We knew late last year the 4 crossings to be removed on the Upfield line at Moreland Road, Reynard Street, Munro Street and Bell Street would be done as elevated rail. The formal confirmation has come today of that decision. There are no details available yet of the final design and what improvements, if any, for the Upfield Bike Path.
“If a veloway is not part of the design presented to the community, the viaduct should be engineered so that an elevated cycle path for commuters can be added at some future time” said Sustainable Transport campaigner John Englart.
“Cycling in Moreland is growing and it is imperative that Level Crossing removal is built for the future to contend with the growing numbers of recreational and commuter cyclists.”
“Best practice urban transport design is to separate different transport modes from each other and this applies to cycling and walking.”
“The fact that the Upfield bike path is an arterial cycling route means it should be given a dedicated path where possible, especially when near station precincts where pedestrian/cycling conflict is at it’s worst” said Englart.
“The best outcome would be an elevated bike path attached to the side of the rail viaduct for commuter cyclists to enable smooth flow of this traffic over the road crossings and past the stations.”
“The design should also incorporate better walking access to the elevated platforms. At Coburg, steps or a ramp should provide access to the platform from north of Bell street. Similar access should be provided from the south of Moreland Road for the new elevated Moreland Station.”
“Appropriate noise limiting and visual barriers should also be part of the design to address concerns of nearby residents.”
“It is vital that at ground level cycling routes are denoted and properly marked and signed. Plaza like designs that are also cycle routes are a nightmare for commuter cyclists, enhancing conflict between cyclists and pedestrians” warned Englart.
According to the media release:
As the Andrews Labor Government promised, an elevated rail design will see the removal of four dangerous and congested level crossings on the Upfield line and another four on the Mernda line.
The crossings at Bell, Reynard and Munro Streets in Coburg and Moreland Road in Brunswick will be gone for good next year. In 2020, major works will start in Preston to raise a section of the Mernda line — getting rid of level crossings at Murray Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Oakover Road by 2021.
As part of these projects, new stations will be built at Coburg, Moreland, Preston and Bell with the heritage-listed station buildings at Coburg and Moreland preserved. The Coburg and Brunswick communities will soon be invited to provide feedback on aspects of the project including the new open space and Upfield Bike Path improvements created by the elevated rail design.
Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) will evidently be providing the final design. It sounds from the media release like only feedback on the open space and landscaping will be countenanced, and that the engineering design will be out of scope.
Two feedback sessions have been organised by the LXRP:
“You’re invited to community drop-in sessions to find out more about the project and share your ideas on the use of the new open space.
Saturday 25 May 10:00am to 12:30pm
Tuesday 28 May 5:00pm to 7:30pm
Where: Admiral Room, Batman Royale,14 Gaffney Street, Coburg North
No RSVP needed, come along anytime during the sessions..
Here are some images of the elevated rail from between Hawkstowe station and Mernda station: