Better bicycle connections into the city
Whose idea: MATILDA LANGLEY, Footscray
"I'd fix Queens Bridge intersection where pedestrians and cyclists wait 10 minutes for three sets of lights, only to dodge being hit by four kinds of transport. A crossing 20 metres further along the bridge would be sweet."
MS LANGLEY, who rides to work, says many bike paths finish and become dangerous "without good reason". On Footscray Road, near the CityLink exit ramp, she has seen several cyclists "cleaned up by trucks".
"I'd build a path for the north bank of the Yarra, cut back the Norfolk pine trees with spikes at eye height on the Docklands path and make Dynon Road a Mecca for cyclists."
Bicycle Victoria conducted a survey of its members for the City of Melbourne and found that of the 4100 respondents nearly all could pinpoint annoying or dangerous sections of their ride: bollards blocking paths; blind spots; pot holes; and paths or bike lanes that just "disappear".
Bicycle Victoria's Jason den Hollander says there are so many anomalies and small problems to fix that it cannot keep up. While sometimes the problems can be fixed cheaply, often it is bureaucracy that can slow things down. As many as 10 government bureaucracies can be involved in fixing a single bike path.
But what about Ms Langley's suggestions? Footscray Road could be improved with traffic light signals and some minor path amendments, costing less than $200,000, says Mr den Hollander. VicRoads, rather than Melbourne City Council, would be the responsible authority.
Queens Bridge's woes could be fixed with a $15 million path on the north bank of the Yarra River, from Flinders Street to Docklands, Mr den Hollander says. Who would be responsible? Who isn't? Transport Department, Parks Victoria, City of Melbourne, just to name a few.
THE MAYOR'S VIEW "We need a proper transport grid for bicycles in exactly the same way as we have for pedestrians, for cars, for public transport. So instead of it being piecemeal ... I think we need to think more holistically about cycling."
He also agrees that the number of different agencies, not to mention different council boundaries, makes it difficult.
"My influence is limited. I can't say to [the Cities of] Yarra and Maribyrnong, 'You will do this'. But by sharing and doing it in a coherent way, we can get good results for cyclists."
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/you-t ... z1QiKomsNg
He has a point - many of the decisions he, and/or the Council have power over can be trumped by the State Gov't (look at St Kilda Rd previous gov, and the shenanigans in Sydney at the moment), and also need to work with other councils. Still, I'd prefer him to have said things a little more pro-actively in that regard.
I did a quick search of vic.gov.au to see if the bicycle strategy as a part of the Transport Action Plan had changed since the previous government. I believe it has - dated 2010 - it still the same glossy brochure look, but the doc I looked at had no mention of any actual roads to be targetted (unlike the one I looked at previously, which may still be up there but I didn't find it).