Bicycle Network: Metro Routes
South: Chapel St-Church St
Chapel St is an important transport route and destination in its own right. With many riders in the area to the south east of here targetting the inner area their options are limited. Chapel St offers a direct and well connected route from East St Kilda all the way up to Abbotsford
Glimmer of hope for Chapel Street?
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Stonnington dithers on Chapel Street
10 May 2013. In what is becoming the world's longest track stand, Stonnington Council is still stuck motionless, unable to decide on better bike lanes for dooring-prone Chapel Street.
The Council has deferred a decison on the most recent VicRoads design, and is now considering an additional four options.
While the VicRoads design was new and is yet untested, several of the other options being considered are much less tenable. The full report is available here
Option One, keeping the Status Quo does not address the 'dooring' issue in the slightest and Bicycle Network agrees that it should also be dismissed.
Option Two, shown right, is Bicycle Network's preferred option.
Option Three, Is Council's preferred option, shown right
Option Four is a return to the dark ages, effectively Council throwing their hands up in the air and forcing riders to travel down the centre of the road, in front of trams and in between the tram tracks. Surely a road safety audit will make short shrift of this option.
Council has recommmended Option 3, which Bicycle Network understands to be a minimal tweak to the status quo and will clearly not address the 'dooring' issue.
The Council resolved that:
- VicRoads be advised that subject to part 2 below Council’s current preference for improving cycling infrastructure in Chapel Street would be to remark and upgrade the existing bicycle provisions (including a solid parking bicycle lane lines, green lane sections across intersections, green head start boxes, and bicycle pavement symbols marked at 50m centres).
- Before a decision is made to proceed with a treatment option VicRoads be requested to commission independent road safety audits on Council’s preferred option and the current VicRoads proposed option as well as the multi mode share option (alternative 4), so as to identify the most appropriate approach to improving on-road bicycle facilities in Chapel Street.
- VicRoads be advised that installation of any treatment option be coordinated to occur following proposed re-sheeting works to be scheduled for Chapel St, the timing of which will be subject to consultation with the Streets Ahead Traders Association and other stakeholders as appropriate.
- Any option assessment process also consider the relative merits of conducting a trial on one section of Chapel Street of any non-standard treatment may be recommended, including before and after analysis of accident data associated with such a treatment.
- Following the road safety audit and assessment process referred to in part 2 above, a further report be prepared for Council consideration, including advice on the outcome of the road safety audit and assessment process, timing of installation, details of any proposed trial, installation costs, and ongoing maintenance cost implications.
- Council continue to pursue opportunities to improve cycling facilities along Chapel Street.
Council officers recommended that Option 3 was the best cost/benefit balance.
The narrowing of parking spots is welcomed, as is the formalisation of the bike lane with a solid white line to the right of the parked cars, replacing the existing ‘T’s.
This will help drivers to park more consistently and closer to the kerb. The green lane sections across intersections are already in place along the majority of Chapel Street, as are the green incorrectly named ‘head start’ (Storage) boxes. Whilst it certainly represents a low cost it also delivers little if any benefit over the current street layout and thus a near status quo cost/benefit balance.
It is Bicycle Network's opinion that Option 3 would represent an incremental improvement at best and would not address the issue at hand, which is bike riders getting ‘doored’ by careless drivers.
The issue is clouded by the fact that that the street is due for a re-sheeting. The question must be asked is the whether this option is just a clever ruse to get VicRoads to pay for works that the council would have been obliged to undertake in the normal course of events.
AustRoads guidelines recommend using a green road surface at conflict points to make road users proceed in a more aware fashion. The high rate of ‘doorings’ on Chapel Street have now clearly identified the space between the parked cars and tram zones as a prime conflict zone and should be made green for its entire length as a result.
This may take more funding than currently pledged but could be delivered if Council re-linemark the white elements as part of their resheet and VicRoads fund the continuous green bike lane as part of the election commitment.
We will continue to push for Option 2; a solid white parking line to the left of a solid green bike lane, midblock and up to and leaving intersections, for the full length of Chapel Street. Anything less is a backwards step.
Election opportunity for candidates to show support
15 August 2012 Bicycle Network has identified this project as a local council priority for the 2012 Local Government election.
Specifically the Council managed section between Toorak and Brighton Roads which the State Government has committed to 100% fund.
Candidates should be ready to support the development and full or partial funding of this project in conjunction with State Government and can tell riders in their Council area their position by posting their candidates' statement at VoteBike.
