Bicycle Network: Metro Routes
North: St Georges Rd - Brunswick St (Lalor to CBD)
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This is a key CBD commuter route. It is off-road for a significant portion. We are working to fix the gaps and get improvements along the route.
Brunswick Street upgrades coming
20 February 2013. Brunswick Street in Fitzroy—a big destination for bikes, but a big challange for riders—is to get a bike-friendly upgrade over the next few years.
Bike counts show that the street is a magnet for bikes, but crash statistics show far too many crashes and conflicts with traffic.
Last year the City of Yarra invited Bicycle Network to inspect the street and discuss potential improvements with Council officers.
Bicycle counts undertaken at intersections along Brunswick Street and St Georges Road from 2004-2012 show an annual increase of 12-13%, with numbers nearing 500 in the 7-9am peak.
Brunswick Street resheeting works between Alexandra Parade and Johnson Street are proposed in the draft 2013/14 capital works plan. Further resheeting works are proposed in the draft 10 year capital works plan over 2014/15 and 2015/16 to complete resurfacing of the route to Victoria Parade. This provides Council an opportunity to address a number of small but important elements of Brunswick St.
Copenhagen lanes are not proposed due to the limited road width, car parking demand and the presence of tram route 86.
There are two sections that have no bicycle lanes which are to be addressed
- New Bicycle Lane on Brunswick Street near Victoria Parade, both south and northbound - Lane reconfiguration and review of parking outbound will be investigated.
- New Bicycle Lane at the Confluence of Brunswick Street and St Georges Road - There is no bicycle lane provided for approximately 150m where Brunswick Street and St Georges Road meet. At this location the bicycle lane disappears to accommodate a traffic island that separates the trams and traffic.
Widen Existing Bicycle Lanes
Bicycle lanes have been present on Brunswick Street and St Georges Road since approximately 1997. The bicycle lane has been incrementally widened as the linemarking was renewed. Green paint on the route has been progressively added by Yarra and VicRoads along the route from 2007-2011. In 2012 bicycle early start signals were added to Brunswick Street between and including Victoria Parade to Alexandra Parade.
Post Carriageway Resheeting Linemarking Works
As part of the proposed resheet of Brunswick Street south of Alexandra Parade there is an opportunity to improve the facilities on the street.
The linemarking works that could be undertaken when the road is re-sheeted include:
- update Yellow Tram Fairway Linemarking as they have become faded;
- linemark a bicycle lane with continuous solid linemarking to highlight the bicycle lane;
- relinemark the chevron median island to allow pedestrians to stage their crossing and to help slow traffic by providing the perception of constrained traffic lane;
- green paint at traffic merge locations to cover at least 1 parked car in both directions thus highlighting the conflict location better;
- increase the number of locations that are green painted to include driveways and side streets that currently do not have green paint; and
- investigate the use of green paint or other treatments to highlight dooring zones to cyclists and drivers alike.
Potential Speed Limit Reduction
Coucil will pursue 30km/h from Victoria to Alexandra Parades and 40 or 50km/h north of Alexandra Parade. This would require VicRoads Approval.
Green Paint at Intersections
There are a number of VicRoads intersections North of Alexandra Parade that do not have green paint that would benefit including at:
- Miller Street;
- Brunswick Street North;
- Watkins Street;
- St Georges Road South;
- Church Street;
- Freeman Street;
- Newry Street;
- Grace Lane; and
- York Street.
Improved Access to Capital City Trail at St George Road (at Park Street North Fitzroy)
To improve the situation a new crossover from St Georges Road, a converted shared path and cyclist’s storage area could be built. A wider crossing of the signalised pedestrian crossing would help to reduce conflict of the crossing while increasing capacity.
Kerb outstands could installed in locations where there are no peak period parking restrictions. These could help to not only provide better bike parking but also help to make the street look like a slow speed environment, whilst being better for pedestrians.
Investigate Bicycle ‘Green Wave’ Traffic Signal Synchronisation
In a welcome move a resolution was also voted up to form a joint community and Council working party be established to create a vision for the street that improves its amenities for pedestrians, cyclists and traders.
Brunswick Street works gives cyclists a head start
June 25 2012 Improvements to bicycle facilities in Brunswick Street Fitzroy are complete.
Roads Minister Terry Mulder said the $219,000 project – funded as part of the 2010/11 budget - will improve safety and efficiency for cyclists crossing Brunswick Street at Alexandra Parade, Johnston Street, Gertrude Street and Victoria Parade.
"Brunswick Street is a popular dining and entertainment precinct with a high number of pedestrians, cyclists, cars and trams," Mr Mulder said.
