Green wave a go on Albert Street

A green wave for bike riders on Albert Street in East Melbourne will be made permanent after a trial by City of Melbourne found it reduced travel times by almost one minute.

After changes were trialled to the traffic light sequencing, average bicycle travel times on Albert Street between Hoddle and Lansdowne Streets have gone from 4 minutes and 11 seconds to 3 minutes and 18 seconds in the morning peak.

Riders who travel at an average speed of between 20kmh and 25kmh will get a clean run on Albert Street and not be stopped by a red light.

While people who ride at faster speeds will get stopped, testing by the council has found that most riders seem to be slowing down to get the green wave.

As well as reducing the overall travel time, City of Melbourne believes the lower speed will also improve safety.

“Cyclists who travel at high speeds, particularly on the downhill sections of Albert Street during the evening peak period will have to stop and wait at red traffic signals. By slowing down and riding at a comfortable speed, you don’t get stopped at the lights and you save time," said City of Melbourne Transport Portfolio Chair Councillor Nicolas Frances-Gilley.

“We’ve completed speed tests in the area and the green wave has seen a 13 per cent reduction in average cyclist speeds on the steepest downhill section but resulted in no increase in travel time during the evening commute."

City of Melbourne began the green wave trial in April 2018. Now that the green wave is permanent, council will look at ways demonstrate it to people who ride, perhaps with strips of LED lights beside the road that light up green or red.

Bicycle Network spokesperson Anthea Hargreaves said it was pleasing to see City of Melbourne looking at new ways to support people who ride.

“It’s great to see a run of green lights organised for something more than just presidents and royalty.”

“Green waves are such an easy way to make bike riding easier and we’d like to see it happen on as many of Melbourne’s key bike routes as possible.”

Read more: see a CyclingTips report about how the Albert Street green wave was implemented

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