A cyclist navigates Chapel Street, Melbourne’s worst spot for so-called doorings. Photo: Wayne Taylor
Stonnington Council reject our Door-away Bike lane, despite it being supported by VicRoads Cycling Victoria & Boroondara City Council.
The Age: Council blocks radical Chapel St bike lane plan (10 May 2013) Adam Carey
A promise to reduce the high number of bicycle crashes on one of Melbourne’s busiest inner-city streets is in limbo after a local council rejected a radical bike lane design proposed by government authority VicRoads.
The design, for Chapel Street in Prahran – a busy cycling route that is also one of Melbourne’s premier strips for shopping and street life – proposed a narrow, brightly painted bike lane alongside the tram corridor, in a bid to cut the risk of cyclists riding into opened car doors.
Chapel Street is one of the city’s worst places for so-called doorings. More than a third of 86 reported bike crashes on the street between 2007 and 2011 were from doorings, according to VicRoads. The street is narrow and congested, with heavy car traffic, on-street parking and Melbourne’s slowest trams.
The Napthine government last year committed $275,000 for new bike lanes for Chapel Street, but the project has stalled due to conflict over the bike lane’s design, with Stonnington City Council this week rejecting VicRoads’ proposal and calling for more consultation. VicRoads had originally hoped to have completed the project by early this year.
Yarra Trams this week also opposed the design, which is previously untrialled in Australia, on the basis that it would encourage cyclists to ride too close to trams.
Clem Newton-Brown, Liberal MP for Prahran, who pledged at the 2010 state election to improve cyclist safety along Chapel Street, said Stonnington Council was now standing in the way of an outcome.
“This money was provided in last year’s budget and my concern is that council will work co-operatively with VicRoads to quickly resolve this issue,” Mr Newton-Brown said. “It’s an issue that’s been going on for some time now and the community in Stonnington and Prahran is expecting these works to be done to improve cycling in our area and it can’t be done without the support of council.”
Boyd Fraser, a local cycling advocate, said VicRoads’ design was the best way to reduce the high number of doorings, not only on Chapel Street but on other streets that similarly have trams and heavily used on-street parking. [Read more →]