2014-09-16 Meeting minutes

Victorian BUGs Meeting, Tuesday 16th September 2014

Rose Room, Carringbush Hotel, Langridge St, Abbottsford

Notes: Julia Blunden
Meeting facilitator: Peter Campbell

1. Minutes of previous meeting, Thursday 1 May 2014

These were circulated prior to the meeting. Changes requested had been made.

2. Attendance and Apologies 


Present: Graeme Oke, Ferdi Saliba, Frank Reinthaler (BrimBUG); Gordon Macmillan, David Leong, Julia Blunden, Peter Campbell (Chair); David Farrow (Boroondara BUG); Adeo Esplago, Nik Dow (Melbourne BUG); Frank Kinnersley (Moonee BUG); Chris Trueman, Peter Carter, Robert Cook (Whitehorse Cyclists); Edward Hore, Michael Hansford (Darebin BUG), Richard Adams (Warrnambool); Paul McKay (Morebug)

Apologies: Glennys Jones, Alister Huth, John Parker (Boroondara BUG), Helen Millicer, Rachel Mackay, (Glen Eira BUG); David Hall, (Whitehorse Cyclists); Maurie Abbott (Banyule BUG); Liz Cyarto (Maribyrnong/Mazza BUG); Alan Ball (Manningham BUG); John Merory (Austin and Banyule BUGs)

Guests: 
Grant O’Donnell, lead member of the B1 Melbourne Veloway Consortium
Richard Bowen, Victorian Leader, Australian Cyclists Party
Omar Khalifa, Leader, Australian Cyclists Party
Troy Parsons, Australian Cyclists Party

3. Matters Arising

Frank Kinnersley reported that he wrote to Bicycle Network regarding the frequent failure of various authorities to build bike infrastructure to standards. He received a reply that while supportive promised no action. There were various suggestions re other bodies/politicians Frank could contact. Frank offered to forward his letter to BN to be circulated with the minutes. Chris Trueman pointed out that the Austroads guidelines are not standards, and that in fact standards can be a two-edged sword, used to block desirable projects at times.

4. BUG and BN reports

Spokespeople for each of the BUGs represented gave short presentations on their various activities and concerns. 

Moreland BUG: Paul McKay commented on the issue of the removal of bollards creating a bike lane in Cardinal Rd, Glenroy, which featured recently in The Age. A local has a video of a resident nudging a bollard with a 4wd but is too terrified to come forward with it. Paul said that he had written the Labor Party’s draft bike strategy. He also reported that work has begun on the Craigieburn railway route, and recommended