Riding a bike is great
Cycling is a great way to keep fit, save money and get around. According to research from Sydney University, commuting cyclists are twice as happy as people who drive, walk or use public transport to get to work.
When more people use bikes to get around there are fewer vehicle emissions and the roads do a better job of moving people around. Getting more people riding is a goal of the Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy and our response the Climate Emergency Zero Carbon Evolution.
An ongoing investment to create better places to ride
The Merri-bek Council has 10 Year Capital Works program for improvements to cycling routes. This plan was adopted at the June 2019 Council Meeting.
The current 10 year plan (PDF 421Kb) covers the period from 1 July 2020 30 June 2031. This plan is reviewed annually to ensure that the highest priority projects are delivered with the funding allocated and takes advantage of any opportunities that arise.
Places to ride a bike
Moreland has a great network of on and off road cycle paths that include 'shimmy routes'. These on-road routes on streets with low traffic volume and low speeds. They provide a relaxed alternative to riding on Merri-bek’s major roads. The East Brunswick Shimmy is clearly marked with signs. For this and other routes, print and carry this handy pocket map pocket map (PDF 6Mb) of shimmy routes
See walking trails and bike paths for further details.
Place to park your bike
Having a secure and convenient place to park your bike at the end of your ride is an important part of the trip. Council has commtted to provide 200 additional bike parking spaces every year.
If you think a bike parking space will help get more people to your shop or if know of a place that would beneift from addtional bike parking please contact Council.
Bicycle parking corrals
In some shopping strips Council has converted an on-street car parking space into bicycle parking using 'bicycle corrals' (DOC 576Kb).
Bicycle corrals move bike parking off the footpath and onto the street, providing more space for people to walk, cafe dining and interesting shop displays.
Bicycle corrals also provide parking for 10 people who ride, rather than the one or two people who might arrive by car.
Having and maintaining a bike corral outside your business is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to sustainable transport. If you are interested in providing more bike parking outside your shop or potentially having a bike corral installed please contact Council.
Bike parking at train stations
There are Parkiteer bike cages at Glenroy, Fawkner and Coburg train stations.
Parkiteer bike cages provide convenient, undercover and secure places to park your bike, allowing fast access to the station to continue your journey by public transport. Entry to the Parkiteer cage is provided by an electronic card system, providing 24 hour monitored access and a 24 hour helpline.
If you would like to park your bike in a Parkiteer cage, you will need an access card. Cards are available from Bicycle Network. Access cards have a $50 security deposit. This deposit is fully refunded when you return the card. For more information and to orgainse an access card visit the Bicycle Network Parkiteer page or contact Bicycle Network on 1300 546 526.
How many people are riding in Merri-bek?
On a typical day in Merri-bek
- Over 3,500 people ride past the Capital City Trail near Nicholson Street, Fitzroy North.
- Around 1,000 people ride along the Upfield Path south of Park Street Brunswick and
- Around 500 people ride along the Merri Creek Trail north of CERES.
Cycling road rules
Cyclists are required to follow the same road rules as drivers. VicRoads has produced a summary of the key road rules for bicycles. Be sure that you are familiar with the road rules before getting on your bike.
How can I get my workmates to ride to work?
Businesses that support and encourage active travel to work experience the benefits of increased productivity and reduced absenteeism. Other benefits can include:
- Reducing traffic congestion around the work place
- Reducing employee parking as up to 10 bicycles can park in one car space
- Reducing car fleet costs, and
- Reducing taxi costs.
For tips on how to the people at your work riding visit National Ride2Work website and register online to receive a free support pack
Moreland Council hosts a Ride2Work day breakfast in October for it staff and for everyone who rides the Upfield Path in Coburg. Please join us.
Visit the Bicycle Network Victoria for information on Ride2Work Day.
Useful apps and websites
- Map your route - Strava, Map my Ride, Endomondo
- Be Smart in the Sun - SunSmart app
- Check the weather - Bureau of Meteorology
- Check the traffic conditions - VicTraffic app
- Find your way - Google Maps app
- Find a place to play - Playground finder
- Stop for lunch - Zomato app
- When nature calls - Public toilet finder
- City riding - Melbourne bike share
- Stay hydrated - Find a water tap
- Find your local bike shop
- Repair your bike - Easy bike repair app
Bikes and car doors - advice for cyclists
All road users need to share the roads to ensure everyone can travel through and within Merri-bek enjoyably. As a cyclist, you may not be able to control whether someone opens a car door in front of you, but you can follow these tips to try and avoid this type of crash.
- Ride in a consistent, straight line.
- Ride out from the door zone – a fully extended car door is about 1.5m wide.
- If you don't have enough room to ride safely outside the door zone, either take the lane or slow down to a speed where you could stop in time.
- Don't weave in and out of parked cars and traffic.
Anticipate other people's actions
- Look for signs of someone about to exit parked vehicles. If there is someone there, be prepared to stop, or look for a space to swerve out of the way.
- Look for brake lights that are lit up (an indication that they've just pulled up).
- Look out for the interior light going on or off.
- Look ahead for drivers parking their cars.
- Be alert to car doors when passing stationary cars to the left or kerb side as passengers may be about to exit.
- When possible, utilise one of Merri-bek’s shimmy bike routes that avoid narrow roads with fast moving traffic.
Assume you haven’t been seen
- Ride conservatively and to the conditions.
- When possible, wear bright clothes or high vis.
- When riding at night, ensure your lights are visible from 200m.
- Assume they have not seen you until you have made eye contact, and even then, be cautious.
- Ring your bell if you think someone hasn’t seen you. Sometimes this is enough to stop someone opening a door further.
What to do if the worst happens
If you are confronted by an unexpected car door, here are some tips:
- Hit the brakes. Use the rear (left) brake slightly before the front to avoid going over the handlebars.
- Pick your line and stick to it.
If worst comes to worst, you may be better to brace yourself and hit the door rather than lose control and end up under a motor vehicle.
If you have a crash
- Try to stay calm.
- Record the name and license number of other parties, registration number of the vehicle, names and details of witness and whatever you can remember of the details of the crash. Sign and date the record. Get it witnessed, as it may be useful later if there is a dispute over the crash.
- Report the crash to the police.
Advice for drivers
All road users need to share the roads to ensure everyone can travel through and within Merri-bek enjoyably. As a driver, you may not be able to control whether cyclists ride responsibly, but you can follow these tips to share the road safely.
- Always check for cyclists before opening your door. Check your mirrors first, and then perform a head check. Getting in the habit of opening your door with your left hand may help you to remember to do this.
- Bike riders may be travelling on the left hand side of your vehicle, so ensure that all passengers are checking for bike riders before exiting the vehicle.
- When getting into your car, get in the habit of walking around the front of your vehicle so you are forced to face oncoming traffic. Wait for a suitable break in traffic, including cyclists, before walking the rest of the way to your door. Do not open your car door until cyclists and other road users have passed.
- Cyclists can travel at a whole range of speeds, and some may be much faster than you think. Be mindful of the speed of cyclists when waiting for a break in cyclist traffic as they may be much closer than you think.
- Rule 269(3) of the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2009 states that a person must not cause a hazard to any person or vehicle by opening a door of a vehicle, leaving a door of a vehicle open, or getting off, or out of, a vehicle.