Walking and cycling

Introduction

Large infrastructure projects like North East Link provide opportunities and funding to develop and improve local areas.

To help inform some of the early project design work happening now, we hosted a workshop on 27 February and 6 March to better understand what communities value about walking and cycling.

We also asked participants to help us consider some key design challenges.

  • Developing one network that works equally well for everyone
  • Making paths attractive to use day and night
  • Connecting key neighbourhood areas
  • Improving access to parklands and rivers

Because project design work for North East Link is still at an early stage, we asked ‘big picture’ questions, rather than for feedback about specific locations.

To help our planning consider everyone from dog-walkers to high-speed commuter cyclists we asked participants to imagine themselves as different characters and to think about the reason their character might walk or cycle, what they might like about it, and what they might not like.

How you can get involved

Now that the workshops are over, we’ve continued the conversation online. You can see what we heard from the participants in the room, and add any extra comments you want us to consider.

To get started, we recommend you

  • Watch the videos of the presentations that were given on the night from our content specialists
  • Read the information handouts
  • Read the questions participants asked us during the session and read our answers. You can also ask your own questions here


Introduction

Large infrastructure projects like North East Link provide opportunities and funding to develop and improve local areas.

To help inform some of the early project design work happening now, we hosted a workshop on 27 February and 6 March to better understand what communities value about walking and cycling.

We also asked participants to help us consider some key design challenges.

  • Developing one network that works equally well for everyone
  • Making paths attractive to use day and night
  • Connecting key neighbourhood areas
  • Improving access to parklands and rivers

Because project design work for North East Link is still at an early stage, we asked ‘big picture’ questions, rather than for feedback about specific locations.

To help our planning consider everyone from dog-walkers to high-speed commuter cyclists we asked participants to imagine themselves as different characters and to think about the reason their character might walk or cycle, what they might like about it, and what they might not like.

How you can get involved

Now that the workshops are over, we’ve continued the conversation online. You can see what we heard from the participants in the room, and add any extra comments you want us to consider.

To get started, we recommend you

  • Watch the videos of the presentations that were given on the night from our content specialists
  • Read the information handouts
  • Read the questions participants asked us during the session and read our answers. You can also ask your own questions here


Read what the workshop participants thought different walking and cycling ‘characters’ might want from a walking and cycling network.

You can add your own characters and describe how our planning could consider their needs. Your character could be you, someone you know, or a type of walker or cyclist that hasn’t been included yet.

Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas on walking and cycling. We're reviewing your feedback and working towards sharing an update on the project design in the coming months.

My son uses the bike path along the Greensborough hwy to get to school. I would like to see the bike path separated from any new road for safety reasons and a safer way to cross near the lower plenty road intersection.

CaptainK about 2 years ago

Any plans need to differentiate between two main categoryes of bicycle infrastructure: recreational and transport. They are both quite different.The former (recreation) is already reasonably well-catered for in the NELA area (e.g. Yarra Trail). There is still plenty of scope for improvements that should definitely be looked at. However, it is essential that bicycle facilities intended for transport purposes are designed differently.The Yarra Trail is a good example. Large parts are unsealed and it takes long meandering routes along the River rather than direct routes (e.g. roads). Any bicycle facilities that are intended for use by people commuting or utilitarian cycling (e.g. shopping, visiting friends) should be:- Direct- Safe (on or off-road)- Visible- Useable at medium to high-speeds (for bikes)- Separated from walkersGiven the amount of money being spent on cars/trucks in this project, it is not unreasonable to ask for some proper bicycle transport facilities.Some opportunities for this include the North East Bicycle Corridor and a north-south bike transport route following the alignment of the road itself (like the Eastlink Trail, but much better). It may also involve creating connections between existing off-road trails to make it more direct and suitable for transport purposes (e.g. path on the north side of the Yarra between Chandler Highway and Pipe Bridge).Given that the whole point of the North East Link is to take cars and trucks off local roads, reallocation of existing road space to bikes must also be considered. Safe and direct on-road facilities are vital to the creation of a decent bicycle network in Melbourne. Given that there will be far less demand on existing roads after the NEL is constructed, there are many opportunities to replace surplus car lanes with segregated bicycle infrastructure.There are many best practice examples from around the world to look at.

