Elizabeth Street is an east-west street in North Richmond, between Hoddle Street and Church Street. To the west, over Hoddle Street, it links to Albert Street, which hosts separated and then protected bicycle lanes heading into the central business district.

Image credit: Apple Maps and Streets Alive Yarra

Previous conditions

Previously, Elizabeth Street hosted bicycle lanes located in the ‘dooring zone’ of the parked cars, which exposed people who cycle to hazards that carry the risk of serious injury or death. Such ‘door zone’ bicycle lane designs don’t comply with Austroads or VicRoads guidelines, and dissuade many people from cycling.

Elizabeth Street looking west to the train line and Hoddle Street. Image credit: Google Maps.

Iterative trial

On the 3rd December 2019, Council resolved to conduct a trial of protected bicycle lanes. Council resolved to first build a ‘trial’ or low-cost, temporary street layout:

Elizabeth Street proposed trial layout. Source: Agenda 3rd December 2019.

After the 12-month trial, if community feedback is positive, Council will convert this into a higher-cost, permanent treatment, with more trees:

Elizabeth Street proposed final treatment. Source: Agenda 3rd December 2019.

Implementation

This video shows that local families with children are now happy to cycle on Elizabeth Street, owing to the increased safety:

Image credit: Vimeo

This video offers a before/after comparison of the trial:

Support from the RACV

Metropolitan councils across Melbourne should follow the City of Melbourne’s lead to create pop-up bike lanes and wider footpaths as the city emerges from lockdown, says RACV.

RACV
Image credit: RACV

Our view

We agree with the Council Report and Officer Recommendation, and support an ‘iterative trial’ approach, which is a great way to allow residents and ratepayers to experience the proposal in a fast, low-cost manner, before Council spends more money on a higher-cost, permanent installation.

Project delivery processes and funding allowances for sustainable transport projects have not kept pace with development and population growth resulting in increased congestion, increased conflict between transport modes and a reduction in the attractiveness of traveling by active transport modes and sustainable transport. These trends will continue to worsen unless Council adopts processes and practices that better match the policy intent, so that key transport projects can be delivered more quickly and more cheaply.

Council Report 3rd December 2019

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