Cycling in Melbourne Australia
The images immediately below show the on and off road cycling infrastructure in Australia's main cities in blue and green respectively. The data comes from Open Street Map overlaid on to NearMap aerial images and was captured from here:
A few notes:
These maps are very accurate for Melbourne and probably Sydney as well. Adelaide is a little incomplete. The maps for Perth and Brisbane are probably a reasonable representation but the level of completeness is unknown - locals may want to comment on this.
The images are all at the same scale and are roughly centred on the CBD in each case.
Lines on a map give no indication as to the quality of that infrastructure and ignores any debate re: the advantages/disadvantages of bike segregation, whether that be on road or off road.
Some gross casual observations and not trying to promote intercity rivalry !!
Adelaide doing well
Brisbane - connectivity not too good
Melbourne looks pretty good
Perth very good off road - not so good on road
Sydney - spending too much time listening to shock jocks - RTA takes no interest - some local Councils trying hard
For some State Governments it is pretty clear that they do not have maps to this level of detail - Adelaide being a known exception. Maps facilitate discussion and understanding of the infrastructure. Without accurate maps of what currently exists on the ground, State Governments are not in a position to properly plan cycling networks. Likewise they cannot adequately sign routes or promote their networks to tourists. As for journey planners forget it.
Ask your State Government to provide map servers that serve up detailed and accurate online cycling maps and also allow those maps to be overlaid on other maps at no cost to the Public. Alternatively encourage the States to accept that the OSM maps are the best available and to make use of them and to contribute to them, as is done in other parts of the world.
Niiice. Thx for posting.
Still, I think some change in legislature and/or better policing of existing laws would go a LONG way towards more ppl commuting via bike.
The on road cycle lanes in melbourne are often a joke.. nice when the road is wide and then they leave you to merge with traffic at the pinch points.. check out Bridge St Eltham for a good example of this. In my opinion the bike lane makes it more dengerous along this stretch - so I ride further out to avoid the merge where I have nowhere to go if some prick decides to play chicken with me to make some sort of point.
It's largely an exercise in reporting how many KM's of cycle lane they (councils, governments) have - useful, helpful or not, it all looks good on an annual report to a bunch of noddies.
The off road paths are improving having straightened out some of the scenic routes and removed most of the posts in the middle and those retarded gates.. but they still have sharp blind corners that would be unnacceptable for a road designed for traffic (as opposed to a residential access street).
Check out the Eastlink trail around Whitehorse Rd for this.
And some trails have hills that are way too steep for no good reason.
Check out the Eastlink trail where the tunnel is for this.. why not follow the gully or ridge line a bit better???
There are also big gaps with no good road options to fill them in.
Check out Mullum Mullum trail to Eastlink / Eastern Freeway gap.. it's been half built for years.
If it were a freeway it would be done by now despite any protests etc.
I don't assume that the more blue or green means that one state is better than the other.
Sorry to sound all "Bicycle Victoria", but of the 2/3 of Melbs I've cycled in the 18 months I've been here, the on road lanes are awesome. I'd agree the transitions can be problematic, and I'm sure some are due to misinterpretation of the Australian standard, but on road lanes still tell motorists, "Cyclists have every right to be here and you'd better get used to it, mate." Even the crappier lanes.
And, of course, the Australian Standards for cycle lanes has recently been upgraded and I noticed over xmas in Hobart that the new style transitions they've started putting in (still done on the cheap, good one Tassy ;-/ ) are an improvement on older styles (even though they're done on the cheap ;-) So, patience, these will improve with our vigilance and voices as works get done.
Part of the point I was trying to make was that State Governments on the whole provide pretty useless online maps, if at all. Here's Victoria's map:
Probably top of the line back in the nineties. It's now inaccurate and antiquated. Some tourists love coming to Melbourne to ride the off road paths. Likewise for the country rail trails. And they spend their money doing so. What is the Government doing to encourage them? How do these people from out of town, plan their rides? How do people who actually live here plan their rides - scan page after page of the Melway?
Chris is right about the lanes on Bridge St, Eltham - totally useless. However VicRoads probably don't know about them because they aren't shown on their map!
The Principal Bicycle Network is under review - here's a link to the draft and background info:
The proposed routes could all be made available as a map overlaid on NearMap together with the OSM bike infrastructure information seen above and made available for Public comment. I question when this draft will be made open to Public consultation and under what circumstances. A little crowd sourcing could quickly identify defects?
Here's the Bridge St lanes - as Chris points out, they're useless as you have to continually merge back and forth into the left car lane. Having them mapped and being able to refer to them, allows people to see the problem, so it can be easily discussed:
The bridge is too narrow - beside replacing the bridge, would it help if the bike lanes had ramps up on to the footpath to cross the bridge?
Just on the Mullum Mullum - there was supposedly some problem with ownership issues that's holding things up.
Thanks Zed, you're right about getting these things discussed.
I might follow up on the Mullum Mullum section again.
Last time I called some bloke told me 6 months.... that was about 2 years ago i think.
If it was for a freeway they would have no trouble aquiring the land.