Budget backflip funds Brunswick lane design

Merri-bek Council has committed to funding the design of a bike lane on Victoria Street in Brunswick in a last-gasp amendment to its 2023-24 budget.

The proposed separated bike lane would run between the Upfield Shared Path and Pearson Street to the west. This roughly 1km stretch of Victoria Street is included in the Victorian Government's network of Strategic Cycling Corridors.

Merri-bek Council's proposed 2023-27 budget was met with backlash from the bike community when out for consultation last month. Riders bemoaned the lack of funding for new riding infrastructure in the municipality.

In response, the Merri-bek Bicycle User Group (BUG) rallied residents to push the council on the issue, and to great effect.

Of the 121 submissions to the proposed budget, 87 related to bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and 83 of them called for greater budget allocation.

"A lot of people living in these streets will see the benefit of better access to the Upfield Shared Path and Sydney Road," says Merri-Bek BUG convener Faith Hunter.

"Everyone makes a lot of the Upfield Shared Path, but one thing we're very conscious of is that if you live 300 or 400 metres away, there is no way to safely get to it. We are thinking of the three quarters of people who want to ride, but won't ride in traffic."




An Upfield Shared Path user crosses Victoria Street in Brunswick


Merri-bek Council has allocated $135,000 to the Victoria Street design works. Once complete, the designs will be put to the community for consultation.

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