sandridge trail

Councillors' Ride of the Gateway Ward

On Saturday 30th March the BUG took Councillor Ogy Simic and Mayor Dick Gross for a ride around Gateway Ward to look at some bicycle infrastructure, both the problems and the good new things. Our route and list of issues is here.

Despite the chilly temperature, strong winds and looming grey clouds, we were lucky to get sunshine to ride in. Here we are starting at the Port Melbourne Rotunda.

Despite the chilly temperature, strong winds and looming grey clouds, we were lucky to get sunshine to ride in. Here we are starting at the Port Melbourne Rotunda.

We made an early stop on the Bay Trail at the Sandridge lifesaving club. Here, the trail diverts away from the waterfront and runs along Beacon Rd. We were concerned that the bus stop (below) is a hazard, as the advertising blocks sight lines, making it difficult for cyclists to see people waiting at the bus stop or oncoming cyclists.

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Next was a ride along Route 4 of the Integrated Transport Strategy (ITS), the Garden City extension. Beacon Rd needs an on-road protected route, especially through this roundabout—-

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Route 4 then becomes a shared path through the Garden City Reserve. Shared paths are not optimal (they are unpleasant for cyclists and pedestrians), and we hope no new shared paths will be constructed as part of this project. There is a short connection missing between Garden City and the Sandridge Trail.

On to the Sandridge Trail itself: we had a look at those irritating railing chicanes.

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Then over to Cecil and Moray Streets. We were impressed with the new separated path on the north end of Moray St, and the associated protected roundabouts. Hopefully all the new ITS routes are up to this standard.

On the protected bike lane on Moray St

On the protected bike lane on Moray St

All good things must come to an end! Moray St fizzles out when it crosses the border into the City of Melbourne, and our hours of sunshine were also up.

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Thanks to Ogy and Dick for your support for cycling; Pierre and Brendan for braving the weather and coming along; Simon for the photos; Dennis and Rochelle for keeping us on track; and Liz, Geraldine and Jo for the route planning and the admin support.

Sandridge Trail

The Sandridge rail trail is a shared use path that connects Station Pier in Port Melbourne and City Road, just south of the CBD.   It's a pleasant and convenient route, but it falls short of being a high quality off-road route. 

Interactive map is  here.

Interactive map is here.

This path is well used by people cycling and walking.  

This path is well used by people cycling and walking.  

Shared path.   When I rode this path on a sunny morning it was well used by cyclists and people walking, particularly older people.   Shared paths are not ideal.  People walking dislike cyclists riding past at moderate cycling speeds (20km/hr), while enforcing a "code of conduct" for pedestrians (e.g requiring that they stay left at all times, avoid walking in groups, and strictly controlling small children and dogs) destroys the pleasure of the walk.   On the other hand, requiring cyclists to ride at slow speeds while passing pedestrians decreases the utility of this as a transport route.    The best practice here would be to create separate paths for walking and cycling, where space allows.

Path loses priority at Bridge St.

Path loses priority at Bridge St.

No crossing at Bridge St.   This needs either a zebra crossing (raised) or a signalised crossing with bike/pedestrian priority.   At the very least, it should have a "keep clear" zone to prevent vehicles from blocking the route while queuing (the gates of the tram crossing are just to the left of the view above).

I'm not sure what works are being done here at Ingles St-- hopefully a better crossing!

I'm not sure what works are being done here at Ingles St-- hopefully a better crossing!

Rails blocking the path.   At the tram depot, the path is blocked by yellow rails that are supposed to force cyclists to give way to trams leaving the depot.     These rails slow cyclists down and are extremely difficult (if not impossible) for people towing trailers, or riding long wheelbase bikes, or riding trikes.    A better solution would be to have gates that close when trams approach, leaving the path unimpeded at all other times.

At the first tram depot crossing.

At the first tram depot crossing.

At the second depot crossing. This gentleman told me that he'd recently slipped and fell on the tram tracks.

At the second depot crossing. This gentleman told me that he'd recently slipped and fell on the tram tracks.

Poor connection to the city.   The trail just ends at City Road, with no clear safe connection across the river to the CBD.

Almost at the city, but not quite!

Almost at the city, but not quite!