Doyle’s Dodgy Data and Porkies about Princes Bridge Bike Lane Trial

Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, and Bicycle Network lobby accused of promoting false and misleading statical data to justify the reduction in car lanes on Princes Bridge.

News Limited, Jessica Evans, falsely reported that there are 5500 bikes using Princes Bridge which services an average 40,000 cars a day. Robert Doyle also claimed that the number of bicycle movements on the Bridge represented 10% of all traffic movements.


Official figures published by Vicroads portrays a different story.

Vicroad’s maintains an induction loop counter on St Kilda Road in front of the Shrine of Remembrance and reports that the daily average number of bike movements on St Kilda Road to August in 2012 was 1652 (891N and 761S) and 2,691 bikes movements in 2011. Far less than the over inflated figure of 5,500 quoted by the City of Melbourne, the Bicycle Lobby and Journalists.

Independent counts undertaken the week before the lane closures indicated less than 2000 bikes use Princess bridge matching the Vicroads statistics A figure that concurs with the RACV’s data analysis.

This represents less than 5% of the overall traffic movements.

The greatest number of bicycle movements on the North bound lane across Princess bridge is in the morning peak hour 7:45AM to 8:45AM. 0utside this period on average there is less than one a minute.

Traffic congestion on the bridge extended beyond the peak hour period as motorists were forced into one lane whilst the bike lane remained empty. 

 
Monitoring of traffic on the Bridge during the morning peak hour showed that a number of bicycle riders continued to use the foot path as opposed to the provided dedicated North bound bicycle lane. Some even travelling in the wrong direction riding in the footpath South not North.

Activists critical of the City of  Melbourne’ Bike Network were sidelined by radio 3AW jock Neil Mitchel when interviewing Robert Doyle on Thursday Morning. Mitchel cutting them short by falsely claiming they were lobbyists.   It was clear that Robert Doyle and Neil Mitchel  did not want to have an informed debate or exposure of the false statistics espoused by the Lord Mayor.

The current elected City Council has not debated or approved in open Council meetings the closure of the Princes Bridge lane which was rushed through so money set aside for the project could be spent before the June 30 financial year comes to a close. The Princes Bridge Bike lane is on trail for 3 months.

Cyclist riding South on the footpath in wrong direction

Sign advising Cyclists to dismount ignored and not policed in full view of the City of Melbourne CCTV camera located adjacent on Flinders Street Station

Princes Bridge Traffic Chaos.

Morning traffic on Sta Kilda Road and Princes Bridge was pure mayhem following the City of Melbourne decision to close down Princes Bridge to one lane. Traffic banked up St Kilda Road past the Art Galley back to Grant Street and beyond.

The City of Melbourne has placed its spin on the first day of lane closures on Princes Bridge with a false claim that the transition went well.  To the contrary…

An estimated 500 to 600 bikes travelled over Princes Bride in the morning and then dropped off with very few bikes counted in the mid afternoon.  The bike lane remaining void of bicycle traffic most of the time.

Cyclists safety was at risk at the North end of the Bridge where the lane narrows as cars enter the two lane queuing bay before Flinders Street with most cars turning right into Flinders Street.

The two lane holding bay was half empty, with only one lane of traffic feeding the turning bay it was unable to fill up before traffic was stopped by traffic lights. Either the City Council has not updated traffic signals or their modelling was seriously flawed.

The Melbourne Tourist bus reporting that it took twice as long to cross the bridge then normal.

Melbourne City Council Engineers were out and about monitoring the situation.

Engineering Services Manager Geoff Robinson look on and turned a blind eye to numerous cyclist crossing Swanston Street from Batman Av.Princes Walk to travelling north using the pedestrian crossing without first dismounting, placing pedestrian safety at risk.

 Traffic congestion in one lane whilst Bike lane remains free of bikes.

