Moreland Leader covered the story of the 18 month closure of the Upfield bike path and the unsafe detours being proposed
Local cyclists were not consulted on the proposed detour routes which are substantial deviations and involve extra elevation change. Both detours involve substantial minor intersections and are not suitable for path users with low confidence in on-road cycling, according to our assessment and similar reports.
There is no mention that once the project is complete pedestrian/cyclist conflict around the new stations will not be improved, and that the crossing of Bell Street and Moreland Road will worsen for cyclists, who currently benefit occasionally from the ‘UpfieldWave’ when boom gates are down.
Here is the report:
Cyclists slam new routes
Missed chance to turn Sydney Rd into ‘green oasis’, says group
by Jessica Coates
Moreland cyclists will be forced onto suburban streets for 18 months when a popular bike path closes for level crossing removal works.
The level crossing construction blitz along the Upfield line has forced the Upfield Shared Path, used by 1500 people every day, to close from February 6 until mid-2021 between O’Hea St in Coburg and Albion St, Brunswick.
While detours have been provided, cycling groups have labelled alternative routes “unsafe”.
Moreland Bicycle Users’ Group convener James Conlan said the detours were inaccessible and dangerous.
“We could use the disruption caused by the legacy level crossing removal project as an opportunity to transform the Sydney Rd corridor into a green, liveable oasis,” he said. “Or we can squander this opportunity by further entrenching Sydney Rd’s destiny as Melbourne’s most congested and dangerous traffic sewer.”
The Leader understands Sydney Rd wasn’t included as a detour due to heavy traffic and tram lines.
“The proposed alternative bike routes are unsafe, inconvenient and will discourage people from riding,” Mr Conlan said.
Critics say the extra detours will add 2km to some stretches, force cyclists to cross roads without traffic lights and to ride on footpaths.
Brunswick state Greens MP Tim Read labelled the move a missed opportunity.
“The State Government and the LXRP have missed a massive opportunity by not trialling a protected bike lane down Sydney Rd,” he said.
LXRP northwest project director Matt Thorpe didn’t say what consultation the authority had undertaken when determining bike routes.
“This path is one of the busiest in Melbourne, used by thousands of cyclists each day, so in order to provide a safer, better journey we will build separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians,” Mr Thorpe said.
“Once completed, the bike path will have more lighting, bike repair stations and additional bike parking at Moreland and Coburg train stations.”