Ambitious plans to revamp Melbourne’s Jam Factory precinct provides the perfect catalyst to fix one of Melbourne’s riskiest places to ride.
The plans revealed to Fairfax include gutting the entertainment precinct on Chapel Street and rebuilding it as a glitzy 15-storey, $1.25 billion retail and office complex. The development could see the site house up to 5,000 workers.
Identified by the TAC as one of the riskiest spots in Melbourne for car dooring last year, Chapel Street currently doesn’t work for anyone — whether you’re driving, riding, walking or catching public transport.
Any redevelopment should be the catalyst for improving access and movement through the area as well as improving safety outcomes for people who ride bikes.
Bicycle Network would like to see the Chapel Street route significantly improved with the completion of separate, curbside bike lanes clear of the door zone and the installation of advanced signal phases (as per Brunswick Street) at intersections.
While often seen as politically controversial, one solution to ensure that all road users have enough space to move is the removal of on-street car parking.
Studies show that the removal of on-street car parking has little to no impact on local businesses and in some cases, even increases business by making it easier for more people, not just cars, to access the strip.
We need look for smarter solutions where the movement of people is prioritized over the movement of cars. In prioritizing walking, riding and public transport, we can move more people at less public cost.
A large number of riders already use the strip daily as a way to beat traffic, access the Main Yarra Trail and to simply get around their neighbourhood.
The demand for better conditions for bikes has never been greater and with an injection of even more people into the area, it’s only going to get worse.
BikeSpot results for Stonnington Council
In 2016, BikeSpot provided reports to councils outlining spots where bike riders in Melbourne feel safe or unsafe when riding.
Funded by a TAC Community Grant, BikeSpot is a collaboration between mapping website CrowdSpot and The Squeaky Wheel.
Thousands of people responded to the online survey which was funded by a TAC Community Grant and open for public submissions until April 30.
This survey identified Chapel Street and Sydney Road as Melbourne's riskiest streets for people who ride.
The data collected will be used to help Stonnington prioritise future plans for the street.