Developer to close Upfield Bike Path at Jewell station for 2 years

Artist impression: NeoMetro development to close Upfield path for 2 years from Oct 2017 to 2019

Sometimes issues in other parts of the municipality affect Fawkner residents, as well as residents of other suburbs. If you are a cyclist and use the Upfield path to commute into the city past Jewell Station this will directly affect you.

An apartment development in Brunswick next to Jewell station will close the Upfield Path for over two years.

I have checked out the NeoMetro website and the development has lots of ‘sustainable’ features including a rooftop garden and emphasises city living , and appears to emphasise pro-cycling living.

Why then does the development close down one of the major cycling arterials in the City of Moreland? And not just for a few days, or a week or two, but for two whole years?

There is something hypocritical in a supposedly pro-cycling development that closes one of the major cycling arterials in our city for two years or more.

My next major thought was how the hell did this development proposal entailing closing the Upfield Path for two years get through Moreland Council? Well, Councillors?

My next thought was: Would we allow a similar level of closure for a major road arterial like Sydney Road for an apartment development? I think not. Road users would be up in arms and rightly so.

In the CBD when developments take place scaffolding is erected to ensure continuing pedestrian access along footpaths. Why couldn’t similar be done with regard to the Upfield bike path at the cost to the developer in this instance?

Why do users of the Upfield path have to endure a major disruption for over two years while the developer reaps the benefit?

This does not only affect those who live near the development, but every user of the Upfield path using it to commute to the capital city trail or into the city from further afield such as Fawkner, Hadfield or Coburg.

Detour route? But how many will just decide its too difficult and take Sydney Rd, or stop cycling?

How many cyclists will just decide to cycle down Sydney Road adding to the traffic there instead of taking the convoluted detour route?

How many might decide its just too hard and not cycle at all?

How many inexperienced cyclists might decide to take Sydney Road and be injured or even killed by a vehicle?

This section of Sydney road was labelled one of the worst for cycling accidents in Melbourne two years ago, yet the development might drive more cyclists to ride on Sydney Road.

Does anyone remember Alberto Paulon who was struck by a person opening a car door on Sydney Road causing him to be hit and tragically killed by a truck on Friday 27 February 2015?

This is Brunswick MP Jane Garrett at Albi’s memorial ride two years ago:

Where does she stand in regard to this development proposal closing the Upfield Path for 2 years which will almost certainly increase cycling traffic on Sydney Road in the same place where Alberto Paulon was killed?

Now watch Ed Hore from March 2015: in memorium: We cycle for fallen riders and the lives lost yet to happen.

So this developer, NeoMetro, has now set a precedent. What about the next development bordering on the Upfield bikepath? Will the path be closed again citing the NeoMetro development?

Maybe it’s time we just put a separated cycling lane all the way up Sydney Road to Bell Street? seeing that developers want to close the Upfield bike path for lengthy periods of time for their own benefit?

3 responses to “Developer to close Upfield Bike Path at Jewell station for 2 years

  1. Private parking lot right by the side of it housing 2 tonne chunks of metal – hey, no worries. Meanwhile moving sustainable traffic can wait for 2-years for this ‘pro-cycling’ housing development. The social cost of this horrendously poor decision should be accounted for: death and incidents on Sydney road which the council has refused to put proper bicycle infrastructure on and the number of people that cycle, or may take up cycling, that now may not, or cycle less, when the city is advocating becoming a ‘cycling city’. The hypocrisy is astounding.

  2. That Neometro development looks brilliant. At last Melbourne is moving towards a more sustainable way of living. The ridiculous urban sprawl and it’s associated costs is not the way to go. The bike path is being rerouted before the development begins. This reporter needs to do more research before shooting from the hip.

  3. I suggest you ride down the path to Jewell Station. Stop and have a look at the current bomb shelter/health hazard that is right opposite the station on the proposed redevelopment site. It is a blight on the landscape and has to go, even if it means some of us may have to take a small detour in our commute to the city. Next go in and have a look at the proposed development in the nearby display building. Do some research on the web about the company and their focus on building sustainable neighbourhoods. Finally, yes it is time that a separate cycling lane be established on Sydney Rd. In fact Moreland Council called on Vicroads to separate bicycle lanes and remove on-street parking from Sydney Rd. in March last year. Maybe the creation of separate bike lanes on major roads is where our efforts should lie, instead of trying to block quality developments and a landscaping of the front of Jewell Station that benefit all residents of Brunswick and anyone who happens to visit the area. A small short term sacrifice by some for the long term good of all.

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