Trams to trim Swanston Street separation

The barriers used in Melbourne’s earliest separated bike lanes will shed some of their girth in a project to improve tram safety.

Trams in Swanston Street North are getting their own barrier kerbs to keep car drivers on the straight and narrow just as bikes did 15 years ago.

To fit the tram separators in and protect the tracks, the bike barrier kerbs will be shaved to provide the width needed.

The bike lane itself will remain the same width.

When bike lanes initially began to benefit from the use of kerb separators the barriers were usually conservatively wide.

Now engineers are carefully using varying widths to suit different street configurations, without any noticeable impact on the rider experience.

Yarra Trams is working with the Department of Transport and City of Melbourne to install the tram separation kerbs and modify the bike lane separator islands along Swanston Street, between Victoria and Grattan streets, Carlton.

Night works to install new tram separation kerbs will take place from 8pm to 5am, Thursday 5 January to Thursday 16 March 2023 (except Friday and Saturday nights).

Day works to modify the bike lane separator islands will take place from 7am to 4pm, Thursday 5 January to Thursday 16 March 2023 (weekends, if required).

Bike lanes between Victoria and Grattan streets will be closed during Bike lane separator island works with local detours in place.

The work will be done in stages with successive detours for each stage.

Generally southbound bikes will detour via Cardigan Street and north bound bikes will detour via Bouverie Street.

Follow signage and traffic management around the work zone and allow extra time when planning your journey.

Yarra trams says the new separation kerbs will:

  • reduce vehicle and tram collisions
  • reduce major network disruptions
  • allow emergency vehicles to mount the kerbs to respond to emergencies.
  • have vehicle crossing gaps in the kerbs at key points for vehicles to more safely cross tramways.

Work will involve:

  • setting up localised traffic management near worksites.
  • profiling and asphalting of the road to prepare the surface for works line marking and road surface painting along tram tracks.
  • removing the old yellow tram separation kerbs and installing new raised kerbs between tram tracks and the closest traffic lane.
  • permanently removing six car parking spaces for safety (see map overleaf for more details).
  • reinstating the work area.

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