Bicycle Network: Directory
Melbourne City Council
City Road under microscope
27 February 2014. City Road, the notorious traffic sewer through Southbank, is being put under the microscope by the City of Melbourne, and the views of bike riders are being sought.
Few would ride this street these days. But getting a decent bike route through the area is vital and whatever happens on City Road is going to influence that bike route, even if it is not on City Road.
The City Council is leading the development of a draft City Road Master Plan to improve the way the road functions, and is looking for early input from stakeholders, including residents, businesses, road users and any other interested parties or organisations.
The plan will cover the full length of City Road within the City of Melbourne’s boundaries from City Link/Westgate Freeway to St Kilda Road, and also part of Alexandra Avenue from St Kilda Road to the intersection with Linlithgow Avenue.
The City of Melbourne is inviting the public to share their current experiences of City Road - addressing pedestrian safety, cycling and transport access, as well as tree planting, water management and public transport configuration.
This will start a conversation about the issues and potential opportunities for City Road, and help inform the development of the draft master plan. The public can get involved online through the Participate Melbourne site (http://participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au/city-road) which will be open until 16 March 2014. Drop in community sessions will also be held at the Boyd Community Hub this week until Saturday 1 March.
30 october 2013. The City of Melbourne has drawn up a list of 16 significant upgrades to bike facilities in Melbourne that are planned to hit the streets over the next year.
The plans emerged at the second in a regular series of public forums to brief riders and gather feedback on cycling projects and issues in the City of Melbourne. Councilor Cathy Oke and Director of Engineering Services Geoff Robinson gave a detailed presentation and a document for presubmitted questions.
A review of recently completed projects was discussed along with the hurdles, both physical and political that Council have overcome along the way. These include:
- Latrobe Street
- St Kilda Road (Southbound, princes Bridge to Linlithgow Avenue)
- Princes Bridge
- Elizabeth Street - Haymarket roundabout to Queensberry Street - kerbside separated bike facility as per Latrobe Street
The upcoming works were also mapped out, including the list below. The 'Building a cycling City' Brochure is available here.
- Main Yarra Trail - A ramp from southside trail up to Morrell Bridge
- Collins Street (west) - Upgrade existing lane between Spencer Street to Harbour Esplanade
- William Street - From Collins to Dudley Streets - 'Clarendon-St-East-Melbourne' style bike lane with buffers and vibraline.
- Bourke Street (excluding Mall) - Upgrade existing lanes
- Albert to La Trobe Streets connection - design a connection between these two facilities - we have walked this with council staff. It may involve a mix of little Lonsdale and/or Vicotria Parade/Spring Street. The separated lanes missing on Albert Street from Nicholson Street to Gisborne are being held up by the delays in redirecting the Buses into Spring Street/Victoria Parade. This will need Yarra City Council to support State Government to implement the Bus Lanes outbound.
- Museum Road - linking Queensberry to Getrude Streets - upgrade connection at Nicholson Streets end. A forest of unnecessary bollards and lack of storage space to accomodate east-west riders whilst voiding north-south path users along Nicholson Street needs to be resolved.
- Faraday Street - Upgrade route, particularly at intersections
- Adderley Street - A chevron separated route from Dudley to La Trobe Streets
- Footscray Road path - currently underway from Docklands Drive to Pearl River Drive - a widening of the path and smoothing out of the harsh pram ramps at crossings
- Neill Street - A chevron separated route from Canning to Rathdowne Streets
- Swanston Street - Elgin to Princes Street - A chevron separated upgrade of exisitng lanes
- Princes Park/Cemtery Road - improved crossing at Cemetery Road West and College Crescent
- Royal Park - Upgrade crossing to Abbotsford Street
- Capital City Trail - continuation of wayfinding upgrades - in Royal Park and Main Yarra Trail sections
- Install approximately 200 bike parking hoops
- Bike parking corrals - Bicycle Network has submitted a priority list, including Thierry Street at the Victoria Market, Bourke Street near Hardware Lane signalise crossing, Queensberry Street at RMIT campus, Domain Road at cafe precinct, St Kilda Road at Arts Centre, Lygon Street (Readings frontage or further South), Bourke Street (both ends of Mall), Macauley Village.
Cr Cathy Oke also foreshadowed a number of improvements that will be delivered as part of the City's recently adopted Safety Strategy.
City to share plans and problems
2 October 2013. The City of Melbourne is staging another public forum for Melbourne's bike community this month where riders can raise questions about the how, what and where of the City's highly successful infrastructure program.
The City's ambitious bike plan is now into its second year, but already bike counts have shown rider numbers up by 60 per cent in some locations.
And the city has courageously faced down the opposition to its program by an unenlightened RACV.
You can raise questions about bike riding projects and exchange information with City of Melbourne councillors and staff at the forum on:
6-8pm, Wednesday 23 October 2013
Swanston Hall, Ground Floor, Town Hall,
90-120 Swanston Street, Melbourne.
For further information download the Bicycle Forum factsheet.
Light refreshments will be served. Secure bicycle parking is available nearby at the Bike pod – City Square
Register your attendance and submit questions for the agenda by Friday 18 October
Information from the first Bicycle Forum, held in April this year, can be downloaded here.
The City of Melbourne plans to host two bicycle forums a year.
Motorbikes in bike lanes?
8 July 2013 Bike lanes remain the domain for bikes only with the City of Melbourne adopting their Road Safety Plan 2013-2017. Bicycle Network were on the steering committee for this strategy. The full report is available here.
