councillors rides

Councillors' Ride of the Gateway Ward

On Saturday 30th March the BUG took Councillor Ogy Simic and Mayor Dick Gross for a ride around Gateway Ward to look at some bicycle infrastructure, both the problems and the good new things. Our route and list of issues is here.

Despite the chilly temperature, strong winds and looming grey clouds, we were lucky to get sunshine to ride in. Here we are starting at the Port Melbourne Rotunda.

Despite the chilly temperature, strong winds and looming grey clouds, we were lucky to get sunshine to ride in. Here we are starting at the Port Melbourne Rotunda.

We made an early stop on the Bay Trail at the Sandridge lifesaving club. Here, the trail diverts away from the waterfront and runs along Beacon Rd. We were concerned that the bus stop (below) is a hazard, as the advertising blocks sight lines, making it difficult for cyclists to see people waiting at the bus stop or oncoming cyclists.

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Next was a ride along Route 4 of the Integrated Transport Strategy (ITS), the Garden City extension. Beacon Rd needs an on-road protected route, especially through this roundabout—-

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Route 4 then becomes a shared path through the Garden City Reserve. Shared paths are not optimal (they are unpleasant for cyclists and pedestrians), and we hope no new shared paths will be constructed as part of this project. There is a short connection missing between Garden City and the Sandridge Trail.

On to the Sandridge Trail itself: we had a look at those irritating railing chicanes.

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Then over to Cecil and Moray Streets. We were impressed with the new separated path on the north end of Moray St, and the associated protected roundabouts. Hopefully all the new ITS routes are up to this standard.

On the protected bike lane on Moray St

On the protected bike lane on Moray St

All good things must come to an end! Moray St fizzles out when it crosses the border into the City of Melbourne, and our hours of sunshine were also up.

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Thanks to Ogy and Dick for your support for cycling; Pierre and Brendan for braving the weather and coming along; Simon for the photos; Dennis and Rochelle for keeping us on track; and Liz, Geraldine and Jo for the route planning and the admin support.

Councillors' tour of the Lake Ward

On Tuesday 12th June we took Port Phillip Councillors Katherine Copsey, Andrew Bond, David Brand, Dick Gross and Ogy Simic on a tour of some interesting sites in the Lake Ward in Port Phillip. (Councillor Tim Baxter and Albert Park MP Martin Foley sent their apologies.)  Lake Ward covers St Kilda, Albert Park, and Middle Park.   The handout with the route is here. I've added some of the extra things we noticed on the ride to the map below (in purple).

We started at St Kilda Town Hall.   The first thing we observed was the time it took for us to walk across the pedestrian crossing at Brighton Road.   These crossings seem optimised for cars, rather than pedestrians.    (A recent article describes this problem.)

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We headed up towards the Junction.   We briefly stopped at Inkerman St, where a single car parking place creates a pinch point in a merging zone.

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Going up the hill, we looked at how the St Kilda Rd separated bicycle lanes project can be fairly easily implemented as a Copenhagen lane on the edge of the road.   By contrast, the challenge of fitting protected lanes into the Junction are considerable.   However creating a safe way for people on bikes to get through this intersection will be crucial.

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We then headed down the bidirectional path on Fitzroy St.  This has been identified as one of the place where cyclists feel most unsafe in surveys by BikeSpot and VicRoads.   There is a protected lane for cyclists, but because drivers do not expect cyclists to be moving in a counterflow direction, they often fail to yield at intersections.   

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On the way we tried to use the council public bike pump outside Woolworths.  Unfortunately it deflated Councillor Bond's tyre!   Liz had a pump that we fixed the problem with.

A faulty bike pump.

A faulty bike pump.

Then on through the quiet back streets of West St Kilda to Middle Park shops, where we looked at the suboptimal crossing of Canterbury Rd at Armstrong St.   

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From Albert Park, we stopped at the intersection of Albert and Kerferd Rd.   The crossing here is yet another that doesn't allow sufficient time for pedestrians to cross.   There is some new marking for bicycles at this intersection, but the stretch under the tramway (travelling north) is still feels difficult for cyclist.  We looked at the option of converting the pedestrian underpass (just up Ferrars St) to a shared path, giving access to the service road on the north side of Albert Rd.

Looking out of the underpass.

Looking out of the underpass.

Council is planning to put separated cycle lanes on Kerferd Rd, after a trial in which they reduce the number of lanes to one.   

Kerferd Rd is very wide!

Kerferd Rd is very wide!

Our last stop was another parking place, outside Donovans on Marine Parade.   This parking place/loading zone forces on-road cyclists to merge with traffic, while creating a little door zone.   We note that as this is an accessible parking place (for people with a disabled permit) it may be of high utility and should be relocated rather than removed.

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Thanks to our councillors and council officer Kathleen Kemp for coming along.  Many thanks to Simon for the photographs.

Councillors' tour of bike infrastructure in the Canal Ward

On Thursday 8th March we took Councillors Katherine Copsey, Tim Baxter and Dick Gross for a tour around the Canal Ward to look at the infrastructure that makes riding a joy... or a nightmare.  (Handout with map and site descriptions here.)

 

It was a beautiful day for a ride!

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We observed the absence of a safe crossing on the Canal path at Glen Huntly Road.

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And discussed the promised counter-flow bike lane on Blessington St--- when will this happen?

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Thanks to our hard-working councillors Dick, Katherine and Tim, and to Simon for the photos, and to our volunteers Georgie and Rochelle for keeping everyone on track.  

We'll tour the Lakeside and Gateway wards later this year.