Infrastructure Australia backs plan for Melbourne cycling superhighways

A separated network of cycling superhighways feeding into Melbourne’s CBD should be built within five years according to Infrastructure Australia, the nation’s peak infrastructure body.

Earmarked by the RACV last year, the cycling superhighways including 17 separate bike routes across metropolitan Melbourne have been added to Infrastructure Australia’s updated Priority List 2020.

The list is a guide to prioritise infrastructure investments in Australia and serves as a key reference to guide decision-making for governments at all levels.

Sydney Road, St Kilda Road, Canning Street, Chapel Street, Napier Street, and Gardiners Creek were all included as part of the RACV’s proposed list of cycling superhighways, as well as Flemington Road and Mount Alexander Road.

The routes were evaluated and identified based on their proximity to residential areas, potential demand as well as where people already ride.

See the RACV’s Strategic Cycling Corridors Review.

RACV Senior Planner of Mobility Futures Stuart Outhred told the Herald Sun that Infrastructure Australia’s backing showed the plan was urgently needed.

“These priority corridors deserve more than just paint – we want to see high-quality, separate infrastructure that makes everyone feel safe and comfortable when riding,” he said.

“Investing in these corridors will deliver immense benefits for commuters.”

Melbourne’s cycling superhighways is the second bicycle network endorsed by Infrastructure Australia with Active transport access to Sydney CBD added to the list in 2016.

Bicycle Network welcomes and strongly supports the addition of separated bike infrastructure as a priority for investment in Victoria.

"More and more people are realising that bikes are the answer to beating congestion and creating a healthier, happier Australia. Now we just need the government to get on board," said Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards.

“By making these strips more bike friendly we will see more people riding and the community will benefit. It will create nicer street environments and increase visitation and the time people spend there."

"Places like Sydney Road and Chapel Street will get a breath of fresh air and it will have a positive impact for everyone from residents to shop owners."

The recommendation by Infrastructure Australia comes on top of City of Melbourne's recent announcement that they will fast-track the development of a number of protected bike lanes.

RACV’s list of the top 10 cycling superhighways include:
  1. Chapel Street
  2. St Kilda Road
  3. Napier Street - St Georges Road
  4. Canning Street
  5. Flemington Road - Mt Alexander Road
  6. Loop (Park Street)
  7. Royal Parade - Sydney Road
  8. Gardiners Creek - Yarra Bend
  9. New Street
  10. Cecil Street - Albert Park

Sections of some of these routes may already be on the radar for upgrades, but now there is a prospect that they will be entirely brought up to low-stress standard.

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