Common sense prevailed when a last minute attempt by some motorbike and scooter groups to authorise bike lane and storage box use by motorised vehicles was rejected. Melbourne City Council can now join the ever-growing club of government agencies (past Roads Minister and Premier, current Transport Minister Terry Mulder and VicRoads) who are standing firmly together in a rational position on this issue.
Bicycle crashes increased over the study period, although this growth was far outweighed by the numbers of people riding, thus reflecting a lower ‘exposure’ rate.
Car dooring once again leads the way as the most likely crash type involving cyclists. Another common crash type involving cyclists was right-through, which is a cyclist being struck when turning right at an intersection. These types of crashes may be indicative of poor visibility on the left side of a vehicle or lack of observation on the part of the driver.
Engineering techniques to resolve this type of incident may include the use of vibra-line linemarking, banning of left-turns in some locations or other physical treatments at site specific locations. Whilst engineering treatments may be suitable on a site-by-site basis, this plan also seeks to address the problem with a number of behavioural techniques.
The plan resolves to review the Better Road Management Plan process and requirements of applicants at construction sites. We strongly support this review due to a worrying growth in poor traffic management around construction sites is unnecessarily placing riders at risk.
Highlights from the plan:
A focus on vulnerable road users:
The strategy states: “Improve safety of cyclists by increasing the apportionment of road space available to cyclists, encourage appropriate behaviour and prepare cyclists for the diversity of central city riding experience, and improve reciprocal awareness between cyclists and other road users.”
Recognise the needs of cyclists in street design – already in action in daily projects being considered and designd within City of Melbourne.
The strategy list recent achievements, including:
The following key achievements were noted from the review of the previous road safety plan:
- Implementation of the 40 km/h speed limit in the Hoddle Grid.
- Implementation of the 40 km/h speed limit in the Lygon Street cultural precinct.
- Installation of reduced traffic signal times in the retail core of the central city, which has resulted in reduced waiting times for pedestrians at signalised crossings.
- Safety improvements for cyclists, including separated bike lanes on Albert Street, the redevelopment of Swanston Street and physically separated bike lanes on La Trobe Street currently being installed).
- Application of vibra-line adjacent to bicycle lanes, that has been adopted by VicRoads as a standard treatment.
- Installation of a hook-turn for bicycles to enter the Queensberry Street bicycle lanes.
- Replacement of several metal plate covers with skid-resistant concrete covers
The following internal and external issues will continue to present challenges for the successful delivery of road safety actions if they are not addressed:
- Working more collaboratively with partners to deliver strategic initiatives across the municipality (e.g. safety improvement at tram stops for pedestrians and cyclists).
- Engaging effectively with local businesses on road safety issues, related to their operations (e.g. delivery trucks blocking bicycle lanes).
Specifically the plan intends to:
C1. Deliver the Bicycle Plan 2012-2016
- Support the delivery of the bicycle plan.
- Deliver best practice bicycle infrastructure.
C2. Provide a Cycling Alternative at Southbank
- Explore on-road separated bicycle lanes to enable commuter traffic to by-pass Southbank, to mitigate pedestrian-cyclist
- conflict and safety concerns – this is consistent with the Southbank Structure Plan 2010.
C3. Provide Separation
- Explore design options to provide partially and fully separated bicycle lanes on high cycling routes.
C4. Provide priority at Squeeze points
- Explore the use of advance starts for cyclists (together with trams) at signalised intersections.
- Explore the use of advisory treatments on centre of roadways to encourage cyclists to take the centre of the road.
C5. Provide bike boxes at right turns
- Explore the use of dedicated safe waiting area, clearly marked for cyclists.
C6. Provide Wayfinding
- Develop an integrated plan to connect key destinations.
- Provide simple clear signage at appropriate height for cyclists to read.
C7. Provide appropriate bicycle parking
- Provide a mix of on street and off-street bicycle parking.
- Investigate attaching bike hoops to existing street furniture.
- Explore the use of ‘parklets’ in ‘little’ streets.
C8. Delineate bicycle lanes
- Roll out the use of ‘vibra-line’ to replace painted bicycle lanes at high risk intersections.
C9. Investigate formal/informal contra-flows on one way streets
- Maximise opportunities for cyclists to avoid high traffic and circuitous routes.
- Explore contra-flow for some streets in the central city.
C10. Investigatebicycle lane design to accomodate future demand
- Investigate design options to accommodate future demand and different types of bicycle (e.g. cargo bicycles).
C11. Investigate provision for bicycle lanes to at least minimum standard width
- Where opportunities exist, reallocate road space to accommodate minimum standard width.
Big bike parking boost
15 May 2014. The City of Melbourne has signalled a massive boost in bike parking investment in an attempt to overcome the chronic undersupply of bike rails in the city.
According to the draft budget for next financial year, it will spend $400,000 on bicycle hoops and parking stands across the municipality.
This will greatly assist those commuters whose employers have no bike parking facilities, and who are being forced to lock up to unsuitable street furniture.
Importantly, it will also encourage even more of the ever-increasing number of shoppers and visitors using bikes to get to the city and inner suburban retail centres each day.
Another major initiative by the council is $1.5 million commitment to install green pavement and safety rumble strips on William Street, linking to the LaTrobe Street separated bike lane.
It will greatly improve bike access to the commercial office precinct in the west end of the city and better link the Queen Victoria Market to downtown.
