City of Melbourne Failing to Learn from the Mistakes of the recent past

The City of Melbourne is about to commence work on installing LaTrobe Street style bike path along a section of St Kilda Road.   The proposal will involve a removal of one lane of traffic and the construction of a concrete separation barriers costing an estimated $330,000. ($1000 a metre)

Council  Engineering Services claims that the new bike path is needed to improve cyclist safety.

Experience on the Latrobe Street bicycle paths indicates that public safety has not improved instead motorist are  forced into opening doors into moving traffic and passengers safety alighting from parked vehicles is at risk. Particularly the elderly or disabled who park in this section of St Kilda Road to access the Art Gallery and nearby parkland.

Whilst we see no problems in removing a lane of traffic (there are currently three lanes along St Kilda Road) there is no need to install concrete island separation barriers.

Separation barriers do not work. They are an eye saw, look tacky, and would seriously detract from the heritage street scape on St Kilda Road.  Gaps are required to be left in between the concrete sections to allow for drainage during period of heavy rain and flooding.  These gaps collect rubbish and add to the public safety risk.  How the City Council managed to get the approval from urban designers and the city heritage consultants is beyond belief. (Nothing surprises us when it comes to Rob Adams Urban design standards. Rob Adams once proposed building balconies above Victorian Heritage verandahs totally destroying Melbourne’s heritage street-scape.)

A better and much cheaper option is to widen the existing bike path and delineate it from parked cars by line marking as is the case in Clarendon Street East Melbourne.   This would allow sufficient room for cyclists to pass without entering in to the parked car door zone and for the same cost could be extended past the Shine up to Domain Road and beyond. They could also apply the same treatment to the other side adjacent to the Art Gallery and Concert Hall giving ratepayers more value for their dollar.

The current City Council has not voted on the proposal, The decision to go ahead with the Engineering folly was decided under delegation behind closed doors with the blessing and support of the Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle.

According to Vicroads data less than 2,000 cyclists use St Kilda Rd per day.

The proposed engineering works will not extend the full length of St Kilda Road only the section between Princess Bridge and Linlithgow Avenue just past the floral clock

Engineering work is expected to commence on
August 5

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