Bicycle Network installed a pop-up protected bike lane on Exhibition Street in the Melbourne CBD last week to emphasise the need for better bike infrastructure.
Exhibition Street currently has a non-protected bike lane during the morning peak, however despite restrictions it is often blocked by cars and taxis.
The pop-up lane was erected between Little Lonsdale and Lonsdale streets, one of the worst spots along the strip.
Protected bike lanes are a cornerstone of Bicycle Network's policies to get more people riding. They are an inexpensive and effective way of separating bikes and cars to make riding safer and more comfortable.
Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards said protected bike lanes are the most effective way to increase bike rider safety.
“The pop-up lane showed just how easy it is to install protected bike lanes and how they increase safety for bike riders and other road users, while also improving traffic flow,” said Mr Richards.
“Protected bike lanes minimise the risk of doorings and crashes between cars and bikes. By encouraging more people to ride and keeping cars and bikes separate they also reduce congestion.”
The pop-up lane on Exhibition Street was simply set up with traffic bollards and hi-visibility tape.
Riders were able to stream through without having to stop and swerve for cars that would usually merge into the lane.
Despite the fact that the lane did not impact motor vehicle traffic flow – if anything it improved it – as soon as the bollards were removed cars merged into the lane and cut off bike riders.
For the health, happiness and liveability of our cities, it’s vital that we prioritise bikes and encourage more people to ride.
And the government knows this – the City of Melbourne have just announced plans to finalise the protected bike lane on Albert Street.
We need more however, and we need it now. Bicycle Network will continue to call for improved bike infrastructure and protected bike lanes that separate cars and bikes, particularly in key areas lead to city centres.
Other areas in Melbourne that should be fast-tracked for protected bike lanes include St Kilda Road and Sydney Road which see the most doorings occur in Victoria.
Riding with protection and without