William Street bike traffic has been growing rapidly in recent times. The route has been a high priority on State and council transport plans for some years.
Another bike announcement in the draft budget is $300,000 to install chevron-separated bike lanes in Neill Street, Carlton, between Nicholson and Rathdowne streets.
The council's bike package totals $2.55M.
"At the beginning of its four year term, this Budget makes clear the legacy this Council wants to leave: a global, 21st century Melbourne known for being smart, inclusive, fun and resilient,” the Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle said.
“These projects are vital to the fabric of Melbourne, making the city a great place to live, work and visit,” the Lord Mayor said.
The Lord Mayor told the media that he made no apology for raising parking fines for drivers and for more spending on infrastructure for bikes. Fewer cars and more bikes were better for the city, he said.
This is view is a generation away from that of the State Government, whose budget, for the second year in a row, has placed bike infrastructure on starvation rations.
In other budget announcements the Council will spend:
- $1.5 million to plant 3,000 trees as part of the City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Strategy, which aims to double the city’s tree canopy by 2040.
- $1.28 million for Queen Victoria Market renewal, replacement and improvement works
- $2.7 million major streetscape improvements, including a $1.8m for Collins Street between Queen and William Streets for bluestone paving, new trees and street furniture; $375,000 for Elizabeth Street between Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale Streets.
Melbourne draft Budget 2013/14 available for public comment
14 May 2013. Melbourne Council's draft Budget 2013/14 is available for public comment until 7th june 2013, see council website here.
As a ratepayer and rider in the City of Melbourne now is the time for council to hear from you if you want more funding to improve the Melbourne riding environment. We encourage you to make a submission to council.
Bicycle Network needs your membership support to continue to campaign for improving riding conditions for all riders. Become a member and receive crash cover and support, rider information and deals and help improve riding conditions.
Melbourne riders - drafting of council Budget 2013/14 underway
05 March 2013. As you read this Council is preparing its draft 2013/14 Budget. The time to act is now for more bike infrastructure funding!
As a ratepayer and rider now is the time for Council to hear from you if you want more funding to improve the local riding environment.
Click here to tell your Council to invest in bike infrastructure in the 2013/14 Budget.
Council truck crack-down
28 November 2012. The City of Melbourne is cracking down on illegal practices by construction trucks working on building projects in the city.
The latest offences have been in Queens Street, where trucks have been queuing up along the bike lane while they wait to be called to the construction site.
This forces bikes into the traffic lane for the rest of the block.
The trucks are offending twice: the location where they are stopped is also a "No Stopping Zone".
There is rising concern at the behaviour of the trucks servicing a number of city construction sites.
Usually the vehicle movements are strictly controlled by Traffic Management Plans, but legal requirements appear to have been ignored.
Bicycle Expenditure Index (BiXE) 2012
15 November 2012. The City of Melbourne’s BiXE rating for 2012 is $50.07. This is above the Inner Zone council average for 2012, which is $16.89. This is based upon council spending of $4,950,000 and population of 98,859.
Relevant bicycle related investment for the 2012/2013 financial year includes but is not necessarily limited to expenditure upon the following projects/programs:
• Creation of an integrated, safe and accessible bike network, extending the city’s bicycle lanes and paths by 15 kilometres over the next year. New bike lanes will be created on some of Melbourne’s arterial roads including La Trobe Street, Exhibition Street, Elizabeth Street and Princes Bridge.
Additional spending sourced from external grants and funds may apply, but that is outside the scope of BiXE reporting.
The City of Melbourne achieved a five-year BiXE average of $18.31. This is above the Inner Zone council five-year average for 2012, which is $10.81.
See full BiXE report available here.
See media here.
VoteBike - Local Council Elections 2012
27 October 2012. Local council elections are being held in Victoria on October 27 2012. Bicycle Network is once again running VoteBike that allows you to engage with potential candidates on local cycling issues. We will collect statements from candidates about their commitment to cycling in the City of Melbourne and publish them on the VoteBike Facebook event page for you to comment on.
Bicycle Network has identified the following key projects for the City of Melbourne that need the support of local councilors:
- Northbank viaduct - Fund this elevated cycleway between the Flinders Street and Southern Cross Stations.
- William Street - Upgrade cycling facilities to service this well used route.
- Web dock rail path - Link Lorimer St to Webb Bridge.
- Ride2School - Continue to provide safe routes to schools foster healthy transport options for kids and reduce peak morning traffic congestion by up to 20%.
- Curb out parking in activity centres - Get behind vibrant shopping strips by supporting on street bike parking.
To view candidate statements for the City of Melbourne go to our Find a Candidate page. Or to comment on candidate statements as well as voice your support for particular local cycling projects, visit our Facebook events page for the City of Melbourne.
VoteBike allows you to have your say and make sure your vote counts for improved cycling conditions in your local area.
Council releases bold new draft Bike Plan
26 June 2012 Last days to have your say on the Draft Bike Plan. Feedback to the plan is invited until 2 July. The final Bicycle Plan which will be released later in the year. You can give your feedback by sending a message here.
31 May 2012 The City of Melbourne has released a strong vision for bikes in inner Melbourne including a clear set of actions on how to make that happen from 2012-16.
The draft plan desciribes the council's aim of creating a connected network of high quality routes to boost riding participation and deliver health benefits and congestion relief.
