Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Euro-style bike lanes plan for City

If it's good enough for Melbourne's cyclists then why not Sydney? As I have continually advocated for the 'Gateways' and Kent Street routes.

from the Sunday Age....

Coming this way: a Copenhagen cyclist passes a row of parked cars keeping him segregated from moving traffic.

Photo: Casual Cas


Clay Lucas September 3, 2006

MELBOURNE is to get its first taste of European-style bike lanes that separate cyclists and car traffic by putting a parking lane between them.
The bike lanes, which will run along either side of Swanston Street from Melbourne University to RMIT, will cost more than $500,000.
If the trial is successful, VicRoads will consider rolling out more of the bike lanes across the city.
The new-style lanes will be two metres wide and 50 centimetres lower that the footpath.

Under the design, named the Copenhagen Treatment by planners because it is common in that city, existing numbers of parking spots will be kept but moved away from the footpath and towards the middle of the street.
Work on the scheme, aimed at reducing the number of cyclists being hit by cars on that stretch of road, is set to start at the end of the year.
The area has become a bicycle black spot, with six cyclists admitted to hospital after being knocked off their bikes in the past five years.
Under the City of Melbourne's cycling strategy released last week, installation of similar lanes on main cycling roads across the city is likely.
"This is the next stage of this city's bicycle lanes," said Harry Barber from Bicycle Victoria, which has worked closely with the council and VicRoads to get support for the new lanes.
"Drawing a line to mark out a bike lane came first, over the last decade. Then they started painting bicycle lanes green, as we're seeing all over town," Mr Barber said.

"Now they've reached the next stage: separating bikes and cars physically. Australians all have bikes, and they love riding them, but most are reluctant to ride in traffic. These lanes will mean they don't have to."

On average, 1000 cyclists a year are admitted to hospital after accidents. Some 200 end up in hospital after a collision with a car. On main cycling strips such as St Kilda Road, which has boomed as a cycling area since bike lanes were created in 1993, the number of cyclists in accidents with cars has stayed steady.


Anonymous said...

A significant step forward, but what about the car door problem? The perfect solution would be parking on one side of the street and cycling on the other -- separated from traffic and the footpath with a riser or by being a different height.

pedaller said...

it's great to have Councillors support cycling initiatives in the city, but it is also important to be aware that not all cyclists support the idea of segregating cyclists from motorised traffic.
With respect to Melbourne's "Copenhagen Treatment" I would suggest that you read some of the comments posted on the Bicycle Victoria website forums in order to get a feel for the reasons why some cyclists are not totally supportive of these proposed bike lanes.

Shayne Mallard said...

Thanks for the comments and apologies for the delay in posting - technical problem at Blogger.

Pedaller - I'm aware of the debate by a small section of the existing bicycle community about segregated lanes. However I am not convinced and since my ambition is to get a whole lot more new people out there on their bikes every day, the fear of accidents and aggression from motorists needs to be demonstrably overcome. I don't advocate Copenhagen style lanes everywhere (that's not even the case in Denmark) - but on key commuter corridors. In the end you can not totally insulate cyclists from motorists (eg at intersections) and cyclist will always be a presence and sustainability transport example for the motorists.

Steve's points on design are valid. Wherever possible cars should be set back from the lanes so that the car door problem is avoided. Having said that I would rather deal with car doors (eg Crown Street Surry Hills) than several aggro 4X4 drivers on William Street each afternoon!