Eastern Rail Line Trail
East West Link
There is a need for an east west connection through the eastern suburbs and the East West link has been suggested as a solution to that need. The trail would run roughly parallel to the Lilydale & Belgrave rail line, extending from the Yarra River Trail at Burnley to Mitcham station. Currently all east west routes are primarily wide kerbside lanes with the one main exception being the exclusive Bicycle Lane along Mont Albert Rd. A dedicated trail would be a major improvement over the existing wide kerbside lanes.
In Boroondara this path would provide easy access to Swinburne University of Technology, Camberwell Shopping centre and the Maling Rd shopping area. The Boxhill shopping centre is also nearby. There are various parks and gardens along the route including the Glenferrie Sports ground.
Precedents for this style of path include the Waverley Rail Trail and the Upfield bike path. The later is highly successful with 500 to 700 people a day making use of the path. That's 500 to 700 people not driving down Sydney Rd or filling up your train carriage on the Upfield line each day. Imagine 500 less cars going through Camberwell junction every day. That's about a car a minute during daylight hours.
Moreland council is redeveloping O'Hea St as a replacement to Bell St for cyclists. The distance from the Yarra Trail to the Anniversary Trail is a similar distance to the O'Hea Rd redevelopment, abt 4.7 km. The East West Link would act as a replacement for Burwood Rd.
In Boroondara parts of the path already exist and the trail could be gradually implemented by extending and improving these existing paths, while simultaneously providing immediate benefit to residents. Boroondara Council could lead the way with one of Australia's first "bicyle roads": Cars are permitted to use the street as well, but they are limited to 30km/hr (or less) and must yield to cyclists and give special consideration to avoid endangering them.
Referring to the map the fuchsia colored route is just a vague outline. The red route is our forerunner in conjunction with the teal route. Running the path along say Manningtree Grv, Oxley Rd, Auburn Grv and Auburn Pde, in a similar fashion to the highly successful bike path in Canning St in the CBD, is another possibility. See cyan route in map below. Other possible routes are detailed in blue. The hot pink routes illustrate:
- connection to the Yarra Trail
- Sir Eddington's proposed new link across the Yarra River
If you have any suggestions on a suitable route then email us -->
The route could potentially link these areas defined under 2030:
Principal Activity Centres:
- Camberwell shopping centre
- Box Hill central
Major Activity Centres:
- Hawthorn, Glenferrie Road
- Richmond, Bridge Road
- Richmond, Swan Street
- Richmond, Victoria Street
- Burwood East, Tally Ho
- Forest Hill Chase
Currently (Feb 2008) Boroondara council is developing its 2030 access plans for various activity centres. BBUG has written a response to each of the plans listed below, which beside other items, all include discussion of the East West Link.
The Glenferrie Oval, Grace Park and LE Bray Reserve Concept Master Plan
The Glenferrie Oval, Grace Park and LE Bray Reserve Concept Master Plan should consider the Eastern Rail Trail. Especially given the high incidence of bicycle accidents along Burwood Rd between Power St and Auburn Rd. 2007 "Super Tuesday" counts suggest that 500 cyclists use Burwood Rd each day.
Glenferrie Road Structure Plan
Access & Infrastructure Report Same comments apply as per The Glenferrie Oval, Grace Park and LE Bray Reserve Concept Master Plan - see above paragraph.
Camberwell Junction Structure Plan
Camberwell Junction Structure Plan - The Access Plan Same comments apply as per The Glenferrie Oval, Grace Park and LE Bray Reserve Concept Master Plan - see above paragraph.
40,000 residents ie a quarter of the total population of Boroondara, could cycle to the Camberwell shopping centre in less than 10 minutes and half of those in 7 minutes – see calculations in the BBUG response document.
A cycle time of up to 15 minutes increases the number of people to 90,000. No doubt these figures will be higher by 2030.
Background - cyclist crash data
Eddington Transport Study - Yarra River crossing
Eddington Transport Study, Recommendation 7, Project 5
"A separated bike lane along Highett and Crown Streets in Richmond to the Capital City Trail, then onto a new river crossing into Hawthorn. This new bridge would provide a high quality link from the eastern suburbs to the central city along Crown, Highett, Lennox and Albert Streets. Estimated Cost: $5 million Total Length: 2 km"
Given the requirement of a reasonable grade for cyclists and to provide for the passing of reasonably large river boats underneath, the bridge would need to be a similar size to say the Walmer St bridge or the Collins Bridge at Gipps St. An unsatisfactory grade would certainly result in cyclists deferring to the existing nearby Hawthorn Bridge. The west side of the bridge would need to be level with Crown St and on the east side be at the same height as Grattan or Mason St. The existing Crown St path would link to the Yarra Trail below as it does now.
BBUG has responded to Recommendation 7, Project 5. Our response to the report - pdf
The recommendation also has implications for the Kew Junction Masterplan. BBUG's response to the Kew Junction Masterplan
Connections to off road trails
The East West Link would connect these trails:
and come extremely close to:
and a little further afield:
External Links and references
- Bicycle Victoria - The bicycle commuter solution to congestion
- Bicycle Victoria - East West link
- East West link through Boroondara - a study
- A feasibility study (2mB pdf) for an eastern rail trail was prepared in June 1996 by Parklinks Pty Ltd in association with Bicycle Victoria, Transport Research Centre RMIT, Mackintosh Consulting, Aspect Landscape Consultants and local BUGs.
- VicRoads - shared path counters - data
- Whitehorse Cyclists also have an interest in this route.
- COWBAC - City of Whitehorse Bicycle Advisory Committee - is very interested.
- Yarra BUG should also be consulted.
- City of Whitehorse Bicycle Strategy