City of Melbourne
Dear Lord Mayor and Councillors
Many with children, elderly or disabled passengers. The proposed design and lane separation would constitute a major risk to public safety to commuters and pedestrians and needs to be reconsidered in light of the problems identified as a result of the construction of the Latrobe Street bike path experiences
The proposed development could be in breach of the Equal Opportunities Act in that it severely disadvantages disabled by denying them access to safe parking. Council needs to contact and have reviewed the proposed design by the Victorian Disabilities Advocate
The proposed lane design will force motorists to park on the outside of the bike lane three meters from the footpath creating a major risk to pedestrian and motorist safety.
Passengers alighting from parked vehicles will have to negotiate a balancing act on the one meter concrete strip and check for bicycles racing down the bike lane whilst running to reach the footpath on the other side. The design will place families with children and the elderly safety at serious risk. Mums with prams or those with wheel chairs will not be able to safely park their cars in the 3 hour parking zones. Bus drivers and taxi operators will have similar safety concerns when dropping off passengers.
The proposed “island of danger” separation barrier will be installed in the south bound location between Princes Bridge and Linlithgow Avenue south of the Floral Clock. Beyond Linlithgow Avenue the bike lane will revert back into the standard bike lane design adding to confusion and further road safety concerns.
Drivers exiting a vehicle will be forced into opening car doors into congested on coming road traffic causing a further risk to motorist safety.
The proposed design is a serious threat to the safety of passengers exiting the bus with passengers having step onto the one metre concrete separation barrier, then wait to ensure there are no bicycles bearing down on them before crossing the two metre bike path on to the adjacent footpath. The situation is made worst when there are 40 other passengers all wanting to exit the bus at the same time and even worst again in an emergency situation.
The Claredon Street bicycle lane uses a delineated bicycle path with a painted safety area to protect cyclists form harm by car dooring. It allows cyclists to travel at a safe distance from parked cars.
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 alternative design would be cheaper in cost to install and would allow the City of Melbourne to greater flexibility in implementing and changes that may be required.
The Claredon Street design solution addresses many of not all of the major concerns in relation to public safety without placing at risk commuter and pedestrian safety.
Further the Claredon St design solution is consistent with the other section of bicycle lane in St Kilda Road and Princes Bridge. The savings in cost would allow the city of Melbourne in conjunction with VicRoads to extend the alternative design bike path to include the entire stretch of St Kilda Road in both directions further adding to cyclist and pedestrian safety.
In light of the above issues of concern. Should any person be injured as a result of the proposed development Council would be held liable for any injury and the accident would not be covered by the Victorian Motor Accident Insurance Scheme if a vehicle is not involved.