the bike and public transport facilities.
Extensive studies undertaken during the past year indicated that the two traffic lanes were able to be removed with minimal impact on car volumes because the capacity constraint was not lanes, but traffic lights and intersections in upstream CBD streets.
Even had there been disruption of car traffic, the project would still have proceeded because the benefits to the other road users far outweighed the small impact on drivers.
The changes are of major symbolic importance as it re-establishes the forgotten principle that our road network is for moving people and freight, not cars.
Since the permanent closure of Swanston Street to through traffic, it has been obvious that two of the car lanes over Princes Bridge were redundant. Car mode share of travel into the CBD has dropped 20 per cent in ten years.
Bike use rapidly increasing, with more than 1,850 bikes over the bridge in the morning two hour peak when bikes were counted this month.
Even on the most conservative engineering assessment, the use of so much of the Bridge's road space by cars was extravagant, compared to the tiny, narrow lane allotted to the large number of bikes. A space reallocation was logical, justified and timely.
But the scales were tipped even further in support of the change when the benefits to the many thousands of pedestrians that cross the bridge were factored in. And to cap it off, there are the benefits to the 50,000 who use the tram stop each day.
The Herald-Sun newspaper has editorialised against the changes—"dangerous waste of money"; "car chaos". But no justifiction for the retention of the obsolescent arrangement was proffered.
All the world's leading cities, in order to stay economically competitive, are rushing to remake their transport systems, emphasising public transport, bikes and walking.
Melbourne, if it is to economically thrive and remain the world's most liveable city, must do the same. The changes on Princes Bridge are inevitable.
Lanes open for business
11 April 2013 YarraTrams have informed us the bike lanes will be open for business tomorrow. Below is a progress image supplied courtesy of Yarratrams. The bike lanes will be made green in coming weeks
Domain interchange missing lanes on the way
20 February 2013. St Kilda'Road's infamous bike lane black hole—Domain Interchange—is getting continuous bike lanes this year.
The thousands of daily riders heading up St Kilda Road will have noticed some minor works underway at the Domain Interchange recently.
These are the preliminary efforts as part of Yarra Tram's major initiative to upgrade the tram interchange. This will provide greater passenger platform space and improve crossing points where pedestrians are currently spilling out onto the surrounding road space.
In a welcome move the Yarra Trams design team contacted Bicycle Network two years ago to seek our advice on how the project would impact on bike riders.
We seized on the opportunity and suggested that lanes through this intersection were a critical missing link on one of Melbourne's strongest on road routes.
The new layout will see the lanes go right through the majority of the intersection; a welcome addition to riders and drivers alike. The lanes will be green.
Regulars will notice some of the kerbs being moved to accommodate the new geometry of the works.
Accordingly the interchange and surrounds will be closed to traffic over Easter, starting on Good Friday 29 March. St Kilda Rd will reopen on Tuesday 2 April.
Some surrounding works will be completed by Friday 12
Election opportunity for candidates to show support
15 August 2012 Bicycle Network Victoria has identified this project as a local council priority for the 2012 Local Government election. Candidates should be ready to support the development and full or partial funding of this project in conjunction with State Government and can tell riders in their Council area their position by posting their candidates' statement at VoteBike.
Works will make Princes Bridge temporarily squeezy
25 May 2012 Things are going to be squeezy at the Arts Centre end of Princes Bridge next week, Monday 28 May - Friday 1 June. The worksite at the Arts Centre is going to expand onto the road while they relay the footpath. You will be able to ride on the right hand side of the barriers with the motor vehicles or on the left side with the pedestrians. Please take it easy through this section - the works should only take a week.
