NEWS: Victorian Government announces $13 million investment for temporary separated bike lanes, along with the introduction of "a metre matters" road rule for 2021.
Aimed at relieving congestion for cyclists travelling to and from the CBD, the $13 million investment also includes temporary bike lanes.
The Government has also announced the introduction of "a metre matters" road rule for 2021, falling into line with every other Australian State and Territory, after a 10-year campaign by the Amy Gillett Foundation (AGF). The road rule will require all Victorians to:
- Leave a minimum of 1 metre distance when passing a cyclist in speed zones 60km/h or lower, and
- Leave a minimum of 1 metre distance when passing a cyclist in speed limits over 60km/h.
AGF reported that RACV Senior Manager Transport, Peter Kartsidimas, said, “RACV welcomes today’s announcement by the Andrews Government. We’ve been calling for a minimum passing distance rule for some time now and we consider this a win for Victorian motorists and cyclists alike.”
“Many more Victorians have taken up cycling and we expect these numbers to continue to soar as people choose private vehicles instead of public transport as a result of COVID-19. Now, more than ever, we need both cyclists and motorists to feel safe on our transport network and a minimum passing distance can play a significant part in ensuring everyone gets home safely. RACV would welcome the opportunity to work with government in implementing this rule and addressing the unique issues on Victorian roads.”
"Today’s announcement is a huge step forward for cycling in Victoria. We’ve advocated tirelessly for a metre matters in Victoria and today the cycling community celebrates the hard work of all of our partners and supporters who understand this update makes it safer for both cyclists and drivers sharing the road,” AGF CEO, Dan Kneipp said.
The Victorian government also announced plans to introduce 100 kilometres of new and improved cycling routes across key inner-Melbourne suburbs to make it easier and safer for people to cycle to and from the CBD.
This is great news for Melbourne electric scooter riders, and cyclists alike.
This $13 million investment will deliver pop-up lanes to help relieve congestion and provide an alternative to public transport for those living closer to the city.
"Temporary separated bike lanes will help people who want to ride, and make the road work for people who need to drive,” Kneipp said. “We can’t move out of lockdown and into gridlock, and investment in safe separated cycling infrastructure is the solution."
The changes will improve travel options from inner-Melbourne areas such as Footscray, Northcote and St Kilda.
St Kilda Road Bike Lanes
St Kilda Road will soon be safer for everyone with new bike lanes to be built to separate drivers and cyclists.
A Victorian Budget 2019/20 investment of $27.3 million will fund a new layout for one of Victoria’s busiest corridors, combining both central safety zone bike lanes and protected kerbside bike lanes.
The central safety zone will provide a separated lane for cyclists in the middle of St Kilda Road. The outer lanes will be reserved for vehicles and parking during off-peak times.
The kerbside bike lanes will be positioned closer to the kerb with a physical barrier separating cyclists from both parked cars and the road
Active Transport Victoria
The Victorian Government has committed $15.3 million in the Victorian Budget 2019/20 towards Active Transport Victoria projects to deliver key upgrades for safer walking and cycling.
As part of this program, better lighting will be installed along the Upfield cycling corridor between Bell Street in Coburg and Park Street in Brunswick.
New lighting will improve personal safety for those using the corridor at night and divert more riders away from the busy Sydney Road nearby.
In addition, the government is planning to improve the cycling connection between Heidelberg and Rosanna Stations as part of the Northern Trail bike path, connecting the two busy train stations and providing a real alternative for local residents.
The government is also planning key upgrades to paths in Essendon and Strathmore, making it safer and easier for people in the north-west to get active and enjoy the great outdoors.
An improved pedestrian crossing will be built at Hoffmans and Rosehill Road, while new traffic signals will be installed for riders at the corner of Bayview Terrace and Maribyrnong Road. A new bike path will also be built along Woodland Street.
New Paths on New Projects
Every major new transport project – from North East Link to the West Gate Tunnel – now includes new or upgraded infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.
The North East Link Project includes 25 kilometres of new or upgraded shared paths or dedicated bicycle paths and approximately 10 kilometres of additional new or upgraded shared user paths as complementary project.
The missing link in the Greensborough Road path will be completed, ensuring a continuous off-road walking and cycling route along the full length of the North East Link between the M80 and the Eastern Freeway.
A new 2.5-kilometre, high-capacity commuter cycling route known as the North East Bicycle Corridor will also be completed, connecting the CBD and northern suburbs along the Eastern Freeway between Chandler Highway and Merri Creek.
The Level Crossing Removal Project is creating more than 43 kilometres of new cycling and walking paths as part of level crossing removals.
Between Caulfield and Dandenong, a new 12-kilometre shared path – known as Djerring Trail – has been built under the elevated parts of the Cranbourne-Pakenham line while in Melbourne’s growing northern suburbs, four kilometres of new shared paths lets people walk or ride between Mernda and South Morang.
The West Gate Tunnel Project will deliver 14 kilometres of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths.
The Western Roads Upgrade includes new shared paths in the fastest growing parts of Melbourne – Truganina, Tarneit, Laverton North, Werribee and Wyndham – so more people can ride or walk to train stations, schools or shops
When COVID-19 restrictions eased in May and June this year, roads went back to 90% capacity, while public transport only reached 30% capacity.
"Temporary separated bike lanes will help people who want to ride, and make the road work for people who need to drive,” Kneipp said.
“We can’t move out of lockdown and into gridlock, and investment in safe separated cycling infrastructure is the solution."
References and additional information
Vic Gov - Safer cycling to keep Melbourne Moving - https://transport.vic.gov.au/about/transport-news/news-archive/safer-cycling-to-keep-melbourne-moving
Vic Gov - Walking & Cycling - https://transport.vic.gov.au/getting-around/walking-and-cycling