Melbourne’s first protected intersection—a significant milestone for the city’s bike riders—is starting to take shape as contractors take advantage of quieter traffic to work across the normally bustling junction in East Melbourne.
The new intersection design at the corner or Lansdowne Street and Albert Street could be a precursor of similar upgrades on busy bike routes in Victoria once its performance is carefully evaluated.
The design includes concrete islands in each corner of the intersection that separate bike riders from other traffic, and protects pedestrians waiting to cross the road.
The plans also include early start signals for both pedestrians and bike riders.
Most crashes occur at intersections with cars turning either left or right across the path of bikes.
In the design drivers are reorientated so that they turn slower, and with a better view of any bikes and pedestrians.
The intersection connects two busy bike routes: one along Albert Street that connects to the inner north east; and the other, the major route from the north that carries riders from St Georges Road, down Napier Street, Fitzroy, on into the city.
The northern route has already benefited from a project providing many small safety upgrades.
And recently new bike lanes were installed on the approach to the intersection down Landsdowne from Victoria Parade.
The intersection works have been complex, with extensive power, drainage and traffic signal modifications on a site where numerous services lay hidden under the roads and footpaths.
Heritage considerations are a factor also. The precise radius stone curbing on the corners has come from specialist manufacturers in Vietnam.
Work is expected to be completed about the middle of the year.