St Kilda Road needs junction gaps plugged
20 September 2011 Existing riders continue to tell us that they want the missing pieces along St Kilda Road bike facilities put in place. These locations are:
- Better separation at St Kilda Junction, both in and outbound
- Commercial Road outbound lane dissapears 100m short of intersection leaving riders stranded
- Domain Junction, both in and outbound. Diabolical for riders who are left in 'no mans land' amongst turning vehicles without any bike lane or advance signal phase
- SouthBank Boulevard/Linlithgow Avenue inbound. Diabolical for riders who are left in 'no mans land' for 150 metres on inbound direction amongst turning vehicles without any bike lane or advance signal phase
These network gaps in critical locations are capping the growth in rider numbers as those contemplating riding this summer will baulk at these conditions
St Kilda Road upgrade completed
3 May 2011. The busiest bike street connecting to the Melbourne CBD, St Kilda Road, now has much improved bike lanes following the completion of a major upgrade.
The route is one of the most crash prone in the metropolis and the steady growth in bike traffic has highlighted the inadequate infrastructure.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Edward O’Donohue said the five kilometre long, $475,000 improvement would significantly improve cycling safety on St Kilda Road.
The upgrades included green pavement surfacing; bicycle linemarking at traffic lights to give cyclists priority; and raised linemarking to make a clear separation between cyclists and other traffic. It extends from the city to the St Kilda Town Hall at Carlisle Street.
“This bicycle route is very popular for commuter and recreational cyclists heading into the city and forms part of a multi-purpose transport facility along St Kilda Road,” said Mr O’Donohue.
“With projects like this one, we want to make cycling safer and easier for everyone.”
In the last recorded five year period to 31 December 2010, there were 116 casualty crashes involving cyclists along St Kilda Road between Carlisle Street and Southbank Boulevard. This included one fatality, 43 serious injuries and 72 other injuries.
“These improvements aim to increase safety and minimise these crashes dramatically by reducing the chance of potential conflicts with cars,” said Mr O’Donohue.
“By improving the level of service for bicycle riders along these popular areas, we want to attract more riders, therefore reducing congestion, while providing a safer cycling environment.”
Bicycle Network Victoria Chief Executive Officer Harry Barber said the improvements would be appreciated by the more than 1000 riders who use St Kilda Road during the peak commute each day.
"Now the bike lanes will be more clearly delineated and drivers will give riders a wider berth, making it safer for everybody."
St Kilda Road gets $850,000 upgrade
9 November 2010. One of Melbourne's busiest and crash prone bike routesâ€”St Kilda Roadâ€”is to get a $850,000 upgrade next year.
VicRoads will install green pavement at key conflict points, line marking and vibra lines (bumpy white lines), which alert drivers when they are getting too close to a bike lane.
St Kilda Road is a leading Melbourne hotspot for 'doorings' and crashes where drivers curt across the path of riders.
The improvements will be added on St Kilda Road between Princes Bridge and Carlisle Street.
VicRoads will start work on the new facilities in early 2011.
Representatives of the Family and Friends of Caroline Rawlins, a rider who died in crash in Swanston Street in 2008, were present at the announcement. The group were determined that Carolyn’s death was not in vain, and that the city be made safer for cyclists. They have lobbied the local councils and the State Government for improvements such as this to St Kilda Road.
(Photo: Michael Frazzetto from the Family and Friends of Carolyn Rawlins, Harry Barber, Bicycle Network Victoria, Martin Foley MP, and Jason den Hollander, Bicycle Network Victoria.)
Martin Foley, MP for Albert Park, said at the announcement that commuter cycling is a sustainable solution to the future of transport and projects like these aim to get more cyclists on the road safely.
“The Brumby Labor Government is building a better transport system and we understand how important cycling is as a viable, sustainable and accessible travel option,” Mr Foley said.
“These improvements aim to increase safety and reduce crashes dramatically by reducing the chance of potential conflicts with cars.
“These bike safety upgrades are part of our plan to make cycling safer and easier for everyone.
"The Brumby Government’s $115 million Victorian Cycling Strategy has a vision for cycling as a safe, readily available, convenient and sustainable transport option for everyone.
"It aims to promote and encourage a culture of cycling and better integrate this with other modes of transport,” said Mr Foley.
