Tram project to refashion La Trobe Street bike lanes

The State government has announced an upgrade of the La Trobe Street tram route, which will deliver improvements to the popular east-west bike facility through the CBD to Docklands.

The $68 million project will deliver 12 new accessible tram stops at six locations. There will be big changes to the configuration of the street, which creates an opportunity to reposition and widen the bike lanes.

Stops will be relocated along the corridor, removing conflict points and creating space for separated bike lanes to continue right up to intersections.

The platform stops will separate tram passengers from traffic and guide them to formal crossings where there will be less risk of pedestrian spillover into the bike lane.

The biggest change will be the construction of double-length 66-metre platform stops for the State Library Station, located east of the Swanston Street intersection and serving Melbourne Central Station.

The new stops at Elizabeth Street will be built on the west side the intersection.

Troublesome stops at Spencer Street will be moved towards King Street, while the stops for Flagstaff Station will be consolidated on the east side of the La Trobe-William intersection.

Tram stops on La Trobe Street at King Street, Queen Street, Russell Street and Victoria Street will be removed.

La Trobe Street first gained separated bike lanes a decade ago, but the varying width of the street and the existing tram stop locations made it difficult to find space for the lanes.

The latest designs, while yet to be finalised, promise to fix many of the squeeze points and provide separation up to intersections.

Bicycle Network has provided input into the design process and has argued that the bike lanes should not be less than 1.8 metres in width to ensure that riders can comfortably pass one another along the street.

Work is expected to get underway by the middle of next year and will be delivered over several stages, and is expected to take months to complete.

Details of closures and detours will be available nearer the date.

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