The final links in the upgraded Exhibition Street bike route through the CBD have been approved by the City of Melbourne.
More than a decade after the street was prioritised as a future north-south corridor for active transport, and after several years of planning, design and construction, key sections of the remaining few blocks will soon be out for tender.
The City’s Future Melbourne Committee voted on Tuesday to exhibit final concept plans for the theatre and hotel precincts between Little Lonsdale and Bourke Street.
Bourke Street to Flinders Street has already been completed.
These blocks were done under the accelerated COVID response program and will be subject to evaluation and possible adjustment.
Work is currently underway on the lanes in the remaining blocks.
So far the feedback has been positive on all fronts.
And the City reports that the majority of stakeholders have supported the concepts for the place making works around the theatres and hotels.
The project in this sector comprises much more than bike infrastructure: it is more of a place making project comprising footpath widening, tree planting, short-term parking provision and taxi access.
The theatre frontages in particular are gaining extra space to accommodate the crowds spilling into the street.
Threading the bike lanes through all this activity requires a bit of crazy stitching.
One noticeable feature will be that in places the bike lane will be elevated slightly above the road level, as is done in Copenhagen.
Because of the bluestone footpath expansion, some of this work may occur later this year.
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