Bicycle Network: Metro Routes
Inner: Monash-CityLink-West Gate Upgrade
Bicycle Network has been working with Transurban, VicRoads and the Monash Alliance to minimise the impact of Monash-CityLink-West Gate Upgrade project on riders.
The $1.4 billion project includes major upgrades to CityLink's Southern Link, the Monash and West Gate Freeways.
New lights on the Harbour
23 August 2011. Parks Victoria has installed new lights along the Main Yarra Trail at Burnly Harbour, vastly improving a previously dimly lit section of the busiest bike path in Melbourne.
The installation was undertaken while the path was closed for renovation of the freeway which runs adjacent.
Parks Victoria (the trail manager for this section of the Main Yarra Trail) recognised the trail was particularly dark due to it being sheltered by the freeway from much of the surrounding ambient light.
During the time of the trail closure Parks Victoria identified and secured funding for the project, developed a lighting specification and design for the site, and ultimately installed the lights and associated infrastructure.
In addition to the trail, floodlights were added to where each of the three climbing walls are located, further enhancing overall visibility at night.
Overall, the project cost up to $90,000 from design through to installation and has 26 lights over a distance of approximately 480 metres of trail.
The lights are set to switch on/off on by a combination of sensors and timers. This effectively means they are activated as it approaches dark, then at 12:00 midnight every second light switches off. Once it becomes light again the remaining alternate lights switch off.
Parks Victoria has indicated it will also investigate adding a reflective strip around each freeway pylon along the trail to make them stand out better.
See our path lighting guide.
Getting to know you again: Burnley Harbour re-opens
8 August 2011. Riders are getting to know Burnley Harbour again now that the M1 works that had closed the Main Yarra Trail have finished.
Access to the trail under the freeway overhang in Richmond was restored late on Friday 29 July, and commuters have flooded back to the original route from early last Monday.
Riders are to be congratulated for their extreme patience with the achingly long closure of this key route.
Burnley or bust: new deadline
13 July 2011. CityLink has announced the Main Yarra Trail at Burnley will be open on 29 July.
This means the trail will be clear for use by weekend bike traffic during the last weekend of July, and open to commuters from August 1.
The CityLink statement said: "We appreciate your patience and understand that you have a fair level of scepticism given the number of unexpected delays.
"The delays up until this point have not been ideal, even though many of them have been out of our hands.
"The engineers working on the project are extremely confident that 29th July will be the definitive date for the detour’s removal.
"I know a great number of your members will be grateful to know the exact date so please feel free to spread the word."
Yarra Trail deadline fail?
30 June 2011. The main Yarra Trail at Burnley was promised to be re-opened to traffic by tomorrow, 1 July, but there is no indication so far that the deadline will be met.
The diversion was still in place this afternoon, with the trail blocked and detour signs sending riders off through the local neighbourhood.
No communication has been forthcoming from the M1 Alliance, which is responsible for the project.
The Alliance previous stated that the Trail would be re-opened by July. If this deadline is missed it will be another broken undertaking in a long list of deadlines that keep springing back to life.
The first deadline was for the project to be finished in August last year. It is now just weeks away from an embarrassing 12 month overshoot.
Bicycle Network has discussed the delays with representatives of M1 Alliance, who expressed contrition over the problem.
M1 undertook to examine possible improvements to the trail to offset the impact of the delay, although nothing has been offered to this point.
The long standing detour has had a significant impact on riders, with numbers on this route dropping appreciably since work started last April.
This indicates the crucial importance of convenient and direct routes to commuters.
This is why, with such a lengthy and disruptive diversion, the requirement for improvements to offset the negative impact is so important.
The offset, whatever it turns out to be, will need to be so significant that it will result in many more riders being attracted to this route.
Clock ticking on Burnley bungle
15 June 2011. The countdown has begun for the re-opening of the Main Yarra Trail at Burnley, promised for the end of this month.
One of the busiest bike routes in the nation, the trail at this point usually carries more than 1,700 riders in the peak period.
The route had to be closed to enable strengthening of the freeway lane that runs above sections of the trail.
But because of a series of inexplicable hold ups on the project, the original short term closure and detour has spiralled out of control, with one deadline after another evaporating.
