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.