Bicycle Network: Metro Routes
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- Boorondara, Yarra
Yarra Bend park is Melbourne's hidden jewel; only a few kilometres from the CBD and contains the east's most popular area for riders on the Boulevard, the Main Yarra trail, many mtb trails and criterium circuit
Mmmm, smoooth: crit loop gets new lease of life
24 January 2013. The Criterium Loop on Kew Boulevard has finally been resurfaced—a new hi-tech material has resulted in a grippy, first class job.
The new surface was raced on last night for the first time and riders gave it the thumbs up. It is expected to get even better when it settles down.
The quality of the previous surface had been a bone of contention bwtween VicRoads and Bicycle Network for some time.
After repeated calls from Bicycle Network in conjunction with Hawthorn Cycling Club, VicRoads allocated funds for the work in their 2012/13 budget.
At a meeting with the VicRoads team on site late last year we raised concerns to ensure the materials used would not be a repeat of the inferior sprayseal used on the main Boulevard in previous years.
VicRoads considered these factors and sourced a relatively new product which is not only smoother but is cost-effective, easier to install and more environmentally friendly.
VicRoads had originally planned to do selected sections in reaction to mainteneance criteria, however our collective efforts have ensured a better outcome for all.
This often overlooked cycling gem, only 4 km from Melbourne's CBD, has a long history of hosting elite riders ranging from local up and coming talent such as last week's A-Grade winner Peter English, a member of our 3 Peaks Pro Team, through to the early careers of Tour de France Yellow Jersey Phil Anderson and Allan Piper.
The Crit Loop is closed to traffic and a challenging course. It is used by thousands of riders each week, either out training or competing in the regular summer criteriums, hosted by Hawthorn Cycling Club, and also the Northern Vets. Just retired Welsh ex-World Road Champion Nicole Cooke described it as the harderst crit course she had ever competed on.
August 2012 We regularly recieve complaints from riders about the surface of the Boulevard. The closed loop used regularly for criteriums during daylight savings times is in desparate need of repair. The last repairs done along the boulevard proper were in 14mm SpraySeal, apparently because of the road's classification being similar to a country road. We would like to see it done to a much smoother, safer surface as per the nearby Studley Park Road and other arterials
Draft Yarra Bend Park sport and recreation directions plan
20 November 2008. Parks Victoria, in association with the Cities of Boroondara, Darebin and Yarra, is preparing a draft for community consultation. The Plan will guide the development of sport and recreation facilities within the Yarra Bend Park.
You can help us to support this precinct into Melbourne's premier, and most diverse, cycling precinct in Melbourne, encapsulating all types of riding from the Main Yarra Trail for recreation and commuting riders to the Boulevard itself for high intensity riders.
The draft also has noted the desire for the mtb trails and closed road loop criterium circuit to be upgraded.
Our vision for the Yarra Bend Park is driven by its accessibility to so many users, diversity of offerings for riders and the achievability of this.
View Larger Map
Our key asks are:
Main Yarra Trail upgrade
The draft currently does not mention the Trig Point Precinct from Fairfield Boathouse, PipeBridge and across to Chandler Bridge at northern end of Yarra Bend Park. This does not reflect Parks Victoria's plan to to realign and upgrade the Path between the pipebridge and Chandler Bridge nor the concept of the Chandler Underpass which has just recieved funding for a feasibility study.
There is also a need to address the Gipps St Steps issue which also has just recieved fundin for a bridge at Clarke St to bypass the steps for riders.
Other areas of the trail could be upgraded to reflect the volume of users, such as the section of path between the Dights Falls and Yarra Bend Rd. There has also been discussions between Yarra Valley Water regarding the decommissioned water pipe at the fairfield bridge which would allow its removal and upgrade of the bridge for better width and surface.
Kew Boulevard is currently one of Melbourne's most popular training circuit, second only to Beach Rd. Thousands of riders use it weekly and are attracted to its low traffic volumes and challenging ride. We believe that the Boulevard is the ideal candidate for a Sunday Circuit, where the road could be closed to traffic on a regular basis so that more people will be attracted to get on their bikes and give this readily available challenge a go.
The existing closed loop along the Boulevard already attracts many riders and is used by local Cycling groups to hold events. A surface upgrade, particularly on the harpin corner would be welcomed by many riders.
Off road trails
The strategy mentions a desire to a rationalisation of some tracks and trails may be required. This could be done in such a way to meet the needs of the many mtb riders who have few options in the metropolitan area. We encourage riders to make their thoughts known.
The draft plan is available here.
Written submissions should be sent to the consultants, here.