Lekker’s take on the Melbourne Bicycle Plan, 2016 – 2020

Throughout recent years, there have been significant efforts made by the City of Melbourne to improve Melbourne’s bicycle infrastructure. To not only increase bike safety, but to encourage more Melburnians to get pedalling. With improved bike lanes, better connections and more links to bike trails, we are now experiencing what you could call, the beginning of a cycling revolution.

Now with even more updated plans that are already being implemented, the City of Melbourne is working hard to further improve Melbourne’s cycling infrastructure, to make it truly, a cycling city – one that may very well soon rival many other cities around the world. Not only can we now call Melbourne the most liveable city in the world, but soon we may be able to call it a world-class cycling city too.

The City’s most recent plan outlines a number of improvements to be made surrounding Melbourne’s bicycle infrastructure and facilities. Spanning from 2016 – 2020, the City of Melbourne will be working with transport services, city planning, bike services, as well as traffic regulations to increase cycling safety and education amongst all road users.

With all of this in place, there hasn’t been a more suitable time to get riding. If you’re on the lookout for a ride, Lekker Bikes have shops in both Melbourne, and Sydney, boasting an extensive range of bikes to suit all styles of riding. As for Melbourne’s bicycle plan, it has four major focus points, to encourage more people from all around the city of Melbourne, to feel safer whilst riding. Read on to hear more about the City of Melbourne’s bicycle plan and what is being done make riders feel safer and more at ease on the road.

  • Planning for people to ride bikes
  • A connected bicycle network and facilities
  • A safe and encouraging environment
  • Measuring outcomes

Planning for people to ride bikes

The main objective is to ensure all transport infrastructure is inclusive of bicycle infrastructure as well as bicycle facilities. As part of this, the City of Melbourne is looking closely at the network of existing and proposed cycling routes within metropolitan Melbourne, known as the Principal Bicycle Network (PBN). Along with the Victorian Government, they are working to improve connections within this network, to develop dedicated cycling routes that link all major parks and gardens within Melbourne.

The City of Melbourne is also ensuring that all new developments not only provide bicycle access, but also safe and secure facilities, to help riders either during, or at the end of their ride. These plans extend beyond just the city network, to also include existing, proposed, as well as potential urban areas within Melbourne.

A connected bicycle network

The main objective for creating a connected bicycle network is to encourage people of all ages and abilities to ride a bike. In doing so, for riders to be able to easily and safely get to local schools, shops and community facilities within their neighbourhood. A key part of this, is an initiative by VicRoads called SmartRoads. SmartRoads takes into account the available road space within a specific area, to then prioritise it for different modes of transport throughout different times of the day.

SmartRoads takes into consideration the increasing importance of public transport, walking and cycling, with these being a central part of the initiative. The City of Melbourne is also working to encourage private traffic, to circumnavigate the city rather than flow towards it. All of this is to improve cycling safety and encourage more residents to ride a bike.

A safe and encouraging environment

The identified target for ensuring a safe and encouraging environment is zero fatalities or serious riding-related injuries. In support of vulnerable road users such as cyclists, world leading road safety practices have been implemented throughout Melbourne, specifically in the City of Melbourne Road Safety Plan, 2013 – 17.

In order to facilitate a safe and encouraging environment for riders and non-rider alike, there are a few key focus areas. These include increasing separation amongst different transport modes, lowering speed limits for motor vehicle users, as well as working to build and implement safer practices at intersections. Safety and education programs for children, as well as parents and new residents are also central in developing an informed community, working together to increase safety for all road users.

Measuring Outcomes

From the objectives and proposed outcomes above, the next steps will be to implement these measures over the next few years. To begin to put these plans into place to raise the standard of Melbourne’s cycling network towards one of a world-class cycling city. Specific outcomes include the following implementations regarding infrastructural development.

  • Within key public locations – Increasing bicycle parking in key public locations by 2000 spaces, installing bicycle maintenance stations and counters at CBD entrance points.
  • Within Kensington, North Melbourne, Carlton and Southbank – Creating local neighbourhood routes to connect schools, shops and community facilities.
  • A possible second bike-friendly east-west connection through the centre of the city – To improve connections into and through the city centre. This would compliment traffic within La Trobe Street, and improve bicycle access and transit across the central, southern part of the city.

With the above plans being put into place increasing safety for riders within Melbourne, you might be searching around and keen for a new ride yourself. If you’re interested in the many health benefits that come with getting on a bike, or the freedom that it can bring, Lekker Bikes is here to help you out. Whether it’s a zippy commuter for city riding, or a laidback cruiser for outer-city scenic rides, pop in to our Melbourne or Sydney shop to take a free test ride today.

Niels