Swanston St Bike Speed Limit

LORD Mayor Robert Doyle’s push to return cars to Swanston Street appears scuttled.

A report on five options for the strip prepared for Melbourne City Council is likely to support greater access for pedestrians.

  • Report may scuttle Doyle’s Swanston Street plan
  • Suggests increased pedestrian use
    - No plan to remove trams, bikes may get speed limit

While the report, expected to go to the council next month, will not make specific recommendations, its analysis of options ranging from more traffic to increased pedestrian use is believed to support the latter.

Options canvassed in the report are also believed to include reduced access for delivery vehicles and taxis and block-by-block recommendations on parking restrictions.

Separating tram tracks to allow a bike path down the centre of the street is also believed to have been considered.

Council staff, representatives of the retail, developer and freight sectors and transport and academic stakeholders held a three-day meeting this month to discuss options for the trouble-plagued street.

The first change will be the removal of tour buses from the street by March 31, with a new home secured for the buses at Federation Square.

During the council election campaign last November, Cr Doyle called for the return of cars to the street and described the current mixed-use arrangement as a “failed experiment”. But his idea never had the support of a majority of councillors.

Cr Doyle said yesterday that while he still supported increased vehicle use on Swanston Street, his priority was an end to the current situation, which he said was dangerous and unworkable.

He still supported reopening the street to cars, “but I am also a realist and if that is not possible and if I do not have support for that, then I would not be a supporter of the status quo”.

He said the report would consider a range of solutions and would be released for public comment.

There were no options to remove trams from the street, but Cr Doyle was unable to say the same for bicycles. It is believed a reduced speed limit for cyclists has also been considered.

Garry Brennan, of Bicycle Victoria, called for a reduction in delivery vehicles on Swanston Street during peak times.

“The next priority for Swanston Street is the management of the service vehicles during peak hour,” Mr Brennan said.

Meanwhile, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore briefed a Bicycle Victoria dinner in Melbourne last night on her plans to turn Sydney’s centre into a bicycle-friendly environment.

Sydney has committed $70 million over four years to build 55 kilometres of mainly separated cycling routes in and through the city centre.


limited to what? unless speedo’s are made mandatory, how could you possibly police this…
Also who would hand out fines? it’s not like bikes have numberplates…
seems pretty far fetched, and difficult to implement.

I do like the idea of a central bike lane, but again: probability is minimal as it would mean re-running all the tram tracks along swanston st…
It would get rid of all those pedestrians who step out in front of you to catch the tram that is still 100m away from them though

Sounds like crap to me.

If the bike lanes are in the middle between the footpath and trams, you still have to cross tram lines whenever you make a turn or stop at your destination. Sounds like a plan by somebody who doesn’t ride and assumes that everyone is riding down Swanston St only and going through the city without stopping or turning.

And…bikes are already subject to the 30km/h speed limit that applies NOW to all traffic on Swanston St.

Anyway, there aren’t any police enforcing it much now that I can see so it’s all status quo then?

And I reckon it’s mostly about being seen to be doing something, once again.

I recall the speed limit fiasco on the Southbank promenade - at the corner of Queensbridge St. Seems like some noses at the HWT were out of joint about bikes zipping along a shared footpath - cue slow news week media frenzy - and had the cops out with speed guns ‘policing’ a speed limit on a footpath. A friend and I counted about fifty people driving over the bridge yakking on mobiles in the time they handed out three ‘warnings’ to cyclists - which was the bigger safety issue? I wonder which bigwig got near-missed or crashed into by a rider. Who says bad riding isn’t everyone’s business?

Relaying tram tracks will be a colossal waste of money - service vehicles would still get to use a centre lane - are they talking about running the trams right along the edge of the footpath - raised footpath at tramstops? - why not leave them where they are - and get the MDMA to run tram split workshops? :evil:


cant see any of this being practical, nor enforce-able

cant we all just realise that riding bikes on a road, or anywhere for that matter is a reasonably dangerous activity especially for the unskilled?
every once in a while someone is going to get hurt or die riding a bike, we can do things to make it a bit safer like wearing a helmet and using common sense, maybe some more education for all parties involved, but you cant wrap everyone in cotton wool 24/7.
people need to be responsible for their own actions and if they dont feel comfortable going down swanston at 530pm because its wild, go another route or walk your bike.

Just use Russell.

the hipsters cant handle the hill from collins to flinders :wink:

The peds on Swanston are the problem, rarely a day goes by when I don’t narrowly miss a random wanker in an ironic hat


Ped bashing, now this I can get into

GF regularly ‘runs the gauntlet’ of ped collision on Collins, just after descending the hill, crossing Swanston St heading towards Elizabeth. Oh, it’s Swanston St Walk, where you can cross any road at any time while listening to your ipod or sending a text or drinking that latte, or all three. People cross ‘early’, ie while the traffic in front of them still has the green, or they’re just following the person in front of them while they text, or for no reason at all.

That intersection needs a ‘Cyclists Sound Bell’ sign, or equivalent. Ding ding, sleepyheads, imma run you over. Enough people ring, and maybe there’ll be some behavioural change ooh buzzwords at that intersection. Maybe.

Cops won’t like it, writing tickets for jaywalking is great, and you don’t have to chase them. For once I can see the point of having bells on bikes, even if cars can’t hear 'em …

The best part about having a bell is clearing your conscience before screaming a blood curdling “get the fuck out of my way”. I run a bell one one of my bikes and all I get is blank stares when I ring it, but at that stage I’ve done my part and I’m blameless for what comes next.