: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : Connecting Melbourne's Cyclists Safely
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is Melbourne’s B1 Veloway
A. An innovative public infrastructure initiative designed to join Melbourne’s bicycle networks, improve bike safety and establish Melbourne as a leader in the provision of technically advanced bike infrastructure solutions. An initiative which can dovetail into the proposed re-development of Flinders Street Station. We seek funding to complete a more detailed feasibility study.
Q. What does it comprise
A . A dedicated elevated cycleway to carry cyclists safely above ground across Melbourne’s busy CBD from Flinders St Station in the East to Southern Cross Station and Docklands in the West. A visionary and scalable project the Veloway will span approx 1.7kms eliminating six busy intersections and providing for both East and West bound cyclists separated by median engineering. The Veloway will facilitate greatly improved bike utilisation along the Yarra River from Richmond in the East to Docklands and potentially E-Gate in the West.
Q. Why is it needed
A.The city of Melbourne is Victoria’s busiest municipality in terms of pedestrian and cycling activity. On an average day 805,000 people come into the city and the daily population is set to reach 1 million in the next 10 years. As the city continues to grow as a centre for employment and recreation the safety of vulnerable road users will remain an issue of growing concern.
(Source: City of Melbourne Road Safety Plan 2013-2017)
A core goal of the Plan is to “Create a safe, comfortable and richly engaging urban environment where pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are welcomed and supported through world leading road safety practices” ( Source: City of Melbourne Road Safety Plan 2013-2017)
“We need to move swiftly on infrastructure to improve the functionality of the city – how do we move people within, around and to the city” (Source: Jennifer Cunich, CEO, Property Council of Australia AFR Sept 2011)
Traffic studies predict significant increase in cycle usage and traffic in coming years. Yet the City of Melbourne lags badly behind other capital cities when it comes to spending on bike infrastructure. Melbourne spends an average of $12.43 a person on dedicated cycle infrastructure and is only ahead of Darwin ($4.04) and Hobart ($1) compared with Sydney ranked No 1 with a spend of $62.34 per person (Source: Bicycle Network Victoria – National Audit).
Q. Doesn’t Melbourne and Victoria have adequate bike trails and pathways now
A. Bicycle Network Victoria, the peak not for profit organisation representing the cycling community of Victoria, considers the need to improve infrastructure for cyclists its number one priority(Source: www.bicyclenetwork.com.au)
Providing vehicle-free paths and facilities for cyclists is an extremely effective way of improving their safety (Source: Arrive Alive 2008-2017 Road Safety Strategy – Vic Govt)
While there are many good bike trails now the B1 Veloway would provide a vital purpose built commuter link by joining the key trails at the East of the City with those at the Western end.
Q. How would the Veloway benefit the State
A. In a number of ways – by reducing accidents involving cyclists , for example from 2006-2010 there were 616 reported injuries from car dooring alone in inner Melbourne (VicRoads crash stats); by reducing CBD congestion through greater commuter take up by cyclists; this in turn can reduce pressure on public transport, for example 800 cyclists using the Veloway equates to potentially eliminating or re-deploying a full six carriage train in peak time and by enhancing Melbourne as a bike friendly destination for tourists.
Health benefits cannot be overlooked. An extensive study by Transport & Main Roads Queensland reveals that the health benefit derived from every km cycled equates to $1 which when added to saved motor vehicle costs and congestion reduction costs results in a significant net state benefit
Q. How much would it cost
A. The Veloway’s cost can only be determined after a fuller feasibility study. The consortium is seeking funding for this important step to build on the already extensive work undertaken by it to date. The cost for this study is estimated at $490,000. The study will determine the investment required but indicative build costings are $22m - $23m. The Veloway would utilise light weight high strength materials as well as cutting edge design and Victorian based skills to build it. It would provide employment for Victorians.
Q. How would it be funded
A There are various models but that would be a matter for discussion with the Government and/or City of Melbourne.
Q. How long would it take to construct
A. We estimate, subject to more detailed discussion, approximately two years from the time planning approval is granted.
Q Are there other examples of elevated cycleways in the world
A. Yes, a good example is one under construction in Copenhagen designed to create an important linkage between two bridges in the harbour area – its called the bicycle snake as it curves well above ground for 235m – Melbourne’s Veloway would span 1.7km! A network of elevated cycle tracks is planned for Toronto where 330,000 people ride their bikes regularly. It’s called the Velo-City Track. Across the Tasman in NZ Auckland is well advanced in planning a commuter bike path high across its harbour. (Go to www.skypath.org.nz)
Q. What would this Veloway look like - are there any images
A. We can provide you with images including a download of a 35sec video animation illustrating the Veloway proposal. Also please go to Google and key in Veloway Melbourne and Youtube which carry dramatic images. Also Google Auckland’s proposed Skypath for bikes to hook onto its Harbour Bridge. An elevated bike project similar in a number of ways to the Veloway and well advanced in its planning.
Q – What can I do
Record your support for a feasibility study by emailing us at the address below, or emailing your local member of parliament, the City of Melbourne or the RACV.
Proper separation will help the thousands of motorists as well as cyclists.
To contact us:
Grant O’Donnell, Director,
or Michael Potter, Communication Executive,
Melbourne’s B1 Veloway Consortium
© Melbourne B1 Veloway Consortium 2013