 Holding bay left half vacant as one lane is unable to fill it within the regulating traffic light cycle

 Police called by City Engineers, City of Melbourne misuse of CCTV

Police Van blocking Bike lane at point in the road where traffic enters the holding bay

Cyclist ignoring traffic signals

 City Engineers survey the situation

Cyclists illegal crossing at pedestrian lights 

 Pedestrians safety placed at risk

 Cyclist travelling at full speed at pedestrian crossing failed to dismount. Police turn a blind eye as do City Engineers

 Engineering Services Manager Geoff Robinson looks on

 Truck cuts into bike lane at Northern end of Princes Bridge where it enters the holding turning bay

 Holding turning bay left half vacant

 Taxis forced into road safety point where two lanes merge into one 

Midday traffic congestion. Bike lane void of bikes

Overnight Lane Closure on Bridge

The City of Melbourne has embarked on an overnight road to reduce traffic access on Princes Bridge to make way for a new Bicycle plan.

North bound traffic on Princes Bridge will have push their way to merge into one lane in order to to cross the river.

The City of Melbourne, under Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has pushed ahead with the lane closure in spite community opposition by the RACV, VicRoads, and local Residents.

Residents South of the Yarra say they have been cut-off and access to the city is now limited.

There is no other viable alternative mans of crossing the River East of Princess Bridge.  The Swan Street Bridge is already congested as is the case to the Queens Street Bridge to the West.

The City of Melbourne claim that the lane closure is a trial and that the Council will evaluate its impact following a 3 months trial

The City of Melbourne say that Princes Bridge is used by over 5,500 cyclists a day yet official VicRoads figures show only 3000 bikes have been recorded crossing the bridge in summer. A recent independent survey taken last week showed that less than 2000 bikes where using the St Kilda Road bike lanes.

The City Council is engineering congestion. T^he Princes Bridge will be the sixth lane closure in the City constricting traffic movement. Other roads include Albert St, Latrobe Street, Queensberry Street and Macaulay Road with plans for more City roads to be reduced to single lane traffic.

Motorcycle and Scooter riders have joined the growing chorus of opposition to the City Bike madness. They say that “the City traffic is getting worse as a result of the growing number of bike lanes which are empty most of the time”. The bike lanes take up space that Motorcyclists and Scooter riders use to access to move ahead of standing traffic.

Police and emergency services are also concerned at the level and safety of access to the city.

Motorists parked on LatTrobe street are reporting insufficient room to park the car. Drivers are running the risk of opening car doors into on coming traffic.  It is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured. the City Council will be forced into removing car parking along LaTrobe street all together.

The City of Melbourne has had to make a number of changes to the Latrobe Street design and they still have not got it right.

Traffic traveling Eats along Queensberry Street say they are forced to use a single lane even though there is no bicycles using the bike lane.

Last night the City of Melbourne ignored community concern that the Council was about to spend $300,000 on constructing a bike path along Neil Street Carlton.  A Street that has no traffic and very few bicycles using it. Estimated to be less than 30 bikes a day. The Neil Street plan is opposed by all community groups including Melbourne Bicycle Users Group MBUG.

The push for lane closures and the construction of bike lanes is the work of Geoff Robinson, City Engineering and Rob Adams, director of Urban design

Geoff Robinson had to spend the money now before the end of the financial year or risk losing funding.

The current City Council has not voted on the Princes Bridge project which is proceeding under delegation and decision made by the previous Council.   Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, who had previously campaigned on a policy to limiting the growth of bike paths, has become captive  to the Greens and the bike lobby.  It is understood that a majority of the elected Council is also opposed to the Princes Bridge closure. The suggested trail will uncountably become permant as divers are forced to queue to access the City.

The City Council last night also rejected a proposal to use the millions of dollars collected in a congestion tax to  be used to provide free inner city public transport. A proposal that was rejected by the Council and the Two Greens who refused to even consider it.

If it looks like a junket, sounds like a junket

It is a Junket

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle is off to London to give a 45 minute “Keynote Speech” at the inaugural  Policing Global Cities Conference on July 9. Robert Doyle is one of a number of City Mayors invited to mingle with Mayor of London, Boris Johnson who opens the conference on the day before

International conferences are big business and there are a number of organisations popping-up offering a variety of events at exotic international locations for every sector.

