Bike access to Melbourne’s CBD has again made the prioritised list of nationally significant infrastructure needs prepared for the Federal Government.
The 12 routes are among Australian’s busiest bike commuter corridors and have previously been identified as priorities for state and local government.
They are part of the Strategic Cycling Corridor network that has been mapped across Melbourne and regional cities.
The priorities list is prepared by Infrastructure Australia (IA) for action by the Federal Government.
IA says the proposal initiative involves the "provision of dedicated cycling infrastructure for key routes in Inner Melbourne to reduce congestion and improve safety and health outcomes.”
"Inner Melbourne has the highest bicycle mode share in Victoria”, IA reports. " However, there is substantial latent demand for cycling, with people choosing not to cycle because of safety concerns due to routes that are not connected and/or have poor separation from traffic.
"Provision of dedicated cycling infrastructure for key cycling corridors in Inner Melbourne would encourage more people to cycle, helping to alleviate road network and public transport congestion and reduce the risk of conflict between road users.
"An increasing number of people are choosing to use public transport rather than drive. Cycling can also help reduce congestion on the road network.
"However, recent research has revealed that most Victorians own and ride bicycles, but they don’t cycle for transport, or into the Melbourne CBD for employment, because the bicycle network is not currently meeting community needs and expectations of a safer, lower-stress and better-connected network.”
IA describes the time frame for the initiative as “near-term”, i.e, within the next five years.
The proposal for the 12 routes was initially led by the RACV, in consultation with Bicycle Network and other councils and government agencies.
IA has tasked RACV with developing options for the development and delivery of the project.
However, there is concerns that work on the project has now stalled.
Until now our Federal Government has been reluctant to support active travel projects in Victoria; this opportunity should not be allowed to slip.
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