Merri-bek City Council is working on ways to make it easier for the community to get around local neighbourhoods by walking and cycling as we emerge from COVID-19 restrictions.
COVID-19 has impacted the way we move around. Public transport use is heavily reduced and people who are able to work from home aren’t travelling to and from work.
During this time, we’ve also seen more and more people walking, cycling and taking up other modes of active transport to get around local areas and for recreation and exercise.
Cycling and walking are fantastic low carbon ways to travel and are key to achieving net zero carbon in Merri-bek by 2040.
Investment in new walking and cycling infrastructure
It will become easier and safer for more people to start walking and cycling more often with a new suite of improvements under construction. In July 2020, Council approved $1.68 million to trial projects to encourage and support the community to move around safely by walking and cycling. Initiatives include implementing trial bike lanes, new zebra crossings and pedestrian thresholds, and, pending Department of Transport approval, shared zones.
Council’s aim is to provide high-quality routes with more space for social distancing for pedestrians and cyclists, support safe movement and improved access to local activity centres and shopping strips, reduce emissions from cars and promote good physical and mental health.
Trials starting in Brunswick and Pascoe Vale
On Dawson Street, Brunswick a trial of a new separated bike lane will commence. This means a barrier is installed between cyclists and traffic (except at driveways and intersections) to make it safer for cyclists and encourages less confident people to ride.
The bike lane will connect the Upfield shared path with the West Brunswick Shimmy, and will also make it easier for students to cycle to Brunswick Secondary College. The West Brunswick Shimmy is a “low stress” cycling route that is suitable for less confident cyclists and runs from Royal Park to Coburg through Gilpin Park.
Another two trials of separated bike lanes will take place in Pascoe Vale: on Northumberland Road from Rhodes Parade to KW Joyce Reserve and on Kent Road between KW Joyce Reserve and Cumberland Road. Council is also constructing a shared path in KW Joyce Reserve between the two on-road links. These three projects have been fast-tracked as part of the COVID-19 response and are to be completed by late February and early March 2021.
Lastly, there is a trial of green treatment and rubber kerbing along Albion Street between the Upfield railway line and Sydney Road. The width of the street does not allow for full physical separation of cyclists from traffic however rubber kerbing makes the bicycle lane more visible and encourages drivers to leave space for cyclists.
Banning parking along this stretch will also mean cyclists won’t need to go around parked cars and into the path of traffic.
We want your feedback!
The bike lane and shared zone projects are being delivered as trials, using materials that can be modified or removed depending on the outcomes of the trials. Community members will be invited to share feedback throughout the trial period, which is expected to run between 12 months to two years. Send any questions, concerns or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read more about other walking and cycling improvements happening in Moreland.