With more people opting to skip public transport, it’s likely many are thinking about picking up their trusty old fixie and getting back into bike riding. And in good news for riders, Melbourne’s intimidating CBD roads will soon be a little easier to traverse for casual, non-Lycra-wearing riders.
Lord mayor Sally Capp has announced Melbourne City Council will be fast-tracking the construction of 40 kilometres of bike lanes in Melbourne’s CBD.
The plan is to build “priority routes” to connect suburbs like Carlton, East Melbourne, North Melbourne, Brunswick and West Melbourne to the CBD. They’ll be starting with Exhibition Street (Flinders to Bourke), Rathdowne Street (Victoria Street to Faraday), William Street (Dudley to Flinders), Abbotsford Street (Flemington Road to Queensberry Street) and Swanston Street (Grattan to Cemetery Road).
Most of the new bike lanes will be physically separated bike lanes, which means there is a constructed barrier between the bike lane and the car lane, like the ones on La Trobe Street near Melbourne Central. Melbourne City Council says the project will have “minimal impact” on parking in the CBD.
The 40km of bike lanes will be built in two stages, with the first 20kms aiming to be delivered in 2020-21 thanks to a $16 million investment. Transport portfolio chair Nicolas Frances Gilley says the construction will utilise “plastics, rubber and recycled materials” so the lanes can be installed quickly. “The infrastructure we install will be functional for years to come and can be progressively replaced with fixed lanes over time as required,” says Gilley.
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