Category Archives: cycling

Extending the Tram through Fawkner – Moreland Council Survey

Sydney Rd Median strip between Major and Lynch Rds

Sydney Rd Median strip between Major and Lynch Rds


Moreland Council have announced a Survey on extending Sydney Road tram through Fawkner. This is gratifying to see, although it is just the first step in a campaign to have the No 19 Sydney Road tram service extended past it’s present Bakers Road, North Coburg terminus.

In November 2014 we argued it was time to Extend Route 19 tram to Fawkner and Campbellfield. There is a strong argument that the tramline should be extended to the Campbellfield shops, and build a public transport interchange linking the tram terminus with the Upfield train line (which also needs upgrading to dual track and electrification to Craigieburn) and east west bus routes along Mahoney’s Rd/Camp Road. (Bus interconnect includes: 902 – Chelsea – Airport West SMARTBUS Service, 530 Campbellfield – Coburg via Fawkner, 531 – Upfield – North Coburg via Somerset Estate, 538 Somerset Estate Broadmeadows via Camp Rd)

This would add substantial amenity to residents in Fawkner and Hadfield in accessing a range of shopping centres, including the Campbellfield shops. It would also add amenity to the various motels along Sydney road in Fawkner, encouraging their patrons to leave their cars parked and travel through Moreland by tram and train.
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Upfield Bike path: shared use upgrade to cemetery footpath does not go far enough for cyclists

This footpath from Lynch Rd will be shared use

This footpath from Lynch Rd will be shared use


One of the anomalies facing cyclists accessing the Upfield Bike Path from central Fawkner was either using Sydney Road in a 70km zone or riding on the footpath next to the cemetery, an illegal act unless accompanying children.

Sustainable Fawkner suggested and lobbied candidates as a quick fix the footpath next to the cemetery from Box Forest Rd to the police station should be made a shared use path. (see End of Post)

We have just heard from our new Councillor Ali Irfanli (Facebook) that the footpath along Sydney Rd near the cemetery will be re-designated a shared path between Lorne St and Lynch Rd.

It will be signposted as such in the next 4 – 6 weeks. The costs of these works has been assessed as minor and is managed within the existing Council budget.

While we appreciate this change, it does not go nearly far enough to resolving an anomalous legal and safety issue for Fawkner cyclists.
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Level Crossing Removal at Camp Road Campbellfield should incorporate Upfield path extension

Sydney RD and M80 intersection. Photo from Western Ring Rd path

Sydney RD and M80 intersection. Photo from Western Ring Rd path

I understand the the Victorian Government has brought forward 11 level crossing removals, two of which – Buckley Street in Essendon and Camp Road in Campbellfield – will be fast-tracked with work commencing next year and complete by 2019.

Camp Rd railway level crossing is just 300 metres along the road from the Campbellfield shopping centre. It is this Level Crossing upgrade which concerns me the most here.

The 11 level crossings have been split into two packages with both now out to tender, according to this report in Urban Melbourne. My check of the Level Crossings removal website shows the Upfield line crossing removals as at 27 September, 2016 are currently under tender.

The “North Western” package has five sites. As well as the two fast-tracked projects, the package includes Glenroy Road in Glenroy, Bell Street in Coburg and Moreland Road in Brunswick.

The Upfield shared bike path parallels the Upfield railway line. It provides a relatively safe off-street bike path running down the spine of the municipality of Moreland. It connects people in Moreland with local schools, shops and businesses, and links with the Capital City trail in the south and routes into the Melbourne CBD.

But the problem in the north is the gap connecting shared bike paths: the Upfield path stops at Box Forest Road and does not connect to the Western Ring Road Path that borders the northern boundary of the municipality.

For those Fawkner residents wanting to shop by bicycle at Campbellfield there are presently two options: attempting to brave the horror of the Sydney Rd and Western Ring Road intersection, or the pedestrian bridge over the Western Ring Road a 100 metres east of this intersection. If you take the Pedestrian bridge, then once across Mahoney’s Rd at the Pedestrian lights there is a problem of lack of a path to cycle to the Campbellfield Plaza.

Upgrading level crossings at Moreland Road, Bell Street and Camp Road is an opportunity to also clear bottlenecks and give priority to the increase in cycling in the municipality.

I believe the Munro Street crossing may be included when the Bell Street Crossing is upgraded. (This needs to be verified)

The level crossing at Camp Road especially, needs to incorporate facility for cyclists to cross, and have the shared path extended down to Box Forest Road. This is important as the intersection of Sydney Road and Western Ring Road is simply not safe for cyclists to navigate across. VicRoads have provided no on-road or off-road facility for cycling through this intersection.

Extending the Upfield shared Bike path could connect with a path to the Campbellfield shops providing a safe route to cycle north for people from Hadfield and Fawkner and further afield.

The railway bridge across the Western Ring Road was built with a capacity to take a second railway line and also with enough space for a shared path to extend the Upfield Bike path further north.

But it is imperative that level crossing removal at Camp Street should also include works incorporating a cycle crossing.

Now is also the time the State Government should join City of Moreland and City of Hume in extending the Upfield shared bike path at least up to Camp road with a vision of extending it further north and incorporate a short path to the Campbellfield shopping plaza.

Providing off-road cycling facilities is a sure way to get more people cycling more often. It makes our communities more sustainable, and more climate friendly, while providing health benefits to individuals and society as a whole.

Outer suburbs like Fawkner, Hadfield and Campbellfield need cycle friendly infrastructure just as much as inner suburbs. Indeed, because there is more of a culture built around roads and the car, it can be argued more cycling infrastructure might be needed in these suburbs to get people transitioning to lower emission transport and to change transport behaviours.

