Proposed Sydney Road improvements would see street parking replaced by protected bike lanes

Proposed Sydney Road improvements would see street parking replaced by protected bike lanes

Photo by Robert Merkel via Wikimedia Commons
Words by Kate Streader

VicRoads is looking for ways to improve the notoriously dangerous stretch of road.

According to a survey conducted by VicRoads and obtained by The Age under Freedom of Information laws, the majority of Sydney Road users support the removal of all Sydney Road parking to allow for extended footpaths and protected bike lanes.

Last year, VicRoads released four possible options for an improved 4km stretch on Sydney Road between Brunswick and Coburg, which could see parking restricted to off-peak periods or removed entirely. The proposed plans were put to a public vote to gauge what would best suit the community.

The RACV and Bicycle Network have spent years lobbying for dedicated bike lanes on Sydney Road following the death cyclist Alberto Paulon in 2015 after a motorist in a parked car opened their door and knocked Paulon into oncoming traffic.

VicRoads also recorded 223 casualty crashes between Park Street in Brunswick and Bell Street in Coburg in a five-year period concluding in December 2018. It was these figures which led to an investigation for improvements to the stretch of road.

While 52 per cent of the 7,000 residents who took part in the survey voted for the replacement of parking with bike lanes on Sydney Road, a large percentage of business owners argue that the area has inadequate parking as it is.

Of the four proposed options, the most favoured choice by survey respondents would see single lanes on each side of the road shared by cars and trams at all times and the removal of all parking along Sydney Road.

The second most popular option would see some parking removed to allow for extended footpaths, single shared lanes for traffic and trams at all times, and parking limited to off-peak periods to allow for wide bike lanes during peak times.

See the proposed plans for Sydney Road here

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