Wednesday, April 17, 2013

RACV - CoM has got it wrong

 Source - The Age - Jason Dowling

Melbourne City Council has got it wrong with a new road safety plan that focuses on more protection for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and cycling lanes on Princes Bridge, the RACV says.
But Victoria's peak motoring body denied it was anti-bike after opposing three big cycling upgrades in the city in recent years - separate bike lanes on Albert and La Trobe streets and the loss of traffic lanes on Princes Bridge to make way for bike paths.

RACV public policy manager Brian Negus said it was unnecessary to remove traffic lanes for bike lanes and the council should instead be removing street parking.

''It is very important when looking at on-road bicycle facilities that the needs of all road users are properly considered. That includes those in cars, trucks, buses and trams, and cyclists and pedestrians,'' he said.
 ''That is the principle that has probably been neglected by the Melbourne City Council, both in what they have looked at in their road safety strategy, and secondly in the context of the three [recent] bicycle proposals.''

He said Albert Street was done on the cheap and was an ''anti-car proposal'' that looked ''absolutely dreadful''.

The RACV operates the Melbourne Bike Share scheme, and supported the bike-friendly upgrade of Swanston Street.

Mr Negus said the lobby group also supported removing traffic on Elizabeth Street between Bourke and Flinders streets.

''We certainly have promoted the need for safe bicycle facilities, both off road and on road,'' he said.
Garry Brennan, spokesman for Bicycle Network Victoria, said ''the spectacular success of central Melbourne as a pedestrian and bicycle-dense CBD caught many people and organisations by surprise and they are having trouble adapting to this new, thriving city reality''.

''With the RACV it's a case of the shock of the new. In a few years' time they will be wondering what all the fuss was about,'' he said.

Melbourne council's new road safety plan aims to make the city more pedestrian and cyclist- friendly.

1 comment:

MelbCity said...

Jason Dowling has got it wrong also. The above article is misleading as it gives the impression that the City of Melbourne strategy is geared up toward Pedestrians, Bicyclist and Motorcyclists. It is not. It does nothing to assist Motorbike and Scooter Riders. (MSRs)

Motorbike and Scooter Riders representatives met with the City Council last night and was successful in securing a deferment of the City Council Road Safety Plan.

The City Council has spent over 5 Million dollars Engineering Congestion. The LaTrobe Street redevelopment has been a disaster in planning and traffic engineering and has done little to improve road safety for cyclists. Public safety at intersection are still a major issue. The City of Melbourne should have investigated more alternative routes for bicyclists. Routes that do not involve reducing vehicle access in main transit roads such as Albert Street or LaTrobe Street or Princes Bridge.

The Council must stop and review its strategy to ensure that all road users are taken into consideration.

The recent terrorist attack in Boston, USA, is a wake up call. Melbourne is a sister City o Boston.

There is growing concern that the Engineering and Planning strategy of the City of Melbourne, the design of the Super Stops and bicycle paths severely limit access to the city for emergency vehicles.

The City of Melbourne failed to consult with the Fire-brigade and the Ambulance services in developing its Traffic Strategy plan and Road Safety Plan.

We need a series of independent "Stress Tests" to determine the City's ability to be "Safety Prepared" in an emergency situation. Multiple events occurring at a single time.

The proposed traffic lane restriction on Princess Bridge must not be allowed to proceed.

St Kilda Road and Princess Bridge is the main arterial road access for Ambulances to and from Melbourne's major Accident trauma hospital, The Alfred. Helicopters are not the solution in the City.

The deferment of the Road Safety Plan is an opportunity for the City Council to stop, evaluate and rethink its strategy plan

It MUST engage in a open and transparent consultation process with all road users. The City of Melbourne MUST publish all stake holders submissions and not just table an interpreted summary of submissions.

There is more to community consultation than meeting with members of the Bicycle lobby group at coffee shops and vox pop on street surveys.

The City of Melbourne should hold open public forum and balanced discussions.

Business groups as well as other road users have a interest in the outcomes not just bicycle riders.

The locking down of the City and Engineering congestion must be stopped. It is money not well spent. The design and strategy plans are wrong.

We hope to meet with the Government and the State opposition in the near future to seek their support.

Princes Bridge MUST remain open to two lanes of traffic. The City of Melbourne MUST do more to improve Motorcyclist/Scooter riders (MSRs)road safety. MSRs are the fasted growing sector of computer transport, the Engineered Congestion of the city is placing their safety at risk.

The Road must be shared equally.

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