The plan includes more separated bike facilities and other initiatives:
- La Trobe St - separated facility from Exhibition to Spring Streets and route to Harbour Esplanade;
- Swanston Street-Princes Bridge - replacing one travel lane with a chevroned bike-only lane to increase capacity and reduce pedestrian conflict;
- Elizabeth St North - separated facility from Haymarket roundabout to Victoria Street;
- Exhibition St - peak hour bike lanes;
- St Kilda Rd - Princes Bridge to Linlithgow Avenue separated facility southbound, route northbound;
- Clarendon St East Melbourne - separated facility from Victoria Parade to the MCG;
- Link Cecil St to Tea House precinct; and,
- Link Lorimer St to Webb Bridge
The plan also outlines a number of projects council will pursue in conjunction with VicRoads.
The council also proposes to investigate a number of projects including a major river corridor study. We believe this can help to further the case for the NorthBank Veloway and a number of other blockages in the current bike network such as SouthBank, Grattan Street, Queensbridge to Market Street link, Adderley St, the east end of Dynon Road, Epsom and Racecourse Roads.
Also included is a strategy to combat the need for more on-street bike parking, with an annual use of Bicycle Network's PinPoint system. This could lead to more bike parking rails, or where demand dictates, 'bike parking islands' as seen at Lygon Court and Flinders Lane.
A key to any strategy's success is evaluation to ensure that the right actions are being taken and outcomes are being achieved. A Bi-annual Bike Account, in conjunction with data analysis through counter loops, the 2011 Census update, Super Tuesday and Super Sunday bike counts, council's own cordon traffic counts and residential surveys will help Council prioritise resources to deliver the best outcomes and highest return on investment.
You can give your feedback by sending a message here.
Doyle boosts bike budget
10 May 2012. No sooner had Premier Ted Baillieu slashed the VicRoads bike budget to zero than Melbourne's Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle stepped in to boost the City's bike commitment to record levels.
In its draft budget released today the City Council plans to invest $5.6M in 15 kilometres of new bike lane infrastructure in and round the CBD.
The plan signals a new level of determination at the Town Hall to match its pro-bike rhetoric with actual dollars.
Recent work by the City on its new transport strategy has pointed out that the economic growth of the CBD depends on improving the capacity and efficiency of the transport system, and that bike infrastructure is a highly attractive option.
More councils are expected to follow Melbourne's lead this year as more and more local government agencies get the message from ratepayers that bike infrastructure is a high priority.
Please email the Lord Mayor and thank him for his foresight and leadership in proposing this draft budget.
The Baillieu Government's misfire in its budget, where more than $20M has disappeared from its bike investment program without explanation, is becoming increasingly embarrassing as councils and other state governments move in the opposite direction.
Under the City of Melbourne plan new bike lanes will be created on some of Melbourne’s arterial roads including La Trobe Street, Exhibition Street, Elizabeth Street and Princes Bridge.
The options for La Trobe Street have already been released.
The details of the proposed changes to Princes Bridge will be eagerly awaited. The number of bike riders using this route has risen greatly, rivalling the numbers in motor vehicles, so road management authorities will be justified in allocating more of the road space to bikes.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the draft budget was about ensuring the city was well connected.
“A city needs to be connected in many ways in order to function well. It’s about helping people get where they need to go easily and safely and making sure they feel part of the city when they get there,” the Lord Mayor said.
“In this draft budget we have looked closely at the needs of a wide range of city users to provide access to services, places and people whether it be through improved transport options or community services.”
Councillor Cathy Oke, responsible for the Eco-City portfolio, said the proposed bike lanes would fill the gaps in Melbourne’s bike network and create a seamless travel experience for cyclists across the city.
“This $5.6 million will help us establish a superior, connected cycling network for Melbourne that will enable cyclists to travel from one end of the city to the other and beyond on clear, delineated bike paths,” Cr Oke said.
Cr Kevin Louey, responsible for the Connected City portfolio said more than 11 per cent of all vehicles travelling into the central city every morning are bikes.
“We currently have 120km of bike lanes and paths to accommodate cyclists. This project will revolutionise the way they move around the city, improving safety and access,” Cr Louey said.
The final version of the council budget will be up for consideration by the council on 28 June 2012.
Record numbers of bikes entering Melbourne CBD
19 April 2012. Bikes are entering the Melbourne CBD in record numbers according to just-released City of Melbourne count data.
The data – part of a long-running biannual cordon count - shows 7516 bikes entered the CBD in March 2012, a figure that represented more than 11% of all traffic entering the city.
This is both the highest total number of bikes and the highest proportion of total traffic volume ever recorded in this count.
Underlining the scale of the mode shift revolution now underway, bikes have grown steadily to 11.43% of the total traffic volume compared to just 3.95% when data was collected in September, 2006.
In the same period, cars have fallen from 83.20% of traffic volume to 75.03%, trucks have remained relatively constant (11.34% today, 11.36% in September, 2006) and scooters and motorbikes have grown from 1.49% to 2.19%.
While the City of Melbourne numbers are welcome, Bicycle Network believes the actual number of bikes entering the CBD is far greater.
The Melbourne numbers are based on counts conducted at 15 sites but do not include riders entering the city along Southbank, the Sandridge Railpath/Cecil St, riders joining Albert St from Wellington/Napier/Brunswick streets or via Barrak Bridge via Clarendon St.
The addition of these routes we believe would push the number of riders beyond 10,000.