Robert Doyle, who had previously campaigned on a “No junket” platform, has abandoned his promise yet again and has sought rate payer funding to attend the two day event costing over $15,000.  The costs are partly funded by the City of London event organisers who are making a contribution to Robert Doyle’s airfare travel ($4,700) and providing free accommodation. The City of Melbourne picking up the remaining costs.

Last night the City Council approved the allocation of an additional $6,000 towards the cost of Robert Doyle’s airfare plus $1,720 for an additional two days accommodation  and a further $1,800 expenses and incidentals.

The proposed overseas travel was approved by all Councillors including the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Mayor except Councillor Jackie Watts who rightly questioned the value of the trip to the City.

No doubt those Councillors who approved the junket are expecting they too will be given an all expenses overseas paid holiday to “represent the City” Greens Councillor Cathy Oak regularly travels to an ICLEI Conferences twice a year and managed to talk the City Council to fund the costs associated with ICLEI 3rd party executive costs. (Will Greens Cr Rohan Leppert apply to attend a Global Occupy protest event in New York or London in the not too distant future)

In accordance with the City of Melbourne “Staff and Councillors travel policy” the Lord Mayor CEO and Directors may travel Business Class

A quick look at the going price for an airfare from Melbourne to London  on July 5 shows the list price of travel to cost up to  $12,000 with China Southern Airways and Singapore Airways being the cheapest at $7462 and $8879 respectively.  The cost of economy travel is less than $2000.  Looks like the Melbourne City Council approved Travel agent is making a hefty profit on the deal.

The costs even cheaper had the City of Melbourne booked the flight earlier.  Robert Doyle has known about the planed trip as far back as February this year and had only just decided to seek Council approval at the least minute

The City of Melbourne “you scratch my back”  travel opportunities, with an international travel bill exceeding 1 milllion dollars a year, is the envy of all Victorian Local Governments

The City ratepayers also pick up the tab for inbound travel of those invitees invited to visit Melbourne. Reverse hospitality. Strangely, but not unexpected, the City of Melbourne keeps the names of inbound travel recipients a secret in its published travel register for fear of someone joing the dots.

The Greater City of London covers a much larger population and area of administration. It also has its own police force (affectionately referred to as Bobbies). Melbourne on the pother hand is much smaller a few square Kms,the size of a British borough, concentrated on the City Centre. Melbourne City Council has no policing powers other then small fleet of by-laws officers and fleet of security guards. Policing in Melbourne is the responsibility of the State Government not the City of Melbourne

Council Officers mislead public

Serious concern that that the City of Melbourne Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle and  City of Melbourne Director of Planning Geoff Lawler has mislead the public in response to proposed changes to Melbourne Planning Scheme to be introduced on July 1.

Mr Lawler who failed to present a written report outlining the effect of proposed changes to the planning scheme has compromised the City of Melbourne in the process.

Clause 22.12 of the Melbourne Planning scheme  preamble states

This policy applies to applications for gaming premises in the Mixed Use Zone, Public Use Zone, Public Park and Recreational Zone, Business Zones and Industrial Zones and Docklands Zone. It is noted that gaming premises are prohibited in the Residential 1 Zone

On July 1, Business Zones 1, 2 and 5 will be transferred to new Commercial 1 zone

Under the revised planing  scheme to be introduced on July 1as amended by the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, Gaming venues will not longer require a planning permit  in the new Commercial 1 zone and will becomes an “as of right use” opening up the possible proliferation of gaming venues adjacent to residential precincts. Gaming venues come under the definition of Retail premises as defined under the the Victorian Planning Scheme.

Self appointed anti gambling advocate and Deputy Chairman of the Melbourne City Councils planning portfolio were oblivious to the impact of the proposed changes.  Councillor Mayne had previously given an undertaking to review the matter and present a report in June but to date has failed to fulfill this undertaking.

When asked where and when a report on impact of the the proposed changes will be presented to Council Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle rejected to notion or suggestion that the Council had given an undertaking to table a written report. Director of Planning Geoff Lawler, sought to deflected criticism of the Council not being informed or advising the public of the impact of the proposed changes.

