Council wants re-think on Queens Avenue bike lane

The City of Glen Eira has abandoned its support for the bike corridor along Queens Avenue in Caulfield North and wants alternative routes explored.

The Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) at Glen Huntly was set to start work on a long-planned shared path beside the racecourse in Queens Avenue when local residents objected, claiming they had not been consulted about the plans, which included removal of street trees.

Extensive consultation was undertaken by the LXRP two years ago, and the trees were to be replaced at a ratio of two to one.

The bike facility is part of a strategic cycling corridor under development along the railway line alignment from Caulfield to Frankston. The LXRP has completed sections along Station Place and Royal Avenue.

The LXRP offered the council a second option, which involved keeping the existing trees in place, but removed car parking. The council took both plans to a new public consultation, but neither was supported.

Now the council has asked for a new route for the strategic cycling corridor, which was selected in 2018, and designed, consulted and funded in 2021.

“While we strongly support exploring new opportunities for strategic cycling infrastructure, any solutions must be well designed and balance the needs of the community and the local environment”, Mayor Cr Anne-Marie Cade says.

"This includes the protection and retention of trees as well as residential amenity, in line with Council’s Urban Forest Strategy.”

Cr Cade wrote to the Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, asking for  "LXRP to come back to the table and work with Council and the community to achieve an outcome that balances safe cycling, residential amenity and the retention of trees”.

In a statement, the Council acknowledged that any option would involve compromise and suggested either changes to the original options, or an alternate route along Derby Road and/or Leamington Crescent (which were previously discounted).

"Council welcomes any opportunity to work alongside the LXRP in undertaking this work in the best interests of residents, cyclists and the wider community,” Cr Cade says.

Bicycle Network will continue to provide advice to the LXRP and will insist that any bike facility fully meets the established requirements for safety, convenience, directness and attractiveness.