The City of Melbourne is consulting on its renewal of Vic Markets. This could potentially have a large impact of the bike-friendliness of the whole area.
Make your submission here.
For inspiration, read Melbourne BUG’s submission, below:
Melbourne BUG – Submission on Queen Victoria Market renewal proposal
In addition to car parking spaces, we would like to see secure bicycle parking in this area as well. This secure parking should cater for QVM employees as well as customers who request additional security, for example because they ride an expensive e-bike that they would not want to park using the standard above-ground facilities. We think the secure bicycle parking area should therefore be split into two parts. One part for employees only, accessible by swipe key and including end-of-trip facilities, and the other part for customers using bike lockers (http://www.cora.com.au/bikelockers/cyclesafebicyclelockers/ for example). The entry to/exit from the secure bicycle parking should be separate from the car entry, so that bicycles will not have to navigate a queue of cars lining up to enter the garage or swerve around access poles.
We feel that the QVM infrastructure and surrounding area should be inviting people to walk or ride their bicycle to the market, and doing so should be rewarded. This reward can come in many flavours, most importantly a sense of safety and comfort relative to using a car. The ‘inviting infrastructure’ consists of several elements in our view.
Firstly, being able to safely access the new QVM by foot or bike will be paramount to its success in our opinion. With car ownership and use being actively discouraged with new developments in the CBD, many of the CBD residents will come to market as pedestrians. At the same time, the trend in surrounding suburbs is quite clear as well: bicycle use for everyday transport is on the rise and this will continue into the future as more and more people realize the convenience of riding a bike in and around the city. The City of Melbourne Transport Strategy states: “We are a walking and cycling city, and Council provides infrastructure to improve the safety and convenience of cyclists and pedestrians” (p4).
Assets that help to provide bicycle access to the QVM are the separated bike lanes on La Trobe St and part of Elizabeth St north, and the improved bike lanes planned for William St . However, the Elizabeth St lanes do not reach all the way to Victoria St/Therry St, and the William St lanes need to continue the length of Peel St, being the continuation of William St immediately adjacent to the QVM. The City of Melbourne Bicycle Plan 2012-16 states “Investigate options for a separated or quality route from Dudley Street to Royal Parade and Flemington Road. This route will also service the Queen Victoria Market and Flagstaff Gardens.” (p20).
In addition, the redesign of Franklin St provides an opportunity for council to equip it with protected bike lanes and a safe crossing at the new Franklin-Peel-Dudley intersection. Elimination of roundabouts at Peel/Dudley and Queen/Franklin will improve access and safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Franklin Street currently provides four traffic lanes plus parking which is excessive relative to its local function, and this should be reduced to two traffic lanes to provide safe space for bicycles and more pedestrian space. Retaining four lanes in Franklin St and creating a new four lane road on the market’s southern boundary will create and perpetuate a barrier between the market and the City: as stated in the Summary of Proposals: “The streets around the Market form barriers to the local area and make it difficult to walk around”. Safe bicycle lanes in Franklin St will improve access to the Market by connecting to other bike routes such as William St and Swanston St.
We also feel that the connection to QVM from Cobden St and/or O’Connell St should be improved for bicycle access to/from Queensberry St which would be the preferred route for most of North Melbourne and Kensington. We strongly encourage council to design a “Bicycle Access Plan” for QVM which integrates the above points and potentially other routes, as well as traffic management around the entry/exit points of the car park, to limit the danger to cyclists of cars queuing on street or doing right hand turns to enter/exit the car park. This is particularly important for those routes that are part of the Principal Bike Network like Peel Street. The Bicycle Access Plan should be included in the QVM masterplan.
Another important element to create the inviting atmosphere is the provision of bicycle parking facilities. In addition to the secure bicycle parking in the car park area, we feel there should be ample bicycle parking available at various strategic locations around the QVM making it easy to park your bike close to where you need to go. These locations need to relate to the bicycle access routes shown in the “Bicycle Access Plan”.One can even think about “shopping carts” to be supplied at the bicycle parks to make it easier for people to carry their purchases around and back to the bike. It’s easy to carry 5-10kgs of fresh produce on your bike in a pannier or basket, but it’s much less fun to carry it around while shopping. Well positioned parking and innovations such as “shopping carts” will also encourage cyclists to use the parking facilities provided and avoid bicycle clutter at other locations.