It is understood that this issue was discussed in an unreported closed session Councillor forum.

Recordings of the City of Melbourne Future Melbourne Committee held on May 14 and June 4

Extract of Minutes FMC held on May 14
 
Anthony van der Craats, resident, asked the Committee a question in relation to the Minister for Planning’s recently announced changes to the Victorian Planning Scheme, which resulted in the abolition of Business 1 Zones and when will the City of Melbourne be undertaking a review of the schemes? (00:01:30 to 00:02:55 Recording of meeting)

In response to the question raised by Mr van der Craats, the Director City Planning and Infrastructure, Geoff Lawler advised that it is very early days as the rezoning has just been announced. He is currently beginning to understand the process and will bring the information to Councillors once it is fully known.  (00:02:56 to 00:03:40 Recording of meeting)

In response to a question raised by Anthony van der Craats, the Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle advised that as per the previous discussion regarding the zoning changes at the beginning of the meeting the matter will be brought before Council, but cannot guarantee it will be at the June Council meeting.

Given the 1 July 2013 deadline the Council will be pressing to make sure this is as expeditious as possible  (01:06:30 to 01:08:04 Recording of meeting)

Call for all Licensed premises and Gaming venues to be subject to a full and proper planning process

Currently under Melbourne’s Planning Scheme “Licensed premises and Gaming Venues” are included in the blanket definition of Retail Premises under the Victorian Planning Scheme.

The definition of a Retail Premise includes Food and Drink premises (Hotels Taverns, licensed resturants) and Gaming venues (Poker machines). 
In 2006 the Labor State government subjected Gaming venues to the planning process and required them to obtain a planning permit by including Gaming venues in the definition of Retail Premises.
The current a Business 1 zone require Retail Premises to obtain planning permit.

On July 1,  Business 1, 2 and 5 zones will be rolled up into a new Commercial 1 zone and Retail Premises, apart from a sex shop, become an “As of right of use” will no longer require a permit. Gaming and other licensed venues will no not be subjected to proper planning control.

Local Council’s and the community will  be denied the right to object to the use and establishment of a gaming venue and other licensed premises that come under the umbrella of the definition of Retail Premises within the new Commercial zone.

Community groups are calling for an immediate change to address this issue

Residents of Melbourne South Yarra are effected mostly by this isssue and are fighting the establishment of a licensed restaurant/tavern in Domain Rd falls is within a Business 1 zone. On July 1 this zone will become a Commercial 1 zone  and with it they will no longer have the right to object to establihsment of a tavern or gaming venue in the new zone.

The City of Melbourne Gaming overlay will not apply as Retail premises (Including Taverns and Gaming venues) will no longer  be required to obtain a planning permit as a result of the new blanket exemptions.
 
A more responsible and preferable solution to planning would be to remove Gaming venues and other licensed premises  from the blanket definition of Retail premises and establish a new category “Licensed premise” (including Gaming venues) and subject all licensed premises to a proper and full planning process

Kensington Soviet Style 9 story housing developments

The Melbourne City Council has proposed changes to the Melbourne Planning scheme to allow for soviet style high density nine story developments in the City Council’s  Planning Amendment C190 Arden-Macaulay

Supported by the Greens Rohan Leppert and Cathy Oak the proposed development plans will transform the inner Melbourne Kensington suburb with minimal provisions for community open space or amenity.

Unlike soviet high rise developments the Melbourne planning scheme will allow for closer overshadowing developments creating a canyon of tall apartment buildings

To add to the folly of the City Council’s development plans the City of Melbourne rejected the proposal to consider an overlay that would allow the Council to collect contributions from developers who fail to provide the requisite car parking provisions, forgoing a potential $400 million in loss revenue to pay for infrastructure and open space not provided by developers.  Costs that will have to be born by future generations and ratepayers.

By forsaking the opportunity to impose a Parking Contributions overlay the City of Melbourne has removed from its arsenal significant financial incentives to encourage good design outcomes for Melbourne. A developer could be exempt from paying the Parking financial contribution if it could be demonstrated that the proposed development has an overwhelming community benefit.  Likewise it could apply the imposition of the Parking levy to discourage inappropriate poor outcome developments.

