Elsternwick to Melb Uni commuter route?

moni-k
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:08 am

Elsternwick to Melb Uni commuter route?

Postby moni-k » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:22 am

Hi guys,

Long story short, I really want to start riding to university, but I'm quite anxious about it.
Like the title suggests I'm coming in from Elsternwick.
I was wondering if any of you had any tips on routes or roads that will suit a nervous rider like myself?

I've been playing around with google maps for a bit and the route that takes me up the Beach Road trail and down the Light Rail (I think it's called) trail seems most comforting considering I don't really have to deal with cars for half of the trip. But from there I'm a bit unsure on the safest route to travel through the city to uni.
Plus, it would add 3-5 kms on top of a more direct route; is this something to be concerned about or does anybody else do similar for the sake of quieter roads?

Other routes would be to cut through Albert park through to Cecil St, then Whiteman st and enter the city.
The main part of the route giving me the most stress is most definitely entering the city and what roads to take to get to campus.
Any tips or suggestions at all would be really greatly appreciated! :D :D :D

User avatar
DavidS
Posts: 2456
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:24 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Elsternwick to Melb Uni commuter route?

Postby DavidS » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:11 am

Hmm, I live in Elsternwick and work at Melbourne Uni, I ride in every day to either Southbank or Parkville. I assume you're going to Parkville. I also grew up around here and have lived in this area for most of the last 44 years.

Firstly, a couple of things: I am not nervous around cars, wary yes, nervous no. I ride in the middle of the lane in peak hour traffic, but I've been doing this for decades so I'm used to it. Secondly, the connection between the beach bike path and the city is the biggest issue, there's just no great way to go unless you don't mind mixing with cars.

I would say think about this in 2 stages:

Getting to the city: Ok so you have a few choices.

The most obvious route is straight up Brighton Rd and StKilda Rd. That's how I started about 8 years ago. I changed because I wanted to ride further. Brighton Rd and StKilda Rd are not too bad as there are a fair number of bicycles so cars are a little more aware. The big issue is positioning yourself in the bike lane. Do you sit in the middle of the bike lane and risk getting doored, or do you ride a bit wider and risk being squeezed by cars? Not a great choice. Many ride this way but experience and anticipation help a lot.

The route I take is to go to the beach and ride along the foreshore path. There is an issue getting to the beach. I actually backtrack to Martin St through Gardenvale/Brighton. Gardenvale shopping centre isn't great but only one block. Further west along Martin St is Star of the Sea which is a mess as kids are being dropped off. Also busses. The best street really would be to ride west along Head St, reasonable road with traffic lights at New St and StKilda St. Assuming you are coming from somewhere near Glenhuntly Rd (not great to ride along) you could turn left ar McMillan just before Nepean Hwy, right at Rusden, across Nepean Hwy (lights), take the first left at Ebden, at the end of Ebden turn right at Cochrane and right at Head St. This is a bit of a roundabout way to get to Head St but avoids the intersection between New St and Bent Ave/Murphy St which is one of the most dangerous in Melbourne (despite the long long sight lines on that intersection, no-one looks - it is the one place I have come closest to being run over, I avoid it like the plague). At the end of Head St you are on the Beach path. The choices from there to the city are multiple, I turn at Victoria Ave (Kerferd Rd sucks) and end up on Park st which I travel along until StKilda Rd and then to the city. There is no great way to get from the Beach path to the city although the track alongside the Port Melbourne light rail is ok if you really hate mixing with cars, but you end up at Whiteman St which is crap. From there, where? Spencer St is awful, in fact they're all awful until Elizabeth St (ok) and Swanston St (reasonable). If you ride along the river it is hard to get to Elizabeth or Swanston St although I think there is a way near the Arts Centre coming under the concert hall from the South side to get to Swanston St (a ramp you might have to walk up from memory).

Through the City: Personally I prefer Swanston St. Yes you will have to put up with idiot pedestrians, no-one understands the tram stops (they are the same as any normal rd, like Glenhuntly Rd for example, there is a footpath and a road, pedestrians should only be on the road when getting on or off the tram, but they, and most cyclists, just don't get this). With all the work around Melbourne Uni I would suggest turning off Swanston at either Lincoln Square or Grattan St depending on whether you want to be near the West side of campus or the East side.

