Cycling in Melbourne Australia
Hi all! Brand new to this site/forum so forgive me if this topic should go in a different discussion topic (i couldnt select the help topic in the dropdown menu when writting) buuuut, i have just moved to North Melbourne and thought the ride to and from work would be a breeze after riding from St Kilda East via Chapel Street to Collins Street but i have tried a different way each day and after consulting google maps I cant seem to find a route that works without having to get off and walk my bike from street to street. Any hot tips on the area would be greatly appreciated! I start my ride from the corners of Abbostsford and Haines Streets North Melbourne if anyone else comes from the same area and has it all sorted out!
Check out this resource:
though the shortness of your route may not have any comparable routes on there.
PS where are the 'roadblocks' specifically you refer to ("having to get off and walk my bike from street to street") And where on collins street is your destination?
Oh thanks Alex!
I've tried to turn right onto Elizabeth street from Queensberry and Victoria but cant figure out a way (or a safe way) to get across with the traffic. I tried going down Peel Street today and that wasn't too bad but had to sneak on the footpath a little when I hit the city with roadwork. Guess its all a bit of trial and error for now. Might try Spencer Street or King Street if there are bike lanes? Not too sure
Some other maps (of varying qualities) that may help you pick out the better bike options (in terms of having bike lanes marked):
Do you mean you can't go straight across the intersections at Queensberry/Victoria and do hook turns? If you are able to make it across Elizabeth St along Queensberry then keep riding to Berkely &/or Leicester Sts, or even further to Swanston St.
I personally haven't ridden down William St between Victoria and Dudley, but that might be a suitable way to CBD (unless you mean road works further down in William, not Peel).
Adderley St from North Melbourne Station down to La Trobe should be good. (Though I reckon the light-controlled intersection with Dudley could be improved.)
I would ride Haines - Courtney - Queensberry. (My commute is Arden and then onto Courtney). If the traffic is conducive/stopped I go in the right lane and turn right onto Elizabeth as I would if I were in a car. I don't take the centremost lane (where the trams are), instead I take the right lane of the next carriageway. The far left is a left-turn only so if you take the lane at that intersection there's no confusion at the next intersection. (ETA - Yes, I'm one of those who rides there as mentioned in Sarah B's post). The reason I have no qualms about this is the lights are such that cars can't get to a green at the next lights on Victoria anyway. Occasionally the driver will get frustrated, but there's so many cyclists of a morning down there, most work it out that they're not missing the light.
Back up at Queensberry, if I can't get in the right lane (I really only do it if it's easy) then as mentioned above, I do a hook turn. Again, into that right lane of the left-side carriageway IYKWIM, so I end up in the left-most lane going straight across Queensberry again.
Until very recent job change I'd been doing this for about 5 years now.
Riding down Elizabeth, I would've said ride out of the door zone, which was the outer edge of the line for the bike lane. However they've now removed that line (?) so I pretty-much ride where the line was. If the traffic is built up and I do ride in the door zone, I slow right down and watch for telltale signs (people in the car, brake lights etc etc).
Agree, with Sarah B, Peel St-William is pretty good too - just be wary around the market on market days - and just like Eliz, it gets a lot of cyclists so most drivers are pretty aware.
My new job had me going down Swanston (I used to do this over 5 yrs ago) but with the current works I default back to Eliz. Once Swanston is all done, I'll probably go there, as I find at peak the new rollover tram stops worked quite well, with the volume of cyclists generally keeping the lane clear of pedestrians/tram users. Still, it will be a route to ride slowly/cautiously.
Oh, and http://ridethecity.com/melbourne is pretty good too - you can choose your level of 'safety' and it generally gives a pretty good route accordingly.
Which end of Collins St are you travelling to?
For any right hand turn on a bike you really are best/safest to do a hook turn, however Elizabeth St is best to be avoided to be honest...for many reasons including being a hot spot for doorings and having a few intersections where pedestrians jaywalk like crazy against the lights near the tram stops. The first section of Elizabeth after Queensberry is unusual in that the side road has 2 lanes that turn left at Victoria St, making it really difficult for you to go straight on Elizabeth. I've seen a lot of cyclists ride between the lanes, as in btwn the 2nd and 3rd lane, or in right lane, but I think this is bad because you then are either slowing down the traffic or you potentially have cars passing on both sides, not really where a bike wants to be. The other option is to ride in the middle section of Elizabeth St (the lane next to the tram tracks) as there is much less traffic, it is a wider lane and this lane goes straight once you get to Victoria, however you then have the problem of being in the right lane and trying to get across to the left lane..so its complicated. I sometimes go this way, then when I get to the Victoria St intersection I pull into the pedestrian crossing gap between the 2 sections of road, and wait for the lights to go red to cross Victoria. Then you can go onto the left sections where there are 3 lanes, and take a position to the left of the right lane, which is the only lane that goes straight, pretty much where you would want to be if it was a normal intersection. Does that make any sense whatsoever?! Peel St is better, bc at least there is a bike lane on it and William St. King St is no good as it is a clearway in the morning peaktime and there is no bike lane. From memory, Queen St is also no good once you get past La Trobe. Anyway, let me know which end of Collins and I'll see if I can be a bit more helpful!
Thanks Spike and Sarah for your detailed replies! I work on the corner of Collins and Elizabeth but I think youre right in saying its best to avoid Elizabeth St doesnt sound like the most relaxing ride into town. Last night my back wheel was stolen from my locked up bike outside my house :( ...only positive is I guess it gives me a little more time to look into new paths into the city til i get around to buying a new one haha. Thanks everyone for all the suggestions/advice!
Oh no! That's terrible! I actually had my bike stolen from Collins St a couple of months ago so be extra careful if you lock up outside of work. I also just purchased some lockable skewers, so I only need to lock my frame to the bike rack/pole etc and not worry about the wheel.