Sprint or Die

Sorry for the unusually negative and confrontational title but words fail to express the insanity unfolding. Having been chasing down the endless issues with the bicycle infrastructure surrounding the intersection of Lorimer and Montague Streets with Convention Centre Place and Wurundjeri Way (as previously recapped in Lorrimer Context) each further lead only shows more clearly how cyclists are being actively excluded from the environment, intentionally by those making the decisions.

Initial contact with the council disclaimed any responsibility for the area and suggest I pay to retrieve the contact details of the surrounding property owners. Contacting the local councillor responsible for the portfolio they referred us back to the engineering department of the City of Melbourne who then claimed responsibility for the path but deflected any on road concerns to Vicroads and the following quote:

Montague Street / Wurundjeri Way is a major highway with the principle purpose of providing a link between South Melbourne and the CBD for vehicular traffic, there is little scope for adequate bicycle infrastructure to also be supported on these carriageways

Separating cycling from vehicles as a whole, despite the road rules being very clear on the matter:

What is a vehicle
(1) A “vehicle” is a conveyance that is designed to be propelled or drawn by any means, whether or not capable of being so propelled or drawn, and includes—

(a) a motor vehicle, trailer and tram; and
(b) a bicycle; and
(c) an air-cushion vehicle

Bicycles are not grouped in the special cases with people riding animals, they are legally recognised as a normal road user (along side hovercrafts!) yet the people responsible for the roads continue to look upon them as a completely separate issue incompatible with other forms of transportation. Looking back to the overview of the intersection in question

map of bicycle transport at Lorrimer Street east terminus

There seems to have been substantial cycling infrastructure added into these roads by Vicroads, though the connectivity is lacking. This is trying to fulfil their commitment to cycling infrastructure (https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/traffic-and-road-use/cycling/bicycle-network-planning) saved here for posterity is an excerpt from their map of the Principal Bicycle Network showing this route has been identified for inclusion of cycling, yet the newly completed intersection is impassable for cyclists in any direction.


The only bicycle lane brought up to the intersection is terminated half way across the intersection, and even that can be seen here with two drivers ignoring the road markings and ploughing directly through the hatchings.


Should the lights turn orange as this cyclist leaves the advanced stopping line they have 6.5 seconds to get across the length of the intersection before green lights are lit to the traffic coming from the left across the cyclists path. Distance to cross this intersection, just over 100m, a conveniently round number that is memorable for the famous running race so hotly contested year in year out. Many discussions have been had as to the relative speeds of runners and cyclists over short distances but it is presented well by Crank Cycling in their short analysis http://www.crankcycling.com/usain-bolt-vs-sean-eadie/. Running the numbers for the different approaches across this intersection is has been timed for a design speed of 60km/h (35mph), at the more realistic speed of a cyclist around 20-30km/h this puts them directly in line with the departing traffic. The verbal response from Vicroads today:

if you feel uncomfortable you should dismount and walk across the pedestrian facilities

Designing dangerously unsafe infrastructure, all in a days work for Vicroads.


2 thoughts on “Sprint or Die

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