The Stonninton council has embarked on an excellent plan to provide some cycling routes through selectively permeable sections of quiet streets such as here on Hornby St. But as usual for Melbourne what starts out as a good idea gets turned into disaster.
Joining between two major roads the route terminates at this end into nothing more than the empty promises by Vicroads that this is part of their principal bicycle network. So for now it links to absolutely nothing abruptly connecting into this road with 4-5 lanes in each direction and trams running along the median, there aren’t even bicycle paths or shared paths alongside or across the road leaving the safety conscious cyclist pictured to do the only sensible thing and illegaly ride along the footpath. Being near a school the best crossing here is a footbridge with stairs as their only access to cross the street and then walk along the footpath.
Even if there were some reason to connect a bicycle route onto this road a cyclist would need to swing widely out in front of traffic to complete the turn. Austroads guides lay out that a low speed transition is to make a 20 degree angle with the road, and a high speed transition ramp to make a 10 degree angle, here the angle is the opposite of this and approximately 70 degrees to the road.
Contrasting to the entering road lane gently eased with a large radius the bicycle path uses a short dropped kerb. Measuring the width of the road lane leaves the design speed for an exiting cyclist to slow down and safely make the tight curve at less than 10km/h (6mph), in front of traffic in a 70km/h (45mph) speed zone.
This is months old infrastructure starting a 5 million dollar commitment from the Stonninton council over 5 years, will it all be as ridiculous as this?
A Mr Tom Haysom “Sustainable Transport Planner” of the council replied with a long winded explanation about how a contraflow bicycle route operates and noting that this pictured path is only for entering cyclists, completely missing the impractical and dangerous nature of this design. Also “cyclists exiting the street should continue in the general traffic lane”, i.e. exiting directly into a 4 lane 70km/h road with no bicycle infrastructure.