cyclists pass each other on a shared path

Passing Width

Back looking at the Yarra Trail as it approaches the city no improvement in the facilities are found. The path fails to deliver anything more than the bare minimum of utility, and certainly not an environment attractive as a recreational shared route. The pontoon sections of the route have a bumpy surface and move gently on their floats, and since their construction 7 years ago have been out of action for an extended period after they got beached on the shifting sands of the river.

Travelling corralled between the fences the inadequate width leaves no room to walk or ride abreast and enjoy the journey with conversation, while the cheese grater style fences add an unnecessary danger by risking catching on a bicycles handlebars should they brush against it. Further disaster is compounded with the moronic handrail design that angles into the path reducing its width to 2800mm (9 feet) where the absolute minimum in the design guides would be 4000mm. Compared to a single direction of the adjacent road the difference in care is obvious.

comparison of adjacent wide road and narrow shared path

Just angling the fences outward the same degree would have produced something still falling short of the requirements but less bad, obviously too much to ask. This is one of Melbourne’s busiest commenting routes and possibly some of the “best” shared paths, yet they fall so far short of the minimum dimensions the hazards are obvious. What does the tourist office have to say on the matter?

Rent a bike in a city set to rival the most bicycle-loving European capitals.


There is a great Australian term for such statements which so offends some english speakers;


Dress it up however you like but the non motorised transport infrastructure in Melbourne is decades behind other parts of Australia let alone comparisons to worlds best. Aspirations (those neat little weasel words “set to rival” placing any comparison in the future) are all well and good but whats being built is rubbish, and doesn’t even meet the minimum standards laid out while the rest of the world continues improving their standards, its a race Melbourne can never win.


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