Bicycle Network: Metro Routes
North: Sydney Road
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Sydney Road in the City of Moreland links south from O'Hea to Royal Parade in the CIty of Melbourne. (VicRoads road - Principle Bicycle Network route.)
Bike lanes have landed
3 August 2010. VicRoads has completed clearway bike lanes along Sydney Road, between Bell Street in Coburg and Brunswick Road, Brunswick. This is great news for the commuting riders, now exceeding 400 in the 7-9am peak.
A number of measures have been put in place, including a 40km/h speed limit, and widened bike lanes on intersection approaches. VicRoads has given Bicycle Network Victoria a commitment to resurface prioritised sections of the road.
As the image (left) indicates, vehicles are travelling in a more organised fashion, giving riders confidence to proceed on their left. This is a great result and another example of what State Government can achieve when 'mainstreaming' is put in place.
Minister Pallas has sent a strong message that 'clearway bike lanes are ok', so we will be looking for more opportunities to apply this easy technique elsewhere. You can send a positive thank you and encourage the Minister to continue to do more for bikes as part of other transport initiatives.
Now that a facility is in place we will be working with VicRoads and Moreland Council to progress further improvements to this route, such as:
- Green at intersections
- Advance phases in parallel with tram signal phases
- Lane widening where space is available
- Minor surface issues addressed as part of maintenance programs
Support builds for clearway bike lanes
26 August 2009. Support for installing clearway bike lanes in Sydney Road is growing. The Council is
now an in principle supporter of the lanes and we expect them to firm up their position over the next few weeks. Thank you everyone who wrote.
The Council struck an agreement with VicRoads for a number of improvements to Sydney Road as part of the recent clearways program. This agreement was reflected in a press release from the Minister for Roads and Ports that says:
'Reducing the speed limit through the strip shopping centre on Sydney Road is just one measure VicRoads is implementing in the area ... Other changes include ... linemarking for bicycles.'
In addition local member Christine Campbell is supportive of the lanes. So is the Moreland BUG. The BUG also wants the road resurfaced, in particular south of Blyth Street, as the kerbside space has a number of flaws. These riders are concerned that a painted lane will force them across the flawed sections.
The riders who use the route would like to see a painted lane in tomorrow as it would straighten up the queue of congested cars allowing a clear passage for the riders. It is true however that a kerbside clearway bike lane does require a 'clean' space without sunken gratings or potholes. It will be necessary to identify locations that need repair and this can be included in the VicRoads project.
The spotlight now swings to VicRoads who have said - see below - that they can't bring the travel lane below 3m. A quick check of Brunswick Street would show travel lanes of 2.5m. The travel lanes on St Kilda Road are 2.8m wide. As noted below a 2.8m travel lane is adequate for a road that now has a 40kph limit.
If you would like to see a clearway bike lane on Sydney Road we encourage you to contact VicRoads and express your support in a positive manner. VicRoads uses a web form for feedback. Here is the link. We suggest you use the category 'Traffic Flow/Congestion'. If you would like Bicycle Network Victoria to know what you said to VicRoads please copy your comment into this web form.
Putting bike lanes in Sydney Road
28 July 2009. Some have the view that bicycle facilities are not necessary on Sydney Road as the Upfield Path runs parallell to it 200m away.
This view is not supported by the evidence.
The physical inadequacies of the Upfield Path are outlined on that page. Even if it were upgraded to high standard it could not cope with being the main route.
Sydney Road carries around 350 riders each morning in the peak (7 - 9). The Upfield path carries around 450. (Both figures from 2008). Both routes are clearly necessary in the morning peak.
Riders can avoid motor vehcles on the Upfleld Path but the path struggles to cope with the current load and would be unable to cater for double the number of riders.
Therefore it is appropriate and necessary to cater for riders on Sydney Road. Sydney Road is on the VicRoads Principal Bicycle Network.
BIcycle Victoria has received the following correspondence from VicRoads about Sydney Road:
'We have measured the kerbside lanes along the entire length of Sydney Road. They are mostly 3.8m wide with some very short sections of 4.2m. If we were to mark in a 1.2m clearway bike lane, that would leave only 2.6m for the traffic lane. My advice is that 3.0m is the minimum width for the traffic lane and that it is unlikely that a clearway bike lane would be supported.'
The VicRoads position is supported by the Councillors and staff at Moreland.
Brunswick Street in the City of Yarra provides a counter example. 502 riders use Brunswick St in the morning peak (2009) making this route busier than either Sydney Road or the Upfield path.
Given the speeds of the morning peak in Sydney Road a 2.6 to 2.8m travel lane is sufficient, allowing 1.0 - 1.2m clearway bike lane for riders. We encourage residents to contact their Councillors to build support for clearway bike lanes.