State to save green spine
The Victorian Government has taken control of an award-winning road to stop it being destroyed by the Geelong council.
Last month, Geelong council voted to spend $2 million ripping up a bike lane on its celebrated ‘green spine’, bringing back the turning lanes and parking spaces that the bike lane replaced.
Stage one of the green spine was completed in 2018 at a cost of $8 million. The project, which was part of the Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan, transformed a 200 metres stretch of road between Geelong's two main shopping precincts into a pedestrian and bike-friendly street lined with gardens, alfresco areas and trees.
But recently, Mayor Stephanie Asher was among several who voted in favour of spending $2 million going backwards, saying the separate bike lanes cause too much congestion.
Now, the Victorian Government has stepped in and declared Malop Street a ‘Designated Road Project’ under the Road Management Act, so that it will remain untouched.
Reports say the government will maintain the original plan for the bike lines to join up in future stages to create a green spine running through the city.
“With responsibility for this street now resting entirely with the State Government for the duration of the project, we look forward to seeing them move quickly with the next stage, which is awaiting the release of funding,” the mayor said.