Does anybody know if BV is consulted when traffic/pedestrian 'upgrades' are in their planning stages?
There have been a few cases in Ascot Vale where traffic control devices have been implemented that actually make riding on the road more dangerous.
The main ones I am concerned with are tram stops that have been upgraded such that the pedestrian part of the tram stop is wider, resulting in the road itself being narrowed. (Epsom road near racecourse). This is similar to the new 'super tram stops' on Collins St in the city.
These narrower sections have made riding a lot more dangerous, and in the Epsom Rd case, turned a two lane road into a narrow 1 lane road with a very wide tram stop in the centre.
This has created a bottleneck for drivers, and since there isn't sufficient width for a bike AND a car I end up having to 'defensively block' off the entire lane for myself when I approach the tramstop so I don't get run off the road. (btw, there isn't anywhere to go. High curb on LHS and a Tram Barrier on the RHS)
This frustrates drivers i'm sure, but I am comfortable riding like this so that I maximise my chances of staying upright. What concerns me is that cyclists who are not so 'confident' in blocking the entire lane on a major road end up getting run off - and since in the Epsom rd case there is a gutter - they hesitate and end up dismounting - and block car traffic in doing so.
I understand the need for traffic measures to reduce the speed of car traffic but surely the planning dept must consider cyclists.
Sure, narrowing a road by placing traffic islands/barriers in the centre will slow car traffic. But these measures work by creating a bottle neck and 'funnelling' traffic through restriction - not good for cyclists!