Protected bike lanes along Sydney Road are vital in era of COVID-19 and cheap to build

Australian Greens

The Victorian Greens have called on the state government to establish protected bike lanes along Sydney Road as part of a six-month trial, to help support the increasing number of cyclists using the road during the COVID-19 crisis.

According to an exclusive PBO costing obtained by the Greens, it would only cost $300,000 to establish temporary physically separated the bike lanes along Sydney Road, in the stretch between Brunswick Road and Glenlyon Road.

Last year Moreland Council voted in support of trialling protected bike lanes along this very same stretch.

And in recently released findings from a VicRoads survey, the majority of Brunswick residents supported the idea of protected bike lanes, wider footpaths, more trees and accessible tram stops.

Victorian Greens Member for Brunswick, Dr Tim Read, said other cities around the world had used the crisis as an opportunity to change the way people moved around, and that Victoria could follow suit.

He added that because Sydney Road was managed by the Department of Transport, the decision to revitalise Sydney Road would lie squarely with the state government.

The government has already committed $24 billion dollars to an emergency recovery fund post-COVID, and must spend the coming months deciding where it will be allocated.

This trial would help to protect and support the increasing number of cyclists in Brunswick who want to stay safe and continue to practice social distancing.

As part of their Green New Deal for Victoria, the Greens recently called for a safe bike network in Melbourne, including a 20-kilometre bike superhighway running from Coburg to Elsternwick.

As stated by Victorian Greens Member for Brunswick, Tim Read MP:

“Building protected bike lanes along Sydney Road is an inexpensive and sustainable way for the government to support the increasing number of cyclists on our streets during COVID-19.

“Before the crisis began more people rode to work from Brunswick than from anywhere else in Australia. And now, with even more people riding, we need to ensure they’re protected.

“The results from the VicRoads survey have only confirmed what we learned at the last state election – that people in Brunswick want protected bike lanes, wider footpaths, more trees and accessible tram stops.

“Cities all over the world are using this as an opportunity to re-imagine how people move around, and we should be doing the same.”

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