The desperately needed St Kilda Road bike lane upgrade is one of a bundle of crucial bike projects that are stalled in bureaucratic limbo while the Andrews Labor government continues to dilly dally.
Crippled by what seemed like indecision over approving the St Kilda Road bike lane project in an election year, Premier Andrews missed the deadline to synchronise construction with the project to build the new Anzac Station at Domain.
It would have saved taxpayers millions.
And because the facility would have been available on St Kilda Road during the chaotic four year station construction phase, he has missed a golden opportunity to ease congestion on the boulevard during this time.
Now the new bike facility will have to be built at the end of the station project, sentencing riders to four more years of risk and rage on the current narrow bike lanes.
St Kilda Road continues to be one of Melbourne's busiest bike routes – more than 3,000 bike riders use it each day.
After the Andrews Government was elected, hopes were high that they would get straight to work in delivering on the commitment to create a powerful agency, Active Transport Victoria (ATV), to accelerate the expansion of bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
Nothing happened for two years, then a tiny office emerged with scant resources.
And then there was the $100 million Safer Cyclist and Pedestrian Fund, the biggest ever injection of funding to improve the state’s bike infrastructure.
Here we are, less than a year out from the next election, and virtually nothing from the fund is built yet.
The government will go to the election with little to show for all the promises, rhetoric and fanfare announcing million dollar projects.
It is not as though there are no bike lanes to build, intersections to improve, routes to connect, or bridges to build.
Bicycle Network has spent thousands of hours over the past few years assisting agencies such as VicRoads, TAC and their design consultants developing and refining numerous bike infrastructure projects.
Designs are near done, funding is allocated, engineers and contractors are champing at the bit, and . . . nothing. Not a peep.
Political dithering has meant that decision making on bike projects is flowing at the speed of molasses.
The Andrews' Government may claim that it is “getting things done”, but the reality for Victoria’s 967,000 weekly bike riders is that “nothing is getting done."
The $100 million promise is looking like a $100 belly flop.
it's time to 'get things done' for people who ride
With an election looming later this year, it's time to remind Premier Daniel Andrews that nearly a million people ride bikes each week in Victoria and we vote.
Take a couple minutes to contact the Premier and ask him why he is holding up progress for the state's bike riders.
You can contact Premier Daniel Andrews via:
- Twitter: @DanielAndrewsMP
- Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: (03) 9651 5000
Spread the word with other bike riders by sharing this link on social.
#Togetherwecan make it easier for more people to ride across Victoria.