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Safer Bike Path for
Help make Brunswick a better place to live, reduce
traffic accidents and rejuvenate Sydney Road
Make Sydney Road Safer for Bikes
In the not too distant future, the Upfield bike path will close during the level crossing removals, I’m concerned the detour will be unrealistically too far, and cyclists will automatically flow to Sydney Road.
Sydney Road is dominated by cars. Bumper to bumper, columns of cars stopping and going, blocking trams and fouling the air. There’s little space for cyclists.
The bike lane is a strip of paint just centimetres from the cobblestones, and despite numerous tragedies, nothing is being done to make it safer.
We know that 30% of people who currently do not ride, would do so if it was only safer. A separated bike lane would get more people out of cars and onto bikes, easing congestion and speeding up the Sydney Road tram.
Implement the Green’s Plan for a Safer Bike Path
When I first rode down the Upfield after it was diverted, I was confronted by a sign directing me into the streets around the construction site. As I passed, a huge B-double laden with earth pulled out and roared off, overtaking other bikes in front of me. It didn’t feel safe, and Sydney Road is even more dangerous.
So this year, I’m calling on the Victorian Government to :
- Build separated bike lanes on both sides of Sydney Road, within 12 months, replacing on-street parking.
- Install a temporary lane for 600m from Glenlyon Rd to Brunswick Rd, as soon as possible.
This should be extended in sections up to Albion St after a brief trial of the first section. If successful, the path can be gradually extended northward.
- Install signs to direct drivers to abundant and under-used parking behind the Sydney Road shops, such as in Black St, Barkly Square and Edward St. (There are over 900 parks within 200m of Sydney Rd).
- Monitor usage by cyclists and the impact on tram and car travel times.
Why Give More Road Space to Bikes?
More people in the inner north are riding now. Many residents in
new apartment developments don’t own a car, preferring bikes, public transport
and share cars to get around.
Start a Cycling Revolution
The inner north of Melbourne is already the most bike-dense region in all of Victoria. Cars, particularly those backing into on-street parking, hold up the trams, causing delays that are felt along the entire tram route. Sydney Road is at capacity now. It can’t move more people at peak hour without changes.
Bikes take up about a sixth of the space occupied by a car and both usually carry just one person. By replacing parking with bike lanes, we allow more people to cycle to work and take up less road space than if they drove, and we speed up the trams.
Sign Our Petition For a Safer Bike Path
Help make Brunswick a better place to live, reduce traffic accidents and rejuvenate
Why Encourage Cycling?
Health experts are encouraging us to leave our cars at home and ride, walk or take public transport to work. Traffic congestion and pollution will only worsen unless we invest in safer cycling paths.
A recent report finds cycling contributes about 5.4 billion pounds to the UK economy, largely through reductions in death and disease, pollution and traffic congestion. Applied to Australia’s population this equates to about $3.5 billion dollars.
The health benefits come from reductions in heart and lung disease and diabetes, particularly important in Australia which faces a growing type 2 diabetes epidemic. Carbon emissions from vehicles are rising and driving an increase in Australia’s emissions. More bike trips
means fewer car trips, cleaner air and a healthier society.
We need to think, too, about Sydney Road as a destination rather than a route. Right now it’s a traffic sewer, but think of what it could be like when we replace some of the cars with more bikes, trams and pedestrians. With less noise and fumes it becomes a more attractive place to spend time, and importantly for local businesses, money.
Why separated bike lanes?
Separated bike lanes can move a lot of people in a short time. Bikes are ideal to replace short trips, but we won’t have achieved this until we see equal numbers of women and men on bikes.
Separated lanes don’t just make riders safer they make us feel safer and that’s the key to attracting more people to riding.Feeling un-safe on the road is an important reason why fewer women ride than men. affecting 43% of women and 28% of men in this study.
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What Will Separated
Bike Lanes Cost?
Separated bike lanes often use low concrete dividers, like in Swanston St in Carlton. They can also use tall flexible plastic strips, providing a visual barrier but taking up very little road space, as in Albert St, East Melbourne.
One recent costing for Port Phillip Council
One recent costing for Port Phillip Council estimated separated lanes would cost $2.2 million per kilometer, but the cost will vary according to the materials used. A temporary lane using plastic bollards could be done for a few thousand dollars and provide important insight into how a lane alters traffic before a permanent lane is installed. Sydney Road will have disability- accessible tram stops installed in the next few years.
These involve expensive engineering typically costing tens of millions of dollars, so the cost of bike lanes would easily be absorbed into the budget. The 2018 state budget allocated $22.3 million to upgrade bicycle lanes which would easily cover the cost.