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by Tony G

The Swanston st sign post moved

20/08/2014 in News

image

The infamous Swanston st sign post has been moved! 

Thanks to City of Greater Geelong for prompt action to move a newly placed parking sign out of the bike lane…

Read more on this saga.

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Proposed council budget needs your feedback

03/06/2014 in News

The proposed Geelong Council budget is out… It’s not great reading for riders.

They has decided to NOT put any extra money in their budget to support the recently adopted Principle Bicycle Network (PBN) implementation. This is crucial to improve safety and to encourage more people to ride to work, school, uni, shops.  To fix the intersections, fix shared bike lanes, restore existing paths, build new ones…

You can help change this:
Ask them to reconsider funding PBN projects. Please take five minutes to send an email to: contactus@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Email subject :
Att: Manager Financial Services – Budget Submission (PBN).

In your own words (it can be as short or long as you want) say:

  • I’m a Geelong cyclist, I live in ‘suburb x’
  • We want PBN implemented and funding increased for cycling projects in this budget.
  • Hugs and kisses are optional…

Submissions close June 10.

The more people that can turn the screws on a council the better. Unfortunately we need to remind council that the enviroment, health, livability and safety of Geelong and residents should be top priority. Calling your local councillor and asking them to relocate funds would also help.

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by BrettC

How far has Geelong come for riding to work?

22/05/2014 in Updates

How has commuter riding changed in Geelong in ten years? We’ve found some stats. You be the judge.

2001 to 2011

Methods of travel to work for a decade. Src: http://profile.id.com.au/geelong/travel-to-work

Method of travel to work

2001

% share of all modes (2001)

2011

% share of all modes (2011)

increase

Change in mode share %

Bicycle

846

1.1

909

1.0

+63

-0.1

Walk

2,104

2.7

2,627

2.8

+523

+0.1

Car – as driver

50,335

65.6

63,407

67.1

+13,072

+1.5%

In ten years, 63 more people riding to work but 13,072 more people driving.  As a percentage of all modes of transport used, riding a bike has actually gone backwards, whereas the single occupant motor vehicle has increased.

How has this happened when? Was it from a lack of understanding? We’ve done some digging around to find out what Council and its consultants have been saying about active transport for the last decade… Read the rest of this entry →

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by Tony G

Truck trial ban in Geelong

20/05/2014 in Updates

This is what Bicycle Users Geelong submitted to the feedback on the truck trial ban in Geelong.
—————————————————————-
The Central Geelong truck trail has had a positive impact on Mercer and Malop St.
Anecdotally, Malop street in particular seems:
• less scary to ride on
• has less noise pollution
• reduced diesel fume pollution
• is safer (fewer heavy vehicles are mixing with busy pedestrian areas).

We at Bicycle Users Geelong are very happy about the truck ban. Some of our members have reported positively about the quieter and safer streets.

We feel it should be extended indefinitely and Council should really pressure VicRoads to reduce heavy vehicles on Ryrie st. It seems to be taking more trucks and is worse off for it.

More generally we’d expect that Council and CoGG staff are working really hard to prioritise active transport over vehicles (as specified in the last few City Plans, Central Geelong Actions Plan, Health and Wellbeing plan, and recent Central Geelong Parking and Access Strategy).

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by Tony G

Geelong Council told to ‘fix’ parking by getting people on bikes!

10/04/2014 in News

A report by consultants (go to pg 154 of the PDF to see the actions) submitted to council to ‘fix’ parking in central Geelong has some very specific cycling related short term actions (3 out of 13 in fact)…

“Central Geelong is at something of a turning point. There will never be an easier time to make the following changes that are necessary to secure a more sustainable future:

• Reallocation of road space to create bus and bicycle lanes to give people real alternatives to travelling by car. Geelong has a good opportunity to create world class conditions for cyclists.

• Explore the potential for facilitating shop-top housing by way of provision of high quality bicycle facilities and encouraging the establishment of share car services.

