Background

Bike riding offers us all a sustainable and healthy way of getting around. We cycle for many different reasons but have in common a need for a bike-friendly network with safe and direct connections to destinations and opportunities to build cycling skills and confidence.

Banyule has an extensive network of 40kms of cycling routes, both on and off-road, across the municipality. The off-road trails run through beautiful open space parks and reserves in and around Banyule and the on-road routes are on local roads for maximum cyclist safety. Overall the local bicycle network is made up of 12 of these on-road bicycle routes.

Our local routes also connect to a wider network of cycling routes, across neighbouring municipalities, to allow cyclists to access destinations outside of Banyule.

We are committed to maintaining, developing and encouraging the use of our cycling facilities and ensuring future Banyule cyclists have plenty of safe route options to get to where they need to be or just to get out and about.

We have drafted a new Banyule Bicycle Strategy to support our work in this area and are now seeking your feedback.

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Our approach

Over the last two years we have been gathering information on what is needed to support cycling becoming a safe and viable transport option or recreational choice in Banyule.

Stage 1: In late 2018 we started our conversation with the community about what it is like to cycle in Banyule. The findings of this engagement are included in the ‘What you told us about Cycling in Banyule’ report.

Stage 2: In 2020, prior to and during the Covid-19 lockdowns, we undertook a second round of engagement that included workshops with community and government stakeholders. The Banyule community was also given the opportunity to participate in the BikeSpot 2020 online engagement project that asked people to nominate safe and unsafe spots for cycling within the municipality. The results of this engagement can be found in the BikeSpot 2020 Project report.

Stage 3: Our research and the feedback gathered to date has been used to develop the draft Banyule Bicycle Strategy 2021-2031. We are now checking in with you to ensure we are on the right track.

Stage 4: Council will consider all your feedback from this public exhibition process before adopting a final Banyule Bicycle Strategy.

Stay up to date on this project, click on the ‘follow’ button at the top of this page.

Key issues and barriers to cycling

Our research and conversations have told us that the key issues and barriers to cycling within Banyule are:

A significant proportion of mapped routes within our network are incomplete. This results in cyclists needing to navigate busy roads or intersections without safe facilities; take detours or dismount and walk along pedestrian footpaths. An example of this is the Banyule shared-use path along Greensborough Road ending abruptly in Yallambie.

Currently there is minimal road space allocated for safe cycling lanes, and where bike lanes are present, they are impacted by on-street car parking and traffic speeds. This is a significant issue impeding safe bicycle access to our shopping centres, schools and parks and leisure facilities. It also hampers connections to railway stations and along commuter routes to key destinations including the CBD and La Trobe University.

Clear and consistent signage and wayfinding information helps us to travel safely and confidently. In locations across the municipality our wayfinding signage is incomplete and does not connect riders to routes beyond our borders. Key information is inconsistently presented including distances to local destinations and locations of bike parking and public toilets.

Our shared-use paths and trails are the backbone of our off-road network and connect us to some of the most beautiful spots within Banyule. The large number of people using these areas, as well as the increasing use of motorised mobility devices and innovative vehicles (for example e-bikes and e-scooters), can result in conflicts that need to be managed. Funding for maintenance and renewal of these assets is also a significant investment for Council.

This includes the provision of bicycle parking, end of trip facilities (showers & change facilities), water/drink stations and bike fix-it points. These facilities can increase the catchment area of destinations and can reduce congestion and reliance on car parking spaces. We have identified that there is insufficient bike parking that meet the needs of users in shopping centres, at railway stations and at recreational facilities.

A high proportion of women, children and older adults cycling is a strong indicator of the health of a city’s cycling environment. The higher the proportion, the better the cycling infrastructure. In the major cycling cities of the world women account for approximately half of the cycling population. Currently a relatively low percentage of women and girls ride in Banyule – 15% compared with 22% Victoria-wide.

Finally, we know there is community concern at the potentially long-term disruption of major projects on access to existing cycle routes. However, these projects also present opportunities for advocacy where complementary infrastructure can be sought, like the inclusion of a shared use path within the rail corridor between Greensborough and Eltham as part of the second stage of the Hurstbridge Line Duplication project.

Recommendations

Draft Banyule Bicycle Strategy - summary recommendations

The draft Banyule Bicycle Strategy includes recommendations to address barriers and support Banyule becoming a municipality that:

  • Supports the provision of a safe, convenient and accessible network with linkages to other transport modes and key destinations.
  • Encourages and promotes a cycling culture for all ages and abilities.
  • Embraces the health, social, economic and environmental benefits of active transport.
  • Enhances the natural environment and liveability of our places by supporting cycling as a key form of zero-emissions transport.

The recommendations are divided into three key themes:

  • network connectivity;
  • safe and inclusive design; and
  • cycling for all.

These are discussed in further detail in the tabs on this page.

While there are changes we can make as a community to make cycling better for everyone, in some cases we can’t do it alone and need support from the state government or other partners to build new infrastructure or develop new routes.

The draft Banyule Bicycle Strategy has been developed to guide our high-level work in this area.

Have your say on the draft Banyule Bicycle Strategy. We would like to know whether our approach is right.

Network connectivity

Theme one:

This theme looks to increase opportunities for safe bike riding to key local education, recreation and shopping centre destinations within Banyule and advocate to State Government and other partners for improved connections beyond our municipal boundary.

Recommendations for consideration include:

  • Greensborough/Montmorency – advocate for the provision of a safe and direct shared use path from Eltham Station via the Hurstbridge rail corridor, connecting to the M80 shared use path in Bundoora. This corridor would link Banyule communities in the north to RMIT in the west and the Diamond Creek Trail in the east.
  • Macleod – advocate for the provision of the safe and direct east-west bicycle route from Macleod Station to La Trobe University and Lower Plenty/Yallambie.
  • Bellfield – investigate the introduction of a new local bicycle network route to facilitate connections from the Darebin Creek Trail along Banksia Street at Studley Road to the Main Yarra Trail.

Safe and inclusive design

Theme two:

This theme looks to increase opportunities for safe cycling by improving bicycle infrastructure, including on and off road lanes, bike parking and directional signage and information that is clear and consistent.

Recommendations for consideration include:

  • Work with the Department of Transport to increase bicycle parking facilities at railway stations, including Ivanhoe, Eaglemont and Macleod with an appropriate mix of secure bike parking and bicycle hoops.
  • Develop an active transport wayfinding and signage strategy to ensure well-coordinated, reliable and consistent signage within and beyond municipal boundaries.
  • Prioritise completion and signage of local bicycle network routes near schools. Where possible consider providing off-road routes including upgrading footpaths to shared use paths in key locations.

Cycling for all

Theme three:

This theme looks to increase opportunities for safe cycling by developing an increased awareness of local cycling opportunities and supporting new and less confident riders through education and promotion of bicycle activities.

Recommendations for consideration include:

  • Work with the Department of Transport to increase bicycle parking facilities at railway stations, including Ivanhoe, Eaglemont and Macleod with a suitable mix of secure bike parking and bicycle hoops.
  • Provide support for the provision of community bike training courses.
  • Partner with primary and secondary schools to develop transport strategies including sustainable travel to school plans, behaviour change campaigns and ‘transition to secondary school’ personalised travel planning sessions for Grade 6 students.