Melbourne’s Bicycle Strategy: Questions left unanswered.

Following on from the City of Melbourne attempt to gag public debate and its refusal to hold an open public review of it’s Bicycle Strategy Plan:
Albert St, Swanston St (North) are not working. Latrobe Street, costing 2.6 Million Dollars, is a disaster zone. 
 Why won’t the City of Melbourne hold a review of its Bike Path design, construction and implementation?  What has it got to hide?
Princes Bridge Bike Lane Trial.
Will the City of Melbourne be holding an open public review at the end of the Princes Bridge Bike Lane trial or will the decision, yet again, be made behind closed doors under delegation and the public denied input?
St Kilda Road Bike Lane
Why was the alternative open “Chevron” line delineation bike path design, similar to that installed in Claredon Street East Melbourne, not considered or rejected by the City of Melbourne for the proposed 350m St Kida Road Bike lane?
Consultation process 
Will  the City of Melbourne publish in full all submissions and correspondence in relation to the City of Melbourne’s Bike strategy plan in particular correspondence from VicRoads, the RACV, Ambulance Victoria, Melbourne Metropolitan Fire brigade, The Victorian State Government Disability Advocate and the Bus Proprietors’ Association,  all of whom the City of Melbourne claim were consulted in the development of its Bicycle Strategy Plan, as is normally the case in State Parliament/Government reviews/Submissions?

 

Melbourne’s Bicycle Network Wreck: Solution proposals

Notes and suggestion on possible solutions to Melbourne’s Bicycle Network

Decision making process:

The oversight of the Bicycle plan is the responsibility of Greens Councillor Cathy Oake who is the City Council’s chair of the Transport portfolio. 

The final sign-off and decision to proceed with the St Kilda bicycle plan and the Latrobe Street development were not decided by Council but made under delegation of the Council officers who claim that authority and agreement was made during the Council budget papers and the adoption of the Council’s transport strategy plan.

Final approval of the closure of the Princes Bridge lane and so called trail was not made in an open Council session but by delegation.

The adoption of a budget or the Council strategy plan should not be considered as having provided Council’s consent.

As Councillor Stephen Mayne stated last Tuesday was the first time the newly elected Council had to debate the issue of Bicycle lanes as distinct from the general issue of strategy plans and the like.  And Tuesday’s meeting was discussing the idea of deferring implementation and and having the final decision brought before council for approval.  The  proposal for a review was rejected by the Council, even though it was evident that there was considerable public concern and opposition to the decision made under delegation.

Councillors discussed these issues in closed session but they were not debated in open session where the public are provide the opportunity to make a final submission and presentation in relation to any discussion to be made.

Why did the matter not come before Council for final approval?   Planning permits application readily are discussed in open public committee before they are approved why not the bicycle plan?

Future final approval of future major projects and works MUST be decided by Council in open public session and not under delegation.

Albert Street

The existing bicycle lane should be removed and a Clardeon street design solution implemented.

Consideration should be given to establishing a shared bicycles lane with buses, taxis and motorcycles.

Latrobe Street

This is a disaster zone and in need of urgent comprehensive review. A review that should have taken place before proceeding with the Princes Bridge and St Kilda Road bike lanes

Latrobe Street should never have been chosen to install a segregated bicycle lane.  2.6 Million dollars misspent.

Council should  consider and develop as alternative routes utilizing smaller streets such as Abbeckett and Franklin Street and eventually consideration will have to be made to remove the existing lane separation barriers.

On Street parking should be removed in the meantime to allow for improved traffic movements and protect commuters who are forced to park in the middle of the street with minimal protection of a safe environment

Princes Bridge

Princes Bridge should be closed to all unnecessary vehicular traffic  BUT this should only be done with the provision of a suitable alternative river crossing East of Princes Bridge.

This would allow for installation of a bicycle lane on both sides of the bridge and the development of a public transport interchange/pedestrian precinct.

St Kilda Road

The bike lane should be widened and a Claredon Street chevron design bike lane installed the full length of St Kilda Road.  This would require the consent of City of Port Phillip and Vicroads,.  A chevron delineated lane would provide a safe environment for motorist parking, disabled and emergency vehicle access and cost much less then the expense of constructing a Copenhagen close lane barrier.  More path for our buck

Swanston Street

A 10Km speed limit should be implemented along Swanston Street between Princes Bridge and Victoria Street

The Bicycle lane in Swanston Street North of Victoria Street should be replaced with by Claredon Street chevron line delineation lane as recommended for St Kilda Road and Albert Street

Stephen Mayne: seeks to gag public debate by voting against holding a review

In a rather irrational tirade “I support of open public debate“, Stephen Mayne, votes to gag debate and deny a review on a very important topical issue.

