Bike Connections southern link to go ahead

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Stage one of the Better Bike Connections southern link will go to tender, after council gave the green light to the design linking central Geelong to the Barwon River.

The stage one route, which runs along Gheringhap, Carr and Moorabool Streets, will give cyclists improved connections between key destinations such as South Geelong Station, the Barwon River Trail, the Bellarine Rail Trail and the CBD.

The stage one design was finalised after extensive consultation, with the original plans modified in response to community feedback around factors including car parking and safety.

As part of the finalised design, parking spaces removed on Moorabool Street will be offset with the creation of extra spaces in surrounding streets, plus the formalisation of parking spaces in a currently unsealed section of Kardinia Park.

Construction of stage one has been costed at $1.955 million, and will be fully funded from the TAC’s $4.7 million Better Bike Connections grant.

Council has also approved the design for stage two of the southern link, which connects the Barwon River to Waurn Ponds.

This includes the section on High Street in Belmont between Mt Pleasant Road and Roslyn Road, which had been the subject of an online vote by more than 2600 community members.

Of the options put to the public, councillors endorsed the recommended 2B design, which will see separated one-way bike lanes on each side of the street.

Option 2B will provide cyclists with improved safety along High Street, while also offering the opportunity to double the number of trees and make other streetscape improvements.

Council’s decision reflected the community’s feedback, with 63 per cent of survey respondents voting for greater change and separated bike connections, rather than bikes and cars sharing the road.

The design will require the removal of 30 parking spaces from High Street, however two studies carried out by the City of Greater Geelong found there is capacity within existing off-street parking areas to absorb this loss.

Stage two of the southern link has been costed at $2.056 million, and will need additional funding from the TAC before it can be delivered.

Council’s decision also allows construction to begin next month on the project’s $1.6 million western link, which will connect central Geelong to Herne Hill.
Councillor Bruce Harwood – Mayor:

Council’s decision to endorse the recommended designs for stage one and two of the Building Better Bike Connections southern link was made only after very careful consideration, given the volume of community feedback and investigation by City of Greater Geelong staff.

In total, 63 per cent of respondents to the stage two options wanted to see greater change on High Street with either option 2A, 2B or 3. These options are not just about bike lanes, they’re about upgrading the streetscape and making the area a more appealing place to visit and spend time.

These designs will take a staged approach. They do involve change and will require considerable education to achieve complete acceptance in the community. But this project is important to our vision of a modern, sustainable city with an active and healthy community, so the designs we have endorsed will have long-term benefit.

Councillor Peter Murrihy – Deputy Mayor:

Bike riders should be able to feel safe when they ride. Mobility is a basic human right and no-one should have to risk their life to get to work or a friend’s house.

The designs we have endorsed are the best choice for safety, directness and connectivity. The option we have chosen for High Street will see cyclists separated from cars, helping riders of all ages and abilities to feel comfortable.

Cities are much better with people riding bikes. I believe we are a progressive city, and progressive cities have separated bike lanes. If we have more people riding bikes, we will have a healthier community, a healthier environment, and reduced congestion on our roads.

Page last updated: Thursday, 9 May 2019