The Greens’ push to implement Yarra’s Bicycle Strategy took a giant leap at the Council Meeting this week when Councillors unanimously voted to start the consultation on Copenhagen bicycle lanes in Wellington St.
Greens Councillors have been meeting with officers for months urging them to plan for physically separated bike lanes rather than just painted lanes on roads.
Following a recent Councillor Briefing, officers presented the report to Council outlining conceptual designs for separated bike lanes on both sides of Wellington St, between Victoria Parade and Johnston St in Collingwood.
The report recommended an extensive consultation process, initially focussing on businesses that would lose access to some car parking.
To our surprise, all Councillors enthusiastically supported the recommendation, with the Socialists leaping in to move the officer’s recommendation – we suspect the Socialists new-found enthusiasm will dim if there is vocal opposition to loss of car parking.
Research shows that physically separated bike lanes increase cyclist numbers because there is a significant increase in perceptions of safety. They encourage first-time cyclists, a major target group outlined in our Bicycle Strategy.
More physically separated bike lanes on major roads were a key recommendation of a recent Coroner’s decision into the tragic death of a young cyclist after colliding with an opening car door.
The Greens are committed to building bicycle infrastructure that will increase safety, encourage more riders and decrease pollution and greenhouse gas emissions causing catastrophic climate change.
And importantly, when there are more people riding and less driving, car driver safety will increase and crippling traffic congestion will decrease.