City of Melbourne daily traffic volume numbers have been released at a time when the finishing touches are being put on Victoria’s Budget which is expected to include a major focus on tackling transport congestion problems.
Policy makers and transport planners are wrestling with a conundrum: population growth is outstripping the ability of our road and rail systems to cope and efficiency is now the only path. Bicycle use for transport is nothing if not efficient, as more and more commuters into Melbourne’s CBD have found.
Transport Strategy out for public comment
3 April 2012 The City of Melbourne has released its Draft Transport Strategy for public comment. This document looks in depth at the short and long term transport challenges for inner Melbourne and outlines the issues, challenges and potential opportunities that can be taken to meet our growing transport challenge.
The draft is now out for public consultation. The Draft Strategy is available here. The Bike section is available here.
Consultation with key stakeholders was undertaken last year including Bicycle Network. Bicycle related topics received the majority of comments with 'Bicycle Lanes' alone receiving more than any other subject.
Projections (page 15 of report) suggest cycling will grow from 4% to 10% of all trips to, within and from the City of Melbourne. But is this enough and will the Council be planning for the right number? These statistics are based upon the VISTA survey, based upon a small sample set.
Our conservative projections, based upon the 2006 Census data as a base, combined our Super Tuesday analysis in conjunction with City of Melbourne's Cordon Counts, suggest that cycling numbers in the 2011 Census will show a doubling of rider numbers, and this is would ‘only’ be in August, which traditionally reflects perhaps 50-60% of annual peak periods in March and November. Bicycle Network believes this figure should be as high as 20% in March/November peak riding periods.
The inner area of Melbourne, particularly in the inner north where the bike network has been developed the most, has experienced a strong surge in rider numbers. The City of Melbourne is to be commended for the efforts over recent years to expand and improve the bike network. This new Transport Strategy sends a strong message that Council needs to continue to further develop the network to achieve their target.
Page 16 of the report states that Council intends to produce a network quality map of the bike infrastructure. Bicycle Network welcomes this and believes the newly developed Level of Service Network Auditing tool co-developed by VicRoads and Bicycle Network can greatly assist in this project.
The draft Bike Network Map on page 41 will need further work to align it with the State Government's Principle Bicycle Network to include such routes as the NorthBank Viaduct and whether City Road in SouthBank is an achievable project.
With the City of Melbourne's Bicycle Plan due for a review the opportunity to address these elements may be near.
This Transport Strategy has been well thought through and Bicycle Network commends Council to approve this plan when it is considered on 8 May 2012.
The only missing element of this Strategy is the funding to make these bold plans a reality. Bicycle Network believes that the City of Melbourne can realistically invest $5 million into the bike network annually and will need to in order to keep up with the likes of Sydney and Brisbane to truly achieve a 'Cycling City' status.
Melbourne straps rocket to bikes
19 May 2011. The City of Melbourne plans to dramatically accelerate its development of cycling with a new plan to build inner and central Melbourne as "a true cycling city".
The commitment comes in its 2011 review of the city's transport strategy.
The move to accelerate the shift to bike riding comes on the heels of Lord Mayor Robert Doyle's announcement of an ambitious target of increasing cycling to the city by 50 per cent a year.
And its release coincides with the start of the $23M Swanston Street rebuild, with its emphasis on prioritising bikes, public transport and pedestrians.
Melbourne City says: "With infrastructure such as separated lanes and road management improvements, the safety, convenience and attractiveness of cycling on inner and central city roads will tap Melbourne's significant potential ridership."
The draft review updates Melbourne existing 2006-2020 Transport Strategy. It brings forward many bike initiatives which were originally contemplated for later in the next decade. More detailed plans will now be included in a forthcoming update of the City's cycling strategy.
Clearly the accelerated development will require a new level of investment by the City, which has been outpaced by Sydney's bike spending in recent years.
The draft document indicates that the city will grasp the nettle on some of the outdated transport thinking which has been feeding congestion and discouraging bikes, especially in re-allocating road space, optimising traffic signals, and reducing the surplus of car parking.
By 2020 the plan is targeting 80 per cent of all trips to be by bike, public transport or walking.
In the next five years two fully connected east-west and north-south bike routes will be installed in the city. This means proper bike lanes the length of Collins Street, as well as Latrobe, Exhibition, William and Swanston.
There will be numerous on-street bike parking corrals, converted from car parking.
The city will improve the general quality of riding conditions in the city as part of a moves to increase the use of the Melbourne Bikes Share scheme.
The City of Melbourne is seeking comments on the draft plan. For more information go here.
Melbourne reins in off-leash dogs
1 September 2010. The City of Melbourne has set a great example to other councils by ensuring that the off-leash dog areas in Royal Park are not herding out-of-control dogs across bike pathsâ€”a problem in many Australian parks.
The council has made the move to to 'minimise potential conflict between cyclists and off leash dogs'.
The new regulations include the provision of ten metre buffer zones along various shared paths in the park.
In an associated move the council has responded to concerns about dogs roaming in wetlands and other native bird habitat. Further restrictions are being considered for such areas.
There is heightened concern about dogs interacting with wildlife, which is returning to our parks along with the improved season. Recently two swans in Albert Park were killed by dogs. In both instances the dogs were in leash but broke away to attack the swans.
If you know of any areas where dogs are allowed to roam freely across bike paths, contact you council and alert them to the City of Melbourne initiative in Royal Park, and remind them of their risk management responsibilities.
