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.

St Kilda Rd Bicycle Lane: Open Letter to the Lord Mayor and Councillors – City of Melbourne

Lord Mayor and Councillors

City of Melbourne

Town Halls

Swanston Street

Melbourne

Dear Lord Mayor and Councillors

I am writing to request that the City of Melbourne defer the development and construction of the proposed bike lane in St Kilda Road and that the development be referred for consideration at the next City of Melbourne Future Melbourne Committee.
The current City Council has not considered or approved the project other than approve the Council’s Budget and 4 year plan.
There are a number of major issues of concern in relation to the proposed design that should be reviewed.

LATROBE STREET BIKE LANE
The Latrobe Street bike lane has been a complete disaster with growing concern about public safety and suitability of this design.  The Lord Mayor himself on public radio has indicated as such and that the City of Melbourne needs to review the development and make a number of changes to the design including the removal of on street parking.
It would be prudent that such a review is completed prior to the commencement of construction of a similar bicycle lane in St Kilda Road.

PUBLIC SAFETY
The section of St Kilda Road between Princess Bridge and Linlithgow Avenue is widely used by bus operators and members of the public visiting with family and friends the Arts precinct and the neighboring Gardens.

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.

BUS PARKING – DROP OFF ZONE

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.

ALTERNATIVE DESIGNS
The City of Melbourne needs to reconsider alternative designs that addresses the above safety issues.
In discussion with Senior City of Melbourne Engineers I understand that there was a preferred alternative design similar to the design implemented in Claredon Street East Melbourne.

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.

EMERGENCY ACCESS
St Kilda Road is a major access point for emergency vehicles from and to The Alfred Hospital in Commercial Rd
The construction of the separated bicycle lane barrier would limit  movement and egress options for emergency vehicles.

As I understand Emergency services have not been consulted on the proposed design and the alternative options. The implementation of the Claredeon Street design solution would enable greater flexibility and access for emergency vehicles.
.
REVIEW OF PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT
It is fundamental and prudent that the City of Melbourne that the Council undertake a comprehensive review of the Latrobe Street bike lane and the proposed design of the St Kilda Rd bicycle plan.

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.

I therefore request that the City of Melbourne as a matter of urgency defer the construction of the proposed development and refer the project for further consideration at a Future Melbourne Committee and that members of the public and other stakeholders be proposed the opportunity to make further submission on the impact of the proposed design and the alternative options/

Should you require further information I can be contacted via return email
Yours faithfully

Anthony van der Craats
South Yarra
cc Victorian Minster for Roads, State Opposition Spokesperson for Roads, RACV, Members of Parliament and the Media

St Kilda Rd Bicycle Lane: Open Letter to the Lord Mayor and Councillors – City of Melbourne

Lord Mayor and Councillors

City of Melbourne

Town Halls

Swanston Street

Melbourne

Dear Lord Mayor and Councillors

I am writing to request that the City of Melbourne defer the development and construction of the proposed bike lane in St Kilda Road and that the development be referred fro consideration at the next City of Melbourne Future Melbourne Committee.
The Current City Council has not considered or approved the project other than approve the Council’s Budget and 4 year plan.
There are a number of major issues of concern in relation to the proposed design that should be reviewed.

LATROBE STREET BIKE LANE
The Latrobe Street bike lane has been a complete disaster with growing concern about public safety and suitability of this design.  The Lord Mayor himself on public radio has indicated as such and that the City of Melbourne needs to review the development and make a number of changes to the design including the removal of on street parking.
It would be prudent that such a review is completed prior to the commencement of construction of a similar bicycle lane in St Kilda Road.

PUBLIC SAFETY
The section of St Kilda Road between Princess Bridge and Linlithgow Avenue is widely used by bus operators and members of the public visiting with family and friends the Arts precinct and the neighboring Gardens.

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 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 futher risk to motorist safety.
 

BUS PARKING – DROP OFF ZONE

The proposed design is a serious threat to the safety of passengers exiting the bus with passengers having step onto the 1 metre concrete separation barrier, then wait to ensure there are no bicycles bearing down on them before crossing the 2 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.

ALTERNATIVE DESIGNS
The City of Melbourne needs to reconsider alternative designs that address the above safety issues.
In discussion with Senior City of Melbourne Engineers I understand that there was a preferred alternative design similar to the design implemented in Claredon Street East Melbourne.

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 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.

This 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 address 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.
EMERGENCY ACCESS
St Kilda Road is a major access point for emergency vehicles from and to The Alfred Hospital in Commercial Rd
The construction of the separated bicycle lane barrier would restrict  movement and egress options for emergency vehicles.

As I understand Emergency services have not been consulted on the proposed design and the alternative options. The implementation of the Claredeon Street design solution would enable greater flexibility and access for emergency vehicles.
.
REVIEW OF PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT
It is fundamental and prudent that the City of Melbourne that the Council undertake a comprehensive review of the Latrobe Street bile lane and the proposed design of the St Kilda Rd bicycle plan.

