Here we often talk about all the aspects of riding around Geelong… But we rarely touch on climate change – this big fat hairy gorilla will be the biggest challenge we face as a residents of planet earth over the next 25yrs…

Of course everyone knows bike transport is zero emissions and encouraging it is worthwhile for about a million reasons and very positive for today’s society.

What is not considered is what governments will impose on people when they decide it’s time to take on the big hairy beast… Will it mean carbon taxes, big fat fuel taxes, emissions taxes, banning diesel cars, taxes on car purchases, car free days, tax exemptions for riders or complete car free cities… These issues are being considered now in cities across the world. We have to be part of it…

Geelong can be forward looking or reactive. We can be innovators or we can be content with business as usual. Is the rapid change of society going to be steady or will it feel like falling off a cliff.

Progressing more sustainable transport is one way of future proofing Geelong today for tomorrow’s world.

Playstreet in Geelong

Rankin st Herne Hill is a different type of street than Geelong is used to. It’s a street perfect for riding through, learning to ride, skating, scooting, dog walking or even playing cricket. It’s a that gives everyone a chance to enjoy. It’s not just for vehicles like all the others.

Why aren’t there more streets like this around? Would you like to see more like this?

Simple design, kerbless, just fits two cars at a crawl, the ends tell the drivers they are entering a zone where you’d expect to see kids playing so slow down.

Our submission to the Geelong Council Budget for your information:

Attention Manager Financial Services,

Please consider this submission from Bicycle Users Geelong regarding the City of Greater Geelong proposed budget 2016-2017.

This year’s budget…
We’ve noted the improvement in funding for the upcoming budget.  

  • Implementation of the Geelong Cycling Strategy 2008 – 2013 ($200k)
  • Shared riding/walking paths improvements ($200k)
  • Moorabool Street/Barwon river shared bike/walk ramp improvements ($500k).  

We are happy that this has increased from last year’s budget, and from years gone by.

However, this is not enough to get more people riding, walking, using public transport or reduce car dependence  – which is the city’s agenda.

In the budget draft, we’ve noted:

  • $0.8million for new roads
  • an overall road budget of $18million (a $2.4million increase in funding for ‘roads’)
  • $4.99million from the federal government’s Roads to Recovery projects

The information below sets out our understanding of the City’s agenda and aims to demonstrate a complete and clear need to spend money on infrastructure that discourages car use by getting people riding, walking or using public transport.

Riding for transport is the City’s agenda
There has been at least 15 strategies since 2003 that say the City should prioritise riding, walking and public transport or reduce car dependence.

“The Strategy, while acknowledging the ongoing role of cars and other motorised vehicles, also considers the need to reduce car dependence through better integration of transport and land use planning and by better promoting other modes of travel such as walking, cycling and public transport.”  – Geelong transport strategy 2003


These strategies were all publicly available or are currently. They provide a clear case to avoid spending money on roads that encourages driving.

Greater Geelong’s car dependence
Car dependence could be described as:

Automobile dependence is when a city or area of a city assumes automobile use as the dominant imperative in its decisions on transportation, infrastructure and land use. Other modes thus become increasingly peripheral, marginal or non-existent until there are no real options for passenger travel other than the automobile.”

The following data provides a snapshot of the car dependence issue for Geelong.

The ABS data from 2006 – 2011

  • +17 daily riders
  • +6,655 daily drivers

The issue has been recognised since 2007 by the City:

“Central Geelong is also highly car dependent. A range of measures are needed to make walking and cycling more attractive and safer.” Central Geelong Structure Plan 2007

The City, as custodians of Greater Geelong have failed to stop or slow the increase in car usage. The City has not provided adequate transport options that support its own agenda

Why is active transport important
Bicycle riding for transport that reduces car use provides many important benefits to our community, like:

  • healthier residents and lower health costs
  • reduced pollution and lower carbon footprint compared to vehicles transport
  • reduced traffic congestion
  • reduced demand for parking
  • reduced road maintenance costs.

Our feedback on the budget

We request that the budget for new roads ($0.8million) be reassigned to active transport initiatives. While we’re unaware of the nature of these new roads (they are not individually listed in the budget), we anticipate they are not intended to reduce car dependence, which is clearly contrary to the City’s agenda and should not proceed.

We also ask that the Federal Roads to Recovery fundings ($4.99million) and any subsequent funding from other grants be only assigned to roads projects if they are determined to reduce car dependence or encourage more sustainable modes of transport (like riding, walking or public transport).

We ask the City review its expenditure on new roads in this budget and only support road infrastructure that aims to takes cars off the road or clearly prioritise riding, walking or public transport.

Thanks for your time.

Tony Grgurevic

Bicycle Users Geelong
(City of Greater Geelong Cycling advisory Committee member)

The Council have drawn up an exciting plan for a ‘Green spine’ on Malop Street Geelong. The plan includes a huge improvement to the street for riding.

The separated bike lanes will eventually extend from Johnstone park to the Eastern Gardens. This is a massive step in making the city more bike friendly and sustainable.

Time will tell if the two way design will be successful but we are very excited to see it in planning.

Last year we participated in workshops with other transport groups including Bicycle network, Bikesafe and Vicroads that provided some guidance for this plan.

Council is asking for your feedback, so please take the survey.

Go to the Green spine project page.


A section of the design


The cycleway could eventually reach to Eastern gardens



We’ve put together some education for roads crews with the help of Vicroads and Bikesafe. We’re aiming to improve how road workers deal with signage, bike lanes, riders and the work site.

Riders around Geelong (particularly the inexperienced, young or old) can find it difficult to negotiate unexpected hazards when riding… But sometimes these hazards are avoidable and vulnerable roads users can ride safer.

Thanks to Mark Tonkin(Vicroads) for supporting this and delivering our worksheet(PDF) to work crews at toolbox meetings. We appreciate the work of committee member Mark Boyanton for getting this happening.


“Bendigo, population about 100,000, is leading the state with a new strategy that encourages residents to swap the car one day a week, in favour of cycling, scootering, walking and public transport.

The Bendigo Council is backing the push with dollars, with spending on shared cycling/walking paths in the city almost doubling over the next three years to $2.3 million a year.

Bendigo Council says the program will cut road congestion and boost health and fitness.”

Mayor Peter Cox:
“You can’t just tell people to eat differently, or to take up sport, or go to a gym. We need to incorporate it in everyday life. And the One-in-Five [project] is just an ideal way of doing it,” he said.

Nice work Bendigo! More on this story here.

These sort of progressive steps are what is needed across Geelong.

Shopping malls are the main places in Australia that prioritise pedestrian movement.

Westfield #Geelong keep cars away for buyers. You can’t park out the front of many shops at all yet the place is pumping. The business model of priotising movement of people works, just ask the share holders.

Do city planners understand that nice, easily accessible people places is what we are drawn to – not parking lots.

The scurge of too many cars is Geelong’s problem, not too few parking spaces. Large slabs of the cities best realestate is oil stained ashpalt and not bike lanes or pedestrian people places.