St Kilda Junction gets the green light (and paint, and...)
06 July 2010 VicRoads has announced that bikes will get a better deal as part of a major upgrade to the St Kilda Junction.
Riders have long had to run the gauntlet as vehicles try and manouvre across toward the Queens Parade on ramp. This has left riders exposed for a long stretch of road.
There will be a number of treatments used to achieve a better route for bikes inbound towards the City. These include (refer diagram, right):
- Kerb outstand at the Barkly St approaching sliplane (Indicated in blue, currently under construction)
- Updated and refreshed green painted lanes (in green)
- Vibraline lane markings (in orange)
- An advanced green bike release at the Barkly St signals, allowing bikes to get off the mark first (in pink)
- Overhead flashing messages telling drivers to 'Look Bike' (in red)
These promised upgrades will vastly improve this intersection and deliver a much better experience for riders.
St Kilda Junction review
03 Dec 2008 VicRoads recently performed a review of bike facilites through the St Kilda Junction, appointing a traffic consultant and speaking with Bicycle Network Victoria. Amongst the elements discussed were the strengthening of the bike lane delineation with more green surface, vibraline line marking (as introduced recently on Rathdowne St) and advance release phasing at the traffic signals.
We believe that this project has been submitted for funding as part of the 09/10 VicRoads Bicycle Program funding. This would make a noticeable difference to the near 500 riders coming northbound through this intersection every am peak (7-9am).
St Kilda Rd: Arts Centre tram stop improvements
01 July 2008. Recent tram track reconfiguration works adjacent to the Arts Centre between Southbank Boulevard and Princes Bridge has resulted in a welcome initiative for the thousands of riders who use this route every day.
Over coming weeks riders will notice the arrival of a previously missing bike lane northbound in the St Kilda Rd Slip Lane, along with a priority phase at the pedestrian lights just south of Princes Bridge.
This means riders will be able to cross the bridge without competing with vehicles whilst crossing the bridge bottleneck.
This advance phase will be incorporated into the signals shortly, so keep an eye out.
As Melbourne faces growing congestion issues projects like this are one of the many ways Bicycle Network Victoria believes that the State Government can help ease congestion and get more people cycling more often.
Blackspot goes green
Nov 07 One of Melbourne's top cycling blackspots has been upgraded by getting a green lane at the Louise St intersection. This location has been identified as one of Victoria's fourth worst accident blackspot for bike riders.
St Kilda Rd is Melbourne's busiest on road cycling routes into the CBD so this relatively modest project will benefit many riders. City of Melbourne will also be applying green treatments in coming months to Arden St, Queensberry St, Elizabeth St, Latrobe (approach to Swanston) and Swanston St opposite the City Baths.
Aug 07 VicRoads have been caught in the act!
Caught improving conditions for riders that is. Southbound Brighton Rd riders have often lacked confidence due to the myriad of entering and turning movements from both Hotham and Glenhuntly Roads.
We recently spotted a team applying green lanes to help clarify conditions for all road users.
We observed the crew first masking out the existing white lines, including the Bike logo (see above, top left).
Next a 2-part epoxy mix was prepared (above top right), then applied to the road surface within the masked area (see above lower left). Then a green tumbled basalt/glass mix was applied (see above lower right).
This then adheres and settles. We look forward to posting photos of the finished product once it has settled.
Lane improvements at Flinders St Station
May 07 Melbourne City Council have just finished applying new green lanes to reduce conflict along Melbourne's busiest cycling route. The approach to Flinders St statistically represents the most dangerous element of this route with an average of 12.5 crashes occurring outside Flinders St Station each year. 78% of the crashes at this site were when riders hit opening car doors.
Bicycle Network Victoria welcomes this initiative at a very complex and difficult situation. Continuing improvements will probably be needed as movements at this location can be varied and on many occasions 'cross stream'. With taxis wanting to pull into the rank, exiting the rank and the lefthand turn into Flinders St there is still potential for further conflict. We will be working with Melbourne City Council to further improve Melbourne's busiest cycling intersection.