• Review and update Council’s bicycle strategy in respect to a finer grain network within Central Geelong. Implement the findings as a matter of priority”

Mayor and Councillors adopted these actions at the last council meeting… So we can all confidently assume change is coming.

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by BrettC

Do you want lower speed limits in your neighbourhood?

10/04/2014 in Updates

Locals across Australia are being asked to join Bicycle Network’s latest campaign ‘Low Speed Locals‘ to introduce lower speeds in neighbourhoods where bike riders, pedestrians and drivers share the roads.

Low Speed Locals is calling on Australian bike riders and other road users to write to their local council’s Chief Executive Officer or Councillor and ask for slower speed limits, or, work on streets which would slow down traffic.

What good is lower speed limits?

Vehicles are killing,  maiming,  injuring, too many Geelong riders!

“Pedestrians and cyclists struck by a motor vehicle travelling at 50 km/h have about an 85% chance of being killed, while at 30 km/h this drops to 10% (WHO 2008).”

Source the heart foundation report.

Dropping speed limits just 10km/hr in busy areas like schools and shopping strips will reduce the risk of injury.

What you can do:

Bicycle Users Geelong have made an email template to help you make your roads safer –  follow the steps:

  1. Copy an paste the text below into a new email. To: councillor@geelongcity.vic.gov.au (find out who is your councillor to refer to them by name)
  2. Replace the ‘XX’ with existing and desired speed limits of the street you want changed.
  3. Add the name and contact details,
  4. Customise the message  - make sure your message includes what matters to you!

———————————–

Dear Councillor Name,

I am a {your suburb} resident.

I am concerned about the safety of {STREET NAME}, particularly the speed that vehicles travel… I feel safety would be improved and lives saved if the speed limit was reduced from {XX}km/hr to {XX}km/hr so locals can feel confident riding and walking.

Please consider my request and happy to discuss this further. I appreciate your time an support for safer roads.

Your name
Address
Suburb
Mobile number

———————————————–

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by Tony G

Bellarine rail trail petition

31/03/2014 in Updates

Bellarine rail trail chicanes

Sign our petition to get the Bellarine rail trail chicanes fixed… We’ll get it to Geelong Councillors.

We speak to many cyclist about need to remove the existing narrow and unsafe chicanes.  This would encourage more riders, allow cargo bikes, tandem bikes, and touring bike to get past them. Even parents pushing prams have difficulty. A new treatment like this bike safe photo is what we are advocating.

Read the background to the problematic Chicanes on the Bellarine Rail Trail.

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by Tony G

Our submission to the Geelong Environment Management Strategy

18/03/2014 in Updates

traffic-pollution

Below is  submission to the City of Greater Geelong Environment Management Strategy draft. Let us know what you think.


We recommend important changes to page 21 of the draft -  this part particularly:

Transport

  • Influence – Number of bicycle riders counted on ‘Super Tuesday’ (held annually in March) Increase
  • Influence – Length of dedicated bicycle paths Increase
  • Influence – Number of school bus users (from Department Education records) Increase

Increasing the number of people who bike, walk or use the bus has many important social and environmental impacts. However, the targets for transport in thisstrategy are not well defined. I believe CoGG could achieve these targets without effort -  Greater Geelong’s strong population growth (say an increase of 2,000 – 3,000 people) would almost guarantee:

  • a few more bike riders on super tuesday
  • a few more kids on a school bus
  • and a few more metres of asphalt on the end of a bike path.

Our suggestions below aim to give the targets defined goals (our changes/additions in red):

Transport

1.       Influence – Number of bicycle riders counted on ‘Super Tuesday’ (held annually in March), ‘Ride to Work Day’ and from the ABS ‘journey to work’ statistics – 5% increase

An  ‘increase’ of just one rider per year on super Tuesday could indicate a target reached for the sustainable transport. But it would only be a indicator of business as usual –  our aims have to be concrete. If 1000 people ride on ‘super tuesday’, we should try to get 1050. We need a defined number increase to drive an effort to achieve. Also we need to measure other data… One count on one day cannot be an indicator growth in active transport. There is more data that should be included eg: ABS journey to work data.

