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M3 Eastern Freeway proposal

Location: Kilby Road underpass to the Merri Creek. Counts in 2010 indicate that approximately 600 cyclists a day use the path at the Belford Rd intersection. This could be substantially increased by the implementation of a direct and flatter route.

Problem

The route from the Kilby Road underpass to the Merri Creek via the Yarra Trail is unsuitable for commuting into the CBD. The main problems are:

  • it is indirect - the route could be shorter by a kilometer
  • there is a steep and unnecessary ascent of 33 metres that is very difficult for unseasoned riders at Yarra Bend Park
  • the pipe bridge is far too narrow - with the existing unused pipe removed, it could still only be expanded to 2.6 metres wide

Solution - Dights Falls Trail

Build a path along either the south side or north side or combination of both sides of the Eastern freeway, providing a much more direct and level route to the north of the CBD. Suggested names include the Ceres Trail and the Dights Falls Trail.

Implementing this path would be highly beneficial for cycling in the northern areas of Boroondara and nearby such as Banyule & Manningham. Boroondara north is currently car centric given the lack of good cycling routes to the CBD and the lack of public transport. Cyclists coming into the area via the proposed Darebin link across the Yarra, would also be able to take advantage of this route.

It would meet up with the two routes as proposed in the Eddington Report ie Johnston St and Nicholson St/Landridge St. It would also provide a good link to the Anniversary Trail. Cyclist traffic from the progressing Darebin Creek link could make good use of such a path leaving the existing Yarra Trail at Yarra Bend Park less trafficked.

The route would also link to the proposed Sandringham to Cremorne Trail noting that Yarra Council is in the preliminary stage of implementing their section of this route (Oct 2010).

The 2009 Victorian Cycle Strategy - 2.3 Mb pdf p28 lists "Link the Chandler Highway to Wellington Street " (Collingwood) as a desirable aim. The Boroondara Bicycle Strategy suggests "Section 11 - Link between Yarra Boulevard and the Anniversary Trail", which is part of the proposed route.

This route could go some way to bypassing the proposed improvements to the Yarra Trail pipe bridge, the route through Yarra Bend Park and the underpass at Chandler Highway.

The route would have to be built by Boroondara and Yarra Council with the help of the State Government or by the State Government itself. Implementing the route requires a bridge across the Yarra River parallel to or cantilevered off the Eastern Freeway bridge. Indeed, one lane of the fourteen lanes of the existing road bridge could be used. Most, if not all the land, is titled as Crown land. Crude paths are already in place in some sections of the route. VicRoads has looked at this route before but it's now time to revisit this proposal.

Further study would be needed to determine what route along the freeway would be the most appropriate.

Map

  • red - Belford Rd underpass
  • hot pink - our preferred route on the Eastern Freeway - north side
  • purple - a suggested route of the Eastern Freeway Path - south side
  • bright blue - connections to existing routes
  • green - existing off road trails including the Yarra Trail route
  • blue - existing on road routes

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