Source: Herald Sun
The RACV has blasted the idea, saying it would increase commuter congestion and pose safety problems on the bridge and at the “complex” T-intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets.
The council’s Bicycle Plan 2012-16 proposes installing “chevron-separated lanes by removing one lane of traffic”.
“This will increase the capacity of a major link to the central city, improve safety and reduce pedestrian/cyclist conflict,” the plan says.
VicRoads and City of Melbourne are using traffic modelling as part of planning.
Cr Cathy Oke, who chairs the City of Melbourne’s transport committee, declined to comment before the design was signed off.
RACV general manager of public policy Brian Negus said removing at least one lane of traffic appeared to be a cheap option.
“They should either be looking at changing the cross-section on the footpath or indeed looking at another separate bridge for bicycles,” Mr Negus said. “Our interpretation of what is briefly outlined in the document is one lane of traffic disappears in both directions.
“It is just an unacceptable proposal in what is already a busy area. This will make it significantly worse from a congestion point of view and it becomes a safety issue as well.”
Mr Negus called on the council to undertake a feasibility study for a new pedestrian and cyclist bridge next to Princes Bridge.
Council spokeswoman Irene Vlahos said the proposed works on Princes Bridge were part of $5.6 million allocated in the 2012-13 budget to improve the city’s cycling network.
“Vital to any works is improved safety and consistency for all road users,” Ms Vlahos said. “Planning for this project is under way and we are working closely with VicRoads on the concept design.”
Twenty-two cyclists were injured after smashes on Princes Bridge between 2008 and 2010, according to VicRoads statistics. Bicycle Network Victoria counted 1864 bikes on the bridge between 7am and 9am during its annual counting day earlier this month.
Mr Negus said the RACV also opposed council building a $2.4 million separated bike route on La Trobe St.
The City Council continues to lock down the city causing ongoing congestion in the city centre. The Council has come under fire for its Bike Madness and lack of community consultation. Motorcycle riders in particular have not been consulted.
The City Council’s Engineers are slowly strangling the city. Swanston Walk was originally planned as a pedestrian street but has has now been overtaken by Lycra clad cyclists who show little concern for other road users or pedestrian safety. Add to that the closing down of traffic lanes in La-Trobe Streets and other ill-considered bike plans.
Businesses are crying out and not being heard. The cost of doing business in the CBD retail precinct is diving retail business out of the city with the cost of couriers and delivery set to go through the roof as movement around the City Center is further constricted.
What’s worst is the elected Council is oblivious pr unwilling to address the situation. Many of the decisions are made under delegation and not brought forward to the Council’s open public forums
Robert Doyle appears to be held hostage to the Greens and overzealous Engineers.
This could be the issue that brings down the Lord Mayor and team Doyle if they do not begin to address it properly. The Council reports gave the impression that the Council’s 5.4Million nike plan was approved by the RACV. This clearly is not the case. Stakeholder representative groups have been ignored and their opinion shoved aside. The extent of the Council’s consultation process was a few meetings with Bicycle users groups held in city cafes over a cup of coffee.
The City Council needs to stop and rethink its plans and hold a major forum and review of its Bicycle network or face the wrath of business and motorists alike.