Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cycling Safety Cycling Safely Lord Mayor wants Melbourne CBD no-go zones for cyclists Herald Sun Editorial July 16th 2015


"What can be seen as a sense of entitlement on the part of cyclists needs to be seen as a sense of accountability."


"Former Bicycle Network chief executive Harry Barber agrees with Cr Doyle that not all Melbourne streets are safe for cyclists. He says he wouldn’t advise a friend to ride a bike in King St."




Don’t spin your wheels

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle. Picture: Sarah Matray
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle. Picture: Sarah Matray
LORD Mayor Robert Doyle’s suggestion that cyclists should be banned from some of Melbourne’s major thoroughfares has just as much going for it as dedicated bike lanes in other streets.
Safety is the overriding priority and cyclists should be just as willing to accept sensible restrictions as drivers. Common sense dictates that cars and bikes do not always go together and Cr Doyle has nominated three CBD streets where they do not.
FLINDERS St is too narrow.
KING St has too many cars.
LONSDALE St has too many buses.
Bikes only add to the congestion, although cyclists will be quick to say there should be fewer cars.
The answer to that is that drivers have already suffered restrictions in favour of cyclists and it is cyclists who must consider what they can do to smooth the way through the city’s streets.
Cars have been pushed out of Swanston St in favour of pedestrians and cyclists. The same applies to the Bourke St mall and there is a plan to extend this in a U shape into Elizabeth St.
In speaking exclusively to the Herald Sun, Cr Doyle acknowledges he has no power to keep cyclists out of some of the city’s main streets.
But he wants to know what people think of the idea.
He wants cyclists to tell him what they think. Drivers can be expected to readily agree. Cyclists, who have waged a long and often bitter campaign to be given equal rights to the roads, may not be so quick to accept what they might see as the wheels falling off.
What can be seen as a sense of entitlement on the part of cyclists needs to be seen as a sense of accountability.
Cr Doyle wants to hear from the public. Businesses are concerned people are being driven out of the CBD to shop where they are more likely to be able to park, as well as avoid the gridlock that can build up in the city. It’s an idea worth exploring following the millions of dollars that have been spent by Melbourne City Council on making life easier and safer for cyclists.
Former Bicycle Network chief executive Harry Barber agrees with Cr Doyle that not all Melbourne streets are safe for cyclists. He says he wouldn’t advise a friend to ride a bike in King St.
Cr Doyle says VicRoads, if it was so minded, could prohibit bicycles from some streets just as cyclists are banned from freeways and motorcycles are prohibited from using bike lanes.
There needs to be a sense of give and take in road policy and Cr Doyle’s invitation should encourage serious discussion and not another angry standoff between cyclists and motorists on whose rights are being infringed.


http://m.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/dont-spin-your-wheels/story-fni0ffsx-1227443240169





Herald Sun Editorial July 16th 2015

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