Princes Bridge - send a letter

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Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:15 am

The Melbourne City Council has plans to take a lane from traffic and improve the ridiculous bike lane on Princes Bridge. I reckon this is great news, but the Feral Hun and Brian Negus (RACV) are dinosaurs as usual :roll: .

My suggestion, if this matters to you, is to write to as many people as possible and tell them why this is a great idea and why the RACV's ideas are ludicrous. Send letters/emails to MCC, RACV, The Age, The Hun ad more.

Here is a letter I have sent:

The proposal by the Melbourne City Council to set aside as a separate bike lane on Princes Bridge is a great step forward in supporting what is the major cycling route in Melbourne, and is a long-needed facility. Thousands of cyclists commute along the very good bicycle lanes on St Kilda Rd, yet when they arrive at the Arts Centre precinct get funnelled into a 30cm wide “bike lane” over Princes Bridge. Creating a separated lane will solve this problem and stimulate great use.
Closing off a lane of traffic will not worsen congestion. The experience of other cities that have closed off vehicle access (eg Seoul, New York) is that traffic congestion does not increase.
Brian Negus’ (RACV) bridge suggestion is simply unworkable on a two-way transport route with large volumes of pedestrians walking over the west footpath of Princes Bridge. Access to and from such a bridge would involve crossing the vehicle traffic and pedestrian traffic twice.
I congratulate the Melbourne City Council on their vision for the future development of this area that is unsuitable for huge volumes of motor vehicle traffic and is increasingly a part of the pedestrian core of the city.
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by BNA » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:32 am

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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby VRE » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:32 am

Deja vu! You wouldn't happen to be Pete from the BNV forums, would you? :)

I agree that more letters would be a good idea. I just hope that if a separated lane is built, that it's done PROPERLY, and not in the usual Australian "near enough is good enough" manner :roll: . Then of course we'd have to convince pedestrians to stay out of it, a thankless task in itself.
Last edited by VRE on Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:37 am

:wink:

For out-of-towners, this is what the Princes Bridge "bike lane" currently looks like. The footpath 'bike-only' path is mostly unworkable due to large pedestrian volumes and total ignorance of the bike-path markings by many pedestrians.

The point about writing letters is that this is a real milestone for the development of high quality bicycle infrastructure that could over-ride motor vehicle road space. The RACV can be expected to lobby hard on this and cyclists' and community voices need to be heard.
Last edited by il padrone on Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby human909 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:49 am

No prizes for guess who/what instigated this article. It wasn't the HUN research team! :wink: This has been in the works for a while but now RACVs campaign has started.

I skimmed through the Melbourne City cycling document and it really is quite good.
http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/AboutCo ... 012-16.pdf

Build or upgrade high priority off-road routes

a) La Trobe Street Construct a physically-separated bicycle route
from Victoria Street to Adderley Street. This will
provide east-west access across the city and
improve linkages to Docklands and the western
suburbs of Melbourne.
$2.4 million January 2013

b) Swanston Street, Princes Bridge
Install chevron-separated lanes on Princes Bridge
by removing one lane of traffic. This will increase
the capacity of a major link into the central city,
improve safety and reduce pedestrian/cyclist
conflict.
$150,000 May 2013

c) Elizabeth Street (north)
Construct a physically-separated (northbound)
and chevron-separated (southbound) route
connecting Royal Parade and Flemington Road
to the central city with improved intersection
design at Victoria Street. This link will provide
access from the north to the central city and the
Queen Victoria Market. It will be completed in
collaboration with VicRoads.
$605,000 February 2013

d) Exhibition Street
Establish a bicycle route during peak hours,
northbound from Flinders Street to La Trobe
Street and southbound from La Trobe Street to
Flinders Lane. This will provide a north-south link
to the Yarra Trail.
$490,000 February 2013

