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level crossings
Level X-ing detour plan gains steam

When the elevated rail tracks are under construction for the level crossing removals on the Upfield line in Brunswick and Coburg, where will the bikes go?

The Upfield Trail is a busy commuter route, and being off-road and traffic-free, is particularly attractive to many riders.

But level crossing removals at Bell Street, Munro Street and Reynard Street in Coburg, and Moreland Road in Brunswick, will require closure of the trail during construction.

Nearby Sydney Road is a possible alternative, but is snarled with traffic and has a poor safety record.

There are other potential alternative north-south routes, but they are further away.

Authorities are confronted with a gnarly problem: will riders take a much longer, but possibly safer detour, or will they want to save time on riskier Sydney Road?

Bicycle Network has long suggested that the best bet is to make Sydney Road safer so that it can be the official detour for the project. Local MP Tim Read has a similar view.

Now the City of Moreland has joined the push.

At the council meeting last night Moreland confirmed that it will ask the Department of Transport that separated bike lanes be provided on a section of Sydney Road as the construction detour route. This would involve the temporary removal of car parking.

As Anstey Station will be the first/last station and train turn around point during the lengthy construction phase, it is expected that many train travellers connecting to and from the north will choose to ride to and from Anstey to use the train rather than endure the queues for bus substitution services.

This means that even greater numbers of riders than usual will be riding, and having to use the detour around the worksite, making segregated bike lanes on Sydney Road even more desirable.

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