Lorimer Street bike path is a recipe for disaster: VTA


Anderson says an on-road cycling path on a gazetted freight route in Melbourne is an ‘irresponsible’ plan

Lorimer Street bike path is a recipe for disaster: VTA
Anderson says the proposal defies logic.

 

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is calling on authorities to rethink the plan to create an on-road bicycle path on Lorimer Street in Port Melbourne.

The suggestion to create a north-south strategic cycling corridor that connects to a new Lorimer Street on-road cycling path between the Bolte and West Gate Bridge is part of the Fishermans Bend Framework draft released late last month.

The draft, presented by Victorian planning minister Richard Wynne and member for Albert Park Martin Foley, contains a map of existing and proposed cycling infrastructure.

VTA CEO Peter Anderson says while the transport industry supports the government’s plan to support infrastructure growth and development of the new precinct, encouraging cyclists to share a road that is extensively used by heavy vehicles is a dangerous proposition.

"Lorimer Street is a gazetted freight route for heavy vehicles and is intensively used by trucks of up to 70 tonnes travelling between Webb Dock and road and rail freight infrastructure closer to town," Anderson says.

"It is also home to numerous concrete suppliers that are visited by hundreds of trucks every day that deliver to building sites throughout Melbourne.

"While we fully support infrastructure that encourages commuters onto bikes and away from cars, the last place we should be putting a shared path is on the only gazetted freight route servicing the south side of the Port of Melbourne.

"It’s an irresponsible recipe for disaster to encourage cycling on a road so intensively used by heavy vehicles, and is the precise opposite of what we recommended in early consultations.

"For planners to have included an on-road cycling path on Lorimer Street in the draft framework defies logic.

The transport body has previously advised the government in its precinct planning to encourage cycling and pedestrian traffic to Williamstown Road, and to actively separate heavy vehicles from cyclists where possible, as is happening in Melbourne’s west.

"Regardless of who is at fault, the cyclist will always be worse off in a collision with a truck, so why on earth would you encourage their close interaction on a shared roadway," Anderson says.

"Elsewhere in Melbourne, we are actively separating bicycles from trucks on freight routes so it stands to reason we should be doing this in Fishermans Bend precinct planning.

Meanwhile, Anderson has welcomed objectives in the draft to safeguard port access by preserving a direct road and rail corridor between Webb, Swanson and Appleton Docks and the Dynon Road freight terminal.

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