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.

I therefore request that the City of Melbourne as a matter of urgency defer the construction of the proposed development and refer the project for further consideration at a Future Melbourne Committee and that members of the public and other stakeholders be proposed the opportunity to make further submission on the impact of the proposed design and the alternative options/

Should you require further information I can be contacted via return email
Yours faithfully

Anthony van der Craats
South Yarra
cc Victorian Minster for Roads, State Opposition Spokesperson for Roads, RACV, Members of Parliament and the Media

Frustrated drivers avoid Princes Bridge for escape routes

Frustrated drivers avoid Princes Bridge
Cars wait on Princes Bridge, which had a lane removed for a bike lane. Picture: Nicole Garmston Source: News Limited
THE removal of a lane on the Princes Bridge is causing traffic chaos on Melbourne’s already clogged roads.

The flow-on impact of dramatic changes to the bridge is being felt on the Swan St Bridge, putting extra pressure on other nearby routes and is adding up to an extra 38 seconds for cars to get through the Flinders St intersection during peak times.

Peak-hour drivers stuck in traffic slammed the decision to remove one city-bound lane, saying it added anywhere from five to 30 minutes to their travel time.
The RACV said frustrated drivers were turning off St Kilda Rd on to Southbank Boulevard because the traffic was not moving or moving at a crawl.

“We have observed cars in the through lanes on St Kilda Rd at Southbank Bouvlevard seemingly waiting for the left turn lane to clear and then getting frustrated and making a last-minute change and heading down Southbank Boulevard,” manager roads and traffic Dave Jones said.

“They are in the through lane and they are queued up waiting, lights are green, they can’t get through and then they pull into that turn lane and make a quick turn around the corner, probably heading down to one of the alternative routes.”

It took the Herald Sun 12 minutes one morning last week to drive the 1.5km from Dorcas St, South Melbourne, to Flinders St Station.

Another morning it took seven minutes.

The City of Melbourne controversially removed one lane of northbound traffic on the bridge last month in a move opposed by the RACV and VECCI.

The three-month trial, expected to cost $70,000 and part of a plan to make the city more bike-friendly, reduced the number of cars queuing northbound on the bridge from 44 to 22.
Hampton woman Joanna Finney said the bike lane should be put back on the bridge footpath.

“It has added another fifteen minutes to my commute and unfortunately there is no other way I can get to work,” she said.

“The only other way is Punt Road but that is chaotic.”

About 34,000 motorists, 31,000 pedestrians and 5500 cyclists use the bridge each day.

Cr Richard Foster said he was very concerned at some of the anecdotes he heard about peak-hour waiting times but was waiting for official council data to make a proper assessment.

“`I am hearing stories of people waiting beyond the bridge for an additional 10 minutes,” Cr Foster said.

“Trials like this are really valuable because in the event that they don’t work it gives us an opportunity to (find) other options that do work.”

St Kilda Rd resident Marise Cheney said she thought traffic had gotten worse since the trial started and she was catching the tram more than driving.

“If I can I postpone appointments until after 9am,” Ms Cheney said.

“`I wish they would get rid of the bloody bikes on St Kilda Rd. I reckon there would be a dust up every morning.”

Council revealed last week it would remove a lane of southbound traffic on St Kilda Rd between Alexandra Gardens and the Floral Clock to make way for a new bike lane.

amelia.harris@news.com.au

Comment:

Vicroads official statistics show less than 2,000 bicycles use the St Kilda Rd/Princes Bridge Bike lane. the inflated 5,500 figure was provided by the Bicycle Users Group (BUG) taken on a ride to work day.  This is not the daily average

St Kilda Road Bike Plan Risk to Commuter and Predestrian Safety

City of Melbourne’s ill-considered $330k St Kilda Lane Bicycle Lane will trade off pedestrian and motorist safety for a marginal gain in cyclist safety. 

Melbourne City Council plans to install a 300 metre section of St Kilda Road Separated bike path against the advice of its own engineers. The bike separation design is similar to the design of the LaTrobe Street bike lane that was installed last month.

The proposed lane design will force motorists to park on the outside of the bike lane 3 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 road safety concerns.

This part of St Kilda Road is a favorite drop-off point and parking location for those visiting the gardens and the Arts Centre/Concert Halls

Melbourne City Council Traffic Engineers prefer to install a line-marked lane only without the inside dangerous separation barrier but have been overridden by Engineering Services Manager Geoff Robertson.   City Council Traffic Engineers sight the successful design of the Claredon Street East Melbourne bike lane where the width of the bike lane is such that bikes travel outside of the car door opening zone.  A line painted only bike lane is significantly cheaper than teh ocst of a physical lane separation and would allow the Council to extend the lane beyond Linlithgow Avenue, It also allows emergency vehicles unimpeded access.

