The City of Melbourne is installing more than 500 metres of new bike lanes each week, as preparations ramp up to safely welcome people back to the city as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said two kilometres of protected bike lanes have been installed so far, with a further four kilometres under construction. The new lanes are part of the City’s initiative to fast-track 40 kilometres of new bike lanes over two years.
“Melburnians have embraced riding as a great way to stay fit and get around while maintaining physical distance during the pandemic,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We’re making it safer to ride from the suburbs to the city by completing the missing links in our bicycle network. The project has created 17 local jobs and we’re using recycled glass to create the bike lane barriers.”
The Lord Mayor said key bicycle routes have been completed on Albert Street, Drummond Street, Faraday Street, Canning Street, William Street, and on Swanston Street near the University of Melbourne.
“These priority routes will better connect suburbs like Carlton, East Melbourne, North Melbourne, Brunswick and West Melbourne to the central city,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We’ve also improved safety on the southern end of William Street near the Queen Street Bridge. This intersection was known by cyclists as a tricky spot to navigate with no bike lane previously, so we’re proud to make it safer.
“Almost four kilometres of protected lanes are now under construction on Abbotsford Street and Swanston Street between Grattan and Elgin Streets, which will better connect Carlton north to the central city.”
Significant upcoming works will be completed on Rathdowne Street and Exhibition Street, creating a vital north-south link through the city, connecting the inner northern suburbs to the Yarra Main Trail.
Transport portfolio Chair Councillor Nicolas Frances Gilley said spring was the perfect time to embrace riding a bike.
“With the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to dust of your bike and take it for a spin in one of our new protected lanes either to commute to work or for exercise with friends and family, if you live within the five kilometre radius,” Cr Frances Gilley said.
“Around the world we’ve seen cycling take off as a form of exercise and a way to get around that’s safe and environmentally friendly.
“Our new bike lanes will make it safer for people to ride, which will free up space on trams and trains for people who need to travel into the city from the outer suburbs.”
The project is being delivered in two stages in collaboration with the Victorian Government. The City of Melbourne is investing $16 million to deliver the first 20 kilometres of fast-tracked bike lanes this year.