Better bike connections in Geelong

Mik AidtNews, Submissions

The Council survey results are in
…and what amazing results! 565 people completed the survey, and over 70 per cent of them supported the Southern Cycling Corridor between Belmont and the CBD, while over 80 per cent of respondents were supportive of the Western Cycling Corridor between Geelong West and the CBD.

→ It’s worth looking at the details: Survey results snapshot
 
City of Greater Geelong gained $4.7 million in funding from the TAC’s Safer Pedestrian and Cyclist Fund for two new cycling infrastructure projects, but a petition in Belmont protesting against a bike path going through High Street followed up by a series of anti-bike path articles in the city’s major local newspaper, triggered increased attention on Council’s public consultation.

Geelong Sustainability’s contribution
During January and February 2018, members of Geelong Sustainability campaigned actively for the implementation of the proposed Southern and Western Bike Connections, advocating that they will result in safer riding, quicker journeys, less congestion, cleaner air and more connected communities.

With many journeys in Geelong within easy reach of work, school, shopping and leisure destinations, we need more people to leave their cars at home and choose their bicycle. However, with very few exceptions, the road network in Geelong is extremely poorly designed for bike riding and therefore, people fear for their safety.

In response to the public consultation and survey, Geelong Sustainability also submitted a three-page letter to City of Greater Geelong’s Active Transport Officer, where we congratulated the municipality on the funding and the great perspectives of this plan.

We reminded Council that currently, only two per cent of the 40,000 commuter trips to Central Geelong are being made by bike. An excerpt:

“Improved cycling infrastructure is an important issue for our group. In recent years, we have written to Geelong Council and Lisa Neville MP regarding cycling safety concerns and to show our support for the Principal Bike Network. Cycling and active transport are regular topics at our Green Drinks events. We have also encouraged people to cycle to homes on Sustainable House Day and other events.

We are keen to see more people cycling more often where they can do so safely. We know it will boost their mental and physical health, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and contribute to the liveability of our city.

It is vital that city planners put people first in urban design so that we can create more liveable cities, more resilient neighbourhoods, more connected communities and citizens who are healthier and happier.”

As Geelong becomes more and more a university town, it is vital that Deakin students have travel options to assist them to transit between the Waterfront and Waurn Ponds campuses.

In our letter to Council, we also mentioned that some of our members envisage the ideal solution for High Street in Belmont would be to remove all cars and trucks entirely between Roslyn Road and Regent Street. They would like to see this block become a green, people-focused mall with access only for buses, pedestrians and cyclists.
 


Ten reasons why the Geelong city-region should love cyclists

  1. Cycling helps improve air quality – it is low cost and virtually emission free.
  2. Cycling helps reduce congestion – bikes take much less space than cars.
  3. Cycling eases the burden on health services – cycling improves our health.
  4. Cycling boosts the economy – for every $1 invested in cycling, the return is 5-10 fold.
  5. Cycling boosts everyone’s quality of life – cycling and walking impact well-being.
  6. Cycling helps combat climate change – a truly sustainable transport solution.
  7. Cycling improves road safety – cars are more likely to kill on impact than bicycles.
  8. Cycling improves mental health.
  9. Cycling helps lower the cost of car insurance – most cyclists are also insured car owners with low usage, therefore subsidising others.
  10. Cycling helps reduce the tax burden for road maintenance – pay vehicle registration but place lower burden on road infrastructure.

        → Read more


Bike path rap

To make people aware of the public consultation and its closure date, three young members of Geelong Sustainability produced this two-minute rap video which over a few days was viewed over 500 times on Facebook and 200 times on YouTube:

 


→ Read or download the three-page letter to Council:
Geelong Sustainability’s Submission re: Building Better Bike Connections