johnbalwyn about 2 years ago

We need a dedicated walking and cycling path between lower plenty (south of lower Plenty road) and the Plenty River Trail in Viewbank. This would require a bridge for the trail over Plenty river. An ideal spot would be a bridge at Cleveland Wetlands Reserve to connect to the Plenty River Trail there. There is no other way to connect to the Plenty River Trail other than the single road bridge that cars use and is dangerous to cross on foot or on bike.

Fperm about 2 years ago

We desperately need a safe, dedicated link over or under Rosanna Rd. The North East Libk project will rely on Rosanna Rd for an OD and dangerous goods link. Residents on the east side of Rosanna Road need safe and dedicated passage over Rosanna Road. These massive OD’s regularly run through red light pedestrsins crossings due to their mass. We need better links to services and Rosanna Station from the east side of Rosanna Rd.

Fixthemess about 2 years ago

We currently have easy access to a great walking/cycling path from near lower plenty road/greensborough highway. This should be extended up past yallambie and the watsonia army barracks with easy bike/wheelchair access

Deejayp about 2 years ago

As a taxpayer who is funding this project, I can not agree to this frivolity of incorporating walking and cycling infrastructure. This would cater overwhelmingly and only for recreational interests, not as a necessary means of transport (except for a bare handful of stalwarts).Furthermore, now it seems that even the walkers and cyclists and dog walkers are wanting to be separated for 'safety' and may not be satisfied with the plan if it doesn't also include drink and toilet facilities and hill mitigation.Noddyland!

Nostradamus about 2 years ago

We currently walk the Eastern Fwy walking/cycling paths daily and believe that cycle and walking paths need to be separated from a safety perspective. There are many high speed cyclists that pass without warning and it makes it dangerous to combine the two usage types.

Bonster about 2 years ago

To make sure our roads are safe, cyclists should have separate paths than roads and cyclists should be banned from roads. We cannot afford building a cyclist networks while still allow cyclists on roads with motorised vehicles (motorised vehicles paid registeration, have insurance and are held accountable for violating the traffic laws - unlike cyclists who are risking everyone mostly to do excersise rather than commute).

Taxpayer about 2 years ago

Gilda – a tourist with little English walking the Yarra trailsOur workshop participants thought things that would make Gilda’s walk more enjoyable are destinations along the trail like art galleries, paths that connect to public transport, good signage, pictorial maps and toilets.Things that would make her walk less enjoyable are getting lost, cyclists, dogs whizzing by, snakes, steep paths, busy roads and being unaware of path options.

Workshop Participant about 2 years ago

Ben – a 12 year old student riding to schoolOur workshop participants thought things that would make Ben’s trip more enjoyable include direct paths that are flattish and off roads.Things that might make his trip less enjoyable are busy roads, traffic lights and road crossings, older walkers in the way, riding in traffic, hills, obstructions like bollards and poorly kept paths.

Workshop Participant about 2 years ago

Helen – a grandmother with her grandkids going to and from playgroup.Our workshop participants thought things that would make Helen’s trip more enjoyable include flat paths and a stable surface, rest stops, maps and signs, safe crossings and safe toilets.Things that might make her trip less enjoyable are uneven or unsealed surfaces, cyclists and busy roads.

Workshop Participant about 2 years ago

Emma – a 26 year old who rides to work and is afraid of traffic and faster riders. She sometimes rides with her 2 year old daughter on the back of her bikeOur workshop participants thought things that would make Daniel’s trip more enjoyable include a flat sealed path, being separated from traffic, clear views around bends, rest spots off the tracks and clear signage.Things that would make her trip less enjoyable are traffic and busy roads, steep hills, bollards, broken paths/tree roots, overhanging trees, mud and wet spots, walkers on the path and faster riders.

