Residents in train-starved suburbs to lose bus lanes
The Victorian Government has heralded its “Fixing Suburban Roads” as follows:
Drivers in suburbs across Melbourne will get less congested, more reliable roads, with the Andrews Labor Government to make the biggest investment in suburban roads in Victoria’s history.
Access Arterial, Connecting Melbourne and Netflow have been shortlisted to submit tenders to upgrade 14 key roads as part of the $2.2 billion northern and south eastern packages of the Suburban Roads Upgrades.
One project is described as “a safer and less congested drive on Fitzsimons Lane”.
A government spokeswoman said the intersections along Williamsons Road and Fitzsimons Lane would be redesigned to give buses room to move to the front of the queue at traffic lights.
The Age in Melbourne, however, has reported that residents of train starved north-eastern suburbs will lose dedicated bus lanes that are key to making their lengthy commute manageable.
“Bus lanes built on Williamsons Road and Fitzsimons Lane in Templestowe in 2014 under a $5.8 million project to make buses more reliable, will be removed and given over to cars.
“The lanes, which also double as cycling lanes, give priority to nearly 400 buses a day.
“This includes the Melbourne's busiest bus routes – SmartBus routes 901 and 902 – which carry nearly 13,000 people daily.
Is this a backward step or the media making a sensation out of part of an overall improvement?
Are we ready if scooters take over?
Are we ready for a major increase in individual mobility? Not cars, but scooters including electric ones.
The US newsletter Route Fifty (a digital news publication from Atlantic Media’s Government Executive Media Group,) noted the following:
In 2018, people took 36.5 million trips on shared bicycles rented from docking stations. Even more people used electric scooters, with 38.5 million trips calculated by NACTO.
For their part, NATCO found that people seem to use scooters and bike share differently, with bike users more likely to ride to get to work and scooting more tilted toward recreational activities. Scooter use climbed over the weekend, while people were more likely to hop in a bike share at rush hour, the report found.