If you have any questions ask, I am very familiar with this area and have been riding to Melbourne Uni for about 8 years.

DS
Image

Cannondale Quick Speed 2, Allegro T1

moni-k
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:08 am

Re: Elsternwick to Melb Uni commuter route?

Postby moni-k » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:48 pm

DavidS wrote:If you have any questions ask, I am very familiar with this area and have been riding to Melbourne Uni for about 8 years.


Thank you so much for your detailed response! It's great to hear from someone making the same journey as I would.

I actually live very close to the Gardenvale rd/kooyong road area, so going up Martin St is definitely the most convenient way to get to the beach. I've never personally had issues near the Star of the Sea, but I've never really ridden there during drop-off/pick-up times so I understand what you mean.

A couple questions though. Why do you say Kerferd St sucks? According to Google Maps it's the only one with a bike lane but nonetheless I'd much rather take a quieter road. Also, do you find that the roads between the Beach and getting to St Kilda road are relatively safe and quiet? I've actually ridden up Swanston St once and other than keeping an eye on trams at the start of Swanston just after crossing Flinders St, it seems pretty safe as long as you stay alert of pedestrians as you said.

I'll definitely need to take a day on the weekend and check out the route and I'll definitely try out the streets you've recommended.
Cheers!

User avatar
DavidS
Posts: 2456
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:24 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Elsternwick to Melb Uni commuter route?

Postby DavidS » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:40 pm

Hmm, possibly have a bias against Kerferd Rd (once had a tram accident there, I was driving the tram, the car (taxi :D ) left in a tow truck!).

Anyway, I don't really like the intersections on Kerferd between the beach and Canterbury Rd, after Canterbury Rd it becomes a squeeze without a bike lane. I really do prefer Victoria Ave and find it quite easy. I cut through to Park St on Merton St and then just use Park St to StKilda Rd. Works for me, don't like Sturt St much which is why I use Park St all the way to StKilda Rd. You do have to claim the lane at the roundabout just after Moray St so you can go straight. It is a bit of a missing link between the beach and StKilda Rd but Victoria Ave has served me well with barely an issue for at least 5 years.

I live South of Glenhuntly Rd and use Martin St every day. I find it fine but I do know someone who was doored in the shopping strip. I just ride in the middle of the lane so don't get doored. Martin St is a reasonable option, there are worse schools to go past than Star of the Sea. I was being very conservative with my advice partly because I read your post and figured I am likely a more assertive rider and you would be less comfortable amongst traffic than I am, hence thinking about the easiest possible route. Lately I've taken to using the bike path on the foreshore when traveling home as I am just a bit tired of having to slow down for intersections - stress free and quick is fun.

Swanston St has a few hassles but the lack of cars is great. Up until a few years ago there were still quite a few cars using Swanston, with the big tram stops that has reduced to very few cars. I find it the best way through town, when I am at Parkville I need to get to Royal Pde and in the past would go up Elizabeth, with all the work going on now I'm going up Swanston and cutting across much later.

Have you sorted bike parking at UniMelb? I park in the cages under Neurosciences on Royal Pde and it is great. Card access to a secure cage and showers/change rooms on most levels. Worth checking out if you are near that side of campus.

Ask as many questions as you like, different roads suit different cyclists so you might prefer a different route to me. Bike to uni makes so much sense to Melbourne Uni, I really have trouble understanding why people drive there.

DS
Image

Cannondale Quick Speed 2, Allegro T1

Tamiya
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 12:15 am

Re: Elsternwick to Melb Uni commuter route?

Postby Tamiya » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:48 am

SKR is a mess around Domain junction with the Metro works, I avoid going near there whenever possible.

Go thru Albert Park & Clarendon worth the detour.

User avatar
DavidS
Posts: 2456
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:24 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Elsternwick to Melb Uni commuter route?

Postby DavidS » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:09 pm

You make a good point Tamiya, coming on to StKilda Rd at Park St means I just miss that mess. Albert Park is fine, not so fond of Clarendon but it is quite wide which helps.

The issue would be how to get to Albert Park from the beach, I think Fitroy St would be the only option.

Just as an aside, I tried Canterbury Rd for about a week at one point, the bike lane is way too narrow and it is not great to ride although you do see a fair few people on bikes on Canterbury Rd.

DS
Image

Cannondale Quick Speed 2, Allegro T1

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users