Improvements to walking and cycling in Merri-bek
The Victorian COVID-19 state of emergency is impacting the way we travel and move around. As we emerge from COVID-19 restrictions and beyond, we want to make it easier for our community to get around local neighbourhoods by walking and cycling.
Our goals are to:
- Encourage local trips to jobs, services and facilities by walking and cycling.
- Make cycling safe, comfortable (especially for those who are less confident), and a preferred mode of travel in Merri-bek.
- Establish high-quality pedestrian routes and places that are safe, comfortable and accessible.
- Create efficient routes that will cater to social distancing requirements.
- Avoid a significant increase in congestion on our roads as COVID-19 restrictions ease and public transport is still running at reduced capacity.
- Promote physical and mental health.
In July 2020 we allocated an additional $1.68 million in the 2020/2021 budget toward trial and permanent projects aimed at improving walking and cycling infrastructure in Merri-bek. These trial projects will help us achieve our goals.
- new zebra crossings and pedestrian thresholds
- implementing trial bike lanes
- seeking Department of Transport approval to trial shared zones and introduce right-turn bans at key intersections on tram corridors.
Consulting with the community
To respond quickly to the need to support of the safe movement of pedestrians and cyclists during COVID-19, we have not conducted community consultation prior to approving these projects. This includes some trial projects which impact on-street car parking spaces.
We are delivering the bike lane and shared zone projects as trials and using materials that can be modified or removed depending on the outcomes and community feedback during the trials. These trials are expected to run between 12 months to two years. All other projects are permanent.
We will be inviting you to share your feedback and experiences of walking and cycling while using our new separated bike lanes and shared zones. Your feedback will help us to monitor the trials and make adjustments or improvements before any permanent decisions are made.
We are currently delivering the transport projects below across Merri-bek. There are many other projects we are also completing which you can find out about on our Current projects page.
Zebra crossing blitz
We are installing approximately 50 new zebra crossings at various intersections and roundabouts across Merri-bek. These will be in prioritised locations within activity centres and on Principal Pedestrian Network routes.
The exact number and locations of new crossings are subject to cost and approval by the state Department of Transport and will be confirmed when the crossings are designed and approved.
The zebra crossings will make it easier and safer for people to cross the road, particularly for people who need a bit more time to do so. This includes elderly people, families with children, and people with disabilities. They will also send a visual signal that walking is encouraged and that drivers and cyclists need to look out for pedestrians.
Subject to approval from the Department of Transport, these zebra crossings will also include some splashes of colour (next to the crossings, not on them) designed by Council’s Artists in Residence.
This project will have no impact on car parking. The budget for this project is $400,000 and additional funding is also being sought from the state government. This project will be delivered progressively across Merri-bek from December 2020 to June 2021.