Instead of considering this option as part of the Planning Scheme Amendment C208 Development Contributions Plan (which covers the Arden- Macaulay, City North and Southbank precincts). Our Melbourne City Councillors sat dumbfounded and remained silent. These contributions can only be recouped at the development stage and if the mechanism and schedule is not in place then the Council and the community misses out.

Future generations will pay for the mistakes and oversights of our ideologically driven Green Councillors

Melbourne Planning Scheme

45.09 PARKING OVERLAY

45.09-6 Financial contribution requirement
A schedule to this overlay may allow a responsible authority to collect a financial
contribution in accordance with the schedule as a way of meeting the car parking
requirements that apply under this overlay or Clause 52.06.
A schedule must specify:
?
The area to which the provisions allowing the collection of financial contributions
applies.
?
The amount of the contribution that may be collected in lieu of each car parking space
that is not provided, including any indexation of that amount.
?
When any contribution must be paid.
?
The purposes for which the responsible authority must use the funds collected under the

schedule. Such purposes must be consistent with the objectives in section 4 of the Ac

 

Kensington Soviet Style 9 story housing developments

The Melbourne City Council has proposed changes to the Melbourne Planning scheme to allow for soviet style high density nine story developments in the City Council’s  Planning Amendment C190 Arden-Macaulay

Supported by the Greens Rohan Leppert and Cathy Oak the proposed development plans will transform the inner Melbourne Kensington suburb with minimal provisions for community open space or amenity.

Unlike soviet high rise developments the Melbourne planning scheme will allow for closer overshadowing developments creating a canyon of tall apartment buildings

To add to the folly of the City Council’s development plans the City of Melbourne rejected the proposal to consider an overlay that would allow the Council to collect contributions from developers who fail to provide the requisite car parking provisions, forgoing a potential $400 million in loss revenue to pay for infrastructure and open space not provided by developers.  Costs that will have to be born by future generations and ratepayers.

By forsaking the opportunity to impose a Parking Contributions overlay the City of Melbourne has removed from its arsenal significant financial incentives to encourage good design outcomes for Melbourne. A developer could be exempt from paying the Parking financial contribution if it could be demonstrated that the proposed development has an overwhelming community benefit.  Likewise it could apply the imposition of the Parking levy to discourage inappropriate poor outcome developments.

Instead of considering this option as part of the Planning Scheme Amendment C208 Development Contributions Plan (which covers the Arden- Macaulay, City North and Southbank precincts). Our Melbourne City Councillors sat dumbfounded and remained silent. These contributions can only be recouped at the development stage and if the mechanism and schedule is not in place then the Council and the community misses out.

Future generations will pay for the mistakes and oversights of our ideologically driven Green Councillors

Melbourne Planning Scheme

45.09 PARKING OVERLAY

45.09-6 Financial contribution requirement
A schedule to this overlay may allow a responsible authority to collect a financial
contribution in accordance with the schedule as a way of meeting the car parking
requirements that apply under this overlay or Clause 52.06.
A schedule must specify:
?
The area to which the provisions allowing the collection of financial contributions
applies.
?
The amount of the contribution that may be collected in lieu of each car parking space
that is not provided, including any indexation of that amount.
?
When any contribution must be paid.
?
The purposes for which the responsible authority must use the funds collected under the

schedule. Such purposes must be consistent with the objectives in section 4 of the Ac

 

Kensington Soviet Style 9 story housing developments

The Melbourne City Council has proposed changes to the Melbourne Planning scheme to allow for soviet style high density nine story developments in the City Council’s  Planning Amendment C190 Arden-Macaulay

Supported by the Greens Rohan Leppert and Cathy Oak the proposed development plans will transform the inner Melbourne Kensington suburb with minimal provisions for community open space or amenity.

