Intersection upgrade could ease the squeeze

The State Government has begun detailed investigations into the upgrade of an intersection in Melbourne's west that currently is an hellscape for people on bikes.

The massive, complex roundabout at the intersection of Point Cook Road and Central Avenue in Altona Meadows also serves as the meeting point of on and off-ramps to the Princess Freeway. Not to mention the Maccas.

There are motor vehicles blasting everywhere, hungry for speed and hungry for a feed.

People who live or work in surrounding Laverton, Altona Meadows, Seabrook or Point Cook theoretically have the option of riding a bike to work or education or the train station.

There are bits and pieces of the network in place, including bike lanes at this intersection, but gaps and barriers abound.

Point Cook is virtually landlocked, but still most people attempt to drive.

Now, with the intersection upgrade in planning, there is hope that some of these problems can be fixed.

You can have you say on the planning for the project here.

The area has three railway stations people could use – Williams Landing, Aircraft and Laverton – however they are all on the other side of the freeway.

Good luck with getting over there on a bike.

Major Roads Projects Victoria (MRPV) is now looking at future options for an intersection upgrade, as well as an upgrade to Central Avenue, between Point Cook Road and Skehan Boulevard.

Central Avenue is part of a future Strategic Cycling Corridor that links for Altona along Queens Street, then meanders along Skeleton Creek before taking local roads through to Sneydes Road into Werribee.

MRPV says it is seeking solutions that cater for population growth and increased vehicle movements, reduce travel times, improve travel time reliability and improve safety.

They would be well advised to have a close look at improving bike connections as part of this project because bikes can meet all of the above objectives at far lower cost than options that simply pump more cars onto the road.

The investigations include traffic modelling, environmental and site investigations, planning and social studies, aimed at producing a picture of the area, including environmental and social impacts, and then develop design options and confirm scope and costs of different options.

The business case is expected to be completed late this year.

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