As the evaluation of potential North-East routes moves towards a conclusion, opportunities are opening up for major enhancements to the local bike network.
As with all other major transport projects in Victoria, this massive road project has committed to improve bike facilities as part of the construction works.
Already Bicycle Network has met with government officials to set the groundwork for collaboration in planning new routes and upgrading existing but inadequate facilities.
North-East Link is intended to connect the Ring Road in the north around to the east of Melbourne, thus creating a route that gets trucks off the congested streets in the north east suburbs while giving freight an efficient connection that by-passes much of Melbourne.
Each of the options identified begin at the Ring Road in Greensborough and connect to either the Eastern Freeway or EastLink, and all will involve tunnels, new surface roads and bridges.
To provide feedback or for more information visit northeastlink.vic.gov.au.
Because the final route has not yet been chosen, specific options have not been discussed in detail.
And it is worth noting that the bike facilities do not have to exactly follow the route of the road corridor: indeed where the road may be tunnelled that is not an option.
Bicycle Network is particularly interested in options in the more densely populated areas, particularly option one.
Bike network improvements could stretch from the employment cluster being planned around La Trobe University where commuter routes are currently poor, to trail enhancements for riders further out.
The government is expected to determine the preferred corridor by the end of the year.
The Victorian Budget 2017/18 provided the first $100 million for the North-East Link to undertake design, planning and pre-construction works, ahead of contracts being signed in 2019 and construction commencing in 2020.