e) St Kilda Road (southbound)
Construct a separated bicycle route between
Princes Bridge and Linlithgow Avenue and
Southbank Boulevard intersection. This will
increase the safety and quality of this major
north-south route.
$330,000 May 2013

f) Clarendon Street, East Melbourne
Construct a chevron-separated bicycle route
between Victoria Parade and Wellington Parade.
This route will connect Albert Street bicycle lanes
to the Yarra Trail and reduce the desire of cyclists
to ride through Fitzroy Gardens.
$400,000 September 2012

g) Cecil Street to Whiteman Street to Normanby Road
Install an improved bicycle route by adding
ramps and removing parking in Whiteman
Street and connecting cyclists to the median in
Normanby Road. This project will be completed
in consultation with stakeholders and connect to
the Cecil Street separated route within the City of
Port Phillip.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:45 am

VRE wrote:I agree that more letters would be a good idea. I just hope that if a separated lane is built, that it's done PROPERLY, and not in the usual Australian "near enough is good enough" manner :roll: . Then of course we'd have to convince pedestrians to stay out of it, a thankless task in itself.

Their "chevron-separated lanes" could be expected to look something like this (on Clarendon St, East Melbourne) minus the car-parking.


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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby Summernight » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:15 am

I tried to drive over that bridge once on a Sunday (thinking it might move because it was a Sunday and not peak hour) to turn right at Flinders and go towards East Melbourne. That was the stupidest idea I had and I should have taken my normal circuitous route around/through the city. It took ages to go anywhere.

IMO, that bridge doesn't flow for cars at any time so car drivers really shouldn't bother crossing that one if they want to get into/out of the city in a quick time and I think it would be great to introduce a wider bike lane there.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby Shifter » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:19 am

That looks really easy to fix up without taking a lane of traffic, just move the kerb, raise it to seperate the peds, and pop some chevron marking as above and Robert is your mother's brother.

But that's only over the fairly short bridge. What happens after that?
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby human909 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:29 am

Shifter wrote:That looks really easy to fix up without taking a lane of traffic, just move the kerb, raise it to seperate the peds, and pop some chevron marking as above and Robert is your mother's brother.

But that's only over the fairly short bridge. What happens after that?


I agree. However I suspect that Melbourne City and VicRoads know something us, RACV and the Herald Sun don't...

That the bridge is not a bottleneck. The bottle neck is the Flinder St and Swanston St intersection. It is in all likelyhood that vehiclar traffic flow will be unaffected by narrowing the bridge to one lane.

In the meantime there are dozens of injuries on this bridge every year.....
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:38 am

Cutting out the footpath would raise the ire of the pedestrians (enter Halfa Scruloose and the Pedestrian People's Republic) and all hell would break loose. Not to mention the cost would be huge, probably run into Heritage Victoria issues as well. At peak times the bridge footpath is really fully taken up with pedestrians - why the bike-path there is so flawed.

The bridge is the real bottle-neck for cyclists. Over the bridge there are two lanes plus a decent (door zone) bike lane with parking.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby Summernight » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:39 am

human909 wrote:
Shifter wrote:That looks really easy to fix up without taking a lane of traffic, just move the kerb, raise it to seperate the peds, and pop some chevron marking as above and Robert is your mother's brother.

But that's only over the fairly short bridge. What happens after that?


I agree. However I suspect that Melbourne City and VicRoads know something us, RACV and the Herald Sun don't...

That the bridge is not a bottleneck. The bottle neck is the Flinder St and Swanston St intersection. It is in all likelyhood that vehiclar traffic flow will be unaffected by narrowing the bridge to one lane.

In the meantime there are dozens of injuries on this bridge every year.....


Yes, it is definitely the intersection that is the bottleneck for cars (I have no experience cycling that area so can't say the same for cycling). Well, that and the two huge pedestrian crossings.

What happens after the short bridge going towards the city is a tram/bike only Swanston Street (and some taxis and police cars). All non-authorised cars have to turn either left or right into Flinders Street- they cannot go straight ahead.

