Elsternwick to Melb Uni commuter route?

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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

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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.


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