Leppert wants Horse and Carriages out of Princes Bridge Bike Lane blocking traffic

Melbourne Green Councillor Rohan Leppert wants Melbourne’s Horse and Carriages banned from using the Princes Bridge Bike Lane forcing them into using the single traffic lane that crosses the Yarra river.

Worst part is lack of adherence to road rules by Horse Drawn Vehicles. Illegal to travel in bike lane but many still do – dangerous. — Rohan Leppert (@RohanLeppert) July 31, 2013

In Rohan Leppert’s mind the interests of cyclists come first and all others, with the exception of members of Occupy Melbourne and residents of North Melbourne, a distant second.

The Horse and Carriages travel at the speed of 6km per hour.  To force them into the traffic lane particularly during peak hour traffic or at night when the bike lane is empty would cause more congestion on an already congested road.

The proposed St Kilda Rd Bike Lane will force Horse and Carriages into the main traffic lane again blocking traffic.  Horse and Carriages are a legitimate means of transport that run on bio fuel and have every right to use the roads. By using the bike lane they allow traffic, which is already congested as a result of the Princes Bridge lane closure to flow.   When the Horse and Carriages used the main traffic lane motorist opted instead to enter into the bike lane to pass the carriage. Something they are allowed to do up to 50 metres under current road rules.  A situation which would be more disruptive and unsafe for cyclists.  Solution allow Horse and Carriages to use the bike lane.

Horse and Carriages is another problem identified with the proposed St Kilda Rd 350m bike lane.  Horse and Carriage operators never consulted over the proposed design nor were a number of other stakeholders including Motorcycle and Scooter riders not consulted. With up to 12 Horse and Carriage operators in the City using the St Kilda Rd/Gardens route one of the St Kilda Road traffic lanes will be blocked. Greens solution ban horse and carriages and cars.

Greens oppose Bicycle Lane review post Princes Bridge Trial

Melbourne Greens are opposing moves by Independent Councillor Richard Foster to hold a open public review of the proposed St Kilda Road 330m Bicycle Lane opposite the Art Gallery.

The City Council in closed session held in May agreed to a trial of the Princes Bridge Bicycle lane amidst promises that motorists would not be inconvenienced and that traffic times would remain the same.

The trial was to go for three months and presumably would then be subjected to open public review.

The Princes Bridge lane closure trial to date has not been successful with congestion on the St Kilda road route pushing out  travel time across Princes Bride to more than 10 minutes.  In spite Robert Doyle’s to  claims that the delay is no more then one minute.  What is worst is the congestion remains well into the night when the bike lane is empty.

In a further act of contempt for open consultation the City of Melbourne under delegation is proposing to start construction on a controversial “Latrobe Street:” style bike lane on the South Bound side of St Kilda Rd.  A move that has seriously undermined confidence in the Council and the promised consultation process.

The Current elected council has not discussed or considered the proposed Lane design or construction other than approve the budget for the development.
Cr Foster is concerned is that the Council has got it wrong and as such he has moved a motion to be considered at next Tuesday’s Future Melbourne Committee a deferral motion to allow for the proposed bicycle lane to subject to a comprehensive review in September.

The Greens with the support of Councillor Mayne are opposed to the review and want to push ahead with the development at all cost.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle on public radio stated that the The Latrobe Street Bike path which was installed earlier this year and cost ratepayers $2.6 Million is not working.

The proposed 330m St Kilda Road lane is the same design as the failed Latrobe Street bike lane. Given that teh Latrobe St  Lane is not working you would be forgiven in thinking that a review of the design would be prudent if not good governance.

There are better safer alternative designs such as the Claredon Street East Melbourne Bike lane that are supported by Senior City Council Engineers.  A design that cost significantly less and meets all the concerns over safety and access, A design that has not been properly considered by the Council or management.

The 350m bike path is not going to address Cyclist concerns and shifts instead it creates safety issues related to access for the disabled, the elderly, Families and emergency vehicles.

There is little wonder why the Council is referred to as Clown Hall and why the Greens are deemed to be living in fairly land

The proposed one month delay, until September and subsequent review by Richard Foster is welcomed and should be supported by the City of Council as a whole if the Council is sincere in finding the best solution and use of limited public resources and maintain public confidence in the Council administration.