"During peak hours, up to 1500 cyclists use this route to access the CBD, Fitzroy and Clifton Hill areas."
Mr Mulder said in the five year period ending 30 June 2011, there were 65 crashes involving bicycles on Brunswick Street.
"Cyclists now have a head start at these intersections in both directions to improve safety and reduce the potential for conflict with vehicles," Mr Mulder said.
"VicRoads is trialing new cameras at the Alexandra Parade, Johnston Street and Gertrude Street intersections to detect cyclists and activate an early start at the traffic lights for cyclists."
As part of the works, VicRoads also upgraded existing bicycle storage boxes, linemarking and green pavement.
You can say thank you to the Minister by clicking here. Remember to be positive
Ding dong the wicked roundabout is dead
From this to this:
The green lipstick has yet to go down (there are rumours that Melbourne has run out of green bike lane paint) but the roundabout is no more. We will run a survey to catch your views shortly.
The traffic signals are bedding in, the new bike lanes are in place, traffic is warily learning the new geography, the trams are keeping their place as usual. So far so good, but there is more to do over the next few weeks before victory can be declared.
As the $5.1m projectâ€”costly because of the trams going over the water mainâ€”draws to completion, focus will shift to the other priorities in the area, especially the pipe bridge over the Merri Creek.
Roundabout works swing into action
21 May 2009. Works are now underway on improvements to the St George's Road roundabout, currently one of the most bike-hazardous intersections in Melbourne.
The new configuration will cut out three turns from the north, south and east that were adding to the conflict. Pedestrian crossings will be installed and the tram and bus routes will get more priority.
Bike movements southbound off the path and northbound onto the path will be much less stressful.
There are many ways to assess the rideability of a bike route but we agree with the rider above - you should be able to pedal comfortably across the intersection with your vacuum cleaner in hand.
Work will begin this year on the pipe bridge just to the south of the roundabout.
The final design can be seen here. Below is a souvenir photo of what it was like.
Palmed off the St Georges path
6 November 2008. The St Georges Road shared path will lose 21 palm trees which are obscuring the vision bike riders, pedestrians and drivers at seven critical intersections.
Work on removing and relocating the Washington palms, a native of Mexico and the Californian Baja, is expected to begin on Monday 10 November and will take about a week.
Seven of the palms will be relocated along St Georges Road; another seven will be moved to Zwar Reserve and Asling Park (both undergoing upgrades); and the remaining eight will be given to the contractor to offset the costs of the work.
The St Georges Road shared path is by far the fastest growing cycle route in Darebin, with numbers of cyclists using the path increasing by 58 per cent in the last two years.
The road crosses the path in seven places between St Georges Road roundabout and Miller Street. Although cyclists have priority at these intersections, the number of car-cyclist incidents has grown, and near-misses occur regularly.
Darebin Council says it is making improvements to reinforce the priority and safety of cyclists at the median crossings. The ‘give way’ signs have already changed to ‘stop’ signs, and by removing some of the palms growing either side of the median crossings, drivers will be better able to see cyclists approaching.
Riders win roundabout campaign
23 July 08 The State Government has announced $5.1m to fix the St Georges Roundabout.
This is fantastic news for the thousands of riders who travel through this difficult intersection every day. It is even better news for the many riders who consistently tell us that they are not riding now due to their concerns with the roundabout in its current form.
Improvements for buses and trams are also a major part of the plans. Construction will begin this time next year. The final design can be seen here.
The local State member for Northcote, Fiona Richardson, has played a key part in this campaign and deserves riders' thanks for her determined efforts. You can email her and the Minister to thank and encourage them to keep important projects like this coming.
Preferred design option chosen: Now to find the funds
Mar 08 VicRoads has sent Bicycle Network a letter announcing that 'Option One' (click below to see a plan) has been chosen to improve the St Georges Rd/Merri Pde/Charles St intersection. We support the choice of this option. The decision is good news for all users of the intersection, especially the hundreds of commuters who daily navigate this complex intersection.
The design involves
- replacing the existing roundabout with traffic signals
- introducing pedestrian refuges which will help calm traffic (particularly southbound)
- Marking bike lanes on the southbound approach and exit of the intersection, and
- A shared path on the northbound side, from the Merri Creek Bridge up to Elizabeth St
- Signal phasing to assist riders
Have your say about proposed 'improvements' to the St Georges Rd roundabout.
Nov 07 VicRoads are currently seeking public comment on a proposal to remove the roundabout on St Georges Road near the Merri Creek and replace it with traffic lights.
Bicycle Network is appreciative of the fact that we have been involved in the project development by VicRoads. This has resulted in some good modifications of the early concepts.
