Seafarers bridge approach

Thread the Needle

Another view into the general disaster that is the cycling route along Melbourne’s Yarra River. Nestled between Polly Woodside and the Seafarers Bridge this intersection has pedestrians and cyclists melding from 5 different directions, pictured here from the divided shared path.

needleFront

Extensive use of poles in the middle of the path is entirely unfriendly to cyclists on an already convoluted route, with Austroads recommending a full 1000mm of clearance between cycling spaces and unprotected obstacles such as these. The dominant pedestrian flow is across the face of the bridge continuing along the waters edge with some travelling the other side of the waterfront shed as shown in the above image. Not all that bad until you see the view coming back into this from the river side.

needleReverse

Almost entirely hidden from the first view the route for cyclists through from this direction is either a u-turn up and over the bridge, or along the shared path which is hiding between the boat and the glass fronted building (just visible through the rails of the bridge). Due to the lack of clearance between the posts and signs the only safe route is a grand loop from the right of centre in this image which has both visibility issues from all the posts and likely cyclists and pedestrians passing you on your left (Illegal and dangerous) all while trying to cut through the dominant flow left-right across.

Once the density of buildings has reached this level its too late to build in safe shared or separated paths, even with the street furniture and poles removed trying to cross over two substantial volumes of traffic is simply a hard problem. Options to avoid the crossing over by continuing cycle traffic down Dukes Walk (turning left in the first image) is hindered by a lack of exit back onto the Yarra River leaving this to disaster without any easy solutions.

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