Crossing already installed across Merri-bek include:
- Ewing Street at Barkly Street, Brunswick
- Ewing Street at Edward Street, Brunswick
- David Street at Glenlyon Road, Brunswick
- Ewing Street at Weston Street, Brunswick
- Hickford Street at Lygon Street, Brunswick East
- Cross Street at Albert Street, Brunswick East
- Stanley Street at Albion Street, Brunswick East
- Harding Street at Russell Street, Coburg
- Northumberland Road at Westbreen Creek, Pascoe Vale
Crossing approved by the Department of Transport but still awaiting installation include:
- Glenlyon Road at Ewing Street, Brunswick
- Glenlyon Road at Ewing Street, Brunswick
- Frith Street at Victoria Street, Brunswick
- Gale Street at Albert Street, Brunswick East
- Sedgman Street at Albert Street, Brunswick East
- Bladen Avenue at Lygon Street, Brunswick East
- Evans Street at Lygon Street, Brunswick East
- Luscombe Street at Lygon Street, Brunswick East
- Piera Street at Lygon Street, Brunswick East
- Queen Street at Lygon Street, Brunswick East
- St Phillip Street at Lygon Street, Brunswick East
- Belair Avenue at Chapman Avenue, Glenroy
- Derby Street at Lyking Street, Pascoe Vale
- Derby Street at Oakbank Grove, Pascoe Vale
- Derby Street at Raeburn Street, Pascoe Vale
Crossing pending approval by the Department of Transport include:
- Harrison Street at Nicholson Street, Brunswick East
- Kirkdale St at Nicholson Street, Brunswick East
- Stewart Street (both sides) at Nicholson Street, Brunswick East
- Davies Street at Sydney Road, Brunswick
- Donald Street at Sydney Road, Brunswick
- Mitchell Street at Sydney Road, Brunswick
- Union Street at Sydney Road, Brunswick
- Shaftsbury Street at Merri-bek Road, Brunswick West
- Everett Street at Merri-bek Road, Brunswick West
- Baxter Street at Sydney Road, Coburg
- Blair Street at Sydney Road, Coburg
- Gilmour Street at Bell Street, Coburg
- Mckay Street at Bell Street, Coburg
- Moore Street at Sydney Road, Coburg
- Norman Street at Sydney Road, Coburg
- Rogers Street at Sydney Road, Coburg
- Sargood Street at Sydney Road, Coburg
- Sheffield Street at Sydney Road, Coburg
- The Grove at Sydney Road, Coburg
- Walsh Street at Sydney Road, Coburg
- Woolacott Street at Sydney Road, Coburg
- Belair Avenue at Pascoe Vale Road, Glenroy
- Fincheley Avenue at Pascoe Vale Road, Glenroy
- Lytton Street at Pascoe Vale Road, Glenroy
- Post Office Pl at Pascoe Vale Road, Glenroy
- Blucher Street at Wheatsheaf Road, Glenroy
- Greenwood Street at Bell Street, Pascoe Vale South
- Landsowne Street at Bell Street, Pascoe Vale South
- Royal Parade at Bell Street, Pascoe Vale South
New pedestrian thresholds
Alongside the projects listed above, we are also installing approximately 5 new pedestrian thresholds at various locations. These will be on prioritised Principal Pedestrian Network routes and routes to schools. The exact number and location of the new thresholds are subject to design and cost and are still to be confirmed.
A pedestrian threshold is where the surface of a road is raised at the intersection, encouraging drivers and cyclists to slow down and look for pedestrians when turning. These additions improve safety and make walkways more accessible by providing a continuous surface for pedestrians that don't involve ramps.
This project will have no impact on car parking. The budget for this project is $400,000 and additional funding is also being sought from the state government. This project will be delivered progressively across Merri-bek from February 2021 to June 2021.
Improved safety for cyclists on Boundary Road in Pascoe Vale, Coburg North, and Hadfield
Boundary Road has bicycle lanes for most of its length and previously parking has been allowed in these lanes. This has meant that cyclists have needed to cross into the path of traffic to get around parked cars on an arterial road with a 60km/h speed limit.
We are trialing a ban of on-street parking on Boundary Road in Pascoe Vale, Coburg North, and Hadfield between the Upfield Railway Line and West Street Pascoe Vale. We aim to improve safety for cyclists using the Boundary Road bicycle lanes so they do not have to cross into the path of traffic due to parked cars.
In general, very few of the spaces along Boundary Road are in use, as most properties have off-street parking and there is also parking available in side streets. This ban will not impact any on-street parking at the shops across the road from Westbreen Primary School, or the indented parking bays near the shops opposite Hallam Reserve.
Making it safer for cyclists on Boundary Road will provide more east-west travel options in Merri-bek’s north. This change also complements the recent extension of the Coburg to Glenroy Bicycle Link with the new shared path along Rhodes Parade, the upcoming extension along Northumberland Road, KW Joyce Reserve, and Kent Road, and future improvements in Fawkner. It also complements the state government’s upgrades and extension of the Upfield shared pathway.
