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New plan welcomes bikes in the Yarra Ranges
New plan welcomes bikes in the ranges

Yarra Ranges has a new Integrated Transport Strategy that envisages bikes as a key partner in the quest to make the municipality easier to access.

The strategy says the traditional approach to transport planning has not delivered the best outcomes for the community.

"Traffic and parking congestion remains a pressing issue, growing risks from climate change requires a decrease in emissions from transport, and most of our townships are already built-out, with little room to expand or widen roads,” it says.

"Melbourne’s population continues to increase, and Yarra Ranges will need to accommodate some of this growth. We have reached the maximum supply for our road network.”

The document argues that to make sure the road network is suitable for those that need to drive, there will need to be more attractive options for those trips that can be done by foot, bicycle or public transport.

"Developing a suite of actions that make it easier for people to leave the car at home and jump on a bike or take a stroll to the shops will help replace many of the ~1,000,000 car trips under 3km that take place every week in Yarra Ranges.

"This will allow us to absorb a growing population without increasing the number of cars on our roads.

"Without the actions to encourage more walking, cycling and public transport that are included in Connected, we’d see an estimated extra 50,000 car trips everyday by 2036.”

The strategy predicts the e-bikes will have a future in the Ranges. Sales doubled in 2017-18, possibly because they are perfect for commuting and climbing hills, maintaining speed with less effort and allowing travel over longer distances than a regular bike.

A key plank of the plan is the creation of a coherent, attractive and safe cycling network.

"So many of the trips we make by car are surprisingly short – and cycling is a great mode for trips under 5km. Council will be developing a comprehensive cycling network to enable more people to ride in a safe environment, connecting communities to shops and other key destinations.

"This will provide more opportunities for bike transport trips, and greater uptake of e-bike and electric personal mobility devices.

"We will develop and construct a Cycling Transport Network, oriented on three levels of cycling routes. At the Neighbourhood scale, streets will be low-stress and low-speed with bicycles mixing with other modes.

"Local connections will include separated infrastructure that connects to key destinations, including activity centres and schools.

"Regional bicycle links will be long distance links that connect townships together.”

Yarra Ranges also wants better infrastructure on popular routes including, but not limited to, Mt Dandenong Tourist Road,  Mountain Highway, Olinda-Monbulk Road, and Monbulk Road.

Download the Integrated Transport Strategy 2020-2040 here.

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