CYCLE BAN WIDENING
VicRoads will check other danger spots
A WIDESPREAD review of where cyclists can ride in central Melbourne is on the agenda in a bid to protect both riders and drivers.
Yesterday we revealed that Lord Mayor Robert Doyle wants cyclists banned from three CBD streets — King, Lonsdale and Flinders — for their own safety.
The Herald Sun understands VicRoads will look at several other danger spots for riders, including Chapel, Swan and Victoria streets.
Cr Doyle said: “Cyclists are very vulnerable road users and there are accidents all the time. And cyclists and buses are just a lethal cocktail.”
Cr Doyle said it was a matter for VicRoads to impose a ban, but the council would help make recommendations.
“There are some streets where you simply cannot put in the (bicycle) infrastructure.”
He said other cities around the world such as Copenhagen had bans in place due to safety concerns. Yesterday a Herald Sun photographer caught a man breaking multiple road rules while riding along one of Melbourne’s busiest thoroughfares, Chapel St in South Yarra.
Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday offered support for Cr Doyle’s plan.
“I reckon this is something worth talking about,” Mr Andrews told SEN. “This is not about being anti-cyclists. I can’t think of anything more pro-cyclists than trying to keep cyclists safe.
“Robert Doyle has bounced the ball, and I think it’s a really good conversation for us to have if, for no other reason, than it allows us just to reflect on the fact that we need to share the roadway better.”
Mr Andrews said some roads could be made safer, but where that was not an option it was appropriate to have “a proper conversation” about a bike ban.
“As I understand it, VicRoads would probably make the final decision but they’ll probably take advice from us a bit,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to having a chat with Robert Doyle about it.”
VicRoads said it would consider the move after wide community consultation.
RACV general policy manager Brian Negus said trucks on King St, buses on Lonsdale St and “a really tight squeeze” along Flinders St made it logical to remove bikes. Mr Negus said car parks should be taken off Latrobe St to provide a safer route for cyclists.
But Bicycle Network spokesman Chris Carpenter said banning bike riders on specific streets would be “an unprecedented move” that would set Melbourne back years in terms of liveability.