The imposition of the detour has resulted in a 30 per cent drop in riders using the once convenient route. according to VicRoads counters.
The most recent delay, attributed to the discovery of buried asbestos, was solemnly declared to be the last, and riders were promised the route would be open again by July.
The key questions remaining are: Will the deadline be met this time; and what improvements to the trail are forthcoming to offset the inconvenience caused to the riders on the route.
Anger boiling over delays on Yarra Trail
10 March 2011. The year-long closure of the Main Yarra Trail at Burnley is to get worse with the diversion now extended until at least July, causing massive disruption to the thousands of riders on the route each day.
Riders are at the end of their tether as the reopening of the trail is now a year later than originally promised.
Various re-opening dates have been announced, only to be abandoned, leaving riders to continue negotiating the circuitous and poorly executed detour around the Monash Freeway strengthening works.
The latest delay is due to asbestos being found buried under the freeway.
There can be few other minor public works projects that have gone so far beyond schedule than this project.
Bike riders have been treated with contemptuous disregard.
No doubt embarrassed by the debacle, the M1 Alliance which is responsible for the project, is considering a list of possible improvements to the trail submitted by Bicycle Network.
We have asked that they offset the inconvenience caused by investing in improvements to the trail.
Please write to M1 Alliance and politely request that they repay the goodwill shown to them by the bike riding community as we have suffered from their mismanagement.
Billion dollar freeway fizzer
24 February 2011. Melbourne's massive congestion busting Monash Freeway upgrade appears to be an embarrassing flop, carrying limited additional traffic, and in danger of being outpaced by the bike path that runs along side it.
A count undertaken on a recent weekday registered 1772 vehicles in the new, extra city-bound lane of the freeway between 7am and 9am.
On the adjacent Main Yarra Trail, a total of 1239 bikes were counted in the city bound bike lane over the exact same period.
The count was made from MacRobertson Bridge in Burnley.
The result is astonishing and calls into question the view that Melbourne's congestion problems can be solved by building more roads.
But more crucially, it shows that investment in more and better bike routes can improve Melbourne's mobility at a tiny cost compared to the dollar devouring freeway and road projects.
The Main Yarra Trail is one of Melbourne's busiest bike commuter routes, and is fed by the Gardiners Creek Trail which runs alongside the freeway through Melbourne's south eastern suburbs. The bike lane and the freeway share the same commuter catchment.
The Trail is considered near capacity in peak periods and could cary many more riders if upgraded.
No matter how you examine the figures, it is clear that for just a fraction of the money that the Monash lane addition cost, Melbourne could have gained much more mobility from bike lane investment.
The entire M1-CityLink-Westgate upgrade cost around $1.4 billion. The new 3.5 metre inbound lane on the Monash would have cost only a proportion of that, but it was huge compared to the cost of a new bike trial.
The general rule of thumb is that about 300 km of bike path can be built for the cost of one kilometre of freeway.
This shows that bikes can reduce congestion much more effectively, and at vastly less cost than new freeway development.
Of course roads are essential for freight movement, and for many services needed by the community.
This travel would be far more efficient if the roads were not choked by commuting and other local trips which could be easily achieved by bike.
Off-peak closures set to start [updated]
16 July 2010. Off-peak closures of the Main Yarra Trail at Punt Road will take place between 9:30am and 3pm on the 21, 22, and possibly 23 of July.
The diversion will not be in place during peak times on any of these days, so peak-time commuters will not be inconvenienced. Riders accessing the Trail between 9am-3pm will be better off taking the south bank of the Trail while the diversions are in place.
Taking the south bank between MacRobertsons Bridge and the Morrell Bridge at Anderson St will avoid the entirety of the diversion.Click here to see the proposed scope of works.
[Updated] Citipower has scheduled required works that will affect access to the Trail between 19 and 23 July. These closures will be overnight, between 8pm and 5am. Click here to view the proposed detours.
Main Yarra Trail closure details
31 March 2010. Details of the four month closure of the Main Yarra Trail for the CityLink upgrade have been released.
The section between Barkly Ave and Mary Street will be closed from Monday 12 April until approximately August 2010.
During this time a detour route will be signed that will take trail users via Barkly Avenue, Allan Bain Reserve and Mary St (see map).
