Melbourne may not have a comprehensive network of bike paths yet but the rate at which the gaps are being plugged does seem to be picking up!
In the City of Melbourne construction has started on seperated bike lanes in La Trobe St. These are significant as they will provide the only separated East-West route for cyclists in the city. Unfortunately, as with much bike infrastructure in Australia, the seperated lanes vanish at the most dangerous parts of the route, the intersections. So, not quite meeting the 8-80 criteria yet, here’s hoping they get used enough to create pressure for that to change.
It will be good if the La Trobe St lanes bring more cyclists back to Swanston St. Outside of peak hour Swanston St becomes a parking bay for vans and trucks with cyclists frequently having to navigate the narrow spaces between parked vehicles and moving trams. There’s nothing 8-80 about that! Hopefully once we have two routes connecting in the city some of these issues can be addressed.
There is also work underway on Exhibition Street to improve conditions for commuter cyclists with green peak hour lanes being painted on the road surface. Certainly an improvement on existing conditions for peak hour riders but again limited in their potential.
The City of Yarra are also implementing a stretch of seperated bike path with the Council deciding to go ahead with the Wellington St project recently. The Wellington St copenhagen lane will improve safety for riders on a stretch of road where cycling rates have increased at 20% per year for succesive years.