Workshop Participant about 2 years ago

Daniel – a 10 year old boy who walks to school.Our workshop participants thought things that would make Daniel’s trip more enjoyable include being able to socialise with friends such as stopping at the shops, speed restricted traffic, a paved surface and a ‘lollipop person’ to help him cross the road. Safety is important for Daniel and his parents.Things that would make his trip less enjoyable include too much traffic, scary dogs, not enough pedestrian road crossings or crossings with long wait times. Long wait times may encourage Daniel to take risks or cross illegally.

Workshop Participant about 2 years ago

Jamira – a university student on a fixie who rides to class and the pub.Our workshop participants thought things that would make Jamira’s trip more enjoyable include good infrastructure, good signage and feeling safe to ride on the road – including by seeing other riders.Things that would make her ride less enjoyable include frequent stopping, traffic pinch points, hills, slip lanes, literal barriers, roundabouts, speed humps, vehicles being given priority, exhaust and being ‘doored’.

Workshop Participant about 2 years ago

Hussain – an international student who uses cycling as a cheap way to get around but is unfamiliar with the road rules.Our workshop participants thought things that would make Hussain’s ride more enjoyable are continuous bike paths separate from walkers and cars, good connections to public transport, park and ride facilities, good quality paths and clear signage based on numbers not language (similar to nodal wayfinding in Belgium and Holland).Things that would make his ride less enjoyable are congestion, a lot of other path users, dogs, children, not enough lighting or public facilities.

Workshop Participant about 2 years ago

Frank and Girt – friends in their 20s who are hiking enthusiasts who walk for fun and fitness.Our workshop participants thought things that would make Frank and Girt’s walk more enjoyable would be adequate walking tracks, good signage and a broad network.Things that would make their walk less enjoyable are poor surfaces, crossing rivers, creeks and roads, lots of bike traffic, traffic pollution, no drinking water or toilet facilities and feeling unsafe.

Workshop Participant about 2 years ago

Sandra – a 20 year old dog walker who takes her own dog and also walks her neighbours’ dogs to an off-leash park via footpaths and shared paths.Our workshop participants thought things that would make Sandra’s walk more enjoyable are separated walking and cycling paths, water fountains, dog litter bins, a circuit route and an enclosed off-leash area.Things that would make Sandra’s walk less enjoyable are cars, cyclists, dangerous dogs, indirect routes and other path users.

Workshop Participant about 2 years ago

Viet – a council work who rides in hi-vis to get to and from work.Our workshop participants thought things that would make Viet’s ride more enjoyable are a direct and safe route, bike lanes with a buffer between cars, quality surfaces and good lighting.Things that would make Viet’s ride less enjoyable are traffic, road and rail crossings, poor surfaces, mud on paths, construction sites, disconnected paths and other users like walkers and dog-walkers.

Workshop Participant about 2 years ago

Con – an office worker in his mid-30s walking home from the train station via the shops.Our workshop participants thought things that would improve Con’s walk are wide footpaths with lots of shade but free from overhanging branches, pedestrian-friendly crossings with well-sequenced lights, flat surfaces and good lighting.Things that would make his walk less enjoyable are busy roads and roundabouts, traffic and traffic pollution, narrow or hilly paths, poorly maintained paths, poor lighting, being forced to walk in the verge, long delays at traffic lights, flooding on the path and long bridges instead of short underpasses.

Workshop Participant about 2 years ago

The Franklin family – parents on a family outing using only trails with two kids on their own bikes.Our workshop participants thought things that would make the Franklins’ ride more enjoyable are scenery and being able to experience the natural environment, a well-connected track, good signage to reassure them they are on the right path, picnic stops with playgrounds, toilets, a flat path, seats and shelter.Things that make their ride less enjoyable are the possibility of dogs on the trail, unexpected areas of inaccessibility (like breaks in the trail), narrow paths, steep hills, faster riders including groups, crossing major roads, long waits at traffic lights or on traffic islands, and traffic fumes.

Workshop Participant about 2 years ago