Jun 182015

Update 18/6/2015

Between Russell and Exhibition the old trees have been removed and the kerb is being slightly altered.  We have seen the drawings and there will be no bike lane. This is despite Flinders Street being on the City of Melbourne’s long-term plan as a bicycle route.  Very long term plan, new trees and a new tram stop would be expected to last 40 years or more. No bicycle facilities.

Meanwhile about 8 months ago Council painted big “no cycling” signs on the southern footpath. So it’s illegal (always was) to ride on the footpath, and dangerous and uncomfortable to ride on the road.

We like trees

Original report – March 28/2012
The cars that park between these trees have semi-ringbarked them over the years, crashing into them while parking. Now they are due to be replaced, getting too old and decrepit. The trees run from Spring St to Russell St on the southern side of Flinders St, forming a uniform avenue. The City of Melbourne prefers to replace a whole avenue at one time, perhaps removing healthy trees, but to retain the uniformity, creating a more pleasing visual effect as the trees grow.

Now that the trees are due to be replaced, we have the opportunity to fix this part of Vicroad’s Principle Bike Network by installing some bike lanes.  The significance of this stretch is the connections that it makes.  Melbourne’s bike network suffers many disconnects where paths don’t link to paths and lanes don’t link to lanes.  This stretch connects existing lanes and paths including:

  • Spring St bike lanes
  • Wellington Parade shared path
  • Wellington Parade South bike lanes
  • Batman Avenue shared path (toll bridge)

A connection to St Kilda Rd and Swanston St is just one block further – more on how that connection will be possible when we launch our St Kilda Road Vision next week. With this connection, a safe through route would be created from the Yarra trail through to Docklands, via Swanston St and Latrobe St (new lanes are planned for Latrobe St within the next 12 months).

When the trees are replaced, the new trees can be planted in the footpath.  The car parking can be removed – it doesn’t include any vital functions like loading bays. Melbourne BUG proposes a two-way bike lane (similar to Fitzroy St St Kilda), with a 300mm kerb to keep the cars out.

Pedestrians will benefit, because at the moment the footpath here is a de facto shared path, as cyclists escape the hostile road environment.

Yarra Trams expects to install a platform stop somewhere in the block between Exhibition and Russell.  If this is installed mid-block it will make enough room at Russell St to give cars a right turn lane and a straight-ahead lane, while maintaining the two-way bike lane to the corner.

Eventually the whole of Flinders St needs bike lanes, as planned by Vicroads in the Principle Bike Network.  This is the first step but with immediate benefits.


 Posted by at 11:27 am

  7 Responses to “Flinders Street – Spring to Russell”

  1. I'm not convinced pedestrians would benefit by having trees stuck in the footpath. Very few cyclists take the footpath along Flinders Street (I walked this street roughly 5 days a week for 6 years), and the footpath is already at capacity during the morning peak, with people regularly stepping off the path, onto the road to avoid Telephone poles and electrical boxes.

    I'm not sure what the best solution is, but removing capacity of the Footpath should definately not be on the agenda.

  2. […] lane meeting up with St Kilda Road and Swanston Street. This could continue the two-way bike lanes we have proposed for Flinders Street between Spring and Russell Streets, creating a more connected network for […]

  3. I would be very angry if they make the bicycle lane and don’t replant new trees in the footpath. The trees are what makes Melbourne’s city scape so nice.

  4. Cyclists are good looking aren’t they?

    We all like trees “don’t we” and these are as healthy as can be after years of non-watering by the Mcc and Vic Govt. They are doing great with the last years of good rainfall. Now the Mcc are getting rid of them because they are going to replace all (75% in the next 10 to 20 years) heritage trees in CBD streets, and Fitzroy gardens, St Kilda Rd, etc. and even in the Royal Exhibition Buildings World heritage Carlton gardens site.

    So yes Melb CBD needs bike paths and this is a good idea to replace car tyreprint for bike tyreprint.

    But be careful what you wish for as the MCC is likely to use this opportunity to remove those pesky trees in the CBD alltogether and replant them in Nth Melbourne and say “overall we have increased the no. of trees in the Melb Precincts”. As a Greens Voter i am totally against large trees being moved out of the CBD or being replaced by short lived tropical non-heritage value trees elsewhere. So GO BIKES on BIKE PATHS and yes as you suggest keep off the footpaths. Lets reduce car tyreprint in the CBD but please don’t cut down trees for bikes. Don’t just let them be a collaterall damage statistic. I love to share my FOOTpath with trees.

    • Our conversations with the City indicated they want to keep trees along Flinders Street – I hadn’t heard about shifting trees from the CBD to North Melbourne. Our proposal is to move the trees from where they are currently (on the roadway) so they are on the footpath instead. Well not move them, but plant their replacements.

      The City has a big database of all their (our) trees and has organised it according to how long they think each tree or avenue has left before they get too old. These trees are up for replacement now or very soon. Otherwise we wouldn’t have made this proposal.

      As to the variety, that’s a separate issue from the location, so I’ll let you take that one up with Council – not that we don’t care but we don’t have the expertise to know.

      The old trees are pretty bashed up by the car parking, I think the new trees will do better sharing with pedestrians – gentler than cars.

      Thanks for your input!

  6. Fully agree. Those trees have been a hazard for years.

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