If you need to get around, both walking and riding a bike are great sustainable, free options. There are bike parks and footpaths all over Merri-bek, meaning you can easily get around.
Walking in Merri-bek
Walking is the preferred way of getting around for travel close to home. Walking is most popular recreational activity for Victorians. It has great environmental, health and social benefits.
There are some great places you can walk around Merri-bek, including:
- the diverse range of shops in your local shopping area
- the Merri Creek trail, where you can visit CERES Environment Park, have a picnic on the banks of Coburg Lake and see more interesting sites
- the Jacana Wetlands along Moonee Ponds Creek
Walk to School Month
During VicHealth's Walk to School Month in October, students, teachers and families across Victoria walk, ride or scoot to school. Walk to School Month encourages everyone to think about ways to get to school that are healthy, good for the environment and fun. During Walk to School month there are prizes to be won, new friends to be made and neighbourhoods to explore!
We support local schools and families with Walk to School activities and events that support active travel options.
Walk to School is a free, easy, and fun way for kids to get the 60 minutes of exercise they need each day.
Riding a bike in Merri-bek
Riding a bike 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.
On an average day in Merri-bek, more than 5000 people ride their bikes.
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 Council's Integrated Transport Strategy (PDF)* and it is part of our response to the Climate Emergency Zero Carbon Evolution.
*In December 2020, Council resolved to abandon two key actions in the 2019 strategy, relating to parking. The
document should therefore be read in conjunction with the minutes of the December 2020 Council meeting and
subsequent April 2021 Council meeting. A new Transport Strategy is currently being prepared.
Where you can ride a bike in Merri-bek
We have a variety of different paths, and some of them are on streets with little volume and low speeds. Riding on these paths can be more relaxed than riding on major roads. The East Brunswick Shimmy is clearly marked with signs.
If you cycle often, it's a great idea to print out our Pocket map (PDF) and keep it with you when you ride.
Parking your bike
If you are riding your bike between places, you need somewhere to park it that is secure and close to where you're going. As part of our commitment to encouraging more sustainable travel, we are providing an extra 200 bike parking spaces each year.
We have also turned some on-street parking spaces into bicycle corrals. Bicycle corrals are parallel parking bays, and 1 bicycle corral can be used by 10 bicycles and occupies 1 single parallel car space. Having a bike corral outside your business is a really great way to show that you are committed to sustainable transport. You can contact us if you would like to set one up.
Find out more about Bicycle corrals in Merri-bek (PDF 240kb) .
You can also park at Glenroy, Fawkner and Coburg train stations with a Parkiteer access card. An access card will let you park your bike in an undercover and secure area at the station.
Charging your electric bicycle
There is a power point near the bicycle parking at the Coburg Civic Centre. We put it there so you can charge your bike while you do business with us. Look for the specially marked bay outside the Urquhart Street entrance.
Building a better network of bicycle routes
Merri-bek Council has an ongoing program to build a better network of bicycle routes. Each year we improve the bicycle network a little bit.
- We construct on-road bicycle lanes, learn more onour Conversations Merri-bek website.
- We build new off-street shared-use paths for walkers and bike riders.
- We install bike parking near shops and schools.
- We build bridges. Learn more on ourCoversations Merri-bek website.
- We change intersections to make it easier for bike riders to cross busy roads.
- We also work with the Victorian Government to make bigger changes to the bicycle network. Find out more on the Department of Transport and Planning website.
Our goal is to create safer routes to more places, so more people can get around Merri-bek safely by bike. We hope that by creating a safer bicycle network to more places, more people will ride more often.
In June 2022 we published a 10 year plan (PDF) to improve our bicycle network.
Merri-bek Council conducts counts on its shared use paths and on-road bike lanes. These counts help Council to plan improvements for walkers and people who ride bikes.
These counts include:
- An automated count on the Capital City Trail near Nicholson Street Fitzroy North. View available data
- A 7 am to 9 am count of bike rider movements at various road intersections. Observations are available for a mid-week day in March for 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. Download available data (ZIP file)
- A 7 am to 7 pm count of bike rider and walker movements on the Upfield Shared Path and Sydney Road. Observations available for an Autumn weekday for 2015, 2017 and 2019. Download available data (ZIP file)
The Department of Transport (VicRoads) also counts bikes using automated counters at selected locations. View data on the Department of Transport webpage.
Further cycling resources
- Bicycle Network Victoria for information on Ride2Work Day
- You can use applications like Strava, Map my Ride to map your route
- Use the VicTraffic app to check the traffic conditions before you ride
- Learn how to keep your own bike in great condition and fix up other bikes at Doctor Crankys - Bikes for Kids Youtube page