Cyclists in danger

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Renewed calls for a St Kilda Rd bike path

Port Phillip Council is campaigning on behalf of Cyclists. Since the lead up to the State election last year, Council has been advocating to the State Government for the installation of protected bike lanes on St Kilda Rd.

“The shocking death of a young man in Brunswick recently has highlighted the importance of improved bike rider safety across the city, including St Kilda Rd,” Mayor Amanda Stevens told St Kilda News.

St Kilda News has previously reported on the proposed building of a Copenhagen style protected bike lanes on St Kilda Rd.

It would follow on from the current bike path, which begins in Swanston St and ends at the Southbank Arts Precinct at Linlithgow Ave. From there the bike path would continue past the Domain Interchange and then pass St Kilda Junction and finish off at Carlisle St.

This extended bike path that would measure 5.9 kilometres would come at an estimated cost of $12 million, with maintenance costs of $40,000 per annum.

The bike path is proposed as an aid to protecting cyclists from the all-too-common occurrence of car dooring. When cars and bicycles share the road, one of the dangers involved is of drivers carelessly opening their doors directly in the path of an oncoming cyclist.

“Between 2008 and 2012, 39% of all bike crashes on St Kilda Rd were car doorings and St Kilda Rd was identified as the worst location in Victoria for car doorings between 2006 and 2010” Mayor Stevens explained.

A campaign to raise awareness of the dangers cyclists face and in particular the serious problem of car dooring will take place between the 11th and the 24th of April this year as part of the work done by Inner Melbourne’s Road Safety Action Group. Temporary signage will be put up near Toorak Rd. and Moubray St. It will carry messages such as “Car Doors Hurt Cyclists” and “Look Then Open Your Door.”

Council sraff will also talk directly to cyclists and encourage them to ride outside the dooring zone which is 1.3 metres from the parked cars. They may still be a problem in small and congested streets.

“We’ll also be asking faster and more experienced bike riders to make sure slower riders don’t feel pushed into the ‘dooring zone’ when overtaking.” Mayor Stevens explained, “this campaign is designed to raise awareness of the continuing safety issue for cyclists of ‘car dooring’ whilst we continue to work towards delivering improved bike riding infrastructure in St Kilda Rd and across Port Phillip.”

This proposal has the backing of the RACV, the Bicycle Network, the Amy Gillet Foundation and the Road Safety Action Group of Inner Melbourne, all who received the thanks of Cr Stevens.

By Daniel Wilson

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