Yarra Council wants community input on fully separated bike lanes on Wellington St – which would move bikes next to the kerb, with parked cars between bikes and traffic – between Johnston St and Victoria Pde.
Bicycle lobby groups have praised the proposal as an important s
tep for bike safety, but there are concerns from residents about the loss of up to 118 carparks.
The project is uncosted at this stage, but Melbourne Council outlaid just under $1 million for similar bike lanes in Albert St, East Melbourne in 2010.
Bicycle Network Victoria and Yarra Climate Action Now (YCAN) say separated bike lanes will reduce the risk of “doorings” and accidents and encourage people into the saddle.
YCAN has collected 106 signatures of support from Yarra residents and spokesman Ian Mack said a separated lane along the key north-south route would benefit public health and the environment.
“Even from the point of view of traffic congestion, it’s crucial that we encourage more cyclists and pedestrians,” Mr Mack said.
Council figures reveal there was a 260 per cent increase in rider numbers along Wellington St in the eight years to 2012.
Collingwood and Abbotsford Residents Association spokesman Fred Allen generally approved of the plans, but said parking was tight in the inner city and the loss of carparks could create issues.
But Yarra Mayor Geoff Barbour said two surveys indicated there would be enough parking capacity for residents and visitors even if the parks were removed.
The council will doorknock Wellington St residents, set up an information booth on the street and hold two community meetings on the issue before making a decision in June.
RACV roads and traffic manager Dave Jones said the design would greatly improve cyclist safety without affecting motorists and traffic flow.
Ycat supports this initiative so please let Yarra Council and the Leader know your opinion by commenting below or HAVE YOUR SAY: Will these ‘Copenhagen’ lanes encourage more Yarra residents to ride?