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Richmond route revs up

Work is starting next week on a major upgrade to the important Elizabeth Street route to the CBD through Richmond.

The City of Yarra is trialling a dedicated bike lane treatment along the vital corridor in conjunction with a tree planting project to add green and shade to the street.

The trial will last 12 months and if successful, will be made permanent with further upgrades to the bike facility and landscaping.

Some parking is being removed to make way for the improvements.

Traffic studies, conducted early this year, show that up to 26% of parking on Elizabeth Street is generally available and these removals represent just 3% of currently available neighbourhood parking.

The Elizabeth Street route is critically important as it connects directly to the route through Albert Street East Melbourne - which already has separated bike lanes - to form a quick and direct link to the inner east.

The street currently carries about 1000 bikes and 10,000 motor vehicles each day.

The council says the improvements will make the area safer and more liveable, with more transport options for people, which will be particularly important as people start returning to work.

"This 12-month trial will include parking spaces along one side of Elizabeth Street and protected bike lanes with buffer zones on both sides,” the council says.

"Pedestrian paths will continue along both sides of Elizabeth Street and will be slightly wider on the south side between Hoddle and Lennox streets and on the North side between Lennox and Church streets.

"We’ve already planted more than 40 new trees in Elizabeth Street, providing shady green canopy cover over the longer term. If the trial is successful the final design will include a further 30 shade trees planted within the safety buffer zones."

The council says the 12 month trial will use temporary infrastructure to allow for easy changes or removal, and the chance to try it out before any long term decisions are made.

The build is due to start on Monday 22 June and expected to take four weeks. Works will happen 7am to 5pm on weekdays

To maintain all access for residents and businesses, construction will happen in stages along sections of the road.

Bikes will need to take an alternative route during the works.

After the trial area has been built, riders will be able to provide real-time feedback about this new road design, via this link.

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