Wednesday, January 30, 2013

La Trobe Street $5.6m Bike Lanes to worsen city congestion

The City of Melbourne is about to spend a further $5.6 Milllion dollars constructing 15Km of bike paths along La Trobe Street ($2.4M) and other city streets, reducing the number of traffic lanes from two to one, causing ongoing traffic congestion and ciaos.

The La Trobe Street bike path will incorporate a road separation between the bike path and parked cars.

La Trobe Street profile: There will be only one lane of traffic, one lane for parking and one lane for bicycles and trams in each direction. Reducing traffic flow from two lanes to one.

A review of the City Council's design documents shows the extent of misleading and deceptive information provided to the public. The design document fails to provide full details or map of the design solution adopted. It is clearly deceptive and designed to mislead residents, business and stakeholders alike. Whilst the Council Engineering Services group claim they have engaged in broad community consultation the truth is the consultation process was seriously flawed with many decisions made behind closed doors.

Limited consultation was undertaken with major stakeholder groups. Motorcyclists and scooter riders in particular were not consulted and unrepresented. 

Consultation involved face-to-face engagement through café information sessions, meetings with key stakeholder groups and door-to-door visits to businesses and property owners along La Trobe Street, as well as an online survey.

The La Trobe Street redevelopment plans will add further to the existing traffic congestion caused by lane reductions. La Tobe street is a major cross-city transport connection route.  Many of the city's bike lanes, like the ones in Queensberry Street and Albert Road, are under utilized. Not only do they add to traffic congestion they seriously compromise road safety for motorists and pedestrians alike.  There are better alternative options, Streets such as Franklin Street which are not major traffic arterial roads should have been considered prior to reducing traffic lanes in La Trobe Street    The Melbourne City bike lanes and traffic policy needs major review and some lanes should be opened up and shared by other road users or removed.

10 comments:

MC said...

Experience from all over the world, in developing and first world countries shows that if you reduce road space, you'll reduce the amount of traffic you get using it. Traffic will acclimatise to the new, reduced road space and that will be that, just as it has in cities from Bogota to Copenhagen where they've done the same thing. The same thing was said about Swanston and Burke St Mall, which now have no traffic at all, and now there is no fuss about it because people realise our city is all the better for it.

Regarding existing bike infrastructure being "under-utilised", the Queensberry St bike lanes are still in the door zones of the cars that are parked at the side of the street, and the Albert Street lanes, while good, stop and start abruptly, away from other safe cycle routes. Bike traffic on Albert street has increased massively since the lanes were put in. Naturally it will take a while before we have a complete network, and the accompanying "network effect" that will see increases in new people cycling on the existing infrastructure.

Aarron said...

The reality is that traffic from the Docklands areas that has to head toward Victoria Parade has no other option but to use Latrobe Street. Those commuters can hardly divert through the CBD, nor is it a solution to wind its way through other longer single-lane options toward the university. They will not therefore "acclimatise". They will simply sit and ever worsening traffic conditions in Melbourne. This decision is appalling, regardless of your imagination... We need the dual lanes back!

MelbCity said...

I agree dual lanes is the best way forward. The Bike lane could have been routed down Franklin Street though Flag Staff Gardens. the design and implementation of Melbourne's bicycle network has been appalling. Motorcyclists were not consulted. 5.,4 Million wasted
.
The other option will be to remove on-street parking and reinstate two lanes of traffic. The Council should also consider a Turn-Left at anytime with care option

My suggestion is to write to the Lord Mayor and councillors and the media

Anonymous said...

“set to ease congestion” – for who??? Already the traffic is banking up through intersections and has slowed commuters down. The design and implementation is a debacle and Melbourne City Council needs to be held accountable. This pandering to Greens and a few cyclists comes to the detriment of everyone trying to cross town on the so called La Trobe Bypass Route! How does reducing traffic lanes from 2 to 1 speed things up?

It doesnt matter what the bike lobby says, traffic still has to move across any city efficiently and Melbourne is being reduced to 3rd World congestion standards at a rapid pace. Wise up!

I’m not against separate bike lanes but why weren’t two laneways chosen instead, where there is automatically less traffic and things move slower anyway?

MelbCity said...

I agree. I think his :pandering to Greens and a few cyclists [will be] to [Doyles] detriment [and that of the City] There are better alternatives.

The design does little to help cyclists safety also. The lanes are only provided limited separation with merging lanes causing decrease safety.

As a motor cyclist I find that safety has seriously declined with City Councils, not just Melbourne, failing to consider Motor Cyclists needs.

It is money wasted, a design poorly thought through. Alternative routes would have produced a better outcome and cost much less. Franklin Street would have a better option and not impacted on traffic flow..

The City will have to remove on street parking in LaTrobe Street

They should also consider a TURN LEFT at ANYTIME with Care rule

Anonymous said...

The city still wants its parking revenue though - you only have to see the ridiculous car parks outside the bike lanes to the west of la trobe st.
It is only a matter of time until a parking motorist is hit and killed getting out of their car door into congested traffic that cant travel 50m in a straight line...

Can we get an injunction against further bike lanes without proper traffic studies?

MelbCity said...

I guess you wold have to talk to a class action solicitor

I agree the consultation process is a sham. Motorcyclists were not consulted and those that were were had discussions in a coffee shop.

I encourage you and others to write to the Council, The mass media and the State Parliament, Government and Opposition

To date the only voices heard are those who claim to represent the Bicyclist Network.

SPEAK UP.. BE HEARD...

Anonymous said...

Congratulations
Melbourne City council on creating the worst traffic nightmare ever for the city of Melbourne
our taxes at work
Huge mistake
Rampant stupidity

Whatsupnow said...

Well Doyle is systematically destroying city traffic. As a driver and cyclist, I'm not happy . I would never use Latrobe Street or Albert Street(ever see any cyclists there!) if I was a cyclist . complete waste of time . Using the Yarra River dockand route is best way to cycle through Melbourne. Don't close lanes to put in bicycle routes. It's good for one but disaster for other.And now the Princes Bridge, what next. Another total mess Doyle.

Anonymous said...

I'm a cyclist and have used Latrobe Street for many years. I was against the new lanes before they were built and wrote letters to BV and Mayor Doyle on the issue. Now that they're in place, I still don't like them for safety reasons. They also seem to have had a seriously detrimental impact on motor vehicle congestion with queues now extending all the way between each set of lights in the peak times due to the single lane. I don't understand why parking is allowed during these times - they should be clearways. I also have a question - I've seen several comments in this blog about the lack of consultation with motorcyclists and I'm curious - what is the issue with the new arrangements that doesn't exist anywhere else?

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