Bike paths in and around the city of Melbourne have developed since the mid 1970s, driven by the campaigns of Bicycle Victoria and local Bicycle User Groups. There has been increased recognition from all levels of government of the benefit of cycling activities.
Melbourne today has a significant network of shared (cycling and walking) trails that mostly follow river and creek systems, next to some freeways and occasionally along some sections of suburban train line.
The length of the trails in Melbourne totaled 670km in 2007. It is possible to cycle considerable distances in Melbourne on these shared trails without riding along busy roads.
However, many regions in Melbourne are not currently serviced by shared trails. There are some cycling routes in these regions with cycling lanes are marked on the roads, but these are often too close to parked cars and these cycle lanes often disappear at intersections and along narrower sections of road. Examples of these include St Kilda Road, Inkerman Road and sections of Balywn and Union Roads (Balwyn).
There are some popular cycling routes with good bike lanes and low vehicle traffic such as Canning Street.
During 1995 to 2011, short sections of some cycle routes have been provided with Copenhagen Lanes where the cycle lane is positioned next to the footpath and cars are parked to the right, separated by a physical barrier. Examples of these include Swanston Street (Carlton) and Albert Street (East Melbourne).
Providing a network of safe cycling routes and trails across Melbourne is a significant challenge due to the demands of other transport modes such trams, buses, cars and trucks.
Bicycle Routes >