The work is being undertaken to enable the freeway to carry more (and heavier) freight than it was originally designed for.
The detour seeks to avoid heavily trafficked areas and has been used successfully in the past. Temporary signs will be placed at key locations to guide traffic along the detour route.
Trail users are notified of the upcoming closures via on-trail signage and information has also been posted on a range of relevant stakeholder websites.
CityLink construction to block Main Yarra Trail in Autumn
4 February 2010. A last minute project to strengthen the outer lane of the M1 freeway will block the main Yarra trail, Melbourne's major bike trail artery, for at least several weeks in March and April.
The area to be worse effected will be along the Burnley viaduct. Other locations at Gardiners creek and Morshead Overpass at Punt Road will experience little disruption.
Bicycle Network is currently assisting the M1 consortium to devise an acceptable diversion to minimise the impact of the closure.
Parks Victoria and the City of Yarra are also advising on the solution, which is expected to be known later this month.
The M1 project team has undertaken to extensively publicise the alternative route as soon as it is finalised.
When the freeway was first built in the 1960's the outer lane was an emergency stopping lane, and is not now strong enough for the projected traffic loading.
It is unfortunate that the works are being undertaken at such short notice, and in the peak riding to work season. Thousands of riders will be inconvenienced.
On the positive side, the closure provides an opportunity for some much needed improvements to the trail in this and nearby locations.
Given the level of disruption to be experienced by the bike riding community, it is essential that a decent legacy of improvements is left behind.
More upgrades on Gardiners Creek Trail
16 December 2009. A further series of upgrades is rolling out on the Gardiners Creek Trail as the Monash M1 project continues.
Part of the Trail between Elm Road and Great Valley Road has been relocated south away from the creek edge and made wider to accommodate both pedestrians and growing cycling commuter traffic.
A new section of bicycle path has also been constructed between Golfers Drive and Waverley Road, Malvern East.
In addition, the Monash Alliance has improved with resurfacing, line-marking and signage the seven-kilometre section of Gardiners Creek Trail from Warrigal Road, Chadstone, to the velodrome at HA Smith Reserve in Hawthorn.
These changes will provide safer and better access for pedestrians and cyclists along and across Gardiners Creek to public transport and recreation facilities on both sides of the Monash Freeway.
East Malvern footbridge back in action
20 August 2009. Roads Minister Tim Pallas opened the new pedestrian bridge over the Monash freeway at East Malvern, constructed as part of the Monash Freeway upgrade.
Although an impressive structure, it is regrettable that the path on the north side leading to the Gardiners Creek and the Solway Bridge at the southern point of the Outer Circle Trail is poorly aligned.
Apparently the adjacent golf club negatively influenced the design and a number of opportunties to reduce conflict were missed.
This is the same golf club that opposes the logical link along the Gardiners Creek between the Solway Bridge and the Markham Reserve Cricket pitch. The club's destructive influence over local council bike facility planning is puzzling, and requires investigation.
It is certainly great to have the connection reestablished and the bridge is an improvement. The bridge also leads to the new Parkiteer cage at East Malvern Station which is now taking registrations.
Long wait over on Gardiners Creek
28 July 2009. The year-long closure of the popular Gardiners Creek Trail in Malvern and Glen Iris ends Friday afternoon, and commuters will once again return to their preferred route.
The section has been closed due to Monash Freeway widening works and the development of the Glen Iris Wetland.
The upgraded section of the trail between Great Valley Road, Glen Iris, and Tooronga Road, Gardiner will reopen to the public at 1pm on Friday, 31 July 2009.
Following its re-opening, the temporary detour route via Tooronga Road/Carroll Crescent/Wills Street/Great Valley Road will be removed.
The Monash Alliance is resurfacing and line-marking the trail between Great Valley Road and Burke Road.
Over the course of the next few months further enhancements will be made to other sections of the Gardiners Creek bike path in consultation with Bicycle Network and the local municipalities.
Further out work is underway on bridge construction at East Malvern Station.
East Malvern Station footbridge now closed
14 January 2009. A major disruption to the Gardiners Creek path is now a reality as the footbridge over the railway and freeway at East Malvern Station is closed for four months.
