The City of Melbourne has announced its working to fast-track the delivery of 40 kilometres of bike lanes.
With an increase of popularity for biking and walking during the pandemic the bike lanes are hoped to help people travel safely and support city businesses to recover from the pandemic.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the City of Melbourne will deliver adaptable bike lanes that can be constructed and installed quickly to provide more space for people riding bikes.
“Riding and walking have increased in popularity during the pandemic. As people return to the city they will want to travel in ways that allow them to maintain physical distance,” Ms. Capp said.
Lanes will be built in two stages, with the first 20 kilometres delivered in 2020-21 through a $16 million investment.
“By fast-tracking the delivery of bike lanes on key routes, we’re creating streets that people can feel confident riding along, which in turn will free up space on our roads, buses, trams and trains,” she said.
“Our research shows that it’s essential to create physical protection from motor vehicles to encourage more people to ride in the central city.”
Priority routes will be constructed to better connect suburbs such as Carlton, East Melbourne, North Melbourne, Brunswick and West Melbourne to the CBD.
The first priority routes include:
- Exhibition Street stage one (Flinders Street to Bourke Street)
- Rathdowne Street (Victoria Street to Faraday Street)
- William Street (Dudley Street to Flinders Street)
- Abbotsford Street (Flemington Road to Queensberry Street)
- Swanston Street (around the University of Melbourne from Grattan Street to Cemetery Road).
The first project will be to install 3.5 kilometres of protected bike lanes along Rathdowne and Exhibition streets, at the time of writing the street had no protected bike lanes.
Transport portfolio Chair Councillor Nicolas Frances Gilley said the City of Melbourne is working with the Victorian Government to fast-track protected bike lanes on key routes to maximise safety for bike riders without impacting heavily on vehicles.
“We will use plastics, rubber and recycled materials that can be installed quickly so we can accelerate bike lane delivery. The infrastructure we install will be functional for years to come and can be progressively replaced with fixed lanes over time as required.”
The City of Melbourne estimates the bike lanes will have minimal impact on parking in the municipality as there are 217,000 parking spaces with 193,500 off-street bays.
Council is investing $41 million in transport initiatives in 2020-21, including investing $6.9 million to renew roadways along William Street, between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane, and improving footpaths on Canning and Queensberry Streets in Carlton.
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