In the other direction (going away from the city) after the bridge the road widens considerably with lots of greenery between lanes.
https://maps.google.com.au/maps?q=st+ki ... 3,,0,14.23

Although during peak hour everything is blocked up as people try to get onto the freeway entrances which are nearby.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby jules21 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:09 pm

human909 wrote:I agree. However I suspect that Melbourne City and VicRoads know something us, RACV and the Herald Sun don't...

That the bridge is not a bottleneck. The bottle neck is the Flinder St and Swanston St intersection. It is in all likelyhood that vehiclar traffic flow will be unaffected by narrowing the bridge to one lane.

human has got it.

traffic flow is like fluid flow (water) in a pipe. it flows only as fast as the narrowest section - that is almost always intersections.

this is why adding lanes to the M1 has been largely a waste of money - as the capacity for moving traffic on and off it has remained unchanged.

politicians feel pressured by uninformed voters to build monuments. 1000s of years ago it was pyramids, today it's more roads and lanes.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:17 pm

I am personally of the opinion that the best long term future for Princes Bridge is as part of a large pedestrian/shared zone running from Flinders St through to the Arts Centre and Alexandra Gardens. The whole road closed to traffic, apart from trams and bicycles.

Motor vehicle traffic through there is pointless and can easily be accommodated by diversion to Kingsway, Queensbridge and Swan St Bridge to Batman Ave & Exhibition St. As has been demonstrated in other cities, closing congested road space causes minimal congestion elsewhere as people shift their travel modes and take advantage of new, more efficient options.

Robert Doyle has the right sorts of monuments in his vision.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby jules21 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:25 pm

il padrone wrote:As has been demonstrated in other cities, closing congested road space causes minimal congestion elsewhere as people shift their travel modes and take advantage of new, more efficient options.

people intensely dislike being told to be "more efficient". the nature of the voter-politician relationship is one of master-servant - the servant may not tell the master he's doing it wrong and dictate a better way. voters will oppose that on principle and discard all logic in railing against it.

to be fair, left to their own devices, politicians do tend to come up with some loopy policies. I can't blame voters for wanting to dictate terms. in any case, closing roads is a dangerous ploy. it may work in this case, as the voters are predominantly not the motorists who are using that road, and those who are the voters are fed up with CBD traffic congestion.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:03 pm

jules21 wrote:people intensely dislike being told to be "more efficient". the nature of the voter-politician relationship is one of master-servant - the servant may not tell the master he's doing it wrong and dictate a better way. voters will oppose that on principle and discard all logic in railing against it.

to be fair, left to their own devices, politicians do tend to come up with some loopy policies. I can't blame voters for wanting to dictate terms. in any case, closing roads is a dangerous ploy. it may work in this case, as the voters are predominantly not the motorists who are using that road, and those who are the voters are fed up with CBD traffic congestion.






For more details of the project:

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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby birdbrain » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:30 pm

I briefly heard Neil Mitchell having a whine this morning. He said something to the effect: "hav'nt motorists been inconvenienced enough already" I was on my way out though and could'nt be bothered listening to his verbal diarrhea so I have no idea what if any further discussion took place. The so called cycling lane on Princess Bridge is a joke. I'm constantly watching for some bozo to open their car door to get out. Then when you reach the ped crossing you are just cut off. There are also cars who need to have two wheels in the so called bike lane. It's a farce so any measure to fix this is long overdue.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby human909 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:08 pm

il padrone wrote:Cutting out the footpath would raise the ire of the pedestrians (enter Halfa Scruloose and the Pedestrian People's Republic) and all hell would break loose. Not to mention the cost would be huge, probably run into Heritage Victoria issues as well. At peak times the bridge footpath is really fully taken up with pedestrians - why the bike-path there is so flawed.

The bridge is the real bottle-neck for cyclists. Over the bridge there are two lanes plus a decent (door zone) bike lane with parking.