This was the first time Stephen Maybe had opportunity in a Council public forum to talk on bikes and bike lanes specifically, yet he would not allow discussion on the merits of the design or its implementation, preferring instead to vote against a rational motion put forward my Councillors Richard Foster seeking to hold a review of Melbourne’s Bike Lanes following the end of the Princes Bridge Trial in September.

What does Councillor Mayne and the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle fear? Are they afraid  to air Council’s dirty linen and allow public discussion on the merit of the designs and decisions made?

This is not about bikes per-say it is about the design and implementation of the segmented bike lanes and the prudent use of Council’s financial resources.   

Why did Stephen Mayne vote against a review that included a review of the Latrobe Street Bike Lane? That was the main focus and reason for a review

Latrobe Street Cost $2.6 Million. It does not work..Wrong design wrong location bad implementation.

It should be reviewed before we go and repeat the same mistakes on St Kilda Road. 330m lane costing $330,000

The alternative “Claredon Street” Bike Lane design should have been considered. It is cheaper and better.  Council must explain its position and failure to adopt this design.

If you have nothing to hide publish in full all submissions in relation to Melbourne’s Transport Plan


Stephen Mayne speaking to deny public debate 6-Aug-2013

 

Councillor Richard Foster – The Motion for a review that Doyle rejected 6-Aug-2013


Stephen Mayne: seeks to gag public debate by voting against holding a review

In a rather irrational tirade “I support of open public debate“, Stephen Mayne, votes to gag debate and deny a review on a very important topical issue.

This was the first time Stephen Maybe had opportunity in a Council public forum to talk on bikes and bike lanes specifically, yet he would not allow discussion on the merits of the design or its implementation, preferring instead to vote against a rational motion put forward my Councillors Richard Foster seeking to hold a reviw of Melbourne’s Bike Lanes following the end of the Princes Bridge Trial in September.

What does Coucnillr Mayne and the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle fear? Are they afraid  to air Council’s dirty linen and allow public discussion on the merit of the designs and decisions made?

This is not about bikes per-say it is about the design and implementation of the segmented bike lanes and the prudent use of Council’s financial resources.   

Why did Stephen Mayne vote against a review that included a review of the Latrobe Street Bike Lane? That was the main focus and reason for a review

Latrobe Street Cost $2.6 Million. It does not work..Wrong design wrong location bad implementation.

It should be reviewed before we go and repeat the same mistakes on St Kilda Road. 330m lane costing $330,000

The alternative “Claredon Street” Bike Lane design should have been considered. It is cheaper and better.  Council must explain its position and failure to adopt this design.

If you have nothing to hide publish in full all submissions in relation to Melbourne’s Transport Plan


Stephen Mayne speaking to deny public debate 6-Aug-2013

Councillor Richard Foster seeking to provide the review that Doyle rejected.

Engineering Services set to Tweak and Falsify Key Performance Indicators

Prior to the lane closure on Princes Bridge it took less than 5 minutes to cross over the Yarra river and turn into Flinders Street. Since Princess Bridge has been reduced to one lane of traffic to accommodate a dedicated cyclist lane traffic congestion along St Kilda Road has increased along with the writing times.

Prior to the closure 20 to 22 cars were exciting into Flinders Street per light cycle, This is a key indicator and determining the extent of traffic flow, Since the reduction to a single lane of traffic the number of vehicles tuning into Flinders Street has reduced to between 15 to 17 cars per light cycle,

The holding bay  outside Flinders Street Station is not filling up and flowing in a timely fashion. The time lag is what is causing  delay and congestion on St Kilda Road.

Geoff Robinson, Engineering Services Manager, said the City Council would tweak the lights sequencing which would resolve some of the issues identified but to date no changes as promised have been made.  There is scope for improvement in the traffic signalling but Council Engineering Services have failed to act.   Geoff Robinson is allowing congestion to remain and develop to encourage displacement. The number of cars using Princess bridge has dropped but the traffic times have not improved or stabilized. the number of cars filing up the holding bay and exiting Flinders Street is less then prior to the lane closure.  Contrary to claims made the Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle and supporters of the Princes Bridge lane closure traffic flow has not remained at ore-closure levels.

Any attempt to claim traffic volumes are at or comparable to pre-lane closure levels is false.

There is a noticeable 20 to 25% reduction in performance which should be born out by the statistics on the number of cars crossing Princes Ridge and the number of cars exiting into Flinders Street before and after closure. Already there are idications that Council will fudge teh fgurs to claim otherwise. wse have seen this with exagerated claim of the number of bicycles using Princess Bridge with the Hearld Sun reporting 5,500 bikes movements a day. when Vicroad’s figures show less than 3000 bikes use the St Kilda Road bike path, a figure that has been confirmed by independent surveys taken before and following the establishment of the Princess Bridge lane closure
.

Statements made by members of the cycle lobby at Tuesdays Council meeting in which the Lord Mayor  sought to gag debate and review the proposed design and implementation strategy indicate that the tweeking and inflating of performances indicators is on already planned.