DEDICATED CYCLE PATHS

Manningham’s promotion of cycling to help reduce car dependency, tackle local car parking and traffic issues and encourage people to walk and cycle, has clearly failed. Photos taken recently, on a normal workday, show the Park and Ride at capacity and the Parkiteer bike cage, a free secure holding bay, containing only two bicycles..

ParkRide011 ParkRide006 ParkRide005 ParkRide001

The main reasons for this imbalance is

…..the lack of safe cycling routes, particularly the danger of riding in Bus lanes during busy periods, and the very steep gradients. Council should be constructing dedicated cycle paths but only where they are safe and negotiable. While cycling is a great form of exercise and transport, footpaths should be left for pedestrian use only, without a safe and welcoming pedestrian environment, people won’t walk.

The preparation of the original 2003 Pedestrian and Cycling shared footpath plan, (see appendices) was an action arising out of the Doncaster Hill Strategy (October 2002) to seek funding for its infrastructure from the then government 2030 authority..

The Cycling and Pedestrian circuit plan was later scrapped following legal advice that council could be liable for injuries on sharedbicyclepaths..As a result, all that remains after the revision of the plan, apart from a short track from the Civic Centre to Westfield, is a two-way path through Schramm’s reserve en route to Ruffy Park lake.

HartleyP

edCycPlan(2003)

7 Responses to “DEDICATED CYCLE PATHS”

  1. Julian says:

    Weather permitting, our family cycle together on the Yarra/Freeway trail most Sundays because it is safe and rideable but certainly not around the streets of Doncaster. We will not allow our children to ride to school in this area because it is too dangerous, the streets are too steep and there are no safe paths for cycling.
    The wife carries a brief case, a laptop and mobile phone with her on work days so it would not be practical for her to ride 3 kilometers after driving the children to school. My job requires me to be out and about dealing with unpredictable situations. The car is like a mobile office and gets me about without getting soaked or looking like a cardiac case when I get there.
    I read in one of Manningham Council’s early studies, exploring ways to discourage car ownership, which said in part; “this can be achieved by reminding owners of the real cost of owning a car”!
    Julian
    Julian

  2. Titch says:

    Any significant “Mode Shift” (cycling and use of public transport) is not reflected in the 2011, census data detailed on the Manningham website which shows a small decline in cycling to work over the last 18 years. Out of 714 people who walked or cycled to work in August 2011 only 152 rode their bikes. This represents 0.3% of the work force compared to 0.36% back in 1996.

    According to a Manningham newsletter, “Council is developing a plan to encourage people to move from using their cars to other forms of transport, ie. public transport, walking and cycling, this is called mode shift”. “Achieving mode shift is a complex issue requiring a coordinated approach across State and Local Government, developers, and the community”. “Parking management, the attractiveness, accessibility, efficiency and integration of sustainable transport modes are all considered key factors if mode shift is to be achieved”. There is nothing attractive, efficient or safe about riding to work on a bicycle and sharing a Bus lane
    It is clear that strategy of reminding owners of the real cost of running a car has not worked.
    Titch

  3. Nick says:

    It is astonishing that Council could plan a shared pedestrian & Cycle route on footpaths on such steep gradients without taking into account the risk of injury to its users.
    We found comments in an early report (2004-2005), written by an independent panel, on how the steep terrain would affect the cycling circuit plan but maintained it would provide connectivity, it said in part; “The Panel acknowledges that the shared paths will be too steep for most bicycle users. It may be that some cyclists will have to dismount and wheel their bicycles up the steep sections. This is due to the topography, which is a physical impediment to easy walking to the core of the activity centre, being Westfield Shoppingtown. This consideration, however, does not obviate the need for a system of shared pathways to provide adequate “connectivity” through and within Doncaster Hill”.
    But it took five years for Council to respond to community concerns and abandon the shared bike circuit path, but not before it had spent a small fortune of ratepayers funds, dodgy consultants and publications promoting it.

    Nick

  4. Walker says:

    Councils Must Build Dedicated Bicycle Paths. Footpaths Are For Pedestrians And Bus Lanes Are For Buses…..PLEASE!
    Manningham Council had proposed shared paths surrounding Doncaster Hill without speed limits, a risk analysis, no insurance cover, no identification required for cyclists and no means of enforcement, as a result all pedestrians, especially children and the aged were at risk.
    Leading law firm Slater and Gordon confirm that Councils can be liable for deaths and injuries incurred on shared bicycle paths.
    It is an offence for anyone over the age of 12 to ride a bicycle on the footpath, however, the Australian Road Rules allow the authorities to create a Shared Bicycle Path (SBP) and invite all cyclists to ride upon them.
    “Currently, the following outrageous conditions generally prevail:

    • Few if any Councils have undertaken detailed (independent) risk analyses or pedestrian safety audits
    • There are no speed limits
    • There is no offence for speeding on a bicycle in Victoria (and most other jurisdictions)
    • The only offences the authorities can prosecute are “ride, negligently, recklessly, or furiously”..These offences are very difficult to prove and enforce, especially as there are no speed limits.
    • There is no insurance. Pedestrians hit by a cyclist on a SBP have no claim against the Motor Accidents Authority as they would if they had been hit by a motor-vehicle.
    Cyclists are not required to display number-plates or be licensed and are almost impossible to recognise especially when most are wearing helmets and sunglasses.

    Walker

  5. Bryan says:

    Cyclists and Bus drivers in Manningham have warned Council that it is only a matter of time before someone is killed while cycling in local Bus lanes. As far back as 2009 the manager of Ventura Bus lines, Ron Hamilton, said that his drivers were extremely anxious about maintaining safety on the roads.
    Bryan

  6. Synstrat says:

    Austroads guidelines, which are expected to govern the creation of shared paths, state they should only be proclaimed if the maximum speeds are under 20 km/h and the minimum width is three metres, (Council had proposed only two and a half meters), otherwise cyclists should either use a dedicated path or ride on the road, however, these guidelines are rarely observed.
    They could not have regulated by police because they are not part of the road reserve so really it would be more like a sort of free-for-all zone.
    Synstrat

  7. Shannon says:

    The above comment from Bryan is incorrect. Manningham Council have never supported cycling in Bus lanes. It was Vic Roads who introduced the plan as part of their Principal Bicycle Network which includes Doncaster Road, Williamsons Road, Tram Road and Manningham Road. I am informed that it is now under review and may be abandoned. Let’s hope that common sense will prevail and we won’t have to wait until there is a fatality. (often referred to as a tombstone policy)
    Shannon

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