Boroondara BUG supports Boroondara Council’s recommendation arising from previous community consultation for a bridge to be constructed for the shared path over Toorak Road. This is Option 4 in the DoT survey.
15% of the total Victorian transport budget be allocated to active transport, including the design and construction of safe cycling infrastructure to provide amenity for the use of bicycles across Victoria for healthy and low carbon emissions transport.
The State Government provide a minimum of $5 million funding for cycling infrastructure per electorate.
There are lots of potential projects that could be funded – either implemented by major projects, Council or the new Active Transport Team within Department of Transport.
You can view consideration of the draft Bike Strategy in the video below.
There were several presentations from members of the public. The BBUG presentation to the meeting begins at 1:01:40.
In summary, BBUG opposed the Council Officer’s recommendation to remove the Glass Creek / Jacka Trail from the strategy because it prevents the construction of a safe cycling route for students to get to schools including Balwyn North Primary, Greythorn Primary, Balwyn High & Kew High.
It is unfortunate that misinformation has been spread about this route being “unsafe” and a “busy commuter route” when it would provide students the opportunity to ride safely to school and for people to access several local recreation reserves by bike. The trail would also suit pedestrians of all ages and dog walkers.
BBUG also submitted that its vital that Boroondara Councillors approve a bike strategy without further delays.
Boroondara Bicycle Users Group (BBUG) is concerned that suggested amendments to the draft strategy and implementation plan (p24) will prevent the construction of a safe cycling route for students to get to schools including Balwyn North Primary, Greythorn Primary, Balwyn High & Kew High.
It is unfortunate that misinformation has been spread about this route being “unsafe” and a “busy commuter route” when it will provide students the opportunity to ride safely to school and for people to access several local recreation reserves by bike. The trail would also suit pedestrians of all ages and dog walkers.
We are surprised that several of the key findings of the Community and Stakeholder Engagement Report (p33) are negative towards cycling when there are many examples of shared paths such as the Anniversary Trail, Koonung Trail, Main Yarra Trail and Darebin Creek Trail providing good amenity to both bike riders and walkers.
Riding a bike is healthy, emissions free and convenient for both local and longer trips.
More trips by bike will also reduce congestion on busy roads.
However, the lack of safe cycling infrastructure and a well-integrated network of bike routes in Boroondara is a major disincentive for riding a bike for many Boroondara residents.
Over 321 people have now signed our petition asking Boroondara Councillors to approve the original draft Bicycle Strategy and Implementation Plan. BBUG considers that these versions should be adopted.
BBUG recommends that Boroondara Council provide bike infrastructure that is commensurate with the Vision in the strategy (p65) and on par with or better than bike infrastructure in the neighbouring local government areas of Yarra, Melbourne, Stonnington, Darebin, Monash and Whitehorse.
Our submission to the Boroondara Services Delegated Committee meeting is here.
We think it’s vital that Boroondara Councillors approve the new bike strategy without further delays.
What can you do?
Contact all Boroondara Councillors via phone or email and let them know you want them to approve the previous draft of the bike strategy.
Boroondara Council officers have engaged engineering consultants to assess feasibility and develop functional plans for two sections of the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail corridor.
1. Elgin Street to Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn (including an underpass at Power Street).
2. Burke Road to Stanhope Grove, Camberwell.
The focus of the work is looking at how off-road path alignment could be provided through these sections, with separate facilities for cyclists and pedestrians where possible.
Site inspections have been carried out and feature surveys have been undertaken for these corridors to inform the design process.
The first draft functional plans are expected by mid-June 2022, after which the plans will be reviewed and workshopped with key stakeholders including the Department of Transport, VicTrack and Metro Trains.
Consultation with BBUG and the community would also occur and Council would formally consider the proposals.
Subject to approvals, the finalised plans are expected to be instrumental in advocating for funding and delivery of these important sections of the corridor by the Department of Transport.
In addition, subject to Council funding approval as part of its Annual Budget Process, during 2022-23, feasibility and functional designs are proposed for the following sections.
3. Glenferrie Road to Auburn Road including an overpass at Glenferrie Road.
4. Auburn Road to Burwood Road including an overpass at Auburn Road.
5. Union Road to Churchill St (LXRP)
Section of trail under construction by Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Level Crossing Removal Project, noting that pedestrian/bike crossings at Union Rd & Mont Albert Rd will be provided.
6. Churchill Street to Box Hill connecting to Ringwood to Box Hill Trail
Some further design work was conducted by the Department of Transport but no information on this is available.
BBUG and MeBUG have advised DoT that a bridge for the trail over the very busy Elgar Road is essential.
We are also concerned that recently approved Vicinity Development in the Box Hill MAC will block the trail.
As as 21 June 2022, we are disappointed that no funds have been allocated by the Victorian Government for further work on the trail.
On 17 May 2022 in the last week of the election campaign, Josh Frydenberg’s office sent Boroondara BUG this media release (PDF)
He promised $5 million dollars for upgrading shared paths and connections in Kooyong and installing some new lighting to improve safety and visibility for users. Works included were:
$2 million for the Anniversary Trail to construct a new shared path ramp connecting the trail with Mont Albert Road
$2 million for reconstructing the dangerous Gardiners Creek underpass at Toorak Road (fix silting problems and improve lighting)
$1 million to improve lighting along the Anniversary/Outer Circle Trail, between the Eastern Freeway and High Street, Kew.
Boroondara BUG supports these improvements.
In particular, the Toorak Road underpass on the Gardiners Creek Trail is very dangerous when it gets silted up with mud after flooding. There is potential for loss of life here if a cyclist loses control in the mud and crashes.
