Melbourne will be a cycling city. The municipality's entire road network will be safe and attractive for cyclists of all ages. Bikes will become the mode of choice for private transport trips in the municipality, including for work, school, business and recreation.
Future Melbourne 2008


There was a significant amount of discussion on cycling, specifically to increase its use. Improving safety and convenience were identified as ways to achieve this, with many specific suggestions made. The key request was for cycles to be separated from vehicles. Details were also provided on increasing the city’s cycle network.

There was overlap between this Priority and Priority 1.4. Designed for People, Priority 6.1. Effective and integrated Public transport, Priority 6.3 Walking city and Priority 6.5. Smart Car Driving.

Summary of ideas (Total 177 statements)

Cycle lanes and networks (101 statements)

Over three quarters of comments made regarding this priority commented on cycle lane safety and form, as well as cycle networks. Many people stated that cycling needed to be safe and feel safe. A large number of people suggested that bike lanes be separated from vehicle traffic; a few people also suggested separate cycle and pedestrian lanes. Bike separation was most commonly referred to, though some people specifically requested for physical separation - the 1m rule, the 1.5m rule for trucks/buses/other large vehicles, or on streets with high speeds or transport volumes. A few people suggested barriers, or rumble strips, and a few suggested elevated bike lanes, for example along the river — as ways to achieve separation.

Separated bike lanes throughout Melbourne CBD and beyond - making cycling into and around our city safe for everyone including children and older people.

Bike lanes -- At the moment I do not travel via bicycle, however I can confidently say that I would ride to uni/shops/work if there were bike lanes that were separated from the road. The reason I don't ride currently is because I do not trust the cars on the road. If bike lanes were separated from roads, this would eliminate that problem.

Several people suggested greater use of lane markings, green paint (particularly at intersections), cyclist lights (including head start/priority) and increased signage to encourage use and establish legitimacy. Similarly, lowering speed limits or creating disincentives for car-traffic was suggested by a few people. Many people stated that they want better quality cycling infrastructure in general. One person stated that separating lanes is expensive and an alternative could be to create quality routes through back streets, where there is little traffic and lower speed limits, so that bike lanes and paths are not required. Similarly, another person suggested removing centre of road parking and developing centre medians as two-way cycle paths around existing trees.

People frequently identified various areas in the city that were good for cycling: Brunswick East, La Trobe, parts of Swanston Street, North Carlton, North Fitzroy in Yarra, the northern suburbs, Canning Street in Carlton, St Kilda junction and the outer edges of central CBD such as Flinders and State Library. People also frequently identified areas that were dangerous: Docklands, Haymarket, Swan Street across Punt Road, Footscray (due to large trucks), Sydney Road, Queen Street to Footscray (due to narrow roads), separate bike/pedestrian lane needed at Crown promenade and separate bike lane at Fitzroy Street and St Kilda Road.

A large number of people discussed cycle networks. Many people stated that they want more bike paths or improved cycle networks in general. Many people want better interconnection of bike paths, as well as more continuous and long distance pathways.

DEM BIKES -- Melbourne bike routes are like a crappy love life: you think your taking a safe path then it cuts off without any signs leaving you hella (sic) vulnerable. So, when making a bike path, commit to it, make it long-lasting, continuous and secure. This isn't a particularly revolutionary idea, but it is something that needs to be done. SOON.

This is one comment stating what is needed.

We need hundreds of kilometers (sic) of wide, separated cycle lanes, all interconnected and linked to cycle highways that go to the suburbs.

Bike highways, super highways and freeways were sought by a few people. One person suggested using railway reserves for bike tracks. Bike paths with fast and slow lanes were suggested by one person. A few people identified the particular need for cycle paths in Southbank. Better connections to inner and outer urban areas were desired by a similar number. Others wanted: better infrastructure in neighbouring municipalities, more bike paths in popular routes and more east-west bike paths.

Several people identified various areas that need work on the cycle network front. For example, bike paths are needed along Bellarine and Mornington peninsula, the west-bound La Trobe Street bike lane disappears at Spencer Street and Harbour Esplanade, the bike lanes disappear at the top end of Swanston Street and there is no connection to Royal Parade or Lygon Street going north, the western suburbs cycle network is lacking infrastructure and a better connection is needed between Canning Street to Spring Street.

Melbourne as a cycle city (56 statements)

Ensuring cycling is made easy, appealing and safe was what was described by a large number of people to help encourage Melburnians to cycle and make Melbourne a cycle city; or a city where cycling, walking and public transport is the norm. The benefits of a cycling city were identified by several people — health, traffic and congestion reduction and reduced carbon emissions.

Along with the desired changes to cycle lanes discussed above (that would make Melbourne more bike-friendly), education and awareness were suggested by several people as being needed. Education campaigns for cyclists and drivers about bike rules and safety, in order to create mutual respect, was desired. A code of cycling was suggested, as was a sense of comradeship, such as the popular motorbike campaign ‘bring back the nod’. This statement outlined what is needed to make Melbourne a cycle city.

Would love to see Melbourne as a great cycle city. I think we are well on the way there. As well as safe bicycle paths etc which is well covered in these comments, I think more education for mutual respect between riders and drivers would be beneficial. I've seen lots of riders with pretty aggressive attitudes to drivers, as well as the other way of course. We need solutions that provide options for multiple modes of transport, not at the expense of car transport, with many more riders as part of the mix.

Reducing cars, or making areas car-free was suggested by several people as another means to make Melbourne more of a cycle city, and address cycle safety concerns. Similarly, removing on-street car parking was identified by one person. A few people stated that better integration with public transport would also be beneficial. Enforcement of higher penalties, and greater policing for cars and cyclists flouting road rules, were also suggested by a few people. A few people also stated that removing the mandatory helmet laws would result in more people cycling.

Other suggestions included a metro map of favourite routes for cyclists that is promoted by government; requiring bikes to be registered; action to stop cycle tyres slipping in tram tracks; and, a website where riders can pinpoint and describe cycle route problems to be addressed.

Cycle Amenities (21 statements)

Many people commented on the Bike Share scheme. Several people suggested that better helmet accessibility is needed to increase use, particularly for tourists. Suggested solutions were having a helmet dispensing machine; removing the mandatory helmet law; or introducing cargo-bikes as an addition whereby helmets would not be needed, among other benefits. Linking the Bike Share system with MYKI cards was supported by a few people. Other Bike Share improvement suggestions included integrating it with smartphones, using “photosynthesis bikes”, rebuilding the Bike Share program and incorporating latest technologies, assisting in the expansion of Bike Share to cover the CBD and expanding the Bike Share stations particularly in Kensington and North Melbourne.

Increased bike storage was suggested by several people. Specific areas included the North Melbourne residential towers, Carlton area and in train stations. Bike storage was also desired to be secure (with a key or code), undercover and designated.

A couple of statements were made regarding bike parking, that better signage and careful parking layouts were required. One person suggested having LED bike paths so they are beautiful and high-tech, and another suggested having a cyclists’ shower/change facility in the city.