The closure is to allow a new bridge to be constructed as a result of the widening of the Monash City Link upgrade. For details on the new bridge see below.
Riders have reported that the diversion, although not an ideal route, has been well signed.
At the time of writing several elements of the diversion were awaiting completion, including green bike lane indentification and rumble strip lane edgings in Malvern Road.
More pain awaits path users in the new year
03 December 2008 The critical bridge at East Malvern railway Station is to be replaced as part of the Monash freeway widening project in mid January 2009. This bridge is a critical element in the bike network and is a junction point for the Anniversary, Gardiners Creek, Scotchmans Creek, Waverley Rail Trail along with the nearby onroad bike lanes on Malvern and Belgrave Roads.
With thousands of bikes and pedestrians needing to use this bridge every day of the week this 4 month (approximate) disruption to the area will not only have a huge impact on commuting riders but also the large number recreation riders keen to get out on those new bikes Santa delivered.
We have met with the Alliance mangement team and talked them through the rider movements in the area and proposed a viable detour along Malvern Rd and over the Winton Rd Bridge (refer map below, in green). We have asked that this be a fully separated facility to cater for the majority of riders coming through thi region who prefer to use the offroad network; the onroad lanes would cater only for a section of the riders and so we are worried that people will actually stop riding if confronted with a detour travelling through a road vehicle environment.
We have also discussed the bridge design itself (refer map below, in red) and voiced our concerns over the proposed width and sharp, narrow corners that were to be introduced as a result of the need to gain the large difference in height between the golf course and to clear the freeway. As a result of our discussions the Alliance have agreed to widen the bridge and also further widen the bridge to a minimum 3 metres at the corners and address camber and surface issues. This is not a perfect result and has come about mainly due to the uncooperative approach adopted by City of Stonnington Staff who would not allow a feasible alignment of the bridge to occur on the northern side of the freeway.
View Larger Map
Allenby Avenue underpass closure
01 Dec 2008 Another link to the Gardiners Creek path has needed to be temporarily closed due to the widening project. It is unfortunate that the communication of this was not brough to our attention riders discovered it after the fact.
Wet weather blues on Gardiners Creek
26 Aug 2008. Snorkels have been the order of the day on the busy Gardiners Creek path as recent rain and freeway construction have converged.
Drainage in the section between Glenferrie Rd and the Velodrome 500m to the east has become appalling, with the most likely cause being engineering works associated with the M1 project. Following rains this whole area becomes waterlogged, and sections of the path are submerged.
This can be a problem, especially at night when it becomes difficult to delineate where the path edges start and finish -- not much fun heading home on the evening commute.
Bicycle Network has documented the problem and has asked Boorondara Council and the Monash Freeway construction group to resolve the problem.
A path through the Gardiner's Creek Tooronga shemozzle?
21 July 2008. For the throng who ride the Gardiner's Creek path to the City each day it has been a tough couple of weeks.
A sudden path closure, a lack of notification, a poorly thought through diversion, confusing and absent signage, inadequate temporary track construction, the main players ducking responsibility, and last minute promises to try and fix it all up -- it was not what we expect in the treatment of cyclists in 2008.
To those of you who weathered the crisis during the week, and complained and badgered councils and politicians, you did a sterling job. As a result of your efforts, supplementing the behind-the-scenes levering by the Bicycle Network staff, improvements will be evident soon, if not already.
It is important to understand that there was always going to be 12 months of disruption on this section of the path. The issue is how best to manage it.
Triple play complexity
There are three issues at play here at Tooronga Road: the Monash motorway upgrade; the Stockland development; and next door, the new wetlands and alterations to the creek alignment.
They are all scheduled to happen concurrently over the next 12 months -- a long period of disruption -- but in the end the improvements to the path will make it worth the inconvenience.
The Monash widening works are underway already. The Glen Iris Wetland (west of Burke Road) will be undertaken by Melbourne Water, starting next month, in conjunction with the the realignment and widening of Gardiners Creek between Tooronga Road and the Wetland, starting a month or so later. Stockland have now started construction on their development site.
The designated detour for the trail involves the use of Tooronga Road, Carroll Crescent, Wills Street and Great Valley Road. This route utilises local and lower order local roads and the on road bicycle lanes in Tooronga Road. The City of Stonnington is installing traffic calming treatments along Carroll Crescent.
