Prospects have faded that badly needed bike connections would be delivered in Rosanna as part of the Level Crossings removals project.
When plans for Hurstbridge line upgrades were first mooted, expectations were high that new bike facilities could be delivered in places along the rail corridor.
The City of Banyule had identified opportunities, especially the possibility of a link between Heidelberg and Rosanna Stations.
The Level Crossings Removal Authority is obliged in all its work to find opportunities for active transport improvements.
And these major infrastructure projects have the scale and resources to resolve obstacles that other wise might be impassable.
But the City of Banyule has reported that the rail duplication between Heidelberg and Rosanna, and the removal of the Lower Plenty Road Level Crossing, and the new station at Rosanna, is not delivering the goods for bike riders.
A council report says: “The Authority has confirmed that it will not be constructing a Shared User Path between Burgundy Street and Turnham Avenue within its current scope.
“While the Authority will be constructing a Shared Use Path from Davies Street to Lower Plenty Road and along Turnham Avenue to Station Road (including a path under the elevated structure and across Lower Plenty Road) and is providing for cyclists across Lower Plenty Road at the proposed Beetham Parade traffic signals, there is no provision for a path from Turnham Avenue to St James Road.
“Further, the design prevents the future construction of this path within the rail reserve and the ability to provide a complete off-road path between Heidelberg and Rosanna.”
As it looks like the project will fail to build the needed link, the council is now trying to ensure that nothing will be done which precludes the link ever being built.
“Discussions have commenced with VicTrack to determine whether land can be made available on the west side of the railway reservation to accommodate a Shared Use Path between Darebin Street and St James Road,” the council says.
“It is proposed that Council seek opportunities to advocate for State Government funding for future construction of the path.
“It is also considered necessary to advocate for inclusions of future opportunity to connect the off road cycle path from St James Road through to Turnham Avenue and that this opportunity is considered in the current project delivery."
LXRA has confirmed that it will construct a 3.0m wide shared user path on the east side of Ellesmere Parade between Lower Plenty Road and Davies Street in conjunction with the works. The Council has agreed to take ownership and maintenance responsibility for the path and associated landscaping to the rail boundary fence line.