Moreland City will weigh up supporting major changes to struggling Sydney Road following a report to the council recommending a trial of separated bike lanes along the route.
At its meeting this Wednesday councillors will vote on whether to support a six-month trial of a VicRoads proposal that would remove car parking, increase pedestrian space, install separated bike lanes and upgrade the trams stops.
VicRoads proposed a number of options for the street following a long review of the factors that had led to an unsafe bike riding environment, a slow tram service, poor pedestrian amenity and sluggish commercial performance.
Option 3, the recommended choice in the council report and also supported by Bicycle Network requires on-street car parking to be moved.
Traders have to date resisted this approach, arguing that local business relies on customers who park in the street.
The council report suggests a trial of the concept before any permanent decisions are made.
The recommended location for a trial is between Brunswick Road and Glenlyon Road, Brunswick, and would reduce parking by about 100 spaces during the trial.
The report says that if a trial was supported and implemented by the Department of Transport, Moreland would support local businesses through:
- relocation of loading and passenger drop-off zones
- increasing nearby disabled parking
- opportunities for footpath dining and trading
- placemaking elements to improve the place quality of the street
- promotional campaigns to encourage people to visit and shop in the area
The Sydney Road precinct is expected to grow significantly over the next decade or two, becoming more dense with a new generation of families and workers who want to be close to the CBD, the universities and the Parkville biomedical research cluster.
However car-based transport can’t be expanded any further to meet these demands. The only new mobility capacity can come from bikes, walking and public transport. Car-parking, therefore, must yield if Brunswick and Coburg are to prosper.
The council paper says that the proposed changes to the street are in alignment with various council and state government policies.