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High hopes for ‘other’ east-west link

12 Feb 2015

High hopes for ‘other’ east-west link Image

Proponents of the Melbourne B1 Veloway are confident that the new State Government will accept their novel idea to separate cyclists from CBD motorists and pedestrians.

If accepted and finally built, the Veloway cycle path would be “clipped” to the outside of the 1.7km railway viaduct, passing over Banana Alley and six intersections, between Flinders St and Southern Cross stations.

The consortium behind the novel idea has taken to calling the Veloway “the other east-west link” and is hopeful of a better reception from the new Labor government than the original east-west road link.

“At this stage, all we are seeking from government is a commitment to fund a fuller feasibility study which we believe will prove the business case and show a net state benefit for the state and for all Melburnians,” said consortium spokesperson Grant O’Donnell.

Mr O’Donnell, a director of Melbourne Life-form Development, said the Veloway would provide an important link connecting Melbourne’s bicycle networks from Cremorne, Richmond in the east to Docklands in the west.

“As a congested city, we have to make life easier for motorists, taxis, delivery drivers and of course for cyclists. The current thinking which seems to begin and end with bike lanes and painting lines on roads is demonstrably not good enough,” Mr O’Donnell said.

“We believe this public infrastructure proposal will firmly establish Melbourne as a transport innovator in delivering improved cycle safety through much needed separation of cars from bikes and also from pedestrians along the busy

Northbank and Southbank precincts as well as being an appealing amenity for ride to work commuters and visitors to Melbourne.”

“Cycling to work has more than doubled in the last 10 years and a stated aim of all governments has been to provide vehicle-free paths and facilities as an extremely effective way for improving their safety.”

In welcoming the proposal, Yarra River Business Association executive officer Tim Bracher said the Veloway would help address a number of issues.

“The Veloway project ticks so many boxes for Melbourne that it’s hard to understand why it’s not getting much traction at town hall and Spring St,” he said.

“It would help address the cycle safety problem on Southbank, reduce traffic congestion and pollution, encourage exercising, speed-up travel time between Docklands and Southbank, and it would be a fantastic tourist attraction as well.”

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