**THERE IS NO GOOD REASON TO NARROW BEACH ROAD**
**THE REASONS KINGSTON COUNCIL HAS FOR THE NARROWING JUST DO NOT ‘STACK’ UP!**
***COUNCIL’S PROPOSED PLAN THREATENS TO RUIN A WORLD RENOWNED ICONIC ROAD***
***IMPACTING CYCLING, COMMUNITY SAFETY AND TOURISM***
Kingston Council and five Kingston Councillors (none of whom live anywhere near Beach Road) want to narrow Beach Road (and also take the current verge) to minimise the amount of vegetation to be removed in the construction of the Bay Trail shared path proposed for Beach Road between Mentone and Mordialloc.
Unbelievably, planted vegetation has been put before the safety of cyclists and of all the community who use Beach Road and its beaches.
Whilst Kingston Councillors say they are only narrowing Beach Road lanes by a small amount (it is in fact by more than a metre in some parts) – additionally what they are not telling the community is that they are also taking the verge that is currently used as informal car parking. So, in effect Beach Road available road space will be narrowed by more than 2 metres through these sections.
Parking will then be pushed out onto the beachside first lane – where this parking in the left hand lane occurs - cyclists and all vehicles will be competing for use of one trafficable lane. This will present completely unnecessary safety concerns - the potential for ‘dooring’ of cyclists will increase.
Council never mentioned any “narrowing of Beach Road” throughout the community consultation for the Bay Trail.
Kingston council have totally misled VicRoads by indicating the proposal has community support (which it definitely does not).
#AMetreMatters cannot work on a narrowed Beach Road. Amy Gillett Foundation have stated ‘The Amy Gillett Foundation is about safe cycling and any proposal to narrow existing road infrastructure in a manner that will compromise safe cycling is not supported. Beach Road is a renowned cycling precinct of national significance and the safety of all road users including cyclists needs to be prioritised.’
Amy Gillett Foundation quote: “2017 has been a horror year for Victorian cyclists with nine losing their lives on Victorian roads (now sadly risen to 12) and countless more being seriously injured.”
There is no possible way that a narrower Beach Road is safer than if Beach Road is NOT narrowed at all.
Cyclists need a safe Beach Road 168 hours a week – not just in the clear way hours of 6-10 am Saturday/Sunday.
VicRoads own comment: “There have been a significant number of bicycle crashes that have occurred in this section of Beach Road.”
TAC quote: “Figures show cyclists are 34 times more likely to be seriously injured than vehicle occupants.”
TAC quote: “Cyclists are extremely vulnerable on our roads with 421 riders hospitalised in Victoria last year.”
90% of the community have voted overwhelmingly for Beach Road NOT to be narrowed for the construction of the Bay Trail. Five Kingston Councillors have ignored the consultation results and continue to do so.
The community wants a Beach Road Bay Trail with NO road narrowing and safe indented parking, thereby keeping two clear safe traffic lanes at all times - the same design as Mentone Life Saving Club to Plummer Road section of the Kingston Bay Trail. The community wants a Beach Road that is safe for all the community 365 days of the year.
Bicycle Network CEO stated that Bicycle Network would have real concerns about Beach Road being narrowed because of all the obvious issues with proximity and interplay between cars and bikes, particularly with the ever increasing volume of traffic along Beach Road.
However, another Bicycle Network employee who has environmental links to one of the Kingston Councillors, repeatedly refers to saving the vegetation on Beach Road – he is more concerned about the vegetation than cyclist safety. As you can see from the aerial photo of Beach Road – there is plenty of vegetation.
Whilst there are a handful of people who say that Beach Road has been narrowed in a section in Bayside Council – the reality is that in this Bayside section there are no accessible beaches and therefore parking is not required. However, where there are accessible beaches in Bayside Council, they have dedicated foreshore parking.
Mentone Life Saving Club and Mordialloc Life Saving Club, both situated on Beach Road, are very vocal about NOT narrowing Beach Road. Their concerns are for the safety of club members, all beach users, as well as cyclists – both road and recreational on the Bay Trail.
Some people have stated that residents are only concerned about their views – This is just insulting, as the reality is the residents see firsthand the current traffic congestion, the accidents and the near misses every day and do NOT want to see Beach Road narrowed, because they know it presents even more unnecessary safety problems.
There are so many cyclists who do not understand the full issue of Kingston Council’s proposal and the ramifications of narrowing Beach Road – it is very easy to be vocal and have an opinion when not in possession of the full facts. We understand and are across this issue more than any other member of the community and are more than happy to talk to any cyclist and answer any questions or clear up any misconceptions.
Photo 1: Extending the trail without Narrowing Beach Road – as you can see, there would be plenty of vegetation left even if 2 metres was removed for the completion of the Bay Trail. (this photo includes the section of completed Bay Trail leg that has safe indented parking and 2 clear lanes – this is what 90% of community voted for!)
Photo 2: Bay Trail with safe indented parking and 2 clear lanes – cyclists in one lane and the other lane for passing traffic.
Question: Given these facts, why are VicRoads and the Roads Minister currently looking to support the narrowing of this iconic road?
Action: Share this information with as many fellow cyclists and friends as you can.
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On behalf of the Do Not Narrow Beach Road community Group