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North East Bicycle Corridor


 
East West Link Visual Concept approaching Alexandra parade
East West Link Visual Concept approaching Alexandra parade. 

The Need

  • Bicycles are used more and more for transport in Melbourne.
  • Counts show that the greatest increases in riding are in inner Melbourne, and in suburbs to the North, Southeast and Northwest. 
  • Increases in riding to the Northeast are below trend, and considering the number of residents there is large latent demand.  
  • The deep valleys of the Yarra River and Merri Creek cut right across every route to the Northeast of Melbourne.  In the past road and rail bridges were built across these valleys, and now with increasing riding there is a need to build additional bicycle crossings to the Northeast. 
  • Presently significant natural barriers and low quality infrastructure with steep gradients prevent the development of riding in this corridor.
  • The Yarra Trail, Anniversary Trail and Darebin Creek Trail are already exist in the North East but do not cross the Yarra.
  • This route will provide the missing link between the Chandler Highway and Alexandra Parade


The Solution

A direct arterial path built from Chandler Highway where the Darebin, Yarra, and Anniversary Trails converge to Alexandra Parade. 

North Eastern Bicycle Corridor route map summary

Reasons to build the North East Bicycle Corridor

  • Transport - Provides people of Melbourne with a route that allows them ride in this corridor, as an alternative to existing on-road routes that have heavy traffic.
  • Safety - Separated paths reduce the risk of collisions with motor vehicles which encourages less assertive people to ride. Current route circuitous, steep and not well lit.
  • Journey Savings – 1km shorter and a much flatter gradient.
  • Travel Time Savings – the direct connection could provide up to 10 minutes less cycling time.
  • Encourage mode shift from cars to bicycles – due to people switching from driving to riding
  • Health - Increased physical activity translates to reduced health costs.
  • Family friendly – A separated shared path will be suitable for people aged 8 to 80 and encourage families, including children, to cycle.
  • Key destinations – Greater CBD, inner northern suburbs, Melbourne Tertiary Campuses and the Hospital Precincts, Yarra Bend Park and NMIT.
  • Key connections – this arterial route provides linkages to the Yarra River Trail, Koonung Creek Trail, Anniversary Trail and Darebin Creek Trail.
  • Community - the route provides access to a large number of community facilities including parks, gardens, schools and community centres

North East Bicycle Corridor Connections
NEBC before and after

Specification

  • Type Separated shared use path
  • Scope Direct connection between Chandler Highway and Alexandra Parade
  • Rider Numbers Increasing to 4000 riders per day, similar to Gardiners Creek Trail
  • Width 4m on structures, 3m minimum (at constraints)
  • Profile Minimal climbing
  • Gradient 5% maximum
  • Location Situated on northern side of Eastern Freeway
  • Parkland         Impact on parkland will be minimised by using existing trails and paths
  • Cost Estimate   $30m including structures

Community locations accessed via the route

North East Bicycle Corridor Community places



Assessment Panel recommends including NEBC in East West Link 

East West Link (Eastern Section) Project 
Assessment Committee Report  30 May  2014
Page 118 of 389 (Volume 1) second last page.

6.9.4 Findings
The completed Project should incorporate safe, efficient cycling and pedestrian facilities.
Clearly, apart from pedestrian escape routes, these facilities will be excluded from the tunnels. Pedestrian access in the area of the Hoddle Street and Eastern Freeway interchange is essential, and the final design should enhance safe and efficient pedestrian access opportunities.

The LMA should ensure that the final design for the Project incorporates a north east bicycle corridor along the Eastern Freeway and an extension along Alexandra Parade.

In the opinion of the Committee, the final design work should confirm that the opportunity for a Doncaster Rail service is maintained.

Premier Napthine announces the North East Bicycle Link

Premier Denis Napthine and Transport Minister Terry Mulder jointly announced on Sunday 5 October 2014 that the North East Bicycle link would be constructed as part of the East West Link project.

The announced route follows the Eastern Freeway from Chandler Highway along a terrace above the road cutting, crosses the Boulevard then descends to a new bike-pedestrian bridge across the Yarra and continues on to another new bridge across the Merri Creek and Trenerry Crescent. The route then connects to the proposed bike lane along the Hoddle Street Soundwave overpass.

This route offers very significant improvements for cyclists of all ages.  

While the new bicycle and pedestrian link is fully funded, the final design is subject to planning approvals and a consultation process.

BBUG will continue to consult with the Linking Melbourne Authority on route details such as utilising the "spare freeway lane" near the Chandler Highway and avoiding the very high climb over Hoddle Street.

Addtional External Links

Appendix 1 - Route Description

East of Chandler Hwy, Kew (Melway 45C2) 
  • Connect to Yarra Trail and climb freeway embankment and pass through an unused underpass of the Chandler Highway, then through a new underpass of the freeway eastbound off-ramp leading to Chandler Hwy. 
Chandler Hwy to Yarra River
  • Path is on the north side of freeway separated from traffic by a barrier.
Yarra River Freeway Bridge
  • The path can be routed via the eastbound emergency lane on the freeway bridge*.
  • Alternatively, a new path bridge could be built on the north side of the freeway bridge.
Yarra River to Yarra Bend Road
  • The path will follow existing maintenance tracks and shared trails on the north side of the freeway and cross Yarra Bend Road at grade. 
Yarra Bend Road to Merri Creek Bridge
  • The path will continue at freeway level to Merri Creek rather than descending to the Merri Creek
Merri Creek Bridge
  • A path bridge will cross both Merri Creek and Trenerry Crescent and discharge to Alexandra Parade East.
Merri Creek to Clifton Hill Railway Underpass
  • The path under the railway will be raised to 2.2m headroom to reduce the next climb.
Clifton Hill Railway via Hoddle Street Interchange to Alexandra Avenue Median
  • The route will rise over Hoddle Street via a switchback then descend to the Alexandra Avenue median bicycle path.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the NEBC?
The North East Bicycle Corridor is a direct shared path from Chandler Highway (Kew) to Alexandra Parade (Collingwood).

Will pedestrians be able to use the NEBC?
Yes.  The NEBC will be a shared path.

Is this proposal dependent on the East West Link?
No. The NEBC closes a "missing link" and should be built regardless of the East West Link.

Will the NEBC really cost $30m?
BBUG has prepared concept stage estimate of 30m which includes contingency.  This cost estimate would be refined further during detailed design.

Is it too late to build the NEBC?
No. The Assessment Panel has referred the NEBC proposal to the LMA

Has this type of path been built before?
Yes. Similar bicycle infrastructure that has been built during freeway projects include the Koonung Trail, Citylink (Gardiners Ck gantry), Penninsula Link, Eastlink, Craigieburn extension.

Will the NEBC impact Doncaster Rail and stop it being built?
No. The NEBC proposal uses land to the north of the Freeway and has no impact on proposed Doncaster Rail alignments and tunnels.

Will the NEBC route affect parkland?
The NEBC route follows existing tracks and shared trails through recreational areas.

Will the NEBC provide access to parkland?
Yes. The NEBC will give convenient access to parkland, recreational and sporting facilities.

Will the NEBC be used mainly for commuters?
During workday morning and afternoons there will be many people will use the NEBC to go to work. At other times the NEBC will be used by families, walkers and recreational riders.

How does the NEBC connect with Priority Bicycle Routes (PBRs)?
The NEBC will replace the narrow and hilly PBR that is currently located in Yarra Bend Park

How can I support the NEBC and make it happen?
Contact your local Victorian state MP and sign this petition