A major urban design rethink of Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs could spark interest in the innovative use of service roads for better bike infrastructure.
The City of Monash has future plans to densify housing along the two busy arterials in Springvale, Mulgrave, Clayton, Huntingdale and Oakleigh.
There are major employment generators along the corridors, including, Chadstone, the Monash precinct, and shopping centres at Brandon Park and Glen Waverly.
And where you have employment, you need to house the workforce, and ways to get people between those places.
If people are living and working along two major corridors, then they need to be able to ride a bike along them also.
Bike riders are currently shunned on these roads, although many need to brave the conditions to get to work and education.
Monash says this proposed new Urban Design Framework (UDF) could be the opportunity to enhance access and movement along the Boulevards to make them attractive and safe places to live.
"This should focus primarily pedestrian and cyclist movement as it is the easiest and most enjoyable form of transport. In addition, providing improved access to public transport will enhance access to surrounding employment and education destinations,” Monash says.
"An important factor is the UDF can influence improvements to the service roads along the Boulevards as this land is managed by Council.
The UDF can also advocate for changes and improvements the traffic thoroughfare sections of the Boulevards particularly in providing additional pedestrian and cyclist crossings and infrastructure.
"Cycling is another form of active transport that should be encouraged along the Boulevards, however safety and convenience needs to be prioritised for cyclists.
"Not all cyclists feel confident and safe riding in traffic with other vehicles, and most prefer smaller, slower, shared environments for a more enjoyable riding environment.
The council says there are opportunities to formalise the sharing of service roads with vehicles to make this space increasingly safer, and the installation of traffic calming measures to reduce vehicle speeds in some locations could increase safety and enhance awareness of riders on the streets.
The council has released a discussion paper and supporting documents for community consultation. There are surveys and drop-pin maps to capture your input.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.