Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Road Safety Plan: "SHARE THE ROAD" STOP Engineering Congestion

The Lord Mayor and Councillors
City of Melbourne

Dear Lord Mayor and Councillors

Further to the decision last night to defer the adoption of the proposed City of Melbourne Road Safety Plan.

I request that the City of Melbourne publish on line in full all submissions made by stakeholders, not just an edited summary.  Such a practice is standard in the consideration of State Parliamentary Committee submissions and allows all members of the public to view the issues raised whilst maintaining public confidence in the consultation process.
Council should provide a process and  further opportunity for public debate on the use and development of the City’s Road Network.
The City of Melbourne should also seek input and submissions from Melbourne’s Emergency Services (Ambulance and Fire brigade) as to the impact of road safety plans, proposals and traffic lane restrictions.
I note with great concern that the Victorian Ambulance and Metropolitan Fire-brigade were not included in the initial Road Safety consultation 
Motorcycle and Scooter riders are at an equal if not greater risk of safety to bicycle riders. The proposals put forward by the City of Melbourne in the draft report do not address Motorcycle and Scooter riders Road Safety issues.  The ill-considered establishment of “Bike” Lanes that exclude access to Motorised Two wheel vehicles (Motorcycles and Scooters) and the associated displacement and congestion that results compounds the Road Safety Risk.
Further consideration needs to be given as to the opportunities of sharing bike lanes through-out Melbourne.  Many lanes are underutilized and could be used to facilitate a safe travel environment for Motorcyclist and Scooter riders. The two modes of transport are not exclusive and can safely coexist under many circumstances and appropriate regulatory guidelines and protocols put in place. Not all bicycle paths are suited for sharing but many are. 
The City Council needs to discuss and identify those lanes were both modes of transport can be accommodated.
The City Council should consider as a matter of priority alternative routes for Cyclist pathways throughout the city with preference given to less congested roads and laneways. Consider for lane reductions should only be given as a last resort and only after extensive consultation with all stakeholders and public approval.
The provision of “Lane Filtering” options at inner city intersections that allow motorcycles and scooter riders to move to the front of the intersection to a safe zone and take advantage of a controlled early start as is currently afforded to bicyclists riders.
The Council’s Transport Strategy plan and road network design needs to be reviewed to take into consideration the needs of all road users.
In addition: I request that the council consider the following additional issues of concern to help improve motorcycle/Scooter Riders  (MSRs) Road Safety
  • Shared Bus Lanes (Higher priority)
  • Shared “Bike” paths (Based on a Bike Lane category system – High Priority)
  • Bicycle “Bike” paths to be encouraged to use smaller less congested streets not major road feeders.
  • Lane Filtering options at intersections (High Priority)
  • Turn left at any time with care rights to reduce congestion and increase traffic flow (High Priority)
  • Road Line Paint that is not slippery (Medium Priority)
  • More attention on pavement surface quality to avoid overlay ridges (High Priority)
  • Advocate for Rear Vision Cameras to be made mandatory on van/trucks and buses/trams where central rear vision mirrors are not available.
  • A public education program to encourage cars to check their stop lights and turning signals regularly
  • Look and signal before turning when in the city signs to be erected in hot spots thought the City
  • The undertaking of a series of independent “Stress testing” reviews of site access and transit times for emergency vehicles thought out the city at various peak congestion/travel times
I look forward to the opportunity to discuss further in more detail the above and other issues related to the City of Melbourne’s proposed Road Safety Plan

Should you require further information I can be contacted via email

Anthony van der Craats
Scooter rider/Resident
South Yarra

Cc Media.. Members of Victorian State Parliament, Victorian Minister and Shadow Minister of Roads

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