There are other problems for cyclists from Fawkner, especially in the northern end around Anderson Rd, in finding a safe route to access the existing Upfield Path. These perhaps need to be considered in depth at Council and Vicroads level for resolution. For middle Fawkner the footpath on the western side of Sydney Rd next to the cenetery really needs to be declared a shared path, as Sydney Road has a speed limit of 70km per hour and is unsafe to cycle on, to access the Upfield path.

So how about better bike facilities and extending the Upfield bike path further as part of the Camp Road Level Crossing Removal, Frank Maguire (Facebook), Member for Broadmeadows, and Lizzie Blandthorn (facebook), Member for Pascoe Vale?

Horror intersection for cyclists

Horror intersection for cyclists

Threat to Merri Creek Path with Sale of Lakeside Secondary College site

20140726-Merri-creek-path-sale-lakeside-sc
Merri Creek forms an important parkland for the north-south length of Fawkner and Reservoir. It is also an important corridor for wildlife and for users of the Merri Creek Shared bike path which winds its way along the creek sometimes on the east and sometimes the west bank.

The path uses the east bank of the creek behind the Department of Education site in Reservoir, where Lakeside Secondary College once stood. The title to the this site at 31 Radford St, Reservoir extends down to the creek verge. The Educational Department wants to sell the property and has requested the site to be rezoned for Industrial use.

Several hectares of the site lie outside the school fence on a bend of the Creek and have been planted and managed for about 30 years by Darebin Council, as part of the Merri Creek open space corridor.

If the creek frontage is sold without transfer of title to the Crown or Darebin Council, access to and use of the Merri Creek Shared pathway could be threatened.
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Secure Bike Parking at Fawkner Station but Gowrie Station still needs to be zone 1

Secure Bicycle parking at Fawkner Station installed

Secure Bicycle parking at Fawkner Station installed

Fawkner Station now has a secure bike cage for those who choose to cycle to the station and take the train. The parkiteer security bike parking cage was launched by Moreland Mayor Oscar Yildiz, State Transport Minister Terry Mulder, and Christine Campbell MP for Pascoe Vale on July 1st.

Cr Oscar Yildiz said in the council media release “Moreland residents love their bikes and now they can travel to Fawkner station and have peace of mind that their bike will be secure and undercover,” Cr Yildiz said. “This is a brilliant example of a joint government initiative that will make people’s life easier and more sustainable in their daily commute.”
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Funding urged for Upfield Bikepath extension to Western Ring Road

City skyline view over Wetlands & drainage basin where Upfield Bikepath meets the Western Ring Road

City skyline view over Wetlands & drainage basin where Upfield Bikepath meets the Western Ring Road

Extending the Upfield bikepath from Box Forest Road near Gowrie station to the Western Ring Road is a major missing link in Melbourne’s offroad shared bike path network. Christine Campbell (@CCampbellMP), State Labor MP for Pascoe Vale raised the following Notice of Motion in Parliament on 18 April 2013 urging the State Government to kick in funding to complete this major bikepath missing link in Moreland’s north.
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Moreland Council election 2012 North East Ward Questionnaire on sustainability and environment for candidates

Update: Election results – Moreland Council gets a shakeup
Update: Candidate responses as of Monday 22 October.

Moreland Council Wards

Moreland Council Wards

Moreland Council election is occurring with polling day on Saturday 27 October 2012. In North East ward of Moreland Council covering the suburbs of Coburg, Coburg North and Fawkner we get to elect 4 councillors from the 24 candidates standing. You can check the candidate contact details on the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC).

Representative democracy is a sham without the views of candidates being made available for voters to be informed. If your like some of us, you like to know who you are voting for. With very little public exposure of candidates views, Sustainable Fawkner wanted to canvas the opinions and policies by candidates on sustainability and environmental issues which we are concerned about. Replies will be collated and published on this page as a public service to electors for North East Ward.
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Spring onto your bike for Ride to work Day

Wednesday 17 October 2012 is Ride to work Day with thousands of people taking to their bicycles, tricycles and even unicycles to get to work, school or university. If your driving to work tomorrow, please take care, as always, of cyclists and welcome if this is your first Ride to Work Day as a cyclist.

Fawkner is safer than many other suburbs for cycling within the suburb with no major through roads and lots of quiet residential streets and the Upfield Bike Path, Merri Creek Bike Path and the Western Ring Road Path which all border the suburb.

For Ride2Work Day Moreland City Council have organised a community breakfast in Victoria Mall, outside Coburg Library, Coburg between 7.00am and 9.00am. Enjoy a healthy breakfast to help you on your way to work. Some of us will be riding down the Upfield Bike Path from Box Forrest Rd to enjoy the community breakfast before heading off to work or school.
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No extension of Zone 1 to Gowrie Station in Baillieu 2012 budget

Time for Gowrie Station to become Zone 1

Upfield train approaching Gowrie Station

Gowrie Station remains as a zone 2 station after the State budget was handed down on May 1. Local residents of Fawkner and Hadfield have been pressing for Gowrie Station to be changed to Zone 1 status in a campaign over the last year.

In January Bronwyn Halfpenny, the local State member for Thomastown who represents Fawkner in State parliament, called on Transport Minister Mr Terry Mulder to tell Fawkner residents why “they must pay zone 2 public transport fares from a rail station that should clearly be in zone 1”. She explained in a news article in January 2012 in the Moreland Leader that Gowrie’s zoning is an anomaly and an inequity to local residents.
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Thumbs up to new bikepath through Charles Mutton Reserve

Bill Cawte, Cycling activist and regular commuter through Fawkner gave his thumbs up to a new bikepath constructed by Moreland City Council through Charles Mutton Reserve. The previous informal path was likened to a hippopotamus wallow according to Bill Cawte’s tweet on April 18, 2012 (see below).

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