The Victorian State Government today announced that they will come good on an election promise to build bike lanes on St Kilda Road with $27 million committed in the 2019/20 budget.
A combination of central safety zone bike lanes and separated Copenhagen-style kerbside bike lanes will be built to help reduce the risk for all road users and encourage even more bike riders to use St Kilda Road.
The central safety zone will see a fully separated bike lane down the centre of St Kilda Road, reserving the outer lanes for vehicles and off-peak car parking.
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Jaala Pulford said that the safety upgrades are vital and will improve St Kilda Road for all road users.
“St Kilda Road is Melbourne’s busiest tram route and one of Melbourne’s busiest bike routes – that’s why these safety upgrades are so vital to separate cyclists from other traffic.”
“We’ve carefully planned this new upgrade with all road users in mind – safely separating bikes and traffic for good while having the least impact on travel times for drivers.”
After years of unnecessary delays, the financial commitment to transform Melbourne’s busiest bike route couldn’t come soon enough.
As it stands, more than 3,000 bike riders travel down St Kilda Road each day and they are all currently at risk. More car doorings happen on St Kilda Road than any other place in Victoria.
Almost 40% of all crashes on St Kilda Road are caused by car doors being flung open into the path of bike riders.
It has taken far too long to fix. The State Government has taken years to table a proposal and local councils as well as the Premier have knocked back ideas.
Bicycle Network has been campaigning for years to see St Kilda Road transformed with attractive, low-risk facilities that the whole community can benefit from.
It is vital that the final solution separates bikes from cars, property entries, side streets and laneways. Mid-block median cut-throughs that allow drivers to switch between service lanes and centre lanes must also be addressed.
With money now allocated in the budget, it’s important that the government commits to a concrete and rapid timeline of delivery before another bike rider is injured or worse.