Strategic Cycling Corridor
Park Street is ideally located to act as a strategic cycling corridor, reducing overcrowding on the adjacent Capital City Trail. Best practice design principles are for trails to be low speed environments, attractive to people of all ages, who are walking or cycling slowly with small children; and for strategic cycling corridors to be protected bicycle lanes on streets.
Congestion on the Capital City Trail has increased during COVID, and demand is expected to increase even further as travel restrictions ease and people avoid public transport.
Trial on Section A
To provide an alternative to overcrowding on the trail, Council is trialling a contra-flow bicycle lane on Section A of Park Street, between St Georges Road and Nicholson Street.
Similar contra-flow lanes are used in several other locations in Yarra, including these:
Some residents have raised concerns that the trial is unsafe for people cycling, and on this basis the trial should be halted and reverted. Our view is that this claim is not supported by the evidence. For example, the Lennox Street contra-flow lane is even positively highlighted in a VicRoads design manual:
The European Commission also highlights the safety of contra-flow lanes:
Furthermore, the claim of inadequate safety only applies to the short section between Taplin Street and Brunswick Street North. Of these 22 car parking bays, 7 bays have space either before or after them, i.e. they are on the ends or have a driveway next to them giving greater space and enabling the driver to see the road. In other words, the concern is limited to 15 car parking bays in a quiet street, that doesn’t see many parking movements.
Proposed trial on Section B
We support the extension of safe bi-directional cycling infrastructure to Section B of Park Street, between Nicholson Street and Lygon Street. For Section B, we support the Officer proposal for the removal of on-street parking to support a bi-directional lane.
Proposal for Section C
If the trial is extended to Section B, then we also support a further extension to Section C, between Lygon Street and Bowen Street.