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Bike lane made permanent

15 Oct 2013

Bike lane made permanent Image

The trial of the northbound bike lane on Princes Bridge has been hailed a success and the City of Melbourne has agreed to install the lane permanently.

After receiving a report on the effects of the lane at a Future Melbourne Committee meeting in October, the council was unanimous in its decision.

The review presented to the council showed that, while average travel time for cars was affected, it was only increased by an average of 48 seconds in morning peak and it was actually quicker to get into town during the afternoon peak.

The data also revealed that bicycle use northbound on Princes Bridge had increased by almost 30 per cent.

Critics have disputed this data in other mainstream media, but only one speaker spoke against the statistics.

Cr Rohan Leppert strongly defended the report, saying: “I completly reject any notion that the consultation process has been inadequate.”

Cr Leppert said the statistics presented to the council gave it an easy choice.

“It’s very exciting that we can make such a clear-cut decision tonight. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the green paint going down and seeing the northbound lane become permanent,” Cr Leppert said.

“The most exciting thing is that the capacity for getting the total number of people, regardless of their mode of transport, has markedly increased and there’s no two ways about that,” he added.

Ben Rossiter from Victoria Walks also spoke to the report and reminded the council that the debate had been hijacked by talk of cars and bikes, and the formerly shared footpath had been forgotten.

“We believe permanently retaining the lanes will correct the previous error of putting bicycles on the footpath in the first place,” Mr Rossiter said.

“We’ve been extremely disappointed that the public debate has centred on the impact on cars and cyclists. Many times of the day there are more people walking across the bridge than there are on cars and bikes,” he added.

The council will soon make a decision on the neighbouring southbound bike lane.

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