Exhibition Street goes from part-time pop-up to permanent protected

It's been a few years since Bicycle Network first showed how a protected bike lane could work on Exhibition Street. Now a full-time lane is a reality.

People are now riding in a separated lane between Little Lonsdale and Lonsdale Streets after the City of Melbourne completed a continuous stretch from Flinders Street, the site of our pop-up bike lane.

The new lanes are working well, with people riding comfortably and cars moving freely.

Exhibition Street with a pop-up bike lane.

Exhibition Street has been a long-term campaign for Bicycle Network and is part of our our Four Photos series. It is a key feeder street in the city that connects to both inner-northern suburbs and the Yarra Trail to the south.

Before protected bike lanes, cars would pull in and out of kerbside parking, creating risks for people on bikes and increasing conflict and congestion.

In November 2017 Bicycle Network installed a pop-up bike lane on Exhibition Street between Little Lonsdale and Lonsdale Streets during the morning peak to show how a protected bike lane could make riding more comfortable without making driving difficult.

City of Melbourne then confirmed in May 2019 that permanent, protected bike lanes would be installed on the street and car parking rearranged.

Work commenced on the first stretch of protected bike lanes between Flinders and Bourke Streets in October 2020.

The Little Lonsdale-Lonsdale strip is the latest section to be completed and will soon extend to La Trobe Street.

As part of the project, 17 new trees will be planted along footpaths. Struggling trees in the centre median between Flinders Lane and Flinders Street will be also be replaced.

Bicycle Network wants to acknowledge the efforts of all advocates involved in making this a reality.

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

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