Maroondah BUG member Mike Stevens recently brought to our attention the appalling condition of the cycle path provided adjacent to Croydon Rd between Maroondah Hwy and Croydon Town Centre. Mike's post can be seen in its original form here, in addition to being included below.
With heavy overgrowth, faded markings and limited signage, this cycling path on busy Croydon Rd appears to have been completely abandoned by the city.
CYCLING CITY? GETTING THERE...
Update: I’m pleased to say the City of Maroondah has been in touch with me today, in response to this post (how’s that for proactive!), and there’s good news. See the bottom of this post for more.
The City of Melbourne boasts of its ongoing push to be seen as a global cycling city, but that’s a message that quickly drops off as you move further into the outer suburbs.
I've recently moved from Brunswick to Croydon and, as someone that had previously preferred to commute by bike whenever possible, the shift has taken some getting used to.
For one, there’s limited cycling infrastructure. Of course, I understand that the outer suburbs likely have a far smaller number of commuters travelling by bike - which makes for something of a ‘chicken and egg’ story; if people aren't cycling, why bother investing in decent bike lanes and related infrastructure. But, without that investment, it takes a far greater level of bravery for any individual to begin looking to the bicycle as a realistic mode of transportation.
To Croydon’s credit, there is a fantastic bike lane on busy Kent Road, which links Maroondah Highway to the local shopping precinct and train station. Other busy roads in the area, such as Mt Dandenong Road, also offer stretches of cycling lanes - even if they don’t run the entire length of the road.
This road, however, Croydon Road - an equally busy road and the closest to my home - has seen far less love from the council when it comes to cycling. Like Kent Road, Croydon Road is a major link between Maroondah Highway and the suburb’s shops, along with access to trains, buses and taxis.
There’s a bike lane set away from the road, but, as these photos show, it has clearly not been touched in years. It’s barely useable for anyone on even a fat-tyred mountain bike, and best avoided by anyone riding a road bike.
MAROONDAH'S CYCLING PLAN
The City of Maroondah, to which Croydon belongs, does have a “cycling strategy”. It can found here.
It’s an old document, though, and I have no idea how much has been done to meet its goals (the Kent Road lanes certainly appears to be a relatively recent addition).
All I know is that I’d love to see Croydon Road’s path upgraded - or marked cycling lanes added to the sides of the road itself - and further efforts taken to demonstrate the city’s commitment to cycling as a means of transport.
UPDATE June 15 2015: The City of Maroondah replied to my tweets today, regarding this blog post, to advise that maintenance works for this path will begin in the next couple of weeks.
The works are expected to encompass the clearing of debris from the path, and the trimming of vegetation along its edges.
I’ve called the council to check if those works might also include repairs to the path surface - or even a complete resurfacing, ideally - but the representative I spoke with was unsure. It was suggested that I put an email through to ‘formalise’ my enquiry, so I’ll be doing that today.