Monday, October 15, 2007

Brake on Clearway

The long awaited Bayside link to the existing Beach Rd early morn weekend clearway is on hold AGAIN!, Bayside leader reports that at last week's special meeting, Bayside councillors voted 5-2 to reject the proposal (and gave no reasons- and hid behind
Section 89(2) of the Local Government Act 1989 in a closed meeting - and it is dubious that s89(2) had any real bearing on any matter for discussion other than they could use it to to conceal and someone's dubious anti cycling agenda).
This resolution is contrary to the strong support by the Consultative committee review panel to Council, their report is here in this agenda note from Council. It appears to have been totally ignored by this committee resolution to not have a trial. So much for experts and wider views. The trial was a strong necessity and widely supported by the community and the review panel.

It was a proposal for a trial. A sensible trial, to link up with Kingston and Port Phillip to make Beach Road safer for weekend early morning riders by removing parked cars in the left lane and lowering the need for riders to ride into the right lane and slow vehicles. Made pure common sense, when the numbers on the road riding approach 8, 000 in summer weekend mornings. But the Council fathers in their wisdom have pandered to their own parochialism and 20 or so locals who have moaned about having to move their spare SUV's and Boat trailers and construction trucks building new mansions off Beach Rd on weekends for 4 hours a day from 6am to 10am... poor bubbies. The local press hasnt helped by running a very negative campaign over the last year especially ignited by the death of James Gould( here is my comment on that death and the Coroners findings). However sad that was, it was avoidable and if anything lent massive weight to the need for greater safety on this the busiest cyling boulevarde in Melbourne , if not Australia on every weekend of the year.
Again the Leader headline didnt help with Anya Murray's (9th Oct) headline , another sensational grab of "Cyclists Demand" & "Weekend Clearway" etc), no the cyclists havnt demanded , they are making a positive suggestion for a trial, and, No, they dont want a weekend clearway, just a few hours each Sat and Sunday to assist the peak load and improve safety.
The sooner a trial is conducted the sooner sense will descend upon this situation. I feel the Council is scared it will be a runaway success and lead to massive attraction beyond the huge numbers we see on Beach Rd now, perhaps a case of too much success for local businesses means those councillors will lose their influence from their wealthy property developer friends and the rest of the locals will actually get better road conditions, safer roads, better lifestyle and a healthy respect for sharing the road for all moving traffic not the parked spare SUVs, boat trailers and building container obstructions that are the current danger.

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