Bicycle Network: Metro Routes
Inner: NorthBank of the Yarra
Northbank refers to the section of the Yarra Trail on the north side of the river from Punt Road (City of Melbourne boundary) to the Eel Trap Bridge at the South end of Docklands.
Revealed: amazing Yarra bike link
8 March 2012. A radically engineered bike and pedestrian link under the Charles Grimes Bridge on the Yarra has been revealed in tender documents released recently.
City of Melbourne, working with the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure has offered tenders to construct the underpass to link the Docklands along the north bank of the river to the surrounding bicycle network.
The innovative design by Aurecon Australia hovers above the river, unsupported by any piles, and designed in such a way to have no impact upon the river nor the surrounding infrastructure.
(The illustration is an artist's impression only—the final design may not resemble this illustration.)
It will represent a new standard in bike facilities and become a much-visited iconic element on Melbourne's riverfront and will put a smile on riders and architects alike. The State government committed $15m in 2008/09 to fund the Charles Grimes Bridge Underpass and promenade extension at World Trade Centre. (The Crowne Plaza promenade redevelopment currently under construction on the other side of the river is an additional project, funded jointly by the State government and City of Melbourne, bringing the total investment for the full suite of promenade works to close to $18m.)
The diagram below illustrates the missing links it will help to resolve.
The underpass is shown in red. This will link up the Docklands section of the Capital City Trail along Harbour Esplanade to the Convention Centre footbridge and help the commuters currently following the blue desire line due to lack of facilities in the precinct. The orange section between the footbridge and Spencer St Bridge is nearing completion with the last 50 metres at the east end currently under construction.
New NorthBank link started
12 November 2009. Construction has started on the new over-the-Yarra bike promenade along NorthBank between the Seafarer's Bridge and Spencer Street.
Riders will recently have noted the just-finished works on the upper level for pedestrian and cafe precinct (refer red area on diagram below). This will not be the long term route for bikes.
The bike friendly link will be on a separate lower level over the water (refer green area on diagram below). The piles for this are currently being driven into the riverbed. A final solution for the eastern end is still being worked out.
Bicycle Network recently inspected site with Council staff to review the barriers and opportunities.
There must be a viable riding space without the problems evident further along the river at SouthBank: conflict, poor sight-lines and street furniture obstacles. It should comprise a clearly delineated route differentiated with colour and texture from the pedestrian zones. The crossing of Spencer Street would ideally see the signalised crossing moved closer to the bridge.
The lower level will come back up to meet the upper existing level on approach to the Seafarers Bridge.
Convention Centre Bridge hazard now fixed
23 September 2009. The City of Melbourne has come good with its pledge to fix the hidden ledge problem on the new Yarra crossing at the Convention Centre.
Back in January the big white bridge opened offering a useful extra link for cyclists and pedestrians crossing the Yarra at the West end of the city. But there was an invisible ledge on the north side.
Although not caused by the MCC, after reports from Bicycle Network the council acted and constructed of a wide and broad ramp to eliminate the problem.
A number of riders took trips to hospital after crashing at this point, a reminder that even a small design flaw can have major consequences if rider is oblivious to it.
The grey bollards on each approach to the bridge have also been noted to be a safety problem as they blend into the surrounding grey coloured surfaces. The bollards remain but black on white logos have been added indicating pedestrian and cyclist users.
Charles Grimes Bridge Charrette held
24 March 2009 Bicycle Network has attended a discussion of all relevant stakeholders to identify a workable solution to the western end of the NorthBank path, linking the Capital City trail in Docklands to the intended path under Charles Grimes Bridge and along the front of 'Shed 5' and the Melbourne Convention Centre.
4 options to get the path under Charles Grimes Bridge were muted with 2 corridors identified as the most feasible. One corridor, with a couple of optional alignments, goes out over the water and may face complex elements such as flood levels and debri.
The other corridor would keep the alignment land based and utilise available space under Charles Grimes Bridge, potentially developing a new environment in this space. This option was supproted by the vast majority of attnedees.
City pledges fast fix for blind jump on new bridge
15 January 2009. The City of Melbourne has promised to move sharply to fix a hidden ledge adjacent to the new pedestrian and bike bridge over the Yarra, linking the convention centres on north and south bank.
Riders have been crashing at the location, on the Yarra north side in the Mission to Seaman precinct. Although not a severe ledge, it can be invisible to riders crossing the bridge from the south side.
The new bridge, as yet unnamed, was built as part of the convention centre development on South Wharf. It is forms part of the future bike network linkages to Docklands.
The convention centre developer, which built the bridge, acknowledged the problem in the design but declined to correct it as the ledge existed prior to the project and was not part of the bridge contract.
The City of Melbourne immediately agreed to correct the problem, recognising that it was a risk to the public.
Docklands to CBD link funding announced
May 08 In the 2008/09 Budget released on Tuesday 7 May, the State Government have announced $15M to build a vital link from Docklands at Harbour Esplanade, along NorthBank past the World Trade Centre, to Spencer St (refer map below).
This is great news for the thousands of riders coming to, from and through Docklands every day and offers a more attractive route into the CBD for riders from the west and south west.
Please write to the Premier and say thank you for this substantial and effective investment in 'more people cycling more often'. The staff do read the emails so it is worth putting in a few lines about how you will use the connnection or why you think it is a good idea.
$880,000 for Northbank
May 06 Work on a cycle route along the northbank of the Yarra will start to gather pace following the Melbourne City Council's 2006-07 budget commitment of $880,000.
This money was collected by the State CBD Parking Levy of which $5m is passed to Melbourne City Council each year. The Council has committed to spending the $5m on projects that will enhance transport alternatives.
The scope of works for this budget allocation will be between Princes Bridge and Queens Bridge, including the section illustrated below.
The project includes land currently owned by VicTrack. The Council will have to complete negotiations with the owners, design, plan and consult before construction can begin.
We anticipate that future budgets will continue this important investment.
We encourage members and supporters to thank Melbourne City Council for the allocation and express our support for the project. (It is a good idea in thankyou letters to explain how you use or plan to use the northbank cycle route.)
The Victorian State Government has had fully-costed plans for the Northbank Promenade from Docklands to Birrarung Marr for several years but they haven't done anything with them.
The Northbank promenade would turn Melbourne’s Northbank into a tourist icon and transform Melbourne into a truly world class cycling destination.
It would complete the Melbourne Experience Trail - Bicycle Network’s 1994 concept for a shared path loop ride from Docklands to Toorak and back (see more below).
It would be the biggest thing for cycling in the inner city for the next decade for both commuting and recreational riding.
It would help reduce the increasing conflict between pedestrians and cyclists on Southbank in peak periods by providing a more direct and separate path for commuter cyclists to the CBD.
It is an essential missing connection between Docklands and the City, BirraRung Marr and the MCG sporting precinct.