2.       Influence Direct - Length of dedicated bicycle paths established by CoGG  - 5% Increase

CoGG are directly responsible for the provision of bike lanes on COGG roads and all off-road bike paths… We should increase and measure bike lanes on roads projects funded(part or fully) by CoGG. Vicroads funded projects should not be included as an indicator. This way we measure CoGG contribution to actual enhancements to bike paths.

An ‘increase’ that can be just 10 meters can count as a successful –  this would not be doing the environment justice…  We need to make targets clear. An extra 10 km of off-road paths(5% increase) or on-road lanes is not out of reach.

4.       Influence – Number of school bus users (from Department Education records/PTA) Increase

There is no need to only target kids on school bus journeys. An ageing population will benefit from a useful bus service. Journey to work by drivers are regular trips that people could get into the habit of catching the bus if it was quick, easy or cheaper. Measurements have to really specific – It’s no good increasing bus trips when can trips increase two fold.

5.       Influence – number or trips by vehicle  - % decrease

  • For this strategy to move to increase low carbon mobility. An indicator of success would be the reduction in single vehicle trips (10 more bike trips is meaningless for lowering emission if we have 1000 more car trips).

Example: ABS journey to work data for Greater Geelong in 2006-2011 (cited in the CoGG annual report for ‘increasing active transport’) had this result;

      • 5 less people walking to work
      • 19 more people riding to work
      • 319 more bus users
      • 6,655 more car trips to work…  

If transport stats for 2013-2017 were similar, we would be increasing emissions and speeding up climate change.

In Melbourne in 2006, motor vehicle emissions were 72 per cent of all carbon monoxide (CO) emissions says the EPA. Assuming Geelong’s vehicles are our largest carbon emitter, it should be one of the highest priorities for this strategy. An optimistic vehicle transport reduction target must be set.

I realise this could be very difficult to achieve, but it should not stop us from confronting the one of the largest problems the world is facing.

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by Tony G

Bike budget beckons…

21/02/2014 in Updates

Bike safe have worked really hard to get a few major bicycle infrastructure upgrades in front of Geelong Councillors. The projects look exciting. The stuff gets voted in this Tuesday.

Phoning or  emailing your local councillor to voice your support BEFORE Tuesday will help get these projects funded.

budget

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by BrettC

Bikes for Teens:The Happiness Cycle

04/02/2014 in News

happinesscyclelogoThe Happiness Cycle is a national initiative to encourage teenagers to become more physically active.

As part of the initiative, a workshop will be held in Geelong at the Barwon Valley Activity Centre near the Belmont Criterium Track on Saturday February 8th.  The workshop will involve the assembly of a new free bike for the participants, before a ride on the criterium track.

Geelong teenagers who are 15 or 16 years old can take part by registering at www.thehappinesscycle.com.au

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by Tony G

Central Geelong Actions Plan embraces cycling

30/01/2014 in Updates

The recently published Central Geelong Actions Plan aims to creating a smart, thriving 21st century City… The good news it that it mentions cycling quite a bit (on 8 pages of 37).

All the right noises are being made by this plan for the inner city –  Good job to those involved.

This part from the short term goals:

cycling

 

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by Tony G

Do we need a few bike racks?

26/11/2013 in Updates

image

Dirty old Ryrie street…Four bike parked means four less cars fighting for car spots – but still no love for people not driving the automobile

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by Tony G

Myers st remix

14/11/2013 in Updates

After spending some time on Geelong today, I noticed that Myers st has some much hot, wasted and un-used asphalt… not to mention the unsafe bike lane.

Below is my remixed version of the street.  I used paint, separated bike riders from cars, trees for cooling and was careful not to lose any parking… let me know what you think.

myers-st-remix

Avatar of BrettC

by BrettC

Chicanes on the Bellarine Rail Trail

10/11/2013 in News

The Bellarine Rail Trail is a great asset to the Geelong and Bellarine community, providing tourism and health benefits to the region.