Bicycle Network was consulted on these changes and while we accepted the general routing option, we could see a devil in the details, and lobbied for some specific changes. We submitted these recommended solutions which have largely been ignored. As previously communicated, these suggestions were not considered acceptable by Stonnington City Council.
When it came to the pointy end, when the path had to be closed, the diversion put in place, and riders properly notified, things fell apart. Clearly, the managment of the closure was poorly coordinated.
To be fair to the Councils they have sinced rushed to try and rectify some of the problems.
Stockland not to blame
We should clarify that an initial assumption made by many -- that Stockland had peremptorily closed the path -- was incorrect. The company is merely complying with permit conditions of the Council.
It is worth noting that the Stockland development is quite bicycle friendly. There will be an entrance to the development from the bike trail, and a considerable amount of bike parking will be available.
15 July 2008. Some time today the Gardiners Ck path was closed at the Stocklands Development site east of Tooronga Rd.
This is very disappointing as there has been no warning that this was to occur. There has been ongoing discussions regarding the closure of the path due to the M1 widening and the wetlands project, however the work has proceeded without a clearly agreed alternative and the temporary ramp adjacent to Tooronga Rd is dangerously substandard.
You can give feedback to Council and CC us here
Gardiners Creek: detour plan blocked
01 July 2008. The negative outcome for riders from the proposed path detours due to the M1 widening works, Boroondara Wetlands and Creek realignment is still unresolved.
The path closure is proposed potentially for a 12 month period commencing on 15 July 2008.
A proposed detour between Great Valley Rd and Tooronga Rd has been rejected by Stonnington City Council, which is refusing to offer any facilities for riders along Great Valley Rd, Willis St or Carroll Crescent.
Bicycle Network believes this is not appropriate given this path serves over 3,000 commuting riders per weekday and the many family and recreational riders enjoying the path on weekends.
The proposed sub-standard detour will effectively create a 3km gap in the path for users who are attracted to riding in a car-free environment. We believe that the Monash Alliance should be involved in providing adequate facilities during the interim.
Our next move will be to work out how we can exert our collective influence to establish an acceptable detour. We will let you know on this page how you most effectively express your view.
22 May 2008 There a number of locations and implications for this important bike network corridor, ranging from short term diversions to long term improvements. We have been busy trying to ensure that riders can still use this corridor and potentially recieve an improved outcome from the project.
Great Valley Rd to Burke Rd
Note: July 08 this section is no longwer relevant. Refer above for current closure from Great Valley rd to Tooronga Rd
The Monash Alliance (a consortium doing the work) will need to close the Gardiners Ck Path between Great Valley Rd and Burke Rd while they expand the M1 and extend the eastbound on-ramp from Burke Rd.
There have been message boards up on the path for the last 2 weeks announcing this project. Bicycle Network has met with the Monash Alliance and Boroondara City Council to review the proposed detour.
This involves turning north along Great Valley Rd, turning into Haynes Crescent and going through Howard Dawson Reserve. The path through the reserve will be upgraded to accommodate the high volumes.
While this diversion will be practical for the large number of commuting riders who may feel comfortable riding in traffic along the very busy Great Valley Rd, it does not offer a viable solution for the large number of weekend recreational riders including children who will view this as a gap in the trail.
We are pushing for the path to widened on either or both sides of Great Valley Road.
H A Smith Reserve / Glenferrie Rd precinct
The path is due to be realigned between the Hawthorn Velodrome and the approach to H A Smith Reserve during June to accomodate the M1 widening project. This should have a minimal effect on users as the existing path will not be removed until the aternative is in place. There may be some temporary issues at both ends where the new and old alignments join. Please help us keep an eye on it.
This will be a long term improvement for the path and will help alleviate the poor sight lines near the velodrome.
Once the M1 project is completed we believe there is a great opportunity to improve the path near Glenferrie Rd. A poor alignment, particularly given the high rider volumes, combined with high pedestrian movements between the nearby railway station and the College on Auburn Rd is currently a weak link along this path.
