The announcement of four adjacent level crossings removals in Coburg and Brunswick has boosted the prospect of significant improvements to the Upfield Trail.
Munro and Reynard Street crossings sit between the previously announced Bell Street and Moreland Road crossings removals.
This means a significant section of the popular trail can be upgraded as part of what is likely to be a coordinated construction project addressing all crossings.
There is also a high likelihood that the rail will be elevated through the corridor because the existence of solid basalt below ground precludes the use of cuttings.
Elevated rail creates much more space for bike infrastructure along and across the rail corridor, and improves bike access to stations.
It also helps greatly with local access to all facilities and destinations for people on foot and bikes, and gets rid of awkward and risky crossings of the track.
Much care will need to be taken with the design of the crossings of the major roads, as there will be no rail gates any longer to hold up traffic.
Bicycle Network is already in discussion with LXRA about how these crossings will be managed.
Another matter that will be critical is the detouring of the bike routes around construction.
A major upgrade of Sydney Road bike infrastructure would help out, but expecting the government to display such foresight might be over-optimistic.
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