Our attentions will now swing to the Princes Bridge. This represents a dangerous squeeze point for riders and a major psychological hurdle to commuters who want to ride to work each day. We have discussed with Council traffic staff to consider the widening of the exisitng sub-standard 60cm 'bike lane' and the potential transfer of one vehicle lane in each direction so as to accomodate a separated bike facility.
The green lane and the advance bicycle-lantern allow the majority of riders to negotiate the entrance to the CBD safely.
There are still many 'cross stream' movements which cause conflicts which paint alone will not stop.
This rider had one driver crossing in front across the green and a taxi coming across the green behind. The unpredictable nature of these movements really keeps commuters on their toes!
Melbourne City Council vote for public consultation
6 March 07 Melbourne City Council have voted to proceed and go out for public consultation for further comment. Council will also commission an independent traffic modeling study so that a more precise understanding of what the current traffic movements are and what potential implications may arise from the introduction of separated bike lanes.
Traffic study needed to show 'Copenhagen' Bike lanes will work
2 March 07 The Minister for Roads Tim Pallas stated that he would not support the City of Melbourne proposal for Copenhagen bike lanes on St Kilda Road. He has based this on a belief that installing the bike lanes will increase motor vehicle congestion into the city.
Bicycle Network Victoria is calling for VicRoads and Melbourne City Council to conduct a study of vehicle movements on this road. This is needed because current vehicle numbers using St Kilda Road do not support the Minister's statement that removing a motor vehicle lane will increase congestion.
We believe a study will show that congestion on St Kilda Road is not caused primarily by the number of motor vehicle lanes. It is likely that the main causes of congestion will be identified as interruptions to vehicle flow including busy cross roads and numerous traffic lights.
City of Melbourne to turn St Kilda Road into a world class bike route.
1 March 07 The City of Melbourne's masterplan for St Kilda Road will see 'Copenhagen' style bike lanes for the length of St Kilda Road. This project will greatly increase the number of people riding bikes into Melbourne's CBD as it will provide a car free route from St Kilda junction into the heart of the CBD, see photo to right.
Council will vote to adopt the masterplan on Tuesday March 6th.
Fawkner Park Masterplan
Jun 05 City of Melbourne has just concluded a series of public consultations with respect to the development and implementation of a master plan for Fawkner Park which will provide a 10 year vision for the park, guiding future use, works etc.
Fawkner Park currently provides many cyclists with important and safe links to/from the city to the southern suburbs. Issues we identified during the consultation period relevant to bike users were:
Bicycle Network Victoria made a submission to the Fawkner Park Masterplan. We requested the following:
- Preserve the current Toorak Rd to Commercial Rd shared path should as it is a popular commuter route for cyclists.
- Designate the paths from Park St to Pasley St and Pasley St North as shared paths. Many people leave St. Kilda Road either at Linlithgow Av or Govt. House Dr and continue along Birdwood Av to avoid the Domain Interchange. These people then continue down Park Street which has ample space between parked cars and the tram line and cross into Fawkner Park. From here they ride either down a path to Pasley St or Pasley St North or find their way to the main shared path and ride to Commercial Road.
Recommendations on improvements to these routes through the park and also to access to the park should include:
- Put in bike symbols on Park St - between parked cars and tram / vehicle lane
- Look at installing bike through lane (green paint)
- Look at installing bike storage box;
- Install pram crossing adjacent to park and opposite intersection to allow cyclists and other users to enter shared path at this location
- Formalise shared paths with signage within park
- Create Shared path on Punt Road from Park Lane to Commercial Road.
- Formalise Clearway lanes on Commercial Road.
Melbourne BUG also made a submission (PDF 179K).
The draft masterplan will be released for public comment in August 2005. We look forward to receiving this and thank the City of Melbourne for involving Bicycle Network Victoria during the process.