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Canning Street upgrades back on track
Canning Street upgrades back on track

After delays of almost a year due to COVID restrictions, the project to upgrade choked intersections on bike-busy Canning Street is rolling again.

The Department of Transport has now revived the project that will install safer and higher capacity crossings for bikes at Princes and Elgin Streets.

After discussions about the project last March, Bicycle Network was enthused about the project that was aimed to get more bikes safely along the vital Canning Street route in and out of the CBD.

But the coronavirus put it’s nasty spike in the cogs.

A feature of the upgrade is the introduction of a ‘green wave’ traffic signal optimisation for bikes on the stretch between Princes and Elgin Streets.

This means that if bikes get the green at one intersection, and continue at around 21-26 km/h to the next, they will again catch the green light.

The system was made famous in Copenhagen where it features on multiple intersections along a street enabling riders to travel many blocks without having to stop.

In Melbourne it will be one block only, but the installation is being subjected to a special study that may indicate its suitability for application on other routes across Melbourne.

Riders who prefer a more leisurely pace will no doubt complain about the heartbeats required to keep them going at 21-26 km/h to the next lights. But considering all the kombucha they drink, surely riders from Melbourne’s northern tribal areas will be up to the challenge.

DoT is also upgrading the intersection of Canning Street and Princes Street by repainting line markings and painting the road surface.

Pedestrians will get yellow crossings in addition to the green for bikes.

This crossing has been a burr in the saddle for riders for many years as motor vehicles seem to mysteriously stray into the bike crossing area despite facing a red light.

Lets hope these changes help.

Work is expected to get underway within the next couple of months. Stay tuned for information about any disruptions during construction.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.