VICTORIAN Premier Denis Napthine has revealed that $70 million has been set aside for 15 kilometres worth of cycling and pedestrian initiatives as part of the $6.8 billion East West Link project.
While there will be numerous new paths, boulevards and bridges in the inner-north and inner-west as part of the project, the centrepiece will be the North East Bike Link, connecting the Chandler Highway near the Eastern Freeway through to Merri Creek.
It will also connect to the new Hoddle Street Soundwave overpass, where there are separated bicycle lanes, as well as a new and improved foot and cycle bridge over the Eastern Freeway.
“We’re proud of our cycling infrastructure in Melbourne, with cycling numbers increasing every year for people riding to work or to study, or taking advantage of the weather on days like today to get out with the family,” Dr Napthine said.
“However, people attempting to ride, run or walk from the inner-north to the inner-east or vice versa find there are a lot of stop-starts, stairs and gaps along the way which also mean that cyclists often need to dismount.
“The new North East Bike Link will complete a missing link in Melbourne’s bicycle network as well as improve the safety and amenity of local pedestrian access, and provide significant improvements to Melbourne’s bicycle network.”
Roads Minister Terry Mulder said other proposed pedestrian and cycling upgrades include a separated bicycle and pedestrian path along the new Hoddle Street Soundwave overpass and a new improved shared use bridge over the Eastern Freeway.
There is also a proposed new cycle spiral at Flemington Bridge Railway Station to provide improved walking and cycling connections to the Moonee Ponds Creek and Capital City Trails, as well as numerous local upgrades to improve Melbourne’s cycling network.
Mr Mulder added that while the new bicycle and pedestrian link is fully funded, the final design is subject to planning approvals and a consultation process.
“We are reviewing the alignment in consultation with stakeholders, including bicycle user groups and neighbouring properties,” Mr Mulder said.
“We look forward to developing a design in partnership with these groups for a great outcome for the community.”
The announcement follows the finalisation of contracts last week between the Victorian Government and the East West Connect consortium for the construction of the 6.6-kilometre first stage of East West Link between the Eastern Freeway and CityLink.
Source: News Release, Urbanalyst, 07 October 2014