Being built on former railway right-of-way, rail trails are attractive to cyclists because of the gentle slopes and minimal road intersections.   This is true of the BRT, and it is becoming more attractive as improvements are made to the trail and adjoining facilities, but one feature of the BRT is unnecessarily holding it back: the safety and access issues caused by the narrow chicanes that a trail user has to go through at many road intersections.

BRT Chicane

Chicane on BRT at Moolap Station Rd: Can you see the path created by all the trail users avoiding this chicane?

The BRT chicanes pose safety and access issues because the sharp turns that a cyclist is forced to do through the narrow openings.  Balancing a bike at slow speed around these bends can be very challenging, particularly for less experienced cyclists, and if they fall they could easily collide with the heavy wooden posts and rails that make up the chicanes.

The tight bends also cause access issues for those riding something a little different.  Tandems, bikes with trailers or trail-a-bikes, loaded touring bikes, recumbents and cargo bikes/trikes typically cannot be ridden through the chicanes.  Normally, families and tourists are big users of rail trails, but these are the two groups that mostly use these types of bikes (trailers, touring bikes).

BRT Chicane

Bike with trailers and many other bikes cannot be ridden through the BRT chicanes.

Commuters are another type of cyclist that might use the BRT, with it providing a very direct route from Drysdale and Leopold into Geelong, and the only alternative being two highways.  Anyone reading recent news about how bad Geelong drivers can be (speeding, using their phones or driving whilst drug or alcohol affected), might not want to use the highways.  But the chicanes hinder a cyclist’s progress on the trail and discourage some commuters using it.  Considering the health and transport issues the Geelong region has, we should be encouraging people to use bikes for transport; not putting up road blocks.

The chicanes were presumably built with the aim of keeping trail bikes out and/or as a safety measure for cyclists, slowing them down as they approach a road intersection.  In practice, the success of the chicanes with regard to these aims is very debatable.  Trail bikes can still get through the chicanes, and there are many other places that they can gain access to the trail such as unfenced areas and gates that are often left unlocked.  The chicanes may not provide a net safety benefit to cyclists, with the attention of cyclists taken from any cars that may be on the road so that they can safely negotiate their way through the chicanes, and if they fall whilst doing this manoeuvre then they are likely to collide with the heavy wooden chicanes.

BRT Chicane

This chicane has the added obstacle of a steel stop sign post .

There is a design standard for this type of infrastructure from Austroads and Vicroads.  See Vicroads Cycle Notes No. 17 “Terminal Treatments for Off-Road Paths”. The staggered fence treatment, which the BRT chicanes resemble, is suggested to have a minimum distance between the first and second fence of 3 metres. This is significantly more than all of the older chicanes on the BRT (more than double in most cases).

The City of Greater Geelong Cycle Strategy even refers to Vicroads Cycle Notes No. 17 for guidance (p. 67, Table 7 – Network toolkit, Terminal treatment for off road shared paths).

Bicycle Users Geelong has been advising the Bellarine Rail Trail Advisory Committee for years that the chicanes are an issue, but they don’t seem to want to take notice.  The BRTAC has overseen many improvements to the trail and plan many more improvements, but none of this includes bringing the chicanes up to standard.   It would seem that the BRTAC is unconcerned with making the BRT safe and accessibly to the main users of rail trails.

In recent years, a program of widening of the bitumen surfaces around some of the chicanes has made them safer for some cyclists. But this is more of a band-aid fix than a solution as the access issues remain.

Bicycle Users Geelong wants the chicanes of the Bellarine Rail Trail, and any other substandard chicanes on other shared paths in the Geelong Region, removed or brought up to standard.  This will improve access to the trail and make it safer for cyclists, leading to more locals and tourists making use of and enjoying the great asset that the Bellarine Rail Trail is.

What are your thoughts on the chicanes on the Bellarine Rail Trail?  Post a comment and let us know.

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by Tony G

Submission to the Central Geelong Taskforce

07/11/2013 in Safe Riding, Updates

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