Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has provided $5M for the safety upgrade of Kew Boulevard.
Plans for the upgrade were developed over recent years by VicRoads and Boroondara City, and have been through public consultation.
They remained unfunded and unbuilt until Treasurer Frydenberg’s recent announcement.
The Boulevard is in Frydenburg’s seat—Kooyong—once thought impregnable Liberal territory, but the recent shift in voter sentiment in Melbourne’s east has caused the Treasurer to reveal his bike-friendly side.
The Boulevard has long been a popular riding circuit: close to the city and relatively traffic free.
But it has also been a deadly hoon circuit for cars and motorbikes, increasing risk for bike riders, walkers in the park, and local residents using the roads for access.
“For years, residents have raised serious concerns about speeding drivers, dangerous late-night hooning and tacks laid deliberately on the Yarra Boulevard to injure cyclists and other road users,” Mr Frydenberg said.
He said Yarra Boulevard has been the scene of more than 40 crashes in recent years.
The upgrade is primarily focused on traffic calming and safety at intersections.
The Federal Government funding has added a new element: camera surveillance. Over the past 15 years there have been several episodes where tacks have been strewn across the bike lane.
No-one has been apprehended to date.
It is understood the project will considerably expand recently installed security hardware and greatly improve safety in the area.
Picture: Stuart Miligan