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Council plans cycle by-pass

The City of Melbourne has revealed plans which will re-route commuter bicycle traffic around Docklands.

With the Capital City Trail bringing thousands of cyclists in contact with pedestrians in Docklands, the plan has been welcomed by local residents.

Footscray Road is currently the preferred cycling route into the city from the western suburbs.  But the council is proposing as part of its 2010 municipal strategic statement (MSS), a new route adjacent to railway lines.

Planning chair Cr Peter Clarke said the new plan dovetailed into broader transport initiatives including new road links and metropolitan and regional rail links.

“The current thinking is to create bicycle ‘freeways’ whenever new transport initiatives are undertaken,” Cr Clarke said.

“The council is well aware of the less than satisfactory mix of cyclists and pedestrians in Docklands and a redeveloped Harbour Esplanade will help separate them,” he said.

“But bringing the cyclists in alongside the railway line will create much better connections with LaTrobe St so they can connect with important links to the north and the east from the Nicholson St/Victoria Pde intersection.”

“Similarly, they will be able to follow the railway alongside Wurundjeri Way to make a much smoother connection with Flinders St and the trails along the river.”

Docklands Community Association president Roger Gardner welcomed the proposal saying the planned diversion seemed “good for all”.

“Diverting cyclists to travel along the railway line, besides being convenient for cyclists, should be a big help to Docklands residents, workers and visitors by relieving the congestion of cyclists versus pedestrians along the Esplanade,” Mr Gardner said.

The council’s municipal strategic statement is currently in draft form.  The document suggests how and where the long-term growth and development of the city will occur.  

Following State Government authorisation, a formal exhibition process will give residents, businesses and other city users the chance to make submissions on the MSS.  

Cr Clarke encouraged the community to offer its opinion on the proposed plan.

“Once the State Government grants permission for a formal exhibition process, people will have the opportunity to review the MSS and make a submission.  It will be an unparalleled opportunity to have a say in our city’s future design,” he said.

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