On Tuesday 19th October 2021 the City of Melbourne will consider an ‘Independent Transport Review’ conducted by Deloitte and PBA Transit Planning. As the City of Yarra is adjacent to the City of Melbourne, the findings and recommendations are also applicable to Yarra.
The independent review was initiated by concerns expressed by some members of the community that new bike lanes were reducing the supply of parking bays, loading zones and accessible parking. Instead, the review found that:
- bike infrastructure is good, and
- parking should be managed with demand responsive pricing.
Bike infrastructure is good
The review found that:
- The bike infrastructure program required only 0.5% of space from the central city road network to be reallocated
- Bike lanes are transporting more people than vehicle lanes
- Bike lanes can carry even more people after COVID, compared with vehicle lanes which are at capacity
In March 2019, on Royal Parade, counts showed 800 bicycles in an hour (twice the number of people per lane as in motor vehicles). Based on European experience, this bicycle route could carry two or three times that number of people.
People who ‘discovered’ riding during the Covid period may continue to opt for this mode of transport. Others will be attracted to it due to the increased safety and accessibility offered by improved bicycle lanes, reduced Covid risk compared to public transport, increased awareness and use of electric-assist bicycles, and seasonal changes that bring more daylight hours and improved riding conditions.City of Melbourne Independent Transport Review
Demand responsive pricing, not more parking
Instead of supporting the removal of bike lanes to provide more parking, the independent review recommended that the demand for parking be better managed via demand responsive pricing.
City of Melbourne response
The City of Melbourne council report recommends continuing the program of bike lanes, and to trial demand responsive pricing of parking:
Streets Alive Yarra supports the findings and recommendations of Deloitte’s Independent Transport Review, and the response from the City of Melbourne. The findings and recommendations align with many previous studies that have examined transport in dense inner cities. We all want people to be able to get to jobs, shops and services, either in the central business district or in Yarra. We can’t do this by encouraging people to drive and park, because we simply don’t have the space. Instead, the City of Yarra need to align its actions with the City of Melbourne, i.e.:
- continue to build a network of protected bike lanes, and
- trial demand responsive pricing of parking.
Published 16th October 2021