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The state government has declared a pop-up bike lane, which locals say has caused congestion and devastated businesses, successful because it has boosted the number of women on bikes.
Neil Mitchell has been sent a leaked email from the state government about the pop-up bike lane on Heidelberg Road in Fairfield.
The email says the lane a success because “there has been a significant increase in gender diversity”.
The number of female cyclists on the road has increased from 16 per cent to 30 per cent, with the total number of cyclists reaching 6000 per week, compared with 5000 a week in January.
“They’re up from 5000 a week in January to 6000 a week. Well of course they’re up! In January people weren’t getting on their bikes and going to work!,” Neil Mitchell said.
“This is destructive, pointless, wasteful nonsense.
“They’re driving people out of business, they’re throwing public money out the window, but don’t worry, more women are on the bikes.”
Co-owner of Melbourne Lacework, one of the businesses affected by the pop-up bike lanes, Kimberly Brodie, says the lack of consultation is baffling.
“The non-discussion with any of the businesses is a major issue,” she told Neil Mitchell.
While the reintroduction of parking in the section of Heidelberg Road near her businesses will help, she says other businesses will still be negatively impacted.
“It won’t fix the rest of it,” she said.
“We estimate that we’re probably somewhere around the $200,000 mark down from last year.”
This article first appeared on www.3aw.com.au
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