Agreed. Though I may not have been clear about the bridge being the cyclist bottleneck.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby wellington_street » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:05 pm

From the scumbag editorial:

This proposal will make it worse. Cars and cyclists are not a happy mix and while cars can be a lethal weapon when drivers are impatient and frustrated in traffic, cyclists are often to blame by shouting abuse at drivers and banging on car doors.


Seriously?
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby human909 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:23 pm

wellington_street wrote:From the scumbag editorial:

This proposal will make it worse. Cars and cyclists are not a happy mix and while cars can be a lethal weapon when drivers are impatient and frustrated in traffic, cyclists are often to blame by shouting abuse at drivers and banging on car doors.


Seriously?


Yes. 23% of the 1107 cyclist crashes with injuries in the City of Melbourne was where the cyclists banged into an innocent driver's car door! Often these hits were very hard and at speed and abuse is not abnormal.

No wonder drivers are so annoyed when their doors are being regularly attacked in this way!

http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/AboutCo ... 012-16.pdf
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby jules21 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:44 pm

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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby KenGS » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:48 pm

cyclists are often to blame by shouting abuse at drivers and banging on car doors.

Too right. I had just parked my car and opened the door to get out when some lycra lout comes along and bangs into my door.
On another occasion, I was just driving along and turned left into a side street when some idiot cyclist bangs into my passenger side door.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby VRE » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:51 pm

KenGS wrote:
cyclists are often to blame by shouting abuse at drivers and banging on car doors.

Too right. I had just parked my car and opened the door to get out when some lycra lout comes along and bangs into my door.
On another occasion, I was just driving along and turned left into a side street when some idiot cyclist bangs into my passenger side door.

I must be letting Melbourne motorists get to me, because although I tried to find that funny, I couldn't :( . Probably at least partly due to the unfortunate incident in NZ, though, which has made me more aware than usual of my own mortality.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby DavidS » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:17 pm

That lane is well overdue for improvement. At the moment it is bloody dangerous but there is no alternative. I ride over that bridge every day. I'll write something in the next couple of days.

Just read the Hun's link. I don't believe how stupid that editorial is. Apparently closing off one lane over the bridge which leads to the intersection of Flinders and Swanston will cause congestion in, wait for it, the intersection. Huh? If there is still congestion in the intersection after the bridge then the intersection is the problem, not the bridge. I suppose they may have a point going South but the intersection is blocked in all sorts of directions anyway. What might happen if they close one of the car lanes is that less people will use the intersection of Flinders and Swanston. This would be excellent as that intersection cannot handle the traffic at all. You especially see this with cars traveling along Flinders St getting stuck in the middle of the intersection and blocking the trams on the most busy street for trams in Melbourne. Less cars in the intersection would be a great idea, take away the lane and this should be one effect.

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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:41 pm

Oooh! I got a letter published, half-way down the page. Good, hope there are more.

:)



They edited out my criticism of the RACV's suggestion of a separate bicycle bridge though - pity :|
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby VRE » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:38 am

il padrone wrote:Oooh! I got a letter published, half-way down the page. Good, hope there are more.

:)



They edited out my criticism of the RACV's suggestion of a separate bicycle bridge though - pity :|

The paper version of your letter (which I read just a few minutes ago) is more complete, Peter.
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Re: Princes Bridge - send a letter

Postby g-boaf » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:36 am

I think the article is right. The project is a waste of money and why should cyclists be rewarded for bad behaviour as this does? As we've seen - they are aggressive and treat the roads like race tracks, as the author of the recent Strava related topic has demonstrated so clearly. It's very hard to argue otherwise when the amount of evidence is so huge. :(

No - I'm not trolling or being the devils advocate. I just don't care anymore. Cycling as a community is divided badly, so while it keeps hitting the self destruct button, these articles will continue. The opponents of cycling are organised and methodical in comparison.
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