Unlike soviet high rise developments the Melbourne planning scheme will allow for closer overshadowing developments creating a canyon of tall apartment buildings

To add to the folly of the City Council’s development plans the City of Melbourne rejected the proposal to consider an overlay that would allow the Council to collect contributions from developers who fail to provide the requisite car parking provisions, forgoing a potential $400 million in loss revenue to pay for infrastructure and open space not provided by developers.  Costs that will have to be born by future generations and ratepayers.

By forsaking the opportunity to impose a Parking Contributions overlay the City of Melbourne has removed from its arsenal significant financial incentives to encourage good design outcomes for Melbourne. A developer could be exempt from paying the Parking financial contribution if it could be demonstrated that the proposed development has an overwhelming community benefit.  Likewise it could apply the imposition of the Parking levy to discourage inappropriate poor outcome developments.

Instead of considering this option as part of the Planning Scheme Amendment C208 Development Contributions Plan (which covers the Arden- Macaulay, City North and Southbank precincts). Our Melbourne City Councillors sat dumbfounded and remained silent. These contributions can only be recouped at the development stage and if the mechanism and schedule is not in place then the Council and the community misses out.

Future generations will pay for the mistakes and oversights of our ideologically driven Green Councillors

Melbourne Planning Scheme

45.09 PARKING OVERLAY

45.09-6 Financial contribution requirement
A schedule to this overlay may allow a responsible authority to collect a financial
contribution in accordance with the schedule as a way of meeting the car parking
requirements that apply under this overlay or Clause 52.06.
A schedule must specify:
?
The area to which the provisions allowing the collection of financial contributions
applies.
?
The amount of the contribution that may be collected in lieu of each car parking space
that is not provided, including any indexation of that amount.
?
When any contribution must be paid.
?
The purposes for which the responsible authority must use the funds collected under the

schedule. Such purposes must be consistent with the objectives in section 4 of the Ac

 

Kensington Soviet Style 9 story housing developments

The Melbourne City Council has proposed changes to the Melbourne Planning scheme to allow for soviet style high density nine story developments in the City Council’s  Planning Amendment C190 Arden-Macaulay

Supported by the Greens Rohan Leppert and Cathy Oak the proposed development plans will transform the inner Melbourne Kensington suburb with minimal provisions for community open space or amenity.

Unlike soviet high rise developments the Melbourne planning scheme will allow for closer overshadowing developments creating a canyon of tall apartment buildings

To add to the folly of the City Council’s development plans the City of Melbourne rejected the proposal to consider an overlay that would allow the Council to collect contributions from developers who fail to provide the requisite car parking provisions, forgoing a potential $400 million in loss revenue to pay for infrastructure and open space not provided by developers.  Costs that will have to be born by future generations and ratepayers.

By forsaking the opportunity to impose a Parking Contributions overlay the City of Melbourne has removed from its arsenal significant financial incentives to encourage good design outcomes for Melbourne. A developer could be exempt from paying the Parking financial contribution if it could be demonstrated that the proposed development has an overwhelming community benefit.  Likewise it could apply the imposition of the Parking levy to discourage inappropriate poor outcome developments.

Instead of considering this option as part of the Planning Scheme Amendment C208 Development Contributions Plan (which covers the Arden- Macaulay, City North and Southbank precincts). Our Melbourne City Councillors sat dumbfounded and remained silent. These contributions can only be recouped at the development stage and if the mechanism and schedule is not in place then the Council and the community misses out.

Future generations will pay for the mistakes and oversights of our ideologically driven Green Councillors

Melbourne Planning Scheme

45.09 PARKING OVERLAY

45.09-6 Financial contribution requirement
A schedule to this overlay may allow a responsible authority to collect a financial
contribution in accordance with the schedule as a way of meeting the car parking
requirements that apply under this overlay or Clause 52.06.
A schedule must specify:
?
The area to which the provisions allowing the collection of financial contributions
applies.
?
The amount of the contribution that may be collected in lieu of each car parking space
that is not provided, including any indexation of that amount.
?
When any contribution must be paid.
?
The purposes for which the responsible authority must use the funds collected under the

schedule. Such purposes must be consistent with the objectives in section 4 of the Ac