Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and the City of Melbourne plans to push ahead with the proposal to reduce traffic lanes in Princess Bridge to allow for the creation of a bike lane amidst opposition from road users and the local community.
The Council's claim to have consulted with stakeholders is false. The Council had consulted with bicycle riders, Vicroads and the RACV but has failed to consult with Motorcyclists, Scooter riders or local residents in South Bank or South Yarra.
The proposed lane closure is expected to increase congestion in the city. The Flinders' Street/Princess Bridge route is the only route that provides vehicle access to the South Yarra precinct. Morall's Bridge to the East which has been closed to vehicular traffic, is for pedestrians and bicyclist only. The only other nearest means of crossing the Yarra into the City is along Alexander Parade/Swan Street Bride and the Batman Ave. Tollway that travels next to the Tennis Centre and into Exhibition Street.
Alexander Parade/Swan Street Bridge option is already congested with traffic backing up at Swan Street bridge as far back as Princess bridge and the Arts Centre in peak hour traffic with little easing during the day. This rout can not absorb any overflow created by Lane closure on Princes Bridge
The other option is for Motorists to travel down South Bank Boulevard around the Casino tuning left at Power Street and across into William Street or turn right and then along Queens Street. Both of these options will increase travel time for motorists by 20 minutes and further add to city congestion.
The Council could look at constructing an new bridge linking Linlithgow Avenue to Batman Avenue but that would costs Millions of dollars.
Transport Minister Terry Mulder says VicRoads has jurisdiction over the project.
“VicRoads would have to be consulted for any work that was to be undertaken on that bridge and any impact it would have on the broader road network,” Mr Mulder said.
Last month on 3AW Neil Mitchel Denis Napthine, Victoria's Premier, claimed that VicRoads had not signed off on the project.
Melbourne City Councillor Richard Foster echoing the views express by Luke Donnellan has called on the City of Melbourne to implement better line marking and bike path delineation before reducing traffic access to the City.
The City of Melbourne must rethink its proposed lane closure and consult more widely or run teh risk of a community backlash,. South Yarra residents, who were not consulted, have expressed opposition to the proposal . Residents are calling on Local State member and former deputy Lord Mayor, Clem Newton-Brown to put a halt to the project and engaged in more consultation and consider alternative options.