Major safety upgrades to the popular Kew Boulevard circuit will roll out mid-year following the release of funding from the Federal Government.
Nine intersections are being upgraded as well as number of pedestrian improvements.
The Boulevard is a winding, parkland route across rolling hills, yet conveniently close to the CBD. Bike riders have used the route for years.
Although it is also a low-traffic road, with only 3000 vehicles a day, safety has long been a concern along the twisty route that is attractive to irresponsible drivers and motorcyclists.
Three fatalities and various crashes have been a feature of the last 10 years and the 6.2 km road.
About half of the crashes have involved bikes and cars at intersections.
The Boulevard is a state road and the Department of Transport began investigations of an upgrade back in 2017, following up with discussions with the City of Boroondara and Bicycle Network.
Local people and visitors had also expressed concerns about safety and security in the park, which has a number of popular walking trains that cross the road.
Public consultations regarding design options were undertaken in 2018, and then in 2019 during the federal election local member, and now Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, committed commonwealth money to the delivery of the project.
The keys to the Treasurer’s safe have now been located and the funds are flowing to Victoria’s DoT, which expects to have contractors starting mid-year, with completion by early next year.
The works will comprise:
- new raised safety platforms at Wiltshire Drive, Bellbird Road, Molesworth Street, Yarravale Road, Boathouse Road and Walmer Street
- a new raised intersection at Yarra Street
- reconfiguring the Studley Park off-ramp intersection at both the top and bottom
There will also be improved street lighting, line marking and signage at each of the key intersections as well as providing a physical median at some intersections to complement the raised safety platforms.
The raised safety platforms will reduce vehicle speeds at intersections, resulting in lower risks for all road users.
The upgrades will mean riders will need to adjust old habits along the route. The designs have undergone many adjustments to ensure the route remains attractive and safe for riders.
In addition to the CCTV camera overlooking the Eastern Freeway bridge, a second CCTV camera near the Studley Park off-ramp will be installed to assist Victoria Police in monitoring road safety and compliance with road rules.
There will most likely be disruptions to the route when work gets going later in the year. Bicycle Network will keep you up to date with developments.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.