We are supportive of installing traffic lights at the intersection as a method of improving the intersection for all users, including bike riders. VicRoads is seeking comment on two options; Option 1 is worthy of consideration by bike riders and walkers, Option 2 is not supported by most stakeholders.
Bicycle Network supports installing traffic lights at the intersection to improve access for riders and walkers. We support Option 1 as it is a feasible option that can work for all users. However, the two following issues will have to be closely watched throughout the detailed design phase:
- The amount of time bike riders will be stopped by red lights. It appears that bike riders and walkers will be well looked after in the new intersection with better access to the existing pedestrian lights to the north of the roundabout. These traffic lights will be coordinated with the new traffic lights and riders will be able to trigger a green light for most of the time. At this stage it appears that riders and walkers will not have to wait for more than 40 seconds to cross St Georges Rd. We are keen to see that this time does not increase and are confident that the intersection can accommodate a good outcome for riders.
- Deflection on southbound approach to the intersection. Initial designs for the signalised intersection included very good deflection of the southbound traffic lanes coming into the intersection. Disappointingly VicRoads have shied away from the deflection based on Melbourne Water's concern about small sections of new road over a water pipe. It seems unreasonable that VicRoads cannot put a strong case to build small section of new road given that the current road traverses the pipe. For more information on deflection see Roundabout design and speeds below.
Provided that the above two issues are dealt with appropriately we believe this project will greatly improve riding conditions at the intersection.
VicRoads are seeking your comments before 14 December 2007. Click here to email your comments, remember to mention which option you prefer and to keep it positive. VicRoads are also holding information sessions at the Northcote Town Hall (189 High Street Northcote Vic 3070) on 28 or 29 November between 6pm - 8pm.
St Georges Rd roundabout - Background
The only significant gap on the path is the St Georges Rd roundabout in Northcote. This location has more cyclist crashes than any other intersection in Darebin. It has 5 legs and a tram running through the middle.
In November 2003 Bicycle Network and Darebin BUG met with VicRoads and a consultant appointed to carry out a traffic management investigation met on site to discuss how to improve this location for cyclists.
Roundabout design and speeds
One of the issues is the speed that motorists can enter and drive through the roundabout. For southbound or northbound motorists the intersection doesn't feel like a roundabout and they can travel through at 60km per hour.
The picture (right) shows the approach to the roundabout from the north. Drivers can travel straight through without slowing and often fail to give way to vehicles from the right (including cyclists).
One of the proposed solutions is to increase the deflection of the roundabout to make it operate more like a roundabout and slow vehicle speeds.
Gap between Miller and Bell St
Jun 05 VicRoads has completed the missing section of path between Miller and Bell Streets in Preston. The path continues down the centre median of St Georges Rd except for a short section between Oakover and Miller St where the path crosses to the reserve along the east side of the roadway.
Pictured (right) is a cyclist using the new section of path. The completion of this gap eliminates a dangerous on-road section and provides a continuous off-road route between Reservoir station and St Georges Rd roundabout at Merri Pde.
The bike lanterns at the signalised crossings do not automatically activate when the traffic lights go green. This needs to be 'switched on' so that cyclists using the path are not unnecessarily delayed or tempted to disobey the red bike light.
The alignment of the path at Miller St could also be smoothed out. See here (PDF 228k) for suggested improvements to the path.
May 05 VicRoads is putting the final touches on the missing gap between Miller and Bell Streets in Preston. The path continues down the centre median of St Georges Rd except for a short section between Oakover and Miller St where the path crosses to the reserve along the east side of the roadway.
Better connections to path from St Georges Rd bike lanes
We would like to see the footpath on the west side of the roundabout widened and designated as a shared path so that cyclists heading north can ride off-road to the pedestrian signals by the tram stop. An off-road connection from Miller St, Fitzroy to the pedestrian signals will mean cyclists heading north on St Georges Rd won't have to ride through the roundabout.
Better connections to Merri Creek Trail
We also want to see the Merri Creek Trail better connected by realigning the path on the north side of the creek. This would eliminate the existing steep slopes on the south side path.
There is a gentle slope from the creek (pictured) up to St Georges Rd and plenty of room under the bridge to construct a path on the north bank of the creek to link up with the good quality trail alongside Merri Pde. A bridge further upstream near Northcote Secondary College would allow people to cross over to the north side of the creek and have a continuous and safe trail through this intersection.
Bike lanes were marked on Brunswick St in 2001. There are still sections where the bike lanes are missing and places where they could be better designed. We are working with Yarra Ctiy Council to look at how they can be improved.