Bicycle Network: Metro Routes
Inner: Abbotsford St
Where a great separated bike lane has been installed as part of a landscaping and urban forest project.
Elegance comes to bike lane design
12 December 2013. Riders through North Melbourne recently have been startled to find themselves cruising on an unexpectedly elegant bike lane, a design that came about almost by accident.
Abbotsford Street, North Melbourne, was due for a landscaping project as part of the City of Melbourne's Urban Forest program.
The original designs called for a median strip, but when work began it was discovered that part of Melbourne's original cable-tram network was sitting under the middle of the road.
So the City's Urban Design team decided to reconfigure the road, not use a central median, and instead place the trees on a side median along a separated bike lane.
The result is remarkable. In the 300 metre section between Queensberry and Miller streets there is now 1.6m wide bike lane plus 1m of bluestone channel creating a separated space of 2.6m.
When the trees mature they will shade the footpath, bike lane and most of the road.
There are no more such projects currently scheduled, but the idea has taken hold and will no doubt influence future bike lane design, and not just in Melbourne.
Although such designs cost more, they are so attractive that they encourage more people to ride, thus justifying the extra cost, especially on busy routes.