Pretty pictures with little substance unveiled at Coburg Station level crossing removal

Premier Andrews examining pretty artistic impression of Coburg Station

The Premier Daniel Andrews visited Coburg Station this morning, along with Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan, and local Labor MP, Lizzie Blandthorn (Pascoe Vale). It was a quick whistlestop visit to announce some artist impression images of the new Moreland and Coburg Stations.

The launch comes just two weeks after a Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) consultation with the community in which little new information was divulged. A group of local citizens conducted their own facilitative Workshop straight after the first of two LXRP ‘consultation events’, as the community is angry that a proper consultation process hasn’t been implemented.

The community workshop put together a 13 page document outlining a positive vision for the level crossing removal for Brunswick and Coburg. This document, after some minor feedback, was presented to LXRP staff on the following Tuesday LXRP event.

So what was revealed today? Some artist impressions of new Coburg and Moreland Station which are divorced from the realities.

Gandolfo Gardens is not depicted in the images of Moreland Station, and the community is united in saving the mature trees in Gandolfo Gardens. The mature gum trees on the east side at Moreland station beside the line are also important to be saved.

There was nothing in these images to indicate cycling infrastructure will be improved, although there was one token cyclist featured in one image. The images totally ignored that we have a transport corridor containing the train service and arterial cycling route, and any design needs to deal with all the train and traffic issues around Moreland Road, Bell Street and the station precincts.

There were over 823 pedestrian and cycling movements in a two hour period on Tuesday morning (11 June), between 7.10am-9.10am, at Bell street and Upfield Path near Coburg station.

“There were 230 cyclists and 593 pedestrian movements in that two hour period.” said John Englart, a sustainable transport campaigner in Moreland who conducted this count of active transport movements.

“That is an enormous level of active transport congestion.”

“This is not just north-south cycling and pedestrian traffic, but also east west pedestrian traffic.”

“And this was on a cold Winter morning after a long weekend when perhaps a few people were taking a longer break. Summer numbers of cyclists will be even greater.”

“Separated paths are not sufficient at those volumes to resolve conflict, safety and congestion.” said Englart.

The Upfield path is an arterial commuter cycling route and needs to be considered as part of the design and traffic management problem.

There is a strong argument for an elevated commuter cycling veloway to be attached to the rail viaduct as part of Level Crossing Removal Project design.

There are similar active transport statistics for Moreland Station and the Upfield path with over 500 cyclists and 300 pedestrian movements in a 2 hour period from 7am-9am, according to data from a Moreland Council traffic survey in February 2019.

“That is over 250 cyclists pushing a button per hour to cross Moreland Road.” said John Englart. “An elevated veloway can be justified for both Moreland and Coburg station on the high number of active transport movements and the need to ensure safety for all.”

Bicycle Network recommended a threshold for separated cycling paths of 150-200 total users per hour. By that measure both Bell street and Moreland Road had more than 400 total users an hour, double the threshold level required.

“Another factor is that you have substantial north-south cycling and pedestrian traffic at both these stations” said John Englart, “There is also substantial east west pedestrian traffic.”

“Commuter cyclists need to be taken out of this equation and the best way is to provide a veloway to reduce the conflict and enhance the safety around road crossings and station precincts.” concluded Englart.

Bell street: Active Transport Statistics – 11 June 2019

There were over 823 pedestrian and cycling movements in a two hour period on Tuesday, 11 June (7.10am-9.10am) at Bell street and Upfield Path near Coburg station. (Data collected by John Englart)

Quick summary:

Total North South cyclists    = 217
Total North South Pedestrians = 260
Total East-West cyclists      = 13
Total East-West Pedestrians   = 333

Total Cyclists                = 230
Total Pedestrians             = 593

Total Active Transport        = 823

Moreland Road: Active Transport Statistics – 5 February 2019

There were over 805 pedestrian and cycling movements in a two hour period on 5 February 2019 (7.00am-9.00am) at Moreland and Upfield Path near Moreland station. (Data collected by a Traffic Survey for Moreland Council)

Total cyclists         = 505
Total Pedestrians      = 300

Total Active Transport = 805

Artist design images by LXRP

References:

Age Article: Andrews reaches for the sky rail in Coburg, Toorak
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/andrews-reaches-for-the-sky-rail-in-coburg-toorak-20190611-p51wm5.html

Moreland Council Media Release: No consultation on Coburg and Moreland station designs leaves Council disappointed

https://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/about-us/news-and-publications/news/no-consultation-on-coburg-and-moreland-station-designs-leaves-council-disappointed

Premier Media Release: New Moreland and Coburg Stations Designs revealed

New Moreland And Coburg Stations Designs Revealed

Jacinta Allan short animation on Facebook:

Dan Andrews Facebook Post with 4 still artist images of the two stations:

Lizzie Blandthorn Facebook post showing Premier, Minister Allan and herself looking at images. I have just been down to Coburg station, images aren’t up. They kept this a private affair – community not invited.

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