More tram separators to curb cars

Yarra Trams and Public Transport Victoria will soon start installation of tram separators across more streets in the Melbourne CBD.

The raised curbing – designed to keep motor vehicles off tram tracks and out of harm's way – will be fitted along Latrobe, Flinders, Swanston, Spring, Market and Spencer streets (blue zones in the image below).

The work starts in August and continues through until November.

Construction activities will be at night, Sundays to Thursdays, from 8 pm to 6 am, so commuter riders should not be unduly inconvenienced.

Work sites will progressively move in sections along Latrobe, Flinders, Swanston, Spring, Market and Spencer streets.

There will be temporary overnight road and parking closures, with localised detours near work sites as required.

There will also be traffic management to guide riders around the worksites.

About 9 km of barriers were placed on city streets last year in the first stage of the project.

"Separating trams and vehicles reduces vehicle and tram collisions and major network disruptions,” the Public Transport Victoria says.

"Raised separation kerbs will result in fewer instances of trams emergency breaking to avoid collisions, improving safety for tram passengers and vehicle occupants.

"Separation kerbs also help provide more consistent journey times as they make it harder for vehicles to illegally block trams.

“Separation kerbs have been designed so that emergency vehicles can still mount the kerbs to respond to emergencies.”

Bicycle Network welcomes the crossing gaps that will be placed in the kerbs at key points.

These will enable bikes to safely cross the tracks to reach workplaces and other destinations.

Riders should be alert to the new installations, and not be caught unawares, especially on streets that are a regular part of a journey.

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