The case for Glen Eira Road/Neerim Road as a "safe cycling route"

... in response to Glen Eira's Draft Integrated Transport Strategy

(This is a little out of our council area, but it's my commute so I thought I'd respond.)

Glen Eira Council is currently seeking community feedback on their Integrated Transport Strategy.

The document has some good aspirations, including a shift to 50% active transport modes (public transport, cycling, walking).  However the proposed actions are too feeble to deliver them.

The most glaring absence to me was the absence of Glen Eira Rd/Neerim Rd from the proposed network of "safe cycling streets". 

Draft "safe cycling streets"

Draft "safe cycling streets"

The Glen Eira Rd/Neerim Rd route ought to be included, because:

*There is a very large distance (2.7km) between the nearest east-west routes, Inkerman Rd to the north and Dover St to the south,  which would require a deviation of several kilometres for some cyclists.   Since the most suitable trips for mode switching to cycling are those trips under 5km, this is a large distance.

*This route was part of the Principal Bicycle Network.   It is already a well-used route, as shown by the Strava heat map below, demonstrating the need for a cycling route here.

* Glen Eira road is eminently suited for a main cycling route:  it is very wide, has no tram tracks, and even with fully separated lanes, could still fit a lane of parking along one of the sides of the road.  

* Neerim Rd is currently very narrow, with bikes forced to take the car lane.  Removing parking along this lane to allow a bike lane would increase traffic flow for cars.

* This route has many schools along it (Ripponlea Primary School, Caulfield Grammer, Shelford, Glen Eira, Mt Scopus etc) with poor provision for safe cycling for the students.  It's not clear how the 'Safe School Zones' will work for these schools with no east-west "safe cycling routes" closer than a kilometer away.

*While ideally a completely protected cycling route (as described in the strategy) would be ideal here,  a significant improvement could be made by merely removing parking, or even by removing parking during peak hours.   In this way it would be easy to stage the introduction of improved cycling facilities.  

Make comments on the Glen Eira Integrated Cycling Strategy here

This route is well used.

This route is well used.

Submission on Draft Domain Precinct Plan

Metro Tunnel is asking for comment on the Draft Domain Precinct Plan.

The Port Phillip Bicycle Users Group supports the proposed design for cycle facilities shown in the draft design.   

There are two proposed locations for separated cycle lanes on St Kilda Rd--- either centrally located, or at the edges of the road, Copenhagen style.

There has been no public consultation as yet on these options.

The Bicycle Network supports the centrally located lanes.

However, the Port Phillip BUG would like to see both options fully modelled and go to public consultation.   We are concerned that the central option treats the cycle lanes as a freeway, good for commuters from the suburbs accessing the city, but neglects many people who have midblock destinations along the length of the road.   

The Domain station proposal shows Copenhagen style lanes, but states that the design is also compatible with centrally located lanes.

While the location of the lanes is still uncertain, it would be prudent to make certain that centrally located lanes are compatible, by providing alternate plans showing the central lanes.

We also request that VicRoads not waste any more time and promptly hold consultations on both options.