From Boroondara BUG
An important activity for cyclists in Boroondara is to let council know what needs to be done to improve the opportunities to get 'more people cycling more often'. BBUG members encourage Council to install and improve cycle facilities so that bicycles are recognised as a valuable form of transport as well as being great for recreation.
What have we been doing apart from cycling?
- Consulting with Council on the Principal Bicycle Network and Local Road Network of on-road bike lanes: Have you tried the bike lanes on Auburn Road, Balwyn Road, Bulleen Road, Glenferrie Road or Kilby Road? The list is expanding!
- Participating in a Council audit of several of Boroondara’s off road shared paths: Have you ridden from East Malvern to Kew on the Anniversary Trail and the Outer Circle Trail yet? We hope that some of the glitches like poor signage will be fixed soon!
- Lobbying for improved bike parking facilities in shopping centres and train stations: Have you ridden your bike to the shops and found some good bike parking rails? We hope so! There are bike lockers at Camberwell Station too.
- Identifying and lobbying for many small improvements such as short sections of shared paths, provision of additional ramps, and elimination of hazards, that make cycling safer, easier and more enjoyable: Riding on the shared paths down Burwood Road to the Yarra means that recreational and young cyclists don’t have to compete with car traffic and that has to be good!
Major outstanding issues
Won’t it be great to ride directly across to the Darebin Creek Trail instead of using the narrow Chandler Highway bridge? The Chandler Highway bridge is largely unsafe for cyclists. Linking of the Darebin Creek Trail and the Yarra Trail via Willsmere Chandler Park. Bicycle Victoria's detailed outline here
Chandler River Path to the Pipeline bridge at Fairfield. Bypass the staircase at Chandler Hwy and eliminate the grade difference along the trail. This is now being eliminated as part of the works to replace the Chandler Highway Upgrade - see details here.
Eliminate the missing link on this important Trail.
The Pipebridge is narrow and has a steel decking, making it dangerous and impractical for all users. This vital link should be upgraded. BBUG has recently learned that the existing Pipe on the bridge crossing on the Main Yarra Trail at the Fairfield Boathouse has been decommissioned and the water company is looking to Yarra and Boroondara Councils to take over the management of it. The existing walkway is where the other pipe used to be. Why not remove the remaining pipe and double the useable width on the bridge and allow pedestrians, people with prams, etc and riders get across safely.
Cycle facilities in Boroondara, what remains to be done?
The BBUG supports Bicycle Victoria’s ‘Four Networks Challenge’ which is campaigning for four integrated networks to be built. These will provide safe, direct and attractive bicycle facilities so that more Victorians can ride more often.
The Four Networks serve different types of riders from novices to experienced cyclists.
The Networks are:
- Principle Bicycle Network for cycling on main roads – VicRoads has supported Boroondara well but with some still to do.
- Cycling on local roads – on some roads cycle lanes are useful, eg. Kilby Rd; whereas signing, mid-block pedestrian crossings, addressing squeeze points and path connections may be required.
- Shared paths – Boroondara City, Parks Victoria and VicRoads have completed the main off-road shared paths such as along the outer circle and Gardiners Creek but connecting links are still required north and south.
- In regional areas BV is keen to see Rail Trails developed however in Boroondara the Anniversary Trail has already become a Rail Trail.
Firstly the PBN sections outstanding are as below (according to map supplied to Council by Evan and not including works proposed 2004/05):
Note that although some PBN routes are marked as completed WKLs on the Council map, there is in fact work still to be done to make them acceptable cycle routes, eg. Camberwell Rd west of the Junction has sections of unrideable wide bluestone kerb marked as WKL and for some strange reason many previously well-applied WKL's have met with the 'Black-paint-fairy'
- Church St (part) - WKL
- Power St (part) – WKL
- Burke Rd – WKL
- Balwyn Rd (Whitehorse to Canterbury) – EBL
Facility-Not yet determined
- Auburn Rd (part)
- Warrigal Rd - despite missing the opportunity recent resurfacing and linemarking presented, VicRoads have kept it as is!
East – West routes
- Doncaster Rd – WKL
- Belmore Rd – WKL (partly)
- Whitehorse Rd – WKL
- Canterbury Rd & Rathmines Rd – WKL
- Riversdale Rd (east of Burke Rd) - WKL
- Camberwell Rd – WKL
- Toorak Rd – WKL
- High St – WKL
Newfound mobility refound
Kids grow up with bikes, the excitement of a newfound mobility! Reaching adulthood is marked by the much-anticipated gaining of a driver's licence and a new sense of independence and mobility. This is usually when the bike is put in the garage to gather rust and cobwebs.
Some of us perhaps have an experience of cycling on an organised tour, which re-ignites our childhood excitement and pleasure and expands our view of the potential of the bike as a MEANS OF TRANSPORT. The next logical step is to find a way of enjoying cycling more often. Some of us join touring clubs, some take up racing and others commute to work. It's then natural to ask "Why aren't more people discovering the benefits of cycling?"
One answer is "They are." There are more organised rides, more tracks and more people cycling (Spend ten minutes standing outside St Paul's at 5pm weekdays and count the cyclists on Swanston Street). Another answer, however, is that cycling is perceived by the majority to be a dangerous activity practiced by students (who can't afford a car) or eccentric characters.
Politicians are just realising that cycling has many long-term health benefits for an aging population. However, in the eyes of many road engineers (thankfully less so than previously), cyclists don't exist! It takes experience and sophistication to design for ALL road-users. We hope one day, cyclists will have a presence that cannot be ignored; a political voice, and a physical presence on our roads.
YOU can add to the physical presence by getting out there and riding, and the political presence by supporting BBUG and writing and talking to political representatives at all levels. Joining Bicycle Victoria is a great first step in assisting with Cycling Advocacy. Another step is to join BBUG and to encourage others to do the same.