Lorrimer Context

Collecting the varied disasters at the east end of Lorrimer Street this post joins them together in context with mapping of the transport infrastructure. Omitted in whole are the lightly trafficked marina moorings inside the bay and the western end of this block which is still under construction and likely to change. Although expansive the wide footpaths and shared paths along the waterfront have a broad range of “furniture” across them including trees, seats, bins, bicycle parking (including a bicycle hire station), and cafes with footpath trading. The full overview here shows the infrastructure that rings the 4 mixed use high rise buildings.

map of all transport at Lorrimer Street east terminus

The quick links back to previous content are:
The convoluted Webb Bridge, top right and dominated by shared path but with the dangerous dedicated sections.
Forced Termination, the isolated shared path in the centre at the bottom.
Termination Replication, on the far right in the Southbound road.
Slipping Surface, the hatched sections of the shared path are the dangerous wooden surfaces.
Denial of Utility, non compliant attempts at a friendly no bicycles sign exist on the ramps between the shared path and footpath.
Routine Disregard and Without Hesitation, located immediately to the right of the isolated shared path, enters from the north into the middle of the large intersection.

Having settled into these new buildings the residents and operators have begun to take ownership of the space and some are quite hostile to cyclists using the footpath to gain access between the shared path and on road facilities. Remove the footpaths from view and the cyclists perspective becomes a little more clear (click for 1MB full size image).

map of bicycle transport at Lorrimer Street east terminus

Marked in red are the routes cyclists are commonly taking at the moment, the left route passing through a cafe trading on the footpath with its tables and chairs both sides of the path. This was addressed months ago with the addition of the calming barriers which only increased the contention between cyclists and pedestrians trying to navigate the area. Similarly the right most routes pass between narrows formed by walls across the open space. The owners or operators of these buildings have even on occasion hired security guards to patrol the area and discourage cyclists (after there was reportedly a collision).

On road the conditions are no better with bicycles diverted to a stop on footpaths rather than carried though the intersection. The lanes marked in the intersection are themselves an interesting study in doing it wrong with the few lanes that do exist not being marked across the points where left turning traffic crosses the route and is obliged to give way with or without the path, back to the road rules for a very commonly ignored pair of clauses.

69 Giving way at a give way sign or give way long at an intersection (except a roundabout)
(2A) If the driver is turning left using a slip lane, the driver must give way to:
(a) any vehicle on the road the driver is entering, or turning right at the intersection the driver is entering (except a vehicle making a U-turn at the intersection); and
(b) any other vehicle or pedestrian on the slip lane

Including all the routes not using the dangerous path along the wooden wharf, the only connected link for bicycles across all these paths is North-East through the diabolical Webb Bridge and that still includes an inclined length of wooden path into a pinch point at the top right of the image. Even for riders accepting the hazards of the wooden wharf the route only continues west onto further poor surfaces without any connection back onto the surrounding through infrastructure. Looking back to the council and government for their take on the area, a repetitive message comes across.

Southbank Structure Plan 2010, North South “Primary Cycle Route (Off Road)”. Notes that Southbank Promenade is only viable east-west link across city.

City of Melbourne Transport Strategy, Cycling City, 2012-2016, shows an East-West-North
“Priority Route” as an off-road path.

Vicroads Bicycle network planning, 2012, North-South and East-West “Principal Bicycle Network” somehow through the intersection (no detail).

Inner Melbourne Action Plan, 2009, Update claims to replace the Principal Bicycle Network and shows many more routes throughout the city including East-North and East-West routes at this intersection.

Plan Melbourne, 2014, shows very few cycling routes throughout the city yet still includes a North-South-East route for “Potential Enhancement” and a possible new bridge for East-West bypass at this intersection.

Even the most pessimistic view notes this critical junction in the bicycle network. So why has it been left without any connectivity? Since it is now built the cost of change ensures we’re unlikely to see any realistic resolution to the problems and the cyclists are once again left at the bottom of the transport hierarchy with their only routes being contrary to the intended design and coming into unnecessary conflict with pedestrians in the narrow choke points. We are still chasing a discussion with the councillor responsible for these issues but until that happens its all finger pointing and dead ends of commercial ownership.

Melbourne transport, disaster in its implementation only, i.e. good ideas gone wrong, just no photos here.


4 thoughts on “Lorrimer Context

  1. You have put the language and the arguments behind the frustration I experience every time I go this way. Getting from south to north across the River is made impossibly difficult at each of the River crossings


    1. It is much worse for pedestrians as they too have no alternatives to travelling through this pinch point. I will endeavour to return and capture the problems with the pedestrian crossings and present them too.


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