East Melbourne protected intersection
East Melbourne protected intersection completed

Victoria’s first protected intersection is now fully functional and bike riders are beginning to explore the intricacies of its operation.

Roughly modelled on the designs commonly used in the Netherlands, it separates pedestrians, bikes and motor vehicles, and enabled those in bikes to turn right in a hook turn sequence that is familiar to riders on Melbourne roads.

The Albert Street and Lansdowne Street intersection is a busy one where bikes from Richmond in the east are joined by those coming from the north down popular Napier Street in Fitzroy.

It was built as part of a State Government project to upgrade the Strategic Cycling Corridor route from Preston into the CBD.

It will take riders and drivers a little time to understand how to use the new intersection.

This video from the Department of Transport gives a useful explanation.

And here is some footage from our own ride through.

Even though riders number are low currently, some riders have already managed to crash, not noticing the banana island separators. And some drivers have been making the same error, rolling over the top of the separators.

Some additional line marking and bollards should help improve visibility as road users adjust to the new design.

None-the-less, riders should appreciate that these designs are made safer by tightening turn radii to improve sightlines between drivers and riders, and as a consequence require slower speeds than previously.

Other features include:
  • Phased out traffic lights to give cyclists and pedestrians a head start on vehicles.
  • Coloured bicycle lanes and improved line marking to increase visibility of cyclists and safety.
  • Pedestrian traffic islands to allow pedestrians to cross the road safely.

It is worth pointing out that the bike traffic lights have their own phase, separate to the lights for other traffic.

Out of habit some riders will instinctively follow the normal traffic lights. Please don’t. Follow the bike lights and you will get a head start on the other traffic.

The new intersection will be carefully evaluated as a separate project.

In this way learnings from it operations will be able to be incorporated into any similar designs that may be introduced later.

Please let us know of your own experiences through Albert-Lansdowne.

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