News

Deakin Uni – safe cycling access

David Simm and Michael Hassett representing MeBUG met with Karly Lovell, General Manager, Travel and Transport and Yvonne Yip, Director of Property Infrastructure and Property Group, of Deakin University on 22nd October.

The meeting resulted from MeBUG submissions dated 30/8/18 and 24/7/19 to the Deakin Vice Chancellor requesting improvements to the safety of students and the general community accessing the Burwood Campus via McComas Gve and Holland Avenue.

Within the general discussions re cycling to campus we specifically discussed:

  • The dangers posed by vehicular traffic including buses from east & west funnelling into Holland Ave at the same time as cyclists from the SUP along the Burwood Highway.

  • Access to the Elgar Rd campus via Holland Avenue for students from the east and southeast.
  • The lack of a safe pedestrian and cyclist crossing of the Burwood Highway at its’ intersection with Holland Ave & McComas Grove.
  • The advantages provided by safe access to McComas Gve  including connection to Mt Waverly via The Lundgren Chain and Damper Creek Paths and a gradient free access to the Gardiners Creek Path to and from the south.
  • We provided approximate costing for circa 400 lin metres of SUP along Holland Ave and upgrades to the existing crossing.
  • We provided broad details of our “Dual Mode (bikes & trains) transport to Deakin “ information sheet. We agreed to assist Deakin by preparing Detailed planning of these routes.
  • We were able to provide details of responses from VicRoads who have “ agreed in principle subject to funding” for an upgrade of the crossing of Burwood Highway and from Whitehorse City Council who have stated  “there are no plans to make changes to Holland Ave”.
  • We discussed the new bridge over the Dandenong Creek and SUP at Vermont South and the need for “cut throughs” to service lanes.

Finally it was agreed to continue to co-operate on this project and for MeBUG to assist Deakin in achieving their targets of increasing cycling as a means to travel to the university.

Bikes on country trains

MeBUG members Lawrence and Breta Cohen have been quietly working to promote improved arrangements for carrying bikes on trains, especially country trains.

They recently attended a workshop in Wangaratta on this subject. Lawrence reports as follows:

“Breta and I accepted an invitation to attend a recent Workshop on internal design of proposed long-haul VLocity trains.  The Workshop was held at Wangaratta on the 4th of September.  We were pleasantly surprised at the tone of the Workshop.  There will be increased provision for bikes.  Further, there seems to be an increasing realisation that a booking system is important.  Ideally, with further lobbying and pressure, there may be a new booking system.  We have attached our report on the Workshop.”

Box Hill Metro Activity Centre (MAC)

An initial report has come out from Whitehorse Council’s consultants on the development of an updated structure plan for Box Hill. The plans include the development of an Integrated Transport Strategy (ITS).

The submission from MeBUG mentioned in the previous News item, relates to this Strategy. Further consultation sessions will be held over the next several months.

The initial report as of September 2019 is available here.

North East Link – Cycling advocates’ report released

A dedicated subset of the Community Technical Discussion Group (CTDG) – Walking and Cycling has completed a report on the desired cycling and walking infrastructure that should be included in the project. The report will form part of the tender documents issued to bidders for the project. Sincere thanks to all who contributed to this report.

Funding for study of Hawthorn to Box Hill path

The state Labor MP for Box Hill, Paul Hamer MP has announced that $370,000 has been provided in the 2019-20 state budget for an initial study into the feasibility and possible route for the Hawthorn to Box Hill shared path. The project would leverage off the planned rail grade separations at Surrey Hills and Mont Albert. MeBUG warmly welcomes this announcement.

Budget submission to Whitehorse Council

We have put in a submission to Whitehorse Council for the 2019-20 budget, seeking adequate investment in cycling infrastructure. Our covering email stated:-

“Attached herewith is a list of 14 projects for improved cycling infrastructure that MeBUG requests be considered for funding in the coming Council budget. This list is a subset of a list submitted a year ago for the previous budget. Not one of those suggested projects received funding. The revised list has fewer projects with those clearly rejected by Council, having been removed. 

In putting forward this list, we remind Council that: 

  • In the 2018-19 budget, not a single metre of new bicycle path was budgeted nor built. This is, even for Whitehorse, a low water mark in cycling investment.
  • The 2016 Cycling Strategy records that community consultation placed ‘Build more off-road paths’ as the top priority.
  • The strategy also notes that ‘Interested but Concerned’ cohort, representing 60% of the community,  ‘Find situations in which they have to negotiate with traffic streams uncomfortable but respond well to stand alone paths and streets with little and slow traffic’.

We are fully aware of the Easy Ride Routes project and welcome any investment to encourage cycling. However we remain to be persuaded that this project will have a significant impact in encouraging the non cycling community members to take up cycling, with the attendant benefits in health and reduced traffic congestion.

We ask you to make every effort to include at least some of the projects in the list attached, in the coming budget.”