Vic Track on Time with MCG footbridge
16 August 2010 The footbridge linking Yarra Parks North and South, near the MCG, had seriously deteriorated as previously reported. It is not a City of Melbourne asset but belongs to Vic Track. In March this year Vic Track were notified by Bicycle Network of the seriousness of the problem and advice was given as to various products available for boardwalks.
Vic Track responded promptly and contracted for the structure to be resurfaced with Replas recycled plastic Enduroplank. The end result is a high quality very walkable and rideable shared path which restores the north south link for many riders and pedestrians. Common sense dictates that care should still be taken on the steep descent as under extreme braking a bike may skid.
For more on decking read here.
Any feedback on Vic Track's project can be made to Bicycle Network's Messages.
Yarra Park ply peels
18 February 2010. The footbridge linking Yarra Parks North and South, near the MCG, has deteriorated and is now hazardous to riders.
The structure has become an important route in recent times, linking to the main Yarra Trail along the new soccer/rugby stadium in Gosh's Paddock.
A Bicycle Network member reported broken ply sheets and related protruding tech screws. This surface is not of acceptable standard for a bike/pedestrian bridge.
Care should be taken, especially as some of the protruding sharp screws are not easily visible.
The city of Melbourne has been alerted to the issue.
The current surface of the bridge was installed in the recent memory of many riders, and has not experienced the longevity expected.
For more on decking read here.
BiXE 2009: City of Melbourne
Melbourne City Council has a BiXE 2009 of $16.88. This is a major improvement on the figure of $0.00 in 2008. This re-commitment to cycling in 2009 sees the Melbourne City achieve a 3 year BiXE average of $20.54, which is the highest 3 year average in the state, helping to erase the aberration of 2008.
Melbourne City Council has opportunities to further develop cycling infrastructure such as:
• Improving North Bank between Swan Street through to Docklands
• Building the Quality Routes such as Albert Street and Queensberry Street, amongst many others.
Carlton Gardens cash sting
18 September 2009. The City of Melbourne is raking in the cash after unexpectedly blitzing bike riders cruising through the Carlton Gardens, a long-popular, safe and quiet route into the Melbourne CBD.
Scores of riders, including many Bicycle Network members, have suffered the sting of the disproportionate $250 fine as police and council enforcement staff pounced on the unsuspecting commuters.
The crime? Riding on a 5.5 metre path with clear sightlines and all the space you would ever need to comfortably accommodate bike riders and pedestrians.
The council sting came without notice. Previously the Council and the Police have communicated pending enforcement actions to Bicycle Network, seeking cooperation, with "Respect the Red" campaign and example. On this occasion, silence.
The clumsy nature of the action was surprising as the council and Bicycle Network, along with other transportation authorities, have been reviewing opportunities to improve routes into the city.
Obviously the Carlton Gardens would be on any list of routes for improvement because of its unavoidable interfaces with the high volume Canning Street route and the inevitable Queensberry-Gertrude Streets connection.
Bike commuters realize that not every path through a park or garden is suitable for riding and would never insist on the right to ride every path.
Some, however, are very suitable, and few are better suited than a select few in the Carlton Gardens. (See map. Only the orange coloured paths would be required.)
The Carlton Gardens bike ban is arbitrary and without any sound rationale. There is no evidence to suggest that there is any unacceptable risk associated with bike use on the paths in question.
In fact, forcing these riders out on the the roads is likely to increase risk to public health and safety.
Fortunately, some sane voices have been heard at the Town Hall.
All bike riders are looking forward to some announcement that the unfair rules will be reviewed and that new policies will be developed to encourage Melbourne's various parks to be carefully shared in a responsible manner by a variety of users, including bike riders where appropriate.
City to stomp out parking levy rort
7 May 2009. The City of Melbourne is expected to stop siphoning cash from its sustainable transport initiatives fund for use in tourism promotion. The result should be more funding for bikes.
Each year the City gets $5M a year from the State Government to spend on sustainable transport initiatives.
The money is raised from a levy imposed on car parking in and around central Melbourne.
But puzzlingly the fund has been repeatedly raided to cash-flow the operation of the City's tourist shuttle bus, a practice introduced with a nod and a wink for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The Council has now realised that the jig is up, and will discontinue the dubious practice. But not just yet; a further $800,000 of funding will be diverted from the intended purpose during 2009-10.
The remaining $4M will contain some positive bike initiatives in 2009-10, including funding for the Albert Street separated lanes, the Whitman/Normanby Road bike link between the Capital City Trail and the City of Port Phillip bike path, and improved infrastructure for the Banana Alley link of the Northbank Yarra path.
City census has numbers booming
23 October 2008. The number of people riding into to the city in the mornings has increased by 43 per cent in the last year according to the City of Melbourne’s latest Bike Account Census.
An average of 6,800 cyclists are riding into the city between 7am and 10am in 2008, compared to 4,770 riding in the same morning peak period in 2007.
The document can be dowloaded here:
The Account found people riding bikes five times a week has increased in the past year. There has also been a steady increase in the number of people riding to work 1-3 days a week, and more people riding once a fortnight and once a month.
Now in its second year, the city’s annual Bicycle Account captures cyclist behavior, cycling trends and includes an update on the development of cycling infrastructure.
More than 4,000 cyclists were surveyed by Bicycle Network to produce this year’s account â€”doubling the number of participants surveyed in 2007.
