VicRoads has revealed plans for safety improvements on Kew Boulevard, a very popular road riding circuit close to Melbourne's CBD.
'The Boulie' is a relatively low traffic street with few intersections and twisty, rolling terrain, making it ideal for getting the heart pumping and some kilometres into the legs.
But because it is quiet and out of the way, it also attracts squads of hoon motorcyclists riding at the limits of adhesion, as well as plenty of car drivers determined to take the short cut to the morgue.
Serious crashes are frequent, and fatalities occur.
Speed monitoring indicates reckless and irresponsible and illegal conduct is placing at risk the lives of bike riders, park users and local residents.
VicRoads, in conjunction with the City of Boroondara, has developed options to calm the route and squeeze out the hoons.
Bicycle Network has been consulted by the authorities that have been contemplating the changes, which had been going on for more than a year.
Two main options have been considered, but one uses traditional roundabouts, which are certainly not bike friendly.
The other makes use of a new trend in traffic calming: the raised platform intersection, and the raised platform pedestrian crossing, that are proving to be bike friendly.
The raised platform incorporates a vertical deflection that is highly effective in slowing vehicles at the approach to the road junction, but does not result in bikes coming into conflict with vehicles to change line.
We can expect to see many more of these across the state in future years.
Other safety measures are under consideration, including lower speed limits, safety cameras, new pedestrian crossings and median treatments.
Some riders have expressed concern over the proposals, believing that conditions for riders could be worsened, especially as a consequence of median placement.
Bicycle Network and Cycling Victoria are continuing to assess VicRoads’ plans, and are alert to the need to ensure the treatments are positive for regular users of the circuit.
So far we like what we see. Once the consultation is complete VicRoads will seek funding for the project.