Have Your Say
Melbourne City Council is asking you to choose one of four options for bike lanes along the full length of Latrobe Street. The options include two kerbside separated lanes and two other options which place the bike lane between parked cars and moving traffic. Whatever design is chosen will be used for the entire length of the street, from Spring Street to Spencer Street, linking to the existing lanes on the bridge down to Docklands.
HAVE YOUR SAY: You can have your say by filling out their survey. You can view details of the options here.
Which option should I go for?
Melbourne BUG supports Option 2
We know that a feeling of being unsafe is a major deterrent to riding in the Melbourne CBD. In 2008, 5 out of 10 cyclists indicated they felt unsafe cycling in the city of Melbourne. We believe that option 2 is the safest and the most likely to encourage more timid riders, as well as protecting existing riders.
Option 2 is for separated kerbside lanes on the inside of parked cars. These are similar to Swanston Street north of Victoria Street going up towards Victoria University. There is a wide, raised area between parked cars and bikes, giving plenty of room for car doors to open without going anywhere near you as you ride by. Car passengers step out onto this buffer, which is also wide enough for wheelchairs and prams, without impinging on the bike lane. The lane is wide enough for two bikes to ride side-by-side or for overtaking.
The Swanston Street north lanes have been successful in increasing bike trips and lowering the crash rate.
HAVE YOUR SAY: To support our recommended option, fill out the survey. and select option 2.
What are the other options?
Options 3 and 4 – unseparated bike lanes (green paint), similar to Queensberry Street
Options 3 and 4 are unseparated bike lanes on the outside of parked cars. Because they offer no separation from fast cars, they are less safe and more intimidating for potential cyclists. They place bicycles on the traffic side of parked cars, where they are vulnerable to dooring but also incursions into the bike lane by fast-moving traffic.
The highest quality lanes of this type are in Queensberry Street, but as you can see here, motor vehicles frequently use the wide bike lane as a spare traffic lane, often travelling a whole block in the bike lane, or double parking there. They look to the driver just like a traffic lane.
Option 1 – two-tiered footpath
Option 1 is a raised footpath which places you slightly lower than the pedestrians and just higher than the cars. Option 1 is OK, but more difficult and expensive to engineer than Option 2, so we believe it is less likely to be used widely. Option 1 is also less well separated from pedestrians and the car door zone, and less obvious to passengers getting in their cars. This may mean it is more likely to be obstructed.
Option 2b – narrowing the footpath to maintain a car lane
In the longer consultation paper, option 2 has been divided into 2a and 2b. In the survey, option 2a and 2b are both covered by option 2. We understand the council didn’t separate 2a and 2b in the consultation because they wanted to keep it simple and avoid confusing people.
Option 2b spends an extra $12 million dollars to narrow the already crowded footpath, reducing pedestrian space in order to maintain two car lanes and facilitate fast cars. Latrobe Street is not congested and this will encourage high speeds, which are dangerous for all road users, especially in the crowded CBD. It will also make for a less pleasant urban environment.
We’ll be telling the council that we don’t want 2b, and we also expect walking and public transport groups to. If you select option 2, you can also make a comment in the survey telling the council you want 2a, not 2b.
Where can I find out more?
You can view details about the options here.
Melbourne Times article on Melbourne, Yarra and Darebin councils all with projects for separated bike lanes.