New bike lanes set to positively reignite Melbourne’s city transport
By Kaylah-Joelle Baker
As many city businesses reopen, the City of Melbourne (CoM) is actively assessing the amount of protected bike lanes and bike-friendly streets on offer and North Melbourne is next on its radar.
Following the December 2020 completion of kerbside protected bike lanes on both sides of Abbotsford St, Arden St and Macaulay Rd are also set for upgrades in early 2022.
The new bike lanes are part of the council’s 10-year transport strategy which looks at having more than 50 kilometres of protected bike lanes in the municipality, making it “the country’s leading bicycle city”.
Connecting into already existing bike lane networks, the upgrades will provide safe and sustainable transport methods for commuters and benefit the environment.
“Melbourne’s transport is one of the major contributors to our carbon footprint and there are only positives from making it safer and more convenient for people to ride their bicycles,” Cr Rohan Leppert said.
“It’s good for the planet, people’s health and our hospital system. And it frees up space on the road.”
While a majority of people surveyed in a 2021 independent transport review commissioned by the council viewed the protected bike lanes favourably, there was some hesitancy from 26 per cent of the 866 respondents whose main concern was repurposing roadways and kerbside areas.
Noting there would always be “challenges” when facilitating one mode of transport over another, Cr Leppert said the “tweaks” being made to the city were constantly being “monitored by the council”.
And despite the minimal concerns outlined in the review, the consensus agreed with continuous development of the lanes.
For North Melbourne commuters, the new year will begin with bike lane developments on Arden St in the first half of the year continuing on to Macaulay Rd, which is still being designed and reviewed.
“In 2022, we will have some shiny, new, safe and physically separated bicycle lanes on the full length of Arden St and the full length of Macaulay Rd. It is exciting,” Cr Leppert said.
“[The developments] will make it safer and more convenient to ride a bicycle and it’s just going to benefit everyone.” •