We will receive a report on whether to continue with this trial within 3 months of the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency.
Level crossing removals in Merri-bek
On behalf of the Victorian Government, the Level Crossing Removal Project is removing 75 level crossings across Melbourne by 2025.
Level Crossing removals are funded and delivered by the State Government and its agency the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP). See below for further information.
Bell to Merri-bek questions and answers: Bell to Merri-bek - Level Crossing Removal Project website
- Noise and disruptions
- Landscaping and dying trees
- Swale drainage, inundation of water and other drainage issues
- Dog Park
- Bicycle paths, foorpaths and playgrounds
- Active spaces including basketball courts and skate park
- Moreland Heritage Station public toilets
- Art installations.
Glenroy Road questions and answers: Glenroy Road - Level Crossing Removal Project website
- Noise and disruptions
For more information use the following contact details.
There will be night works on the Glenroy Level Crossing Removal Project:
- Sunday 24 to Thursday 28 October, and Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 November, 5pm to 3am each night.
For service disruption updates visit the Level Crossings disruptions page.
Plan your travel on public transport using the PTV Journey Planner.
The following level crossings are being removed on the Upfield line.
Bell to Merri-bek:
The Bell to Merri-bek level crossings will be replaced by a rail over road design.
The following level crossings are being removed on the Craigieburn line.
- Glenroy Road, Glenroy
Level crossing at Glenroy Road will be removed by lowering the rail line under the road into an open trench.
As a key stakeholder, but not the project owner, we are not responsible for the planning or delivery of the level crossing removals.
We continue to advocate to the Level Crossing Removal Project for the best outcomes for our community and city.
We welcome the removal of level crossings in Merri-bek and wants to the projects to be well-planned, delivered to the highest quality, and constructed with the minimum amount of disruption.
On behalf of the Victorian Government, the Level Crossing Removal Project have removed the level crossings at Bell Street, Munro Street and Reynard Street in Coburg, and Merri-bek Road in Brunswick by raising the rail line over the road.
The rail over road design will deliver new community open spaces, improved east–west connections and improvements to the Upfield Bike Path. The four level crossings were removed all at the same time to minimise disruption to the community.
Two new stations were built at Coburg and Merri-bek in 2020, while retaining and repurposing the existing heritage-listed station buildings.
Removing these level crossings will improve congestion for vehicles that pass through the crossing’s each day as well as significantly improving safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
Construction for this project commenced in 2019, the boom gates were removed in 2020 and the project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.
Bell to Merri-bek Project Timeline
- Site investigations
- Community information sessions
- Announcement of Reynard and Munro Street removal
- Community Information Sessions to gather ideas on what the community want to see in the open space underneath the new elevated rail line along the corridor
- New Merri-bek and Coburg station designs revealed
- Design development on the rail under road solution
- Open Space designs released
- Community Information Sessions, as well as the collection of more feedback via online and in person
- Contract signed for Bell to Merri-bek level crossing removal
- Construction taking place on the Bell to Merri-bek project
- Boom gates removed
- Construction completes
On behalf of the Victorian Government, the Level Crossing Removal Project is removing the level crossing at Glenroy Road, Glenroy by lowering the rail line under the road. The project will also deliver a new Glenroy Station.
