Combined BUGs Meeting, Wednesday 27 October 2010
Venue: Carringbush Hotel, Abbottsford
Present: John Parker, Glennys Jones, Peter Campbell (Chair), Julia Blunden (minutes) David Leong, (Boroondara); Frank Kinnersley (Moonee Valley); Graeme Oke (Brimbank ans Latrobe University); Steve Barnett (Yarra); Gordon Macmillan, David Hall (Whitehorse), Maurie Abbott (Banyule), Rachel Mackay, Helen Millicer (Glen Eira), Paul McKay, Bill Cawte, Fred Cawte (Moreland), Nik Dow (Melbourne)
Apologies: Graeme Stone (Boroondara), David Pawley (McBUG – Monash Community BUG)
These were circulated prior to the meeting.
Peter C has received a response from Minister Pallas’ office, circulated prior to the meeting.
It was agreed that while this response includes some encouraging commitments it does not adequately address the main issue of our letter: naming and signage of off-road trails. There is mention of a guide for local governments but no time line for this. Such a guide would need to go to other bodies with responsibility for off-road paths including Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water. It is also highly desirable that interested parties such as BUGs have some opportunity for input into this guide.
Action: A response needs to be sent to the minister, asking for a meeting to discuss this issue further. Julia B offered to draft this response and place it on the wiki http://www.greenlivingpedia.org/Bicycle_route_naming_and_signs_standards for group input as before.
Frank Kinnersley spoke about his experience with the detour currently in place on the Moonee Ponds Creek Path at the Ring Rd, which is expected to be in place for up to 2 years. Frank has had some limited success in negotiating improvements with the contractors involved. Ideally however consultation should take place before detours are put in place, not after. Frank believes that contractors don’t know about the new regulations.
Action: Suggestions included writing to the Minister and the CEO of VicRoads; contacting the contractor’s risk manager; and documentation of the problems with photos.
David H outlined this project which is being pursued by a small advocacy group with the Whitehorse Cyclists club. It is a separate project from the Eastern Rail Trail/East-West link being pursued by Boroondara BUG, but the two would be complementary. The BHRRT would also link to the existing Belgrave Rail Trail. A petition was circulated for those present to sign in support of the project. David also asked for letters of support to be sent to the Minister.
Action: Individuals and BUGs should write to the Minister in support of the BHRRT.
There was discussion of which candidates we should vote for in the forthcoming BV Board elections. There was also more wide-ranging discussion of relations between BV and the BUGs, with the general view being that there is room for closer cooperation.
Action: At our next meeting in the first half of next year we will discuss how we can use the Board elections to push for improved relations with BV. Some kind of pre-election survey of candidates may be implemented.
John P alerted those present that October is the month when local councils start to prepare their budgets making it timely alert them to new large projects. Paul M advocated BUGs making formal submissions to Councils; getting as many members to send supporting letters as possible; meeting with councilors; and attending relevant council meetings to speak to submissions. These tactics have been successful in Moreland. There was also the suggestion that the Combined BUGs could exert pressure on councils shown by Bixie to be low-spending. John P advocated making use of local newspapers to publicise cycling projects and to be prepared for them to make further contact.
Julia B urged all those present to join Vicbugchat at http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/vicbugchat/?yguid=52792842
This provides a simple and convenient way for BUG members to communicate about matters of common concern. Detour information is just one of the things it can be used for.
VicRoads has come up with four options as canvassed at a local meeting and reported in the Progress Leader. (I have looked on the VicRoads web site and still can’t find anything there. If any of you can, please send me the url and I’ll add it into these minutes.) One serious lack in all four proposals is any mention of the Yarra Trail which crosses under the highway on the south side of the Yarra. Another issue of interest to cyclists but not mentioned is the possibility of extending the Outer Circle Trail to Fairfield.
Action: We should all lobby relevant councils and MPs to raise awareness of these cycling issues.
John P outlined Boroondara BUG’s proposal for the Yarra Trail to pass under Belford Rd, thus eliminating one of the most demanding climbs on the trail and improving safety for both cyclists and pedestrians. A feasibility study, jointly funded by VicRoads and Boroondara Council, shows that an underpass at freeway level, the option favored by BBUG, is also the cheaper of two options considered.
Action: Letters of support from other BUGs to the Minister and Boroondara Council are needed.
Bill C from Moreland BUG explained that due to the lack of substance in the policies of the major parties he is standing as an independent in the seat of Brunswick. His platform is the development of a rail trail from Melbourne to Bendigo, about 250km in all. Bill pointed out that sections of this trail already exist at both ends and another is already being planned, so his focus is on the remaining link: Kilmore to Craigieburn. As the rail line comes under the Austrailian Railtrack Corporation this would be a federal project. The project will be launched followed by a dance, at St Ambrose Hall, Brunswick on 13/11.
Action: Steve B suggested a promotion of the launch on Yarra BUG Radio a week in advance.
It was agreed that the next combined BUGs meeting will be held on Wednesday 8th June 2011 at the same venue, arriving from 6pm for a 7pm meeting start.
It was also agreed that BV’s Mike Williamson should be invited to this meeting.
One member from each BUG gave a brief account of the current status of the BUG and its projects. This was most notable for the great variety of modus operandi revealed. BUGs and clubs represented ranged from small, very focused advocacy groups, to rides-based groups, to the very entrepreneurial Moreland BUG, which conducted its own Super Tuesday bike count and has various other business deals in train.