The Inner Circle Rail Trail is a key park of our active transport network. The route joins onto the Capital City Trail. A key issue for safety and usability is how the trail crosses streets.
Crossing at Alfred Crescent
The crossing at Alfred Crescent, at the top of Edinburgh Gardens, needs to be upgraded to improve safety for people walking and cycling.
The crossing at Alfred Crescent should be upgraded in a similar manner to the recent upgrade at Bennett Street in Fitzroy North, with a raised crossing, yellow paint and give way signs for people driving:
A petition to support the upgrade has been started:
Your local champion for the Inner Circle Rail Trail is Christophe Gautier. View all of Streets Alive Yarra’s champions on our supporters page.
When stepping back and viewing the growth of a major city and its surrounding communities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by its complexity. However, like most puzzles with many pieces, you start by focusing on a few key points and then the rest will fit into place, then before you know it, you have a complete picture.
From what I have seen with how the community at ‘Streets Alive Yarra’ approach their vision… it seems that it is in much the same way. By implementing good and thoughtful design into their neighbourhoods, they promote more enjoyable, liveable and sustainable spaces which have beneficial flow on effects into other adjoining communities.
As a poly-commuter (pedestrian, public transport, cyclist, motorist) I approach my movements through these communities and their infrastructure…with an empathetic mindset…e.g. when on foot, I think about how my movements may be interpreted by other commuters around me, such as other pedestrians, cyclist, motorists and transport, i.e. when there is a need to cross a road, that has a cycle lane, that has vehicles moving in multiple directions as well as heavy vehicles, including public transport, I imagine myself as one of them… and what their restrictions are to respond to not only my movements but also the chain reactions that may ensue from my choices. I adopt this approach with every form of transport I commute with… by having this mindset, I quickly realise how the design of traffic infrastructure influences safe and enjoyable outcomes.
One of the trails I have used repeatedly over the last couple of decades, is the Inner City Rail Trail… this is because it is not only scenic, running through beautiful Gardens such as the Edinburgh Gardens in Fitzroy North and parts of Princess Park, Princess Hill; but it is steeped in Melbourne’s history, as it was part of the steam era of trains (later electrified), joining Melbourne’s inner-northern suburbs of Parkville, Carlton North, Fitzroy North, and Fitzroy. Even up until today, you can see evidence of its history, with exposed metal rail lines crossing roads and making up the skeleton of the trail path itself, there are also buildings still standing but re-purposed, such as the ‘North Fitzroy Substation (863 Brunswick St N, Fitzroy North), built in 1915 to supply power to the Inner Circle line and it is now known as the Ronald McDonald House which provides accommodation and support for seriously ill children and their families. The only other remaining station was the Carlton North station, located on the corner of Lang and Park Streets, now uses as a community centre, but was home to the former Station Master and his wife, Mr and Mrs Barnes until the mid-1970s when it was vacated on their deaths. There are many other hidden gems of history attached to this little trail.
So, as you can see, the Inner City Rail trail is worth exploring; however, there are some elements to it, such as the previous level crossings, as seen at the entry exit point to the Edinburgh Gardens, between Fergie and Falconer Streets, Fitzroy North, have become problematic for the trails frequent users (pedestrians and cyclists). I am hoping by championing and highlighting this beautiful trail I can find others who are passionate enough to seek improvements at its crossings… for all its users to enjoy and feel safe.
You can assist in achieving this by taken a couple of minutes out of your day to sign a petition on change.org.