Chapel Street: North of next to nothing
1 August 2012. The State Government has released a proposal to spend north of one million dollars on minor bike lane improvements on just 500 metres of Chapel Street, north of Toorak Road.
Yet during the election campaign they pledged only $270,000 for the entire remaining length of the street south of Toorak Road.
The latest announcement, which seems to have caught everyone by surprise, is for minor upgrades of the existing clearway bike lanes which are only in place for a few hours during the peak hour. Features of the upgrade include:
- Bluestone gutter to be treated to create a smoother surface;
- Intersections will be treated with green surfacing to increase the visibility of cyclists; and
- Intersection of Chapel Street and Alexandra Avenue to be modified to allow cyclists continuous flow access between the off road path and on road bike lanes.
It is puzzling why these welcome but straightforward works are costing so much money.
This section of the street is controlled by VicRoads while the remainder is a Stonnington Council responsibility.
The fact that the proposal was announced by the acting Planning Minister, Michael O'Brien, and that the $1.05 million is from the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, suggest desperation, an attempt to head off criticism of the government by the 'Bike Budget - Bring it Back campaign'.
The Baillieu Government made an election commitment to spend $270,000 on improvements along the entire length of Chapel Street from Dandenong Road up to the Yarra River.
VicRoads were ready to fund this project and had submitted plans to Stonnington Council earlier this year (refer story, below).
Investigations showed that $270,000 would likely do only half the length of Chapel Street and VicRoads had pencilled in $500,000 in the 2012/13 budget to do the project justice. This of course was put on hold due to the Baillieu Government's decision to cancel the VicRoads bike program. Stonnington Council's dithering on the project has not helped matters.
It is time for the Baillieu Government and Stonnington Council to proceed with the delivery of this promised VicRoads Bike Program project for the entire length of Chapel St.
The challenge for the Baillieu Government is to now deliver the other 80+% of the election commitment for improvements on the entire length of Chapel Street.
We encourage you to give your feedback to the State Government and Council by clicking here.
Baillieu Government drops election commitment in 2012/13
29 June 2012 In responding to riders letter asking the Premier to bring the bike budget back the Government has confirmed they will not deliver on one of their election commitments in the 2012/13 budget. The blow by blow detals are available here.
Council defaults on Chapel Street bike lanes
14 May 2012 In a bewildering move Councilors voted to halt the State Government's proposal for improved bike lanes on Chapel Street. $270,000 in State Government funding has already been allocated to the project however Council's confused response has potentially put an end to the project. In a bizarre turn of events Council then proposed that the bike route should be taken off Chapel Street and the Rail corridor should be deemed the preferred route. All this despite Council officers weak input into VicRoads 2009/10 study into developing a bike path along the rail corridor. That process revealed that Council were unable to facilitate the steps on their assets to achieve a viable path and consequently VicRoads abandoned further development and returned their focus back on Chapel Street. Regardless, the rail corridor will never replace Chapel Street for directness and serve the numerous destinations riders currently atttend and spend money along Chapel Street itself. We are calling for common sense to prevail and for Stonnington Council to heed the calls of the hundreds of riders who currently use Chapel Street and the thousands more who want to but demand better facilities.
Riders say "Poor surface on Chapel St". Council deems there is no problem
23 February 2012 Despite Riders identifying the poor surface and lack of continuous bike lanes, articularly at intersections, as their number one issue during a survey performed by Bicycle Network for Council, a decision has been made to ignore riders concerns. Despite a clear guideline advising asset managers and constructors of the relevant surface guidelines for bike facilties Stonnington Council have deemed the current atrocious road surface as acceptable. Whislt resurfacing is rarely a priority infrastructure upgrade in our opinion we would hope the risk assessment of this facility could be taken into account and if the future muted tram track upgrades proceed then Council could look to take advantage of the road closure or future works to rectify this issue. Of particular concenr has been the presence of bluestone approaching the northern end of Chapel St and the many services pits and lids between Commercial and Dandenong Rd. The guidelines do state that surface qulaity is a consideration for new bike facilities. Our Good Design Guides clearly lay out the considerations and guidelines for bicycle facilities.
Council's recent green lanes and sotrage box installation has been roundly welcomed by riders and COuncil ar eto be commended for this.
Stonnington Council seeks riders feedback on Chapel St
30 March 2010 Bicycle Network Vicotria performed a PinPoint online mapping survey. For more information see here
The results indicated the hot spots along Chapel Street - collision zones, surface issues, potholes, lack of bike parking - so providing council with a clear list of priorities.