Northbank city of Melbourne
New bike vision for CBD Yarra Northbank

Four kilometres of new bike and walking connections are in the mix as part of a new vision for the Yarra Northbank through the city.

Released this week, the draft Greenline Implementation Project contains hints of a future that has a convenient commuter bike route along Flinders Street and much improved pedestrian and bike links for the leisure traffic along the Yarra frontage.

The detailed study explaining the vision is out for public consultation and is available here.

Be sure to take the survey and comment.

East-west access for bikes at the south of the CBD has long been a commitment of the City, but plans have emerged, only to float away with the tides.

There was even a concept for a pontoon bike path along Northbank: that idea quietly sunk in the Yarra mud.

Now the City is promising "improved connection between public spaces to support access and seamless movement of pedestrians and cyclists, providing opportunities for varied experiences with the Birrarung.”

The plans says that despite the attraction of the river, there are many issues that currently hinder access to and movement along the Northbank.

"Movement along the river is also challenging as all the major streets and bridges which cross the Northbank prioritises car movement over pedestrians and cyclists.

"The Northbank is part of the Capital City Trail and is currently used by both pedestrians and cyclists. These user groups have different spatial requirements as a result of different travel speeds and movement patterns.

"The differences between users in a limited space sometimes creates conflicts and negatively impact the safety and experience of the Northbank.

"The Yarra River Birrarung Strategy and the Transport Strategy propose the provision of protected cycle lanes on Flinders Street for commuter cyclists and the Northbank as a “slow space” for recreational cyclists to manage this conflict.”

Although the Transport Plan pointed the way to Flinders Street becoming a high-grade bike route, and Bicycle Network has already assisted with planning and design, little of the vision has emerged publicly thus far.

However, when the Metro Tunnel project gets out of the way, a tremendous opportunity will emerge.

The plan says pedestrian and cycling upgrades to Flinders Street will be coordinated, and there will be improve pedestrian and recreational cycling connections between Flinders Street and the Greenline.

The project will also resolve conflicts between pedestrians and recreational cyclists at existing pinch points along Flinders Walk.

There will also be a safe recreational cycling connection from future Flinders Street cycle lanes to Siddeley Street and the river front.

Improved street crossings for riders and walkers are an important feature of the plan generally.

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