Friday, 30 March 2012

Lighter Footprints Local Group swings in behind cycling’s “Missing Link”

Middle and Inner-east cyclists lack a bike friendly and safe cycling route through the ‘heart of Boroondara ‘. Of four significant radial routes in the Principal Bicycle Network (greater Melbourne), this route remains largely un-developed.
The Lighter Footprints Local Action group believes the time is right to remedy this lack of strategic action. We are joining with Bicycle User Groups and relevant local Council stakeholders to mount a concerted campaign to get the ‘missing link’ (Eastern rail trail) back on track.

If you would like to take part in planning and action on this campaign, please come along to a Lighter Footprints Local Group “Missing Link” Campaign Planning night
on Thursday evening 6.00 pm, 12th April at Elgin Inn (Hawthorn).
Please email:   jennyhenty@upstreamadvice.com.au   for details.

Background:
A detailed proposal for the Eastern Rail Trail was prepared in June 1996 by the Cities of Boroondara and Whitehorse and the Department of Sport and Recreation Victoria. Such a pathway was planned in 1996 connecting the Yarra bike paths in Richmond to Hawthorn, Camberwell, Surrey Hills through to Box Hill to the east. While cyclists from Doncaster have a safe route to the City along the Eastern Freeway, Glen Iris and Malvern residents, the Gardiner Creek trail, commuters from Surrey Hills, Canterbury, Camberwell, Mont Albert, Balwyn and Hawthorn, lack a safe friendly cycling route to traverse the City of Boroondara.
The missing east-west bike route through Boroondara, now referred to as the “Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail” is not progressing. On-road route development is progressing slowly, but for most residents, schoolkids, and commuters this is too hazardous to be a viable alternative. The Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail or ‘missing link’ would be mainly off-road – utilising sections of the Box Hill to Hawthorn railway line easement where feasible.

The route would also provide an important link with the Box Hill to Ringwood bike trail that is currently in planning.
The Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail was previously identified as an important link in the Principle Bicycle Network for Melbourne. The route was specified as one of the four radial routes identified by the State Bicycle Committee to link the outer suburbs with the City. Unfortunately, this proposal has not been implemented to date.

The route has been very well documented on the links below:

East-West link information and map:
http://boroondarabug.org/wiki/Eastern_Rail_Line_Trail

Project proposal and detailed maps:
http://www.greenlivingpedia.org/Melbourne_eastern_cycle_route

Summary:
http://www.victorian-cycling-network.org/bicycle-routes/melbourne-planned/hawthorn-to-box-hill-bike-trail

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