Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Cycling Safety Cycling Safely Melbourne cyclists to be 'encouraged' to use safer routes 774 ABC MELBOURNE FRI 9 OCT 2015 "Plan your Route" Bicycle Network Victoria
The City of Melbourne plans to "encourage" cyclists to use certain streets by providing more safe cycling infrastructure rather than banning "unsafe" routes, a councillor says.
Melbourne's Lord Mayor Robert Doyle floated the idea of restricting cyclists from certain streets which he deemed "simply not safe".
He said there had been 22 crashes in the last five years on Flinders, Lonsdale and King Streets and wanted to make them off limits.
Councillor Dr Cathy Oke said the aim of the new draft cycling plan was to make significant investments in bicycle safety infrastructure to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities.
She denied it included no-go zones for bikes but acknowledged "there are some streets that are safer for one mode [of transport] than the other".
"The bulk of the plan is [about] how we increase safe cycling across the municipality," she told 774 ABC Melbourne.
"I'm not interested in making some roads no cycling zones because we need to consider safety for all modes on all of our streets.
"Until we've got enough cycling infrastructure that gets cyclists to as many places as possible across our city, it's not helpful to start banning cyclists on certain streets."
Dr Oke cited the examples of King St and Williams St.
"We acknowledge that there are streets in the city, such as King St where there is no safe cycling infrastructure," she said.
"I think we need to focus on where we can get the best routes through the city for cyclists, but I don't thinking banning them is useful."
Dr Oke said the council had already invested significant funds into separated bike lanes.
"Whilst we're not discouraging, we're encouraging, I guess is what we're doing," she said.
"We will do more over the next four years and we encourage you to use those streets."
The plan also includes a suggestion for a floating pontoon bridge over the Yarra River at Southbank to keep cyclists off the promenade.
"The jury's out for me on this," she said.
"I'm interested in people's feedback on that one. It's in there as an idea to get people's thoughts."