Infrastructure win on bike corridors

The State Government has committed to an accelerated roll-out of a network of strategic cycling corridors over the next 15 years.

The decision could bring the biggest expansion ever to the bike network in Melbourne and the regional cities.

It would connect people to employment and education in all of the populous areas of the state with a backbone of high quality routes.

The announcement was part of the government’s response to the recommendations in the Infrastructure Victoria 30 year plan.

Infrastructure Victoria had recommended the accelerated rollout of the corridors following a submission from Bicyle Network.

The first of the corridors are overdue for announcement, with funding having been already allocated from the TAC resourced $100M Safer Cyclists and Pedestrian Fund.

The significant thing about this week’s announcement is that the government is now turning to the annual budget process to fund the corridors.

Such funding allocations should be easy to achieve, given that the tiny proportion of the total transport budget that will be needed each year.

None-the-less this will require a change of thinking by the Andrews government: in budgets so far during its current term the words "cycling infrastructure" have been as rare as the words "Liberal Party”.

The government's response to IV also commits to a review within 5 years of the state planning provisions for end-of-trip facilities, which are a major breakthrough a decade ago, but now in serious need of upgrading.

As well, there is a commitment to improve data collection for cycling and walking. This will likely involve the installation of many more electronic counters across the path network.