The Move Connect Live Integrated Transport Strategy rightly emphasises Active Transport, and backs this up with strategic and ambitions plans for action.
At the heart of the cycling strategy is a plan to build separated cycle lanes along 11 cycling corridors, with plans for 3 more after 2028.
This is excellent: we've seen cycling strategies come and go with mealy-mouthed "action items" focussing on "encouraging behaviour change" but study after study has shown that the single best way to substantially increase the number of people cycling is to protect them from heavier vehicles.
In the absence of protected lanes, the proportion of trips taken by bike is likely to remain under 3%, undertaken mainly by committed enthusiasts. By building a network of separated lanes, cities like Seville and London have massively boosted their cycling rates. Separated lanes also result in higher cycling rates among women, children, and the elderly.
The network proposed is reasonably comprehensive, although Fisherman's Bend seems rather under-served.
Of course the success of this policy will be in the implementation, but comparing this strategy to our neighbouring councils shows that City of Port Phillip is light years ahead: Glen Eira's recent Integrated Transport Strategy could come up with no better than to "plan and design a pilot cycle corridor improvement project with a protected cycleway to encourage an increase in cycling"; similarly, Stonnington's cycling strategy has a lot of auditing, liaising, encouraging participation, and "investigating opportunities", but the only plan for actual provision of safe cycling routes is improving some existing off-road trails. Well done CoPP!
The strategy is not perfect. Omissions include:
- Fisherman's Bend needs to be included in the cycle network.
- The following roads should be included in the network, for construction post-2028 if necessary: Glen Huntly Road; Glen Eira Rd east of Brighton Rd.
- The signalised crossing of the Elwood Canal with Glen Huntly Road has already been supported by Council, and should appear on either in the pedestrian or cycling section of the plan.
- The off-road shared/cycle paths form important commuter links, and should be included in the map to give a full picture. These include the cycle lanes in Albert Park, the Sandridge cycle trail, and the Elwood Canal. (The Bay trail is included.)
- Route 9, labelled as Acland St/Mitford St/Beach St, seems to be mapped to Selwyn Avenue, rather than Beach St.
- Route 7, Sandringham Line/ Westbury St - Ripponlea to Windsor, should include connection to Glen Eira. There is already a well used route to Glen Huntly Rd on both sides of the railway line east of the railway line, but there needs to be a safe crossing of Hotham St. This route could include a contraflow lane on Lyndon St, which is currently one-way.
Otherwise, an excellent step forward.
I encourage filling in the survey (before 30th July) to show your support (and identify any other gaps).