“Cycling super-highway” under way amid further local safety concerns

Cycling Superhighway
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Sean Car

The Victorian Government has begun construction of a new 2.5-kilometre “cycling super-highway” to Docklands as calls mount for safety upgrades to dangerous intersections around the West Gate Tunnel project.

On May 26, Minister for Transport Infrastructure Danny Pearson announced that the first segment of the new veloway had been lifted into place, with the track to be completely separated from traffic and suspended between Footscray Rd and the new elevated road above – the first of its kind in Australia. 

Running between Shepherd Bridge in Footscray and the city side of Moonee Ponds Creek in Docklands, the veloway will remove the need for cyclists to cross six intersections, including busy port entries and exits – giving bike riders a safe, dedicated express off-road route to and from the CBD.

“The new elevated cycling super-highway above Footscray Rd will be a game changer for cyclists in the West – giving cyclists a safer off-road route between the inner west and the city,” Minister Pearson said.

“Cyclist safety is at the forefront of the veloway’s design – which will remove six intersections for bike riders between Footscray and Docklands.”

 

 

More than 190 individual segments will be individually lifted to form the veloway’s suspended section and will weigh a total of 1700 tonnes once complete, connecting to the new green bridge which can currently be seen on Footscray Rd in Docklands.

While the new cycling route is constructed, cycling advocacy groups continue to lobby the state government for urgent safety upgrades to existing cycling routes around the West Gate Tunnel project.

Police continue to investigate after a cyclist was left with serious injuries in a hit-run incident by a truck while travelling along Dynon Rd at the intersection of City Link at around 8.55am on May 8.

Police allege the truck driver fled the scene. The male cyclist was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

A Department of Transport and Planning spokesperson said it was “working closely with Victoria Police to support their investigation and to better understand the circumstances of this crash”.

The incident has shocked the community, with Greens State MP for Melbourne Ellen Sandell calling on the state government to improve safety at the intersection.

 

 

The incident follows the death of cyclist Angus Collins, 22, who was struck by a truck while cycling at the nearby Footscray Rd-Dock Link Rd intersection on February 2, 2023. 

“The Labor State Government has known about these dangerous intersections for well over a year, since Angus Collins was killed in a similar situation nearby,” Ms Sandell said.

 

I have begged Labor to act on this issue, to change the traffic lights to stop trucks killing and injuring cyclists, and they’ve refused.

 

Dr John Symons, president of cycling advocacy group BikeWest, said he had raised concerns with the state government over the nature of the dangerous nature for the past six months.

“We warned them this is exactly what would happen. We are fairly certain it will happen again,” he told sibling publication North West City News.

“Changes to the intersection are absolutely vital. We would like to see a detour for bicycle traffic that takes riders around the back of the on ramp, so they avoid the intersection entirely – much like the bicycle path that goes around the on ramps on Footscray Rd.”

“Failing that, the intersection needs a right-hand arrow for motor traffic heading east who are turning on to the on ramp.” •

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Meet Peta Brehaut

May 29th, 2024 - Docklands News
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