A Better Bell street (and Moreland Road) for bikes, walking and station access

Make the Level Crossing Removals at Coburg and Moreland work for everyone.

Why go to all the trouble of raising the rail without improving station access and pedestrian and cycling spaces while you’re at it?

Join us to fight for a better outcome for sustainable transport!

Tuesday 10 September,
8:00am Upfield Bike Path and Bell Street
8:40am Upfield Bike Path & Moreland Road

The Victorian Government’s current plan is to make cyclists and pedestrians wait at lights to cross Bell Street and Moreland Road after they take out the level crossings. With some minor design changes things could be better for everyone. We’re after a design similar to what has been built at Hughesdale in the South-East and the proposed design for the new Lilydale station.

The Upfield Corridor Coalition is a group of over 200 Moreland residents who want:

  • The new Coburg and Moreland stations moved closer to the main roads
  • Bike / pedestrian ramps spanning these busy arterial roads
  • Escalators at new Coburg station
  • Cyclist and pedestrian priority at Munro Street and Reynard street

Why?

  • train passengers directly accessing new station platforms without having to wait at lights
  • fast-moving commuter cyclists can enjoy a more uninterrupted journey and be truly separated from pedestrians near entries to stations
  • To support City of Moreland’s vision for better transport journeys for those choosing public transport, cycling and walking

Upfield Bike Path at Moreland Station with 108 year old Sugar gums in background for the chop by LXRP

While the Victorian Government promised separated paths for cyclist and pedestrians and better bike infrastructure their latest plans show that in fact they’re planning no such thing for Coburg. Cyclists and walkers will be merged together near the new train stations – where there is likely to be the most foot traffic!

What to bring:
Yourself (and a bike if you have / use one) and a protest sign.

Some sample signs:
“Build it better”
“Honk for safety”
“Honk for better Skyrail”
“Honk to Build it Better”
“Ramps for us = less congestion for you”
“Better station access = less congestion”
“No More boom gates, More pedestrians?”
“Build bike bridges now”
“Bike bridge for Bell St”
“Bike Bridge for Moreland Rd”
“Build SKYRAIL BETTER for everyone”
“No boom gates, but you’ll still be waiting”
“We want over-road access to station”

…. Think up your own signs, including signs not to clearfell Gandolfo Gardens, or the 108 year old sugar gums.

Join the Facebook event or promote the event:

Email campaign
Don’t just come to this protest, send personal emails raising the cycling and pedestrian congestion, safety and conflict issues directly with the following MPs, ask for cycling crossovers for the main roads as specified in the LXRP own Urban Design Framework: Principles & Objectives, Measures & Qualitative Benchmarks (PDF) Version 4 (May 2018):

“M4.4 Pedestrian and cycling overpasses are provided at strategic points relative to pedestrian movement patterns and the existing and proposed street and cycle networks; where applicable.”

Send firm but polite emails to these politicians:
Ministers:
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan jacinta.allan@parliament.vic.gov.au
Roads and Road Safety Minister Jaala Pulford jaala.pulford@parliament.vic.gov.au

Lower House MPs:
Pascoe Vale MP (Labor) Lizzie Blandthorn lizzie.blandthorn@parliament.vic.gov.au
Brunswick MP (Greens) Dr Tim Read Tim.Read@parliament.vic.gov.au

Upper House MPs:
Fiona Patten (Reason Party) fiona.patten@parliament.vic.gov.au
Mr Nazih Elasmar (ALP) nazih.elasmar@parliament.vic.gov.au
Jenny Mikakos (ALP) jenny.mikakos@parliament.vic.gov.au
Craig Ondarchie (Liberal) craig.ondarchie@parliament.vic.gov.au
Dr Samantha Ratnam (Greens) samantha.ratnam@parliament.vic.gov.au

Injury statistics for 600 metres stretch of Bell street

Bell street Crossing

By not providing a full veloway solution or pedestrian & cycling bridges as part of Level Crossing Removal design with the elevated rail there is an increased injury & mortality risk‬ at Bell street and Moreland Road.

At the Bell Street crossing there are pedestrians and the odd cyclist crossing against the lights fed up with waiting and using the small 50 cm wide median strip for safety. There has been one serious injury recorded at this site in the last five years, according to VicRoads injury data.

This crossing is part of the arterial Upfield Bike path with over 100 cyclists an hour and 130 pedestrians an hour in the morning peak in winter. Even greater numbers in summer. That means the beg button is constantly being pushed during peak times and in fact most of the day.

It’s argued level crossing removal will relieve traffic congestion, but with these pedestrian lights needed constantly for pedestrians and cyclists to cross, vehicle traffic will continue to be hindered and remain congested .

In fact cyclists presently get some advantage with the ‘Upfield Wave’ with the boom gates down and will lose this, causing greater active transport congestion at the crossing point that gets congested with half a dozen pedestrians and a couple of cyclists – even worse during morning and evening peak.

To avoid this increase in injury or fatality a cycling bridge should be built over Bell Street to increase safety outcomes.

We advocate for dual lifts for each platform for both Coburg and Moreland stations, so the stations are fully disability compliant with some redundancy in case of lift breakdown or maintenance. Lifts and stairs can be positioned on each side of the main road to access the station platforms. If this requires pedestrian walkways or extending the platform, then such work should be done to enable better station accessibility.

Main roads are major areas of safety concern. The level crossing current concept design does not resolve the pedestrian and cycling congestion at crossing points or conflict around station zones. If this is not resolved ensuring pedestrian and cycling safety, then any injuries at these crossings should be blamed on the lack of ministerial responsibility to ensure design was adequate for safety needs.

Given that this is an arterial cycling corridor the Bell Street and Moreland Road should both warrant streamlined cycling crossover whether it be a veloway or cycling bridge. Don’t bullshit us about the need for circle ramps or that dedicated cycle ramps need to be fully compliant with Disability access requirements.

The LXRP own design framework specifies bridge crossings should be utilised where warranted.

“M4.4 Pedestrian and cycling overpasses are provided at strategic points relative to pedestrian movement patterns and the existing and proposed street and cycle networks; where applicable.”

Bell Street crossing safety observation:

Moreland Council Notice of Motion on cycling and level crossing removal

The next Moreland Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday September 11.

The Mayor, Cr Natalie Abboud, has put forward a notice of motion for council to consider: Investigate Improvement Options for cycling on the Upfield as part of the Level Crossing Removal Project. This follows her public comments on cycling crossovers on Jon Faine Morning talk back radio.

Read the officer report and Notice of Motion NOM50/19 (as excerpted from the agenda).

The current motion may be amended before the Council meeting, or amended during the Council debate. It currently reads:

That Council:
1. Receives a report analysing the benefits and disadvantages of a range of options to minimise delays at intersections for pedestrians and cyclists using paths to be constructed as part of the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) along the Upfield railway line. This report should include consideration of:

a) A continuous elevated ‘veloway’ for the extent of the elevated rail structure.
b) Pedestrian and cyclist bridges across Moreland Road and Bell Street.
c) Traffic signals for pedestrians and cyclists at intersections that minimise delay when crossing.
d) The potential for Council co-contribution of funding to increase the likelihood of improvements not previously within the project scope.

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