Bicycle Victoria reports on the separated kerbside bicycle lanes along Albert Street in Melbourne that opened in June to much controversy. The media, the RACV and even some cyclists labeled them as a waste of time and money and many drivers were unsure how to use them with reports of drivers parking in the bike lane during the off-peak, instead of in their parking lane. VicRoads have made improvements to the lane to make it more obvious how to use them, including making the bike lanes green paint and installing flexible guides to dissuade drivers from using the lane - as the picture below shows. It would appear from the picture though that drivers still have difficulty understanding as there appears to be a yellow car parked in the lane in the photo.
VicRoads recently released a road safety audit of the performance of the bicycle lanes. The audit notes that the treatment is unique in Melbourne (although common elsewhere in the world) and would therefore confuse drivers until they are used to it. The report notes some inherent road safety risks including drivers entering side streets and driveways not being aware of cyclists and the risk of passenger doors and pedestrians stepping into the lane (BV notes that only 10% of cars have passengers so the risk is far less than driver-side bicycle lanes). It does not come to any conclusion as to the safety of the treatment or any measures that could improve the safety.
Bicycle Victoria has published an overview of international practice in separated bicycle lanes that provides a useful scan of international practice in using these.