Melbourne City Council is under fire over it implementation of its Bicycle Network. The $2.6 Million Latrobe Street experiment is considered to be a complete disaster with the Council now having to remove on-street car parking which has since been found to be unsafe.

The current City Council has never considered or approved the proposed design in open committee. Stakeholders have been denied the opportunity to have their concerns heard.

Crs Stephen Mayne and Rohan Leppert

The Chairman of the City Council’s Governance and Finance Portfolio and Deputy Chair of Planning, Stephen Mayne (who campaigned on open transparency governance platform) has refused to subject the proposed development of a review process. Councillor Mayne is oblivious to the extravagant waste preferring to ignore the professional advise of the City Engineers and instead action the advise of a rouge manager in order to please the Green Councillors who have placed Cyclists interests ahead of public safety concerns of commuters and pedestrians

Councillor Richard Foster has expressed concern and opposition to the St Kilda Rd development by has been railroad by the Greens and  the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle into remaining silent. Councillor Foster wants the development referred to open Council Committee to allow Council to consider the opinions of all stakeholders and the pros and cons of the various designs.

Other City Councillors are also concerned  about the development and the extent of intimidation and railroading of the process by Senior Council Management

Bad Engineering: St. Kilda Rd Bike path fails to consider disabled

Cracks have began to appear in the City of Melbourne’s St Kilda Rd  Bike Lane separation proposal.

The proposed development has not been subject to a public review by the City of Melbourne’s Future Melbourne Committee and the needs and concerns of community groups ignored with the City Engineers failing to take into consideration the impact on disabled stakeholders needs.

The design  of the St Kilda Rd  bike lane is similar to that recently installed in Latrobe Street which has been met with wide condemnation, Recent  comments in public radio by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle indicate the LaTrobe Street bike path was not working and that Council is now forced into considering withdrawing on-street car parking in the area. A move that has angered retailers and owners alike.

The Copenhagen style bike lane separation structures constitute a serious risk to public safety and  motorist parking with disabled and elderly passengers effected the most. The proposed development does not comply with public policy in relation to disabled access.  The Office of Disability in the Department of Human Services had not been consulted.

Calls have been made for the Lord Mayor and City Councillors to put an urgent halt to the proposed development in St Kilda Rd to allow for a public review of the City’s Engineering Bike plan amidst concerns that there are better alternative design options.

The proposed development which is budgeted to cost $330,000 is scheudled to commence on August the 5th

Efforts to contact Richard Foster (Spokesperson for the Council’s People City Portfolio), Cr Ken Ong and Stephen Mayne (Planning) to try and put a hold on the proposed development so as to allow for review and stakeholder consultation was unsuccessful.

City of Melbourne Failing to Learn from the Mistakes of the recent past

The City of Melbourne is about to commence work on installing LaTrobe Street style bike path along a section of St Kilda Road.   The proposal will involve a removal of one lane of traffic and the construction of a concrete separation barriers costing an estimated $330,000. ($1000 a metre)

Council  Engineering Services claims that the new bike path is needed to improve cyclist safety.

Experience on the Latrobe Street bicycle paths indicates that public safety has not improved instead motorist are  forced into opening doors into moving traffic and passengers safety alighting from parked vehicles is at risk. Particularly the elderly or disabled who park in this section of St Kilda Road to access the Art Gallery and nearby parkland.

Whilst we see no problems in removing a lane of traffic (there are currently three lanes along St Kilda Road) there is no need to install concrete island separation barriers.

Separation barriers do not work. They are an eye saw, look tacky, and would seriously detract from the heritage street scape on St Kilda Road.  Gaps are required to be left in between the concrete sections to allow for drainage during period of heavy rain and flooding.  These gaps collect rubbish and add to the public safety risk.  How the City Council managed to get the approval from urban designers and the city heritage consultants is beyond belief. (Nothing surprises us when it comes to Rob Adams Urban design standards. Rob Adams once proposed building balconies above Victorian Heritage verandahs totally destroying Melbourne’s heritage street-scape.)

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 current City Council has not voted on the proposal, The decision to go ahead with the Engineering folly was decided under delegation behind closed doors with the blessing and support of the Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle.

According to Vicroads data less than 2,000 cyclists use St Kilda Rd per day.

The proposed engineering works will not extend the full length of St Kilda Road only the section between Princess Bridge and Linlithgow Avenue just past the floral clock

Engineering work is expected to commence on
August 5

Woman: Melbourne Council Caught Google Spying on Residents

Image

Source: 3AW

The City of Melbourne is employing Google Earth-style camera monitoring of its property in inner city residential streets.

Linda Bond, a Carlton woman told Tom Elliott she saw a council contractor filming backyards, with the camera gazing over fences.

“I was home one afternoon and I saw a camera on a stick peering into my backyard,” Linda said.

“I walked over to the car with the camera attached and I asked the people inside what they were doing and they said they were taking photographs for the council.