The Victorian government has announced the route for the North East Link in Melbourne. This road and tunnel will connect the Metropolitan Ring Road to the Eastern Freeway.
Although it won’t be open to traffic for at least 10 years, there has been some discussion about what active transport facilities should be included as part of the project or, indeed, ahead of the project.
The ITEANZ Executive Board has developed a draft position statement on behalf of the profession, in order to have some influence over this question.
ITEANZ Draft Position Statement
The ITEANZ acknowledges that the North East Link will be a high standard road facility which will provide huge improvements to motor transport in the corridor in terms of access, capacity and travel time. It is also acknowledged that the project scope includes “new and upgraded walking and cycling links all the way from the M80 to the Eastern Freeway and Yarra Trail.”
The ITEANZ believes that walking and cycling facilities along the North East Link corridor and alongside the Eastern Freeway should be provided to a high standard to demonstrate how important sustainable active travel is to Melbourne’s future.
In particular, ITEANZ advocates that the following elements be included within the scope of the North East Link project or provided by a separate project at an earlier date:
- Provision of a continuous, high standard bicycle trail between the M80 and the M3 Eastern Freeway
- Upgrade of the Main Yarra Trail alongside the M3 Eastern Freeway to a high standard
- Upgrade of the Koonung Creek Trail along the M3 Eastern Freeway corridor to a high standard
- High standard pedestrian and cycling access across the surface freeway.
High standard bicycle trails should include:
- Connections to existing bicycle paths
- Separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians, wherever practicable
- Grade-separation of the main bicycle trails, wherever practicable, so that cyclists are uninterrupted by traffic lights or road crossings.
Input from all members and subscribers is welcome. This will help us refine the position statement and judge the level of consensus amongst the profession. Please let us know your support or otherwise for this policy position.
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