Bicycle Network: Metro Routes
Inner: Exhibition Street
This CBD street links Rathdowne in the north, via the Exhibition Street extension in the south to the Yarra Trail.
On Exhibition: new clearway lanes
Rolling out the clearway carpet for bikes
11 April 2013. The City of Melbourne has made steady progress with the installation of AM and PM peak hour clearway bike lanes along Exhibition Street in the city.
Regular commuters have dreaded the short but steep 'Col du Collins' climb up from Flinders Street where previously one was required to mix it with cars at low speed in confined space due to parked cars kerb-side.
The image at right shows the obvious improvement riders now enjoy.
These lanes are for the majority of Exhibition Street, but were not included in the central hotel section to appease stakeholder concerns.
Whilst not perfect riders are certainly exeriencing improved conditions.
The council is to be commended for its efforts. Bicycle Network will continue to work with the council to seek ways to improve this route as opportunities arise in the future.
With rider numbers now over 1,000 in the AM peak, key routes such as Exhibition Street will be a constant focus of both organisations.
6 February 2013. The City of Melbourne starts work next week on the construction of new bike lanes in Exhibition Street in the central city.
The lanes will operate in peak periods only. Exhibition St is a major commuter route in the AM and PM peak periods connecting Rathdowne and the Main Yarra Trail into the CBD.
Green paint treatment will be applied for most of the length of the street. The final southbound block is without bike lanes. We will continue to work with City of Melbourne towards a workable solution to get riders to the path on the west side of the CitiLink Ramp.
We have reviewed the designs and asked that storage boxes be included at all the intersections to help avoid turning vehicle conflicts.
The project follows the recent launch of construction of the La Trobe Street separated lanes, which form a major East-West link through the city.
This project is part of the $5.6M investment to build 15km of new lanes in the city this financial year.
Concern over construction trucks
15 November 2012. An incident this week where a rider was seriously injured when he was jammed between a semi-trailor and parked cars in Exhibition Street has again highlighted the risks posed by construction vehicles in the CBD.
Central Melbourne has a number of large scale high-rise developments underway currently and they are generating large volumes of truck traffic.
There have been a number of serious incidents on Exhibition Street in recent months. According to witness reports truck drivers have not been allowing a safe distance between themselves and bikes and on more than one occasion have drifted across, jamming bikes against parked cars.
And additional problem is the presence of trucks towing large, heavy trailers. Riders say it is often difficult to judge the line of the trailer when the driver turns or changes direction. The trailers can cut corners, bringing them into conflict with bikes which are waiting for the truck to complete a left turn.
Many of the trucks are removing spoil from the large holes being dug for the building foundations and basements. Observers have reported that these trucks are often old and battered, with malfunctioning or missing turning lights and rear-view mirrors.
Exhibition Street is scheduled to have bike lanes installed during the coming year. Rider numbers have grown appreciably on the route in recent times.
In the incident this week police acted with remarkable alacrity to clear the truck driver of any responsibility. This is difficult to reconcile with witness reports that the semi was close enough to the rider to run over him. That would appear to be closer than safe distance passing laws permit.
Bicycle Network has been assured by the City of Melbourne that the issue of conflict between bikes and construction vehicles is being re-examined.
Traffic Management Plans are required by significant construction sites with numerous vehicle movements. Bicycle Network is usually consulted on such plans.
However, how the construction vehicle drivers behave on the approach and departure from these sites may be outside the scope of such plans.
With large numbers of bikes on city streets there is clearly a responsibility for the construction firms and the city council to ensure that vehicles associated with these building sites follow an appropriate protocol for sharing road space with bikes right across the city.
Parking ban frees city entry point
18 March 2010. Melbourne City Council has modified the parking times at the top of Exhibition Street, removing an ugly squeeze point and streamlining a busy bike approach to the CBD.
The changes have been made on the block of Exhibition Street between LaTrobe and Little Lonsdale. The photographs show that the full time parking boxes have been scrubbed back to leave part time parking 'T's. Where there were once parked cars there is now a mostly flowing lane.
Previously in the morning peak riders had to ride between motor vehicles in the left hand lane and the parked cars. Now the riders can ride in what was the parking area. Left turning motor vehicles and casual drop offs can occur in that space but, on balance, the first half block is much easier.
If you use this route and appreciate the upgrade please tell the City.