While Sydney rips up bike lanes and attempts to penalise cyclists into non-existence, Melbourne is embracing the benefits of the travel mode, and plans to boost numbers in the city to 25 per cent of morning peak traffic by 2020.
The plan, which was on Tuesday night approved by the Future Melbourne Committee, will be put to the full council next Tuesday, where it is expected to be made official policy.
While currently 146,000 trips are being taken by bike on a weekday in the municipality, the goal is to boost numbers to 200,000 by 2020, which would account for seven per cent of total trips taken.
The plan said a “relatively low investment” in infrastructure and programs could encourage uptake of cycling, with estimated costs of just under $10 million to council over four years. The benefits, though, would be a reduction in congestion, improved health, reduced carbon emissions and improved local amenity.
“We’ve consulted widely, invested millions in infrastructure and are now ready to implement our plan to make Melbourne a safer, more connected city for all bike riders,” Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said.
“This is about providing bike riders of all abilities with options when coming in and moving around the city,” he said.
The plan involves increasing bike parking from 800 spots to 2000, and eliminating the likelihood of fatalities and serious crashes by 2020.
It also involves:
- installing bicycle maintenance stations and counters at entrances to the city
- creating local neighbourhood routes in Kensington, North Melbourne, Carlton and Southbank – connecting to schools, shops and community facilities
- improving connections into and through the city centre including a possible second bike-friendly east-west connection through the central city, which would complement La Trobe Street and improve bicycle access and transit across the southern part of the central city
Melbourne portfolio chair for transport Cathy Oke said the plan had gone through extensive community consultation.
“The plan was informed by more than 7140 contributions from the community and complemented by submissions from 11 agencies including the State Government and neighbouring municipalities,” Ms Oke said.
“The plan is another vital step for our city as we balance the needs and transport preferences of a truly cosmopolitan and sustainably conscious Melbourne.”
- Read the Bicycle Plan 2016-2020