The M1 project will remove the York Rd footbridge. We support the Council suggestion to realign the path. The current idea is to reuse the York Road bridge components near Glenferrie Rd and relocate the path to cross the creek approximately 150m east of Glenferrie Rd (under the M1) joining the existing path on the south side of the creek. This would remove the conflict with the pedestrian movement; improve the flow of the path and make it a more attractive place to ride. We believe Boroondara City Council are supportive of this initiative. Our proposed concept which has been presented to the Council and the Monash Alliance is available here.
Golf Course abutment
The M1 widening project will impact on the Malvern Valley Public Golf Course. The sound wall will be moved to the north a small distance. Refer here for a detailed map. This will not have an impact on the bike network in the area but may reperesent an opportunity for an improved link between the path at Solway St Bridge and the network to the South East where there is currently a path along the Railway Line which crosses Warrigal Rd and ends at Holmesglen Railway Station.
Apart from the widening of the Monash Freeway there also a number of other projects which will affect the thousands of riders who commute and recreate along this corridor every day.
Tooronga Village Development
The Stockland Development have starting their site works just east of Tooronga Rd. This does not currently effect the path but may have temporary effects on the path in the future. We will keep you informed as we learn more of any implications on the path.
Wetlands and creek embankment stabilisation
Melbourne Water, Stockland and Boroondara City Council will be working on a major wetlands project between the Tooronga Village development and the former Bowling Club, approximately 500m west of Burke Rd. This will require the path between Sinclair Avenue and Tooronga Rd to be closed for a number of weeks, with a commencement date yet to be determined. This will require a more substantial diversionary route. We are working with the stakeholders to find an acceptable outcome for riders for the duration of the project. We will update you as more information becomes available on this diversion which may also supercede the Great Valley to Burke Rd diversion (see above). Following all of this? Click on 'Email me updates' (above) to be kept up to date.
Melbourne Water will also be addressing the Creek embankment issues which were highlighted in January when a section of the embankment and path collapsed. It is intended to progress these works while the wetlands project is proceeding to minimise impacts on the path. Longer term, the path will be reconstructed to a higher standard.
East of Winton Rd
As part of their ongoing upgrade program of the Gardiners Creek Path, Boroondara City Council will be trialling a new path design to address pedestrian and bike conflict. You can see the location here.
This commenced on Tuesday 20 May and should be completed in apporximately four weeks. We believe this will comprise a 2.5m wide bitumen path with a 1m concrete footpath either side.
H.A. Smith Reserve
Aug 07 The SouthernLink project team will be establishing a site office under CityLink's SouthernLink, adjacent to HA Smith Reserve, in preparation for construction scheduled to begin mid September.
In the short term the only impact will be vehicles occasionally accessing the site office off Glenferrie Rd. However during peak commuter periods when frequent traffic is anticipated, it is intended to position a traffic control officer at the site entrance to facilitate safe entry of vehicles to the site.
From mid August, the SouthernLink project team will build a new asphalt bike path slightly to the north of the current alignment, in a plan discussed with the City of Boroondara and Bicycle Network.
The existing path will remain while the new path is built.
For more information see the SouthernLink project team information sheet (PDF 109KB)
The aerial photo below shows the current path (marked in red) and the new path (marked in pink).
No Closure of the Main Yarra Trail
Aug 07 After consultation with Bicycle Network the SouthernLink project team have advised that there has been an alternative project design developed. This will mean that the closure of the Main Yarra Trail and construction of a detour route are no longer necessary.
It is still anticipated that the project will have some impact on the trail and they will continue to advise of these details as they come to hand.
Jul 07 As part of this project there will be changes made to the current route of the Main Yarra Trail and the Gardiners Creek Trail.
At this stage we believe the Main Yarra Trail will be affected between Gibdon St (Melway Ref 2M F1) and the Yarra Blvd (Melway Ref 2M H1).
The works on the Gardiners Creek Trail will be near H.A. Smith Reserve (Melway Ref 59 D2).
Bicycle Network is working with Transurban to ensure:
- The current level of service for bike riders and pedestrians is not reduced in any way by the M1 project in the long term.
- In the short term a comparable level of service should be provided to the users of the trails adjacent to the M1 project. Any disruptions should be minimised
- All opportunities for improving existing issues with the trail adjacent to the project need to be explored and considered for inclusion into the project.