The Victorian Greens have called on the state government to support the push to transform select Melbourne roads into ‘pop up’ footpaths and bike lanes during COVID-19.
The Greens have cited a number of roads that could be temporarily transformed into two-way shared paths, including:
Albert Park Lake
- Lakeside Drive
- Aughtie Drive
- Alexandra Avenue
- Linlithgow Avenue
- Birdwood Avenue
Following other cities around the world, Melbourne City Council has announced it plans to establish pop-up bike lanes and wider footpaths in response to COVID-19.
NSW recently committed to addressing crowded roads and paths near popular exercise locations through temporary traffic changes.
But to date there has been no action from the Victorian Government to create more space for people walking or riding.
By re-allocating road space, the state government would ensure that Victorians are practicing safe social distancing while going for a walk, run or bike ride.
The Greens have warned that a looming congestion crisis may be on the horizon if road space is not allocated to sustainable transport before restrictions ease, in the event that people are reluctant to use public transport and decide to drive to work instead.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens spokesperson for transport, Sam Hibbins MP:
“Governments around the world are creating more space for people riding, running and walking. Except the Victorian Government.
“Putting in ‘pop-up’ footpaths and bike lanes around places like Albert Park Lake and the Tan would make it easier for people to exercise while practicing safe social distancing.
“Our current footpaths and bike lanes were already in need of improvement before this crisis began but now it is clear that they’re ill-equipped to accommodate the large numbers of people using them.
“There will be a post-COVID congestion crisis on our roads unless the state government acts.”