For the first time in 2008, the survey asked cyclists about the facilities provided in the workplace. Eight-two per cent had access to showers, 50 per cent had access to a secure locker to store their gear but more than 25% of cyclists said there was not adequate bike parking facilities at their workplace.
The Lord Mayor said the survey highlighted the need for large organisations to provide adequate bike parking spaces to employees.
The Account found 50 per cent of cyclists who rode into the city parked their bikes in off-street parking facilities (such as their workplaces, if available), 20 per cent locked their bikes to street furniture and 17 per cent locked their bikes to on of the 1,450 City of Melbourne provided bike hoops across the city.
The 2008 Bicycle Account found more cyclists using major on-road bike arterial routes from each the northern, eastern, western and southern suburbs:
• Cyclists riding into the city from the west using Footscray Rd in the morning peak increased by 26 per cent in 2008 compared to 2007 figures.
• Cyclists riding on the Yarra River’s north bank, adjacent to Gosch’s Paddock in the morning peak increased by 17 per cent compared to 2007 figures.
• Cyclists riding along the Princes Bridge (many of which also originate from Swanston Street) in the morning peak increased by 22 per cent compared to 2007 figures.
There was only a slight increase in cyclists recorded on Albert Street, East Melbourne where City of Melbourne will soon install dedicated bike-lanes in Albert Street to provide a direct and efficient link between the current lanes in Elizabeth Street Richmond and the CBD.
The first Melbourne Bicycle Account released in 2007 received great interest locally, regionally and nationally. Following Melbourne’s lead, other cities including Sydney now intend to develop their own annual cycling accounts.
Council forum focus on West Melbourne, North Melbourne and Kensington
May 08 Councillors and senior officers will be available to discuss local issues in this area. All are welcome to attend. You may submit questions before the event and recieve a response on the night or call 9658 9658 for more information.
This area of Melbourne was recently the subject of the West/North Melbourne 'Wheels and Heels' Plan, which recommended many positive initiatives for bikes which can be viewed here. The forum is a good opportunity for yout o show your support to Council to ensure this paln is implemented.
Lane design removes the gap but first the space had to be created
May 07 When the City of Melbourne wanted to install bike lanes along Elgin St, they went beyond looking at what space was available in the existing lane configuration. By adjusting the parking bay widths and the 2 existing traffic lanes, there was ample room to include the bike lanes without any adverse effect on other road users. The photos below show the before and after. Note where the existing lanes have been scrubbed off, which clearly illustrates how the resulting configuration was achieved.
Filling the Gap Traditionally the standard design for a bike lane would start some distance after an intersection with a sharp angle proceeding out from the curb.
The City of Melbourne's design starts immediately after the pedestrian crossing and maintains the standard distance from the curb. The initial dashed line helps allow entering vehicles whilst maintaining through traffic in an orderly manner.
City of Melbourne Counts
Jan 07 Melbourne City Council performed traffic counts across many points around the CBD in June of 2006. Recording the numbers of vehicle types, including bikes. Whilst June is traditionally not a time of year for high rider numbers this survey has confirmed that cycling in Melbourne is booming!
Historically it would be expected that rider numbers be approximately 30% lower than the yearly peak period in March. However during this survey commuting riders were out in record numbers.
On some of the major routes into the CBD bikes represent a strong proportion of vehicular traffic. Along St Kilda Rd bicycles represented 10% of traffic during 7-9am. Coming down Rathdowne St bicycle numbers were a very healthy 15% of traffic.
Whilst there were a few major cycling routes not covered in this count the overall trend of these counts show a general increase of approximately 15% in rider numbers.
Whilst 2006’s unusually warm weather could help partially explain this increase, it is historically the lack of daylight hours (especially for the journey home) that has seen rider numbers drop during the winter months.
We look forward with anticipation to March results, not to mention the 2006 Census figures.
See the counts and locations in detail (pdf 1Mb)
Nov 06 The City of Melbourne has produced a draft Bicycle Plan 2007-2011 and is inviting public feedback on the plan until Friday, 17 November 2006.
Bicycle Network has worked closely with Melbourne City Council and is generally pleased with the plan. The key identification of 'Quality' and 'Economy' routes will help to identify where improvements can be made and where funds and resources should be directed. With increased funding available (due in no small part to the Parking Levy) the council's opportunities place them in a strong position to really make a difference to riders in the inner area.
If you ride in the area we recommend you review the document (click here) and give your feedback to help Melbourne City Council improve cycling in the area.
July 06 Melbourne City Council have this year budgeted to review their Bicycle Strategy to help further improve cycling in their municipality. Bicycle Network looks forward to working with the council on this initiative. Register (on right) for updates so when we find out the process is beginning we can let you know automatically.
The vote went through
The City Council voted in favour of the bicycle measures to be funded by the parking levy.
Thank you everyone who sent letters of support to the Council. The Council is now waiting for the State - who collect the parking levy - to pass the money onto the Council.
The Transport Strategy is still open for comment.
Melbourne City will be implementing some bicycle works on the network in the months after the Commonwealth Games. We will keep you up to date with the news.
Draft City of Melbourne Transport Strategy
The new Melbourne City Council draft Transport Strategy outlines the direction they want to go in the future. In their words ‘the most environmentally and economically efficient modes of transport: public Transport, cycling and walking will be given priority over cars.’ Specifically the Strategy anticipates a number of opportunities including:
- allocating more road space to pedestrians and cyclists by installing wide pavements and bicycle lanes;
- more end-of-trip bicycle facilities around the city
- further improvements to the connectivity of Melbourne’s cycling network;
- changes to the planning scheme to promote sustainable travel in new buildings and developments
The draft Strategy is out for public comment until early April 2006. We support the thrust of the document and, if it is endorsed, we would expect to see increased investment in bikes and significantly improved conditions for bike riding.
