The Whitehorse Council budget for 2023/24 soon to be adopted by Council, does not contain any of the 24 projects MeBUG submitted back in October 2022. In a disappointing though predictable response, the council provides in most cases, superficial excuses for their rejection.
The only funding for cycling is a total of $363,000 for the Easy Rides project and a vague $51,000 for Bicycle facilities. Contrast this with $5.8m for sports grounds.
Committee member David Simm has developed a proposal to construct 938m of Shared User Path (SUP), creating linkages to safe, accessible and inclusive SUPs from the intersection of the Pipe Track with Norma Rd via the existing traffic lights on Springvale Rd north of Jolimont Rd south to the existing traffic lights on Springvale Rd at the intersection with the Hawthorn Rd bike lanes. The Hawthorn Rd bike lanes connect directly with the City of Whitehorse Easy Rides East-West 6 (EW6) bike routes.
The proposal will be put to Whitehorse Council and we will seek support of local state government politicians.
MeBUG has made a submission to Whitehorse Council regarding the proposed safety improvements to Nelson Road Box Hill. The council has engaged consultants to design a staged revamp of Nelson Road between Whitehorse Road and Severn Street Box Hill. The plan proposes a staged approach to introduce a median strip, progressively remove parking and construct bicycle lanes along both sides of Nelson Road.
While we support the ultimate goal of the plan, we believe the initial phase (Phase 1) will reduce cyclist safety by narrowing the traffic lanes. We advocate that Council skip this phase and progress to the later phases 2 and 3.
Whitehorse Council has been inviting public input via its ‘Your Say’ public engagement service on its website and by various ‘drop in ‘meetings.
MeBUG has lodged a comprehensive submission, listing 24 potential projects. We are also asking for a greater share of funding for sports and recreation, which historically has overwhelmingly gone to organised sport and sports grounds.
There is an online petition to provide cyclists and walkers access to another 100km of trail in metro Melbourne by providing a linking path from Healesville Freeway Reserve (HFR) to the Dandenong Creek trail.
Healesville Freeway Reserve is between Springvale and Boronia Roads in Forest Hill and Vermont, and is now owned by the public and being developed by Parks Victoria.
Please tell Parks Victoria how important this link is.
Your support on this will point carry a strong message about the importance of the link.
change.org will ask for a donation after you sign. You do not have to donate. We do ask you to send on the link to your friends and family who may have an interest in this.
Following the brief submission by MeBUG on what was understood to be a pausing of bike lane roll out in the City of Melbourne, we received a comprehensive explanation from Cr Rohan Leppert. The situation is more complex than the media publicity indicated, and not as alarming as it appeared. read Cr Leppert’s explanation.
The cycling community is very concerned at the City of Melbourne considering pausing its roll out of separated bike lanes within the Hoddle Grid. Many BUGs are opposing this and making submissions to the council meeting on 7th June.
Here is a brief update on our activities so far this year.
Burwood Highway link
We are advocating to politicians and generally promoting the proposal for s cycling link along Burwood Highway. This 3.5 km connection will allow cyclists to ride from Knox city to the Melbourne CBD on a 32km path entirely on a dedicated safe facility.
Elaine Hopper is attending the Parks Victoria meetings as a Community Reference Group member. In her submission, Elaine listed desirable features for the trail, and also raised the concept of a bridge across the Dell. A bridge would preserve the Dell from the construction of a trail on the ground that we believe will be more intrusive to the vegetation and animals of the Dell and awkward for cyclists. More details.
Box Hill Metropolitan Activity Centre
MeBUG in cooperation with Boroondara BUG and WATAG is advocating for improvements in cycling access through Box Hill, for both the east-west connection of the Box Hill to Ringwood trail and the Hawthorn to Box Hill proposed Strategic Cycling Corridor. There are serious planning issues affecting these routes, that need to be addressed. A comprehensive letter has been sent to the Victorian Premier, raising concerns and calling for action.
Melbourne Water Pipe reserve path
Melbourne Water has announced plans to renew two major water mains along the reserve, to be completed by mid 2023. This will mean that some or all of the concrete shared paths constructed by Whitehorse and Monash councils, will be dug up. Melbourne water has given assurances that the paths will be reinstated ‘like for like’ and additional landscaping and tree planting undertaken. Download Melbourne Water project brochure.
Maroondah and Monash Council areas
Committee members Shaun Ruigrok and David Simm are regularly advocating on matters involving Maroondah and Monash councils respectively. In Maroondah, focus has been on cycling paths along Greenwood Avenue Ringwood and the Brushy Creek trail. In Monash, our interests include the missing section of the Waverley Rail trail between Mount Waverley and Jordanville stations as well as improvements to the Scotchmans Creek Trail.
The new section of path linking the Eastlink Trail and Dandenong Creek Trail along the south side of Burwood Highway, was officially opened on 14 November. Present were MPs Shaun Leane, Jackson Taylor, Whitehorse councillors Tina Liu and Raylene Carr, MeBUG members, David Blom, David Simm, Shaun Ruigrok, Elaine Hopper and Scott Green.
It has been a long time coming, but campaigning by MeBUG and other cycling groups has brought this project to completion. The ‘missing link’ in Vermont South connecting the Eastlink trail with the Dandenong Creek trail, is now open. This $4M project by the state government involves 800m of shared path plus a 45 m bridge across Dandenong Creek.
The proposed pedestrian / cycle bridge across the rail line in Box Hill, which would link Nelson Road with Thurston Street Box Hill, is at risk from development plans by Vicinity Centres Pty Ltd for three major building proposals in Box Hill Central. MeBUG has objected to this project as below.
“Metro East Bicycle User Group Inc (MeBUG) objects to the above applications on the grounds that they will render impossible, the construction of a pedestrian/cycle bridge across the rail line identified as a key walking and cycling thoroughfare in the Box Hill Integrated Transport Strategy 2020.
This bridge would link Nelson Road via the laneway adjoining the West boundary of the subject site, with Hopetoun Parade and Thurston Street and forms part of cycling route NS2. It will be a key linkage to the Ringwood – Box Hill path and the planned Box Hill – Hawthorn path.
The level difference between the Nelson Road Lane and Hopetoun Parade will require access ramps at the Northern end. The construction of these ramps will not be possible if the buildings as planned are built.
The applicant should be required to modify their plans to accommodate such ramps, so that the bridge can eventually be built.”