30 July 2013 — A physically-separated 300 metre bike lane will be installed southbound on St Kilda Road, Melbourne, in order to avoid injuries from car door crashes.
The lane — starting at Alexandra Gardens and finishing at the Floral Clock – is part of the City of Melbourne’s Bicycle Plan 2012-2016.
Transport portfolio chair councillor Cathy Oke said St Kilda Road was one of Melbourne’s busiest routes, with 340 cyclists and almost 1000 vehicles travelling southbound in the afternoon peak.
Statistics show there have been 15 serious injuries from “car-dooring” crashes on St Kilda Road up to Domain Road in the past five years, making it the highest incidence of car-door crashes in Victoria.
Research by the Road Safety Action Group Inner Melbourne also revealed that 30 per cent of all car door crashes occurred on four major roads – one of which is St Kilda Road.
“Where road space permits, we are designing our bike lanes to separate cyclists from motorists in order to minimise the chances of this type of accident occurring,” Ms Oke said.
“By making our cycling network safer, we are not only protecting our cyclists but also giving new and possibly hesitant cyclists the confidence they need to ride through the city. Just over 13 per cent of vehicles entering the city in the morning peak are bicycles, and this figure will only continue to grow.”
One lane of traffic in the service lane will be used to upgrade the existing 1.4 metre bike lane to a 2.2 metre kerbside bike lane. A 1 metre physical separator will move traffic away from cyclists, keeping them clear of opening car doors.
The works, which will cost $440,000, will start on 6 August and take about five weeks to complete.