Melbourne City Council has got it wrong with a new road safety plan that focuses on more protection for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and cycling lanes on Princes Bridge, the RACV says.
But Victoria’s peak motoring body denied it was anti-bike after opposing three big cycling upgrades in the city in recent years – separate bike lanes on Albert and La Trobe streets and the loss of traffic lanes on Princes Bridge to make way for bike paths.
RACV public policy manager Brian Negus said it was unnecessary to remove traffic lanes for bike lanes and the council should instead be removing street parking.
”It is very important when looking at on-road bicycle facilities that the needs of all road users are properly considered. That includes those in cars, trucks, buses and trams, and cyclists and pedestrians,” he said.
”That is the principle that has probably been neglected by the Melbourne City Council, both in what they have looked at in their road safety strategy, and secondly in the context of the three [recent] bicycle proposals.”
He said Albert Street was done on the cheap and was an ”anti-car proposal” that looked ”absolutely dreadful”.
The RACV operates the Melbourne Bike Share scheme, and supported the bike-friendly upgrade of Swanston Street.
Mr Negus said the lobby group also supported removing traffic on Elizabeth Street between Bourke and Flinders streets.
”We certainly have promoted the need for safe bicycle facilities, both off road and on road,” he said.
Garry Brennan, spokesman for Bicycle Network Victoria, said ”the spectacular success of central Melbourne as a pedestrian and bicycle-dense CBD caught many people and organisations by surprise and they are having trouble adapting to this new, thriving city reality”.
”With the RACV it’s a case of the shock of the new. In a few years’ time they will be wondering what all the fuss was about,” he said.
Melbourne council’s new road safety plan aims to make the city more pedestrian and cyclist- friendly.