Removing this level crossing will improve congestion for vehicles that pass through the crossing each day as well as significantly improving safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
Glenroy Project Timeline
- Site investigations
- Community engagement on what's important to the Glenroy community
- Design development on the rail under road solution
- Further community engagement on key defined elements of the design
- Further community consultation
- Finalise design
- Works proposed to start
- Level crossing removed
Key Council advocacy requests
- Ongoing consultation with the Merri-bek community and Council
- Provide adequate funding, thought and focus to the newly created ‘left under’ spaces (for example, trees and landscaping, active and passive public spaces, management and maintenance)
- Transform the Upfield shared path (width and landscape), including separation of bike and pedestrian paths
- Incorporate extended pedestrian plazas at Coburg and Merri-bek Stations
- Include 5 vehicle, bike and pedestrian crossings at Bell Street, Victoria Street, Munro Street, Reynard Street and Merri-bek Road
- Transform existing Victoria Street underpass into a shared street for pedestrians, bikes and vehicles
- Provide high quality rail channel viaducts, higher off ground (up to 7 metres high), allowing greater light penetration below and mitigating overlooking concerns
- Retain the Munro Street, Coburg signal box, which has local heritage significance
- Community consultation on the future of Gandolfo Gardens, including retention of as many trees as possible
- Retain the Canoe Tree Memorial in Gandolfo Gardens
- We advocated to the LXRP to actively engage with community and incorporate their ideas into future designs of the VicTrack owned Gandolfo Gardens, including preservation of vegetation and overall use of the space.
- We advocated to LXRP to retain as many trees as possible in the VicTrack owned Gandolfo Gardens, and for it to stand by its commitment that no trees will be removed to create space for storage materials, and that trees will only be removed to enable the construction of the elevated rail structure.
- We successfully advocated for the preservation of the Canoe Tree memorial in the VicTrack owned Gandolfo Gardens.
- Successful advocacy for elements of the long awaited Bell to Merri-bek project designs including:
- Pedestrian plazas at Coburg and Merri-bek Stations
- A separated bike and pedestrian path
- Five vehicle, bike and pedestrian crossings
- Nature-play community space
- Preservation of heritage buildings at Coburg and Merri-bek stations.
- Continued advocacy for improvements to the Bell to Merri-bek project designs including:
- Inclusion of escalators at Coburg station or consideration to future proof for this important growth area
- Separated bike and pedestrian paths around the stations to improve safety and commuter access and;
- Further extensions to the Upfield shared path.
- Council investigated LXRP proposed cycling routes in response to community concerns regarding the closure of the Upfield Shared Path by the LXRP during the grade separation works between O'Hea and Tinning Streets.
- Council thanked the Upfield Corridor Coalition for the considerable work they have done into the investigation of alternate cycling routes.
- Council's investigation into the tree removal at Gandolfo Gardens by the LXRP has now concluded. Three trees have been removed in addition to those shown on plans submitted to Heritage Victoria. Further legal advice obtained by Council holds that the tree removal did not constitute an illegal act. Council is further exploring alternative compensative outcomes following the removal of the additional trees at Gandolfo Gardens
- Advocacy to Minister for Planning regarding concerns about change to submission process for proposed changes to the registration of the Upfield Railway Line Precinct in the Victorian Heritage Register. Media release issued.
- Special Council meeting held on 22 August regarding LXRP’s permit application to Heritage Victoria to demolish the Munro Street signal box. Resolution to submit application to Heritage Victoria to oppose the demolition. Media release issued.
- Advocacy regarding LXRP community consultation on Vic Track owned Gandolfo Gardens. Media release issued.
- Formation of the LXRP Community Advocacy Group (CARG), comprising members of the community, local groups, the Mayor, Councillors and officers. The group meet regularly to progress advocacy effort focusing on enhanced project outcomes.
- Council commits $30,000 for community advocacy actions.
- Council helps facilitate a public meeting, which is set up and run by the Upfield Corridor Coalition community group.
- Council writes to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan and LXRP CEO Kevin Devlin expressing concern regarding the lack of consultation and seeking assurances regarding future community engagement.
- Council expresses its disappointment at the lack of consultation by the LXRP on the station designs. Media release issued.
- Council supports removal of four level crossings on the Upfield line.
- Council requests LXRP conduct further community consultation on proposed designs.
- Council advocates for a final design that incorporates best practice technologies to minimise noise and visual impact, creates new open spaces and improves links and pathways for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Council advocates for Reynard and Munro Street crossings to be removed as part of the Bell and Merri-bek project.
