The rail corridor through Ascot Vale and Flemington has long had potential as an attractive bike route, and it is now closer to being realised.
At Kent Street, inbound riders had to cross from the West side of the railway line – one way Queens Avenue – to the East side of the railway line – two way Pin Oak Crescent – but the experience was spoiled by a clunky treatment that made the movement risky for people on bikes.
The City of Moonee Valley has now upgraded this intersection to make it safer and more attractive for less confident riders.
The recently installed contra-flow lane outbound on Queens Avenue will now be more accessible.
There will be no change for access by car, but the central median on Kent Street will be modified to allow bike riders to turn right into Pin Oak Crescent and Queens Avenue.
Works are underway from late April, to be completed by mid-June, weather permitting.
At all stages of the works workers will endeavour to minimise disruption to residents and maintain vehicle and bicycle access as far as practicable.
This is one of the initiatives forming part of the Craigieburn Rail Corridor – a project that aims to develop a local bike route that runs adjacent to the Craigieburn rail line between Essendon and Newmarket Stations.
Moonee Valley is now working with VicRoads to develop a signalised crossing for pedestrians and cyclists at Middle Street and Ascot Vale Road that will take the route further towards Moonee Ponds.
The Council is aiming to encourage new people to ride a bike and walk by providing a convenient and safe option for those who do not feel comfortable travelling on busy streets.
Rider numbers from the Moonee Valley municipality have been suppressed for years because of the lack of good routes.
Epsom Road is a nearby, designated, direct route for city bound commuters, but changes in the last decade around the entrances to the Flemington Race Course and the Showgrounds were undertaken without the required consideration for bikes, making the route hazardous.