The Council's refusal to conduct an open public review of the cities bike path strategy and the design and construction of the Latrobe Street bike lane will only exacerbate frustration and resentment to city cyclists. Gagging public debate, implementing bad design and making the same mistakes is not a way forward or a solution to the city traffic issues.
The Foster motion was not about stopping development or improvement of bicycle paths in the city but an opportunity to learn from the mistakes.
Council Engineering Services have failed to manage congestion or traffic flow in the city, instead it is generating congestion and with it is causing more problems then it resolves.
If the City Council wants to close down Swanston Street and Princes Bridge fine but in order to do so it needs to provide a workable and realistic alternative not a road block.
Closing down Princess bridge would be fine if there was an alternative route to access the city from the South and across the river travel and onto batman avenue but there is not. Traffic displacement from St Kilda Road can not be accommodated using the Swan Street bridge. Swan Street bridge is already heavily congested and at full capacity serving a west-east connection. Batman avenue tollway is not at capacity and can accommodate more traffic but access across the river is the main issue. A second bridge or expansion of the Swan Street Bridge connecting Linlithgow and Batman avenue catering for South North connection is required is traffic from St Kilda Road is to be further restricted and the Princes Bridge lane closure is to work.
What next in the council's war on Cars:
Geoff Robinson's, Manager of City Engineering Services, next move will be to restrict traffic flow along Flinders
Street coming from the East. It will do this be seeking to reduce the number of
through lanes of traffic between Exhibition Street and Swanston Street to
just one lane. This will further restrict the flow of North South Traffic across the city. It needs to do this to allow it any hope or chance of installing a second
South bound bike path on the Eastern side of Princes Bridge which is next
on the Council's war against cars and closing down city access.
Traffic flows like water, you restrict one section and it s displaced and causes problems elsewhere in the system. Vehicles travelling North East along Exhibition and Russel Streets have no where to go. Most currently turn right into Flinders Street and then left across Princes Bridge and along St Kilda Road. There is alternative direct route that connects South Yarra to Carlton other then Princess Bridge. But that will not stop the City Engineers from engineering congestion in the hope that this traffic will find its own level and manage itself. All it will do is create more congestion and frustration.
Refusing to review and debate the solutions imposed by the City that are causing congestion is not the answer either. Instead it will only add to the cities wows as Engineering Serviecs opts for the most expensive and ill considered option.