The Victorian Greens have renewed their call on the state government to fast-track the construction of a 21-kilometre bike superhighway that runs from Elsternwick to Coburg.
The superhighway would consist of separated bike lanes along some of Melbourne’s busiest and most dangerous routes, including St Kilda Road, Royal Parade, Flemington Road and Sydney Road.
Victorian Greens spokesperson for transport, Sam Hibbins, said that while local councils have been proactive in fast-tracking new bike infrastructure on local roads, the state government has been lagging on many state managed roads, despite the increased uptake in cycling during the COVID-19 crisis.
State managed roads in urgent need of bike infrastructure include:
- St Kilda Road: The state government committed $27 million for separated bike lanes, but they’re not due to be built until 2025.
- Sydney Road: The majority of respondents to a 2019 VicRoads survey supported separated bike lanes, but as yet no commitment has been made by the government.
- Flemington Road: It was first identified as a key route for cyclists by the City of Melbourne in 1978, but as yet no commitment for new bike infrastructure has been made by the government.
- Royal Parade: The City of Melbourne has proposed fast-tracking bike infrastructure, but there has been no commitment from the government.
The Greens’ call for a bike superhighway follows recent news that bike retailers everywhere are running out of stock due to a biking boom, highlighting the need to make our roads as safe as possible for the increasing number of cyclists using them during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
As stated by Victorian Greens spokesperson for transport, Sam Hibbins MP:
“Our 21-kilometre superhighway is essential to ensuring thousands of people can safely commute without using public transport or driving. Without it Melbourne is facing a congestion and pollution crisis on our roads.
“Bike sales are booming. More and more people are choosing to ride. The time is ripe for major investment in cycling infrastructure.
“While our local councils along with governments around the world are creating more space for cyclists in response to COVID-19, the Victorian Government is lagging.”
Map of proposed bike superhighway: