Midway through the Active Streets ride along Little Malop Street, the Cycling Geelong contingent stopped for coffee at Cafe Go . This cafe is bike-friendly – with their own large bike rack.
Thanks to Rosemary for this photo.
This ride demonstrated that the suggested east-west route through the city (along Little Malop Street) is not without pitfalls. After crossing from Villamanta Street with pedestrian lights, riders ride along Little Malop Street, over the pedestrian bridge over the railway line. This bridge is narrow and access to and from the road is difficult when cars are parked.
The next hazard is the crossing of Fenwick Street near the Gordon. There is fast moving traffic and a large number of buses. Despite this, there is a central refuge point, and bike lanes along Fenwick Street allow good sight lines.
The crossing of Gheringhap Street is with lights, then Little Malop Street is one-way before becoming a pedestrian mall. Although a city officer told us that this is a shared zone, there’s no signage to say bicycles are allowed. There are reports of cyclists being abused for riding here.
After crossing Moorabool Street, cyclists take to the footpath/City Mall – also, apparently, a shared zone. Finally temporary signs asked cyclists to dismount for the short section to Yarra Street, where the crossing is with two sets of lights (first to cross the Market Square car park entrance, then to cross the road. (Moorabool Street to Yarra Street roadway is one way – east-west traffic only.)
The ride then continues on road on Little Malop Street, crossing Bellarine Street, Swanson Street and Fitzroy Street and without lights to Garden Street – the most easterly point in this trial route. We paused for coffee at Cafe Go on the corner of Bellarine Street. John M, who’d been working on 94.7 The Pulse – The Bicycle Show joined the ride at this point. The other presenters – Heather and Maria – opted to ride from the beginning at Villamanta Street.
On the return journey, the route took Malop Street to Gheringhap Street, where a left turn was followed by a right turn back into Little Malop Street.
At four places along the route activity nodes allowed cyclists to give feedback, receive information and ‘goodies’ and, at the last station in Pevensey Park, to view an array of cargo bike options.
Possible alternative east-west cycling routes through the Geelong CBD might be:
- Malop Street in both directions (using Gordon Avenue to the West). Bike lanes exist. Issues with parked cars and heavy traffic.
- Myers Street. Bike lanes, either lights or roundabouts at most intersections.
- Brougham Street – bike lane most of the way. Going east, turn right to the Malop Street route at either Yarra Street or Bellarine Street.
- Waterfront – The Esplanade/Western Beach Road. Going west to Geelong West, turn left into Ginn Street, cross Mercer at pedestrian lights, take shared path bridge over the railway. Continue west on Wellington Street which intersects with Pakington Street with traffic lights.