A safer Black Forest Drive needs to start now

Bicycle Network is urgently calling on Victorians to express their concerns about flawed designs for the notorious Black Forest Drive, following another tragic rider fatality on 9 October.

A 75 year-old Gisborne man died in a collision with a car driven by a 19 year-old Fern Hill woman. The tragedy follows two similar collisions in 2017, one of which was also fatal.

Despite these tragic circumstances, Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) has said it will not negotiate on a safer solution that protects riders, namely changing the current lane configuration on Black Forest Drive two lanes to one lane, and to not install dedicated bike lanes.

RRV state on their website that this is because ‘a clear majority of the community were not in favour of changing the lane configuration to accommodate dedicated cycling lanes’.

Bike lanes were installed on Black Forest Drive in 2011 but were removed months later due to community backlash.

Meanwhile, rider fatalities continue to occur on Black Forest Drive in the absence of appropriate protection for riders.

Black Forest Drive is the only bike corridor between the towns of Gisborne and Woodend.

We need your help

RRV are collecting community feedback on designs for safety upgrades to Black Forest Drive. The time is now.

We urge you to leave feedback on the Engage Victoria expressing your concerns about safety on Black Forest Drive.

Here are two pieces of advice when leaving feedback.

  1. Look at the designs and decide if you would feel safe riding your bike – If you believe that you would not feel safe, you can opt to disagree with the proposed designs. You will also have the opportunity to explain your safety concerns further (refer red box above).
  2. If you are unsure about how to respond, refer to Bicycle Network – Bike advocacy groups should always be part of the conservation. If you are in doubt about what to say, you can disagree with the designs and simply write: ‘I would like you to consult with Bicycle Network and other bike advocacy groups for appropriate consultation on safety features’.

The draft designs can be viewed via the Engage Victoria website. Click here to view the designs. While there will be some safety improvements that will benefit riders, note that overall the current lane configuration will not be changed from two lanes to one lane and that there will be no lanes for riders across the wider expanse of Black Forest Drive.

The survey ends at 4:00 pm on 1 November 2022. We strongly encourage you to leave feedback now to ensure we can put an end to rider deaths on Black Forest Drive.

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