Boroondara BUG is following up with the Dr Monique Ryan MP, the new member for Kooyong, to determine if these funds are available.
Boroondara BUG members attended the City of Melbourne Future Melbourne Committee meeting on 7 June 2022, along with over a hundred local bicycle advocates and residents from across Melbourne.
Boroondara BUG’s submission to the meeting is here.
There were two hours of incredibly powerful speeches from Melbourne’s cycling community, including Boroondara BUG, asking the Council to continue their timely rollout of new bike lanes.
The council received 1,028 submissions in favour of continuing the bike rollout, and just 10 against.
Speakers included doctors, scientists, climate groups, transport groups, bicycle user groups, urban planners, theatre operators, residents and the wider community.
After 33 presentations in favour of continuing the rollout of the City of Melbourne bike network and none against, the amended motion passed by Councillors STILL deferred building bike lanes in the Hoddle grid.
This was a very disappointing outcome. We don’t think this was a “balanced decision”.
We think this unnecessary pause in rolling out safe separated bike lanes could cost more lives.
The Glass Creek / Jacka Trail is a proposed shared path that starts near Jacka St in North Balwyn and connects with Stradbroke Park on the west side of Burke Rd in Kew. It follows the path of Glass Creek named after Hugh Glass – a 19th century pastoralist.
The Jacka Trail will be about 2.8 km long and provide linkages and access to:
Four local recreational centres (green circles)
Four schools (blue circles): Balwyn North Primary, Greythorn Primary, Balwyn High & Kew High
The trail will be used by local pedestrians and bike riders of all ages to access open spaces, enjoy local parks and recreational reserves and for students to ride or walk to local schools safely. A firm gravel surface will be appropriate for the trail.
The trail will not be used by commuter cyclists as it doesn’t provide direct connections to common destinations.
Boroondara Council has declared a climate emergency. Pedestrian and bike trips are sustainable transport options that will reduce traffic congestion, particularly near schools.
Community support. “PETITION FOR A SHARED PATH — MYRTLE, MACLEAY AND HISLOP PARKS AND GORDON BARNARD RESERVE
Date: 31 October 2013, Petition Organiser: Lou Will, Address: 113 Winmalee Rd, Balwyn. The petitioners were local residents wanting a safe trail for local children to ride or walk to school.
City of Boroondara’s 10 Year Bicycle Strategy (2008) included provision for a shared path between Myrtle, Macleay and Hislop Parks and Gordon Barnard Reserve (Table 4, Item 11).
A safe path is needed. There is currently no continuous safe path in this area. Alternative routes suggested along back streets are hilly, indirect and have car traffic and parked cars.
Balwyn Road crossing. Boroondara Council has finalised agreement with Vicroads for a pedestrian crossing on Balwyn Road between Gordon Barnard reserve and Hislop reserve and funds are allocated for this.
Sustainable transport. Boroondara Council has declared a climate emergency. Pedestrian and bike trips are sustainable transport options that will reduce traffic congestion, particularly near schools.
Transport to schools. A safe cycling route will allow students to ride to their school. This will reduce serious traffic congestion resulting from parents who currently drive their children to school and pick them up.
Success of Darebin Bridge. The Darebin Bridge linking the Main Yarra Trail with the Darebin Creek Trail has proved to be very popular with pedestrians, dog walkers and recreational bike riders. The link has also provided people with better access to the Kew Billabong, Willsmere Park and the Napier Waller Reserve.
The Boroondara Bicycle Users Group (BBUG) has a long history of advocacy for better bicycle infrastructure in Boroondara and beyond. Many of our members and supporters cycle to and through the City of Melbourne and benefit from recent and ongoing improvements in safe cycling infrastructure.
Bike trips include commuting to work in Melbourne’s CBD, going shopping and recreational bike rides to and through central Melbourne.
We have been very pleased to see continued implementation of improvements for safe cycling across the city. We consider this to be of the utmost importance given the changes in transport that have occurred and that will occur as a result of the recent pandemic.
Traffic congestion has already returned to levels higher than before the pandemic and looks likely to stay this way for the foreseeable future.
Without significant and targeted investment in infrastructure and programs to make riding a bike safe, convenient and a competitive alternative to driving a car, motor vehicle use will continue to spiral upwards. Every trip on a bike is one less car on the road.
We are concerned about a recent report that the City of Melbourne is considering scaling back plans to provide safe, separated bicycle lanes across the city in response to recent vocal criticism from business interests, AWU and some residents.
We support the City of Melbourne’s efforts to ensure our streets can be accessed by those that want to walk or ride as well as drive. People make the city, not cars or trucks.
No matter where we live, it’s important for everyone in our community to access and enjoy our streets. That means joining up the missing links in our walking and cycling networks with more footpaths and safe bike lanes and paths.
43% of cars in the City of Melbourne are simply travelling through, the city is not their destination
Before COVID, 7% of all people travelling into the CBD came by bike. Melbourne can attract many people back into the city who ride a bike by providing more safe routes both into and within the CBD. Bike parking space generates twice as much economic activity for local businesses as car parking space.
The more bikes are separated from cars the more space for drivers who do not have the option to ride a bike. Improving safety for people riding and walking improves safety for all road users.
In addition, the economic activity generated by the Australian cycling sector is significant with a $3.4 billion in direct value add to our GDP, 34,295 direct (FTE) jobs, and Cycle tourism has a direct industry output of $1.2 billion annually.
We would welcome the opportunity to present our submission in person on behalf of the Boroondara Bicycle Users Group and its members.