Valuable space and the need to prioritise man over machine…

“There are great national benefits from walking, riding and making better use of public transport. Cleaner air, healthier Australians and smoother roads are some of them.“ – Anthony Albanese MP

Yet in reality, not enough is being done to make much of a difference in many areas across Australia. In many instances, it is still business as usual with expenditure on infrastructure promoting private vehicle use, dwarfing what is set aside for developing alternative modes.

Tell the Federal minister; sign this partition: http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/yes-minister.

Clarendon Street Bike lanes, East Melbourne

Clarendon Street Bike lanes, East Melbourne

The Fed Gov. knows bicycles can solve issues like parking, pollution of cities and obesity, but will it be business as usual…

“The federal government wants to increase the number of people who make short trips by foot or bicycle after a report card on the performance of Australia’s cities found rapid changes in the labour market would pose big challenges to transport infrastructure.

The economy benefits by more than $21 every time a person cycles 20 minutes to work and back and $8.50 each time a person walks 20 minutes to and from work, according to a policy statement released by Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Tuesday.

Mr Albanese said the construction of walking and riding paths was relatively cheap compared with other modes of transport. A bicycle path costs only about $1.5 million a kilometre to plan and build.

“We need to get more people choosing alternatives to the car”: Anthony Albanese. The government has agreed that, where practical, all future urban road projects must include a safe, separated cycle way.”

Read more: Bike riders save economy $21 on each commute

”I would like to hear from politicians a willingness to actually listen. Australia is an anomaly; we’re the rarity when it comes to bicycles around the world. It is mind-boggling how poorly we’re doing when we have beautiful examples around the world. This is why I went on this trip. How is it that this rich nation of clever people cannot deal well with the bicycle?”

“Bojun Bjorkman-Chiswell is a filmmaker who has been on a journey, literally and metaphorically, to investigate how cities around the world are incorporating the bicycle into their transport systems. After a year filming, photographing and conducting interviews in 62 cities across 32 countries, she found Australia is woefully off the pace and is missing an opportunity to improve the quality of life for millions of people.”

Read more about Bojun and Two wheels to the future.

bike-cafe

The ‘State of Australian Cities 2013 is a federal Dept. of Infrastructure and Transport publication released on the 30 June. The report on Geelong has some notes on Geelong’s livability and active travel.

The low-lights for Geelong are

  • Less people riding (in 2011) than in 2006. Commuting by bicycle or walking in Geelong is below average for non-capital major cities.
    “Active travel can improve liveability in cities by increasing health and wellbeing and reducing traffic congestion. In 2011, 4.8% of Geelong commuters walked or rode a bicycle to work. This was one of the lowest proportions of the non-capital major cities and was a drop from 5.4% in 2006.”
  • On average less women are riding than in other cities
    “In 2011, Geelong had 4.1 male bicycle commuters for every female bicycle commuter, compared with an average ratio of 3.3:1 across the major cities.”

Continue Reading…

A metre matters logoThe Vic. Greens are supporting the Amy Gillett Foundations ‘a metre matters‘ campaign

“Every year in Australia, an average of 35 bicycle riders are killed and more than 2,500 are seriously injured. Passing laws will cost us nothing but it will be safer for our kids to ride to school.” said Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber MLC.

“The State government hasn’t listened to the public call for safer cycling. If they don’t do it soon, they will face my Bill in Parliament.”

Australian Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt said “Greens MPs across the nation are supporting legislation to make drivers leave a minimum distance when overtaking bicycle riders – of 1 metre on roads up to 60km/h, and 1.5 metres on faster roads. The Greens in Federal parliament will work to change the National road rules in line with the state Greens proposals.”

Read the rest over of the Greens announce coordinated a metre matters cycling safety laws

The  Federal Member for Corio Richard Marles made a speech in parliament recently covering off all the benefits of improved safety for bike riders in our fair city.

“In the last two weeks, I have met with Mr Barton van Laar, the President of Bike Safe in Geelong. Barton has spoken to me of a very disturbing fact which exists in Geelong today. Of the 30 bicycle fatalities which have occurred in the state of Victoria since 2009, six have occurred in Geelong—a full 20 per cent of the fatalities within a population which is about five per cent of the state. In the last financial year alone hospital admissions around cycling accidents in Geelong have increased by 30 per cent. The reality from these statistics, stark as they are, is that Geelong is not a bicycle friendly city in the way that we would want it to be. That is a difficult admission for us to make in Geelong but it is an important admission so that we can do something in dealing with this.

Continue Reading…

When travelling by bicycle from Barwon Heads to Geelong on the Barwon Heads Rd cyclists face a hazard when approaching Batten Rd as they are forced into fast moving traffic after topping the rise and on a bend. Please report this trouble spot in the “Report it” tag above if you also consider it to be a danger to cyclists so that action can be taken to remedy the situation.

Continue Reading…

Geelong features strongly in Bicycle Victoria’s top ten list of regional priority projects. They are asking the State Gov. to fund these in the upcoming budget.

The top ten are:

  1. Lilydale to Yarra Glen Rail Trail
  2. Woodend to Daylesford Rail Trail
  3. Geelong – Complete the gap in Ring Road 
    Church st to Fyansford for a continuous ride from Corio to Barwon River path network
  4. Ballarat – Upgrade Canadian Creek Path
  5. Bendigo – Latrobe university to Bendigo CBD
  6. Ballarat – Outer Saleyards Rail corridor
  7. Geelong – North and south end connections to Moorabool Bridge path 
    Two easy projects to make a great bridge better by linking to High St and North bank River path into CBD
  8. Geelong – High St Belmont on road bike lanes
    Get Belmont and Grovedale residents to town
  9. Twelve Apostles Trail
  10. Morwell to Traralgon Trail

More about the Regional Bike Vic priority projects.