BBUG input 2 Jul 2020

We are very pleased to see significant progress on the development of options for the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail.

Our main items of feedback are:

Connection to Yarra
The area under consideration should extend to the Yarra River and include a suitable crossing point(s) to the Main Yarra Trail.
It would be worth getting input from the City of Yarra to identify any plans they have regarding relevant Yarra crossing locations

Gradients
Gradients need to be considered and assessed for route options.
  • The railway alignment has an even grade that is suited to both trains and bicycles
  • Prospect Hill Rd has steep hills that would be less attractive to some cyclists (near Spencer Rd is a "Black Spot"). 
Rail alignment options
Several path options for the rail alignment option marked as "no path feasible" could be done using elevated spans:
  • Around Glenferrie Station
  • Along the cutting west of Camberwell Station (possibly above the railway tracks)
  • Past East Camberwell station and on to Canterbury Station
  • From Canterbury Station past Chatham Station
Elevated spans can also be used for bridges across roads (Myrtle Road, Elgar Road etc).  They also require less construction in or close to private property and railway easements as only pylons are needed in the ground.

Some examples of similar recent infrastructure include Sayers Road, Leakes Road, Dohertys Road on the Federation Trail and the planned elevated trail along Footscray Road (part of the West Gate Tunnel project).

Canterbury Station
  • Our preferred route would cross Canterbury Road on a bridge for bikes and pedestrians on the north side next to the railway bridge.
  • The elevated path would then:
    • Connect with a ramp (possibly the existing railway station ramp) to provide access to the railway station and down to Canterbury and Maling Roads.
    • Continue on past the railway station above the car park to minimise conflict between bikes, pedestrians and cars (this could be next to a multi level car park if that proceeds)
  • John Constable is the Chair of the Canterbury Community Action Group www.ccag.net.au 0407 553 663 john@jjcgroup.com.au - they are working on plans to upgrade Canterbury Station and are also keen to get a shared path overpass built over Canterbury Road and improvements done to the station.
Road options
  • Road options at grade would require crossings of busy roads where expensive traffic lights would be required (e.g. Burke Rd, Auburn Road, Glenferrie Rd).  Children would need to very closely supervised at these locations  
  • Major road options such as Burwood Road would need permanent separated lanes that would reduce traffic lanes and parking.
  • Prospect Hill Road is very narrow in places and carries heavy traffic
  • Narrow minor road options such as Oxley Street would also require permanent separated lanes that would reduce traffic lanes and parking.  Canning St and Napier St are examples where this has been done well.
Petitions
The 2019 petition to State Parliament had 1884 signatures.
This petition to Mayors of Whitehorse and Boroondara currently has 943 supporters http://chng.it/VHB8tTjh 

Connection with Box Hill
  • Following the south side of the railway line with a bridge over Elgar Road is the best option
  • A separated protected bike lane on Mont Albert Road from Mont Albert Station to Elgar Road would be acceptable
  • Using the spare railway easement and ghost platform under Box Hill Central (south side) is worth investigating.
  • The Suburban Rail Loop project will also have a big impact on the Box Hill connection.
  • The Eastern Rail Strategy mentions the connection through to Hawthorn.
COVID-19 and resilience
We didn't discuss this, but our view is that:
  • There has been an upsurge in the usage of shared paths for walking, cycling and jogging for local exercise.
  • Provision of safe cycling infrastructure would create jobs and provide safe, healthy walking and cycling opportunities that have recently shown to be very important for providing resilience in communities.
  • As people return to work, it is expected that many may not want to share public transport and will use a car instead, greatly increasing road traffic. 
  • People who are financially impacted will be looking to save money on transport and parking. Providing more shared paths will enable people to travel by bicycle instead.