The City of Melbourne has embarked on an overnight road to reduce traffic access on Princes Bridge to make way for a new Bicycle plan.
North bound traffic on Princes Bridge will have push their way to merge into one lane in order to to cross the river.
The City of Melbourne, under Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has pushed ahead with the lane closure in spite community opposition by the RACV, VicRoads, and local Residents.
Residents South of the Yarra say they have been cut-off and access to the city is now limited.
There is no other viable alternative mans of crossing the River East of Princess Bridge. The Swan Street Bridge is already congested as is the case to the Queens Street Bridge to the West.
The City of Melbourne claim that the lane closure is a trial and that the Council will evaluate its impact following a 3 months trial
The City of Melbourne say that Princes Bridge is used by over 5,500 cyclists a day yet official VicRoads figures show only 3000 bikes have been recorded crossing the bridge in summer. A recent independent survey taken last week showed that less than 2000 bikes where using the St Kilda Road bike lanes.
The City Council is engineering congestion. T^he Princes Bridge will be the sixth lane closure in the City constricting traffic movement. Other roads include Albert St, Latrobe Street, Queensberry Street and Macaulay Road with plans for more City roads to be reduced to single lane traffic.
Police and emergency services are also concerned at the level and safety of access to the city.
Motorists parked on LatTrobe street are reporting insufficient room to park the car. Drivers are running the risk of opening car doors into on coming traffic. It is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured. the City Council will be forced into removing car parking along LaTrobe street all together.
The City of Melbourne has had to make a number of changes to the Latrobe Street design and they still have not got it right.
Traffic traveling Eats along Queensberry Street say they are forced to use a single lane even though there is no bicycles using the bike lane.
Last night the City of Melbourne ignored community concern that the Council was about to spend $300,000 on constructing a bike path along Neil Street Carlton. A Street that has no traffic and very few bicycles using it. Estimated to be less than 30 bikes a day. The Neil Street plan is opposed by all community groups including Melbourne Bicycle Users Group MBUG.
The push for lane closures and the construction of bike lanes is the work of Geoff Robinson, City Engineering and Rob Adams, director of Urban design
Geoff Robinson had to spend the money now before the end of the financial year or risk losing funding.
The current City Council has not voted on the Princes Bridge project
which is proceeding under delegation and decision made by the previous
Council. Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, who had previously campaigned on a policy to limiting the growth of bike paths, has become captive to the Greens and the bike lobby. It is understood that a majority of the elected Council is also opposed to the Princes Bridge closure. The suggested trail will uncountably become permant as divers are forced to queue to access the City.
The City Council last night also rejected a proposal to use the millions of dollars collected in a congestion tax to be used to provide free inner city public transport. A proposal that was rejected by the Council and the Two Greens who refused to even consider it.