Spring Street Melbourne

Rat Out of Town

Another example of infrastructure working well, this time travelling away from the city on a sunny weekend afternoon. Presented at 10x normal speed:

Beginning on Spring Street heading north there was a small pause as it turns into Victoria and La Trobe Streets before deciding the best course would be looping at right angles across Victoria Street into Rathdowne Street. This necessitated the hook turn and travels through a precariously narrow bicycle lane that was still preferable to an unprotected right hand turn across 4 lanes of traffic.

Rathdowne Street heading north has only the single gap in the bicycle lane which is filled with a shared left turning lane that has exceptions for busses or bicycles continuing through. Soon after this interruption are the absurdly narrow parking bays in front of the shops previously captured, here showing how all the vehicles in that section are unable to find enough space. Terminating onto Park Street the bicycle lanes are continued in both directions and a glimpse of a rare pedestrian priority crossing is seen.

priority crossing for pedestrians

There are several marked bicycle routes through the minor streets following parallel to Nicholson Street but they lack any priority, divert along shared paths, and frequently stop at intersections. While usually the preferable alternative to Nicholson Street as it has clearways (no parking) during weekday peak traffic that allow two lanes of traffic, being the weekend parked cars block the road to a single lane wide enough to share comfortably with bicycles and cars or trams.

End to end the 5.7km bicycle ride took 15 minutes, which compares favourably with the trams. Regular services run every 5-10 minutes even on weekends (though not late into the night) and while the same journey is slightly shorter for the tram at 5km it is scheduled to take 15-20 minutes varying with traffic and passenger volume.


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