Green paint (in places) is all that will join two of Melbourne’s rare protected bike lanes, and only during peak hours.
Failing to learn from the part time, part way, paint only, parked in bike “lanes” in Exhibition St, The City of Melbourne has announced similar poor quality provision between the protected lanes in Latrobe Street and Albert Street. This is a lost opportunity to connect two (Melbourne only has three) protected bike lanes and link them with a facility of similar high standard.
Eastbound, going up Latrobe St will require a right turn into Exhibition, then a block of Little Lonsdale St, which is not wide enough to accommodate a bicycle and a car – so you will need to hold up the traffic and ride up the middle of the street. Then make another right turn, into Spring St.
Coming into the city will be a peak hour only clearway bike lane – we know from Exhibition Street how well that works. Then a right turn into Spring St and another part time unprotected lane.
If you are coming in from Fitzroy you will have to go out of your way to reach this excellent facility because Vicroads determined that Victoria Parade is not for bicycles (too narrow presumably), then come back up to La Trobe St, or else if you are turning left at Nicholson Street, risk the dangerously narrow car-door bike lane to get to Spring St. It’s a dangerous door-zone lane because the City of Melbourne is unwilling to remove four car parking spaces.
This is not the way to make cycling an attractive option for the average person. It is a way to ensure cycling stays a small niche of the transport system.