The Member for Brunswick Dr Tim Read has redoubled his support for major changes on Sydney Road to bring it up to acceptable safety standards and improve amenity for all users of the struggling street.
He has published a 25 page booklet “Bike Safety in Brunswick: The case for protected bike lanes on Sydney Road” which outlines the arguments for change.
Read says: "Imagine a cleaner, quiet Sydney Road, but with more people in it. Cities around the world have achieved this by devoting more road space to bikes and walking, and less to cars. This is what we need for Sydney Road.
“Protected bike lanes on Sydney Road will let kids get to school more safely and will increase the number and diversity of those who choose to ride.
“More riding means less driving, traffic congestion and emissions, as well as healthier commuters and shoppers.
Already many of our growing apartment population use bikes instead of cars and soon level crossing replacement works will close the Upfield shared path."
Dr Read’s push comes as the Department of Transport evaluates community feedback to options for the reconfiguration of the street.
One of those options, long a policy of Bicycle Network, was for the moving of car parking away from Sydney Road to make room for bike infrastructure.
This option, known as Option 3, has already been assessed against official Safe Systems criteria by the DoT earlier this year and found to be the preferred outcome.
This evaluation, not officially released, is however in circulation and you can read it here: Safe System Assessment Sydney Road.
The City of Moreland recently called for a trial of this option on a block towards the south of Sydney Road, Brunswick.
While momentum has been building for a rejuvenation of Sydney Road, the MP for the northern end of the street in Coburg, Lizzie Blandthorn, this week indicated to Parliament that she supported keeping the street as it was.
Note that this is a street with one of the worst crash records in the state, where trams travel at snails pace, and retail struggles to attract customers.
Blandthorn is a Shoppies Union apparatchik. That she would be advocating for the retention of bosses car parking rather than improving the conditions of the thousands of retail employees that commute by bike each day is revealing.
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