They have asked us to send comments to this staff email:
$2m for bikes from the parking levy if we act now!
Feb 06 The Melbourne City Council is ready to spend $2m on bikes if you tell them that you think it is a good idea.
The Council meets on Tuesday 28 February. The Council papers are attached on the link. The matters up for a vote include:
- $1m to Copenhagen style cycle routes – this will enable substantial work on one or two routes into town
- $500k towards the Manningham St Bridge. (We estimate that it will need a similar amount from the levy next year to fund the whole project, but this is a great start.)
- $475 000 for improving the Northbank cycle route between Birrarung Marr and Queen St. This will link up with the new Commonwealth Games Bridge from the MCG and the refurbished Sandridge Rail Bridge near Banana Alley. This is the start of what we hope will become a series of works to develop a high standard cycle and walking route along the north bank.
- A $20 000 study into bike parking in the City including a European style parking station
These are all substantial, sensible, high impact projects that will significantly benefit bike riders.
Please write to the Mayor before Tuesday in support of this initiative:
New Council budget provides for cycling
Jun 05 In the Council's 2005/06 budget $900,000 has been allocated for constructing a bicycle path on Northbank and a bridge over Manningham Street on the Capital City Trail in Parkville. We congratulate City of Melbourne for addressing these significant gaps in Melbourne's bicycle network.
Currently, the Capital City Trail drops down to street level at Manningham St, with a long ramp on one side and a flight of steps on the other side of the road.
A new pedestrian bridge running parallel to the railway bridge will eliminate the road crossing and steps, improving access and safety for trail users.
The Northbank Project will provide an additional walking and cycling route along the river and provide an alternative to the congested Southbank area.
Jul 05 Thanks to an email from one of our members to Melbourne City Council, new bike symbols and signs can be found on the shared path on Grattan St.
Bourke St Mall
Aug 05 Construction on Bourke St Mall is well under way. Bicycle Network is disapointed that that the new plans do not include bicycle access. For more on Bourkes St Mall upgrades see more on the City of Melbourne's webpage.
Jun 05 Currently cyclists are prohibited from riding through Bourke St Mall. Bicycle Network would like to access for cyclists through Bourke St Mall linking the new bike lanes along Bourke St.
We believe that cyclists would not be hazardous to pedestrians who already have to be aware of trams and service vehicles.
CBD bike lanes
Apr 05 We have been campaigning for a number of years for safe and attractive routes in and through the CBD (rather than petering out at the edge of the city centre).
The City of Melbourne has taken the first step by installing new bike lanes on William St, and Latrobe St. Although most only operate during clearway times, it is an important first step in getting facilities for cyclists in the CBD.
Bourke St and Elizabeth St have had 'shoulders' installed to provide a channel for cyclists to use between the parked cars and the travel lane.
We hope this is the first step towards making Melbourne a world class cycling city. Council needs to continue to plan and build for cycling by filling the major gaps in the city's off-road path network.
Closing gaps on the on-road cycling network and upgradinge important routes leading into the city.
LaTrobe St Lane Removed
Aug 05 There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the removal of a section of bike lane between William Street and King Street on the southern side of La Trobe Street in the CBD. Bicycle Network has contacted the City of Melbourne regarding the removal along this busy cycling route and has been informed that they are currently looking at installing a ‘Clearway’ type lane to restore continuity to this route.
If you would like to meet other cyclists in Melbourne visit the Melbourne BUG website for contact details and BUG meeting times.
Jul 07 On July 1, the municipal management of Melbourne Docklands is transferred from VicUrban to the City of Melbourne with VicUrban continuing its role as the agency responsible for its development until the project is completed in around 2020.
Docklands is Melbourne's new inner city waterside suburb that is being developed in the old dock areas to the west of Melbourne's central business district.
It is a great place to go for a ride, especially down to the New Quay area with its waterfront restaurants and bars. Telstra Dome is also relatively easily accessible by bicycle and has some parking rails to lock your bike to while watching the footy. Please note the temporary route that has been signed between Webb Dock Bridge (North side of Yarra) through to Spencer St at the Convention Centre/Crown crossing. Refer map on right.
As their website says, 'Melbourne Docklands is expected to irrevocably change the look and feel of Melbourne. It will become a waterfront destination for an estimated 20 million visitors each year, home for 20,000 people and a workplace for 25,000. The development of Docklands is also projected to create approximately 3,000 construction and permanent jobs each year.'
Cycling will be an important part of travel and recreation in the new suburb and it is vital that a high quality cycling network is provided from the start. Cycling, along with walking and public transport, are key to making Docklands a truly outstanding suburb in terms of liveability and quality of life where cars do not dominate public space.
Dockland's 2001 Bike Strategy makes this clear. This means quiet, cycle-friendly local streets, bike lanes on bigger roads and a network of off-road routes for recreational cycling.
Already there has been some progress but Docklands has a long way to go before it achieves this vision.
We have become increasingly concerned that some good work is being negated by poorly planned and designed infrastructure that will discourage cycling (and walking). In May 2004 we wrote to Docklands with our concerns and are awaiting a response.