- Council’s advocacy position widely publicised including presence at the LXRP’s community consultation.
- Advocacy position tailored to each design option (elevated or trench) that maximises place and community benefit no matter which option LXRP use.
- Council seeks meeting with the Minister for Transport to present Council’s advocacy case and seek confirmation about LXRP’s community engagement program timing.
- Council participates in LXRP’s community engagement to ensure Council’s position on both design options is made known to the community.
- Council seeks independent technical feasibility assessment of elevated and trench design solutions.
- Council endorsed a set of principles and place specific outcomes to guide Council's negotiations with the LXRP and State Government agencies, to achieve optimal outcomes for the community.
- Council advocates to LXRP for grade separation at Glenroy, Merri-bek and Coburg crossings.
- Council advocates to LXRP for grade separation at Glenroy, Merri-bek and Coburg crossings
Any noise or disruptions issues relating to the Level Crossing Removal works should be reported directly to the LXRP on 1800 105 105 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can learn more about the Victorian State Government level crossing removal project on the State Government's level crossing removal website.
Reynard Street, Pascoe Vale Substation
Department of Transport (DoT) previously called Public Transport Victoria (PTV) are in the planning stages of building a new tram power substation in Pascoe Vale.
The substation will be designed to ensure it meets all relevant operating standards and guidelines, operates safely and has minimal impacts on the local community.
The substation is classified as a minor utility under the Victorian Planning Scheme and it does not require planning approval from council. We have advocated to protect the safety of its community in regards to PTV’s project.
In February 2019, we wrote to PTV to express community concern over the substation, and requested further details be provided to respond to these concerns.
We requested further information on the following:
- The likely output of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and further details of the substation transformer
- Design features that would contain the possible EMF levels within formally recognised safe limits
- Concept drawings of the proposed substation, including height, setback, boundaries, construction materials, external lighting, external air conditioning units, signage and points of access
- A report prepared by an appropriately qualified practitioner that demonstrates the substation will not result in dangerous level of EMF in neighbouring dwellings and detail the appropriate legislation and regulations that guide EMF assessments and control measures
- An undertaking to carry out EMF monitoring in and around nearby dwellings prior to construction following the commissioning of the submission
- Details of likely noise to be created by air-conditioning and measures to mitigate noise impacts on neighbouring properties.
In May 2019, we commissioned an independent, accredited expert to peer review the EMF reports prepared for DoT. We also wrote to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) seeking guidance about safe buffer zones of substations from houses.
In October/November 2019 over a 2 week period, DoT engaged with the local community to gain feedback via an online survey and a letter distribution. 84% of respondents supported 320 Reynard St, Pascoe Vale for the best location for the new substation.
In January 2020, as a result of the community feedback and support DoT received, 320 Reynard Street is considered the preferred location for the new substation by DoT.
In early 2020 DoT will start designing plans for the new substation, engaging the community during the process.
Construction of the new building will be similar to small-scale residential building developments in the area.
This project is delivered and coordinated by the State Government Department of Transport (DoT) previously called Public Transport Victoria (PTV). We have advocated to protect the safety of its community in regards to DoT’s project.
If you have a question or would like further information about this project, you can contact Department of Transport via their website.
Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy (MITS)
The Merri-bek Integrated Transport Strategy (MITS) is a project that aims to improve the way we manage on-street parking across Merri-bek. This plan was adopted in March 2019 and was developed based on community consultation in 2017 and 2019. You can find out more about the strategy on our Merri-bek Integrated Transport Strategy (MITS) page.
This plan has seen many changes including being abandoned in a meeting in December 2020. At this time we resolved to abandon planned future MITS parking restrictions and changes in all Activity Centres (Coburg, Brunswick and Glenroy) and all Neighbourhood Centres. Our Councillors voted that further MITS changes should instead be based on community support and/or high levels of parking demand on a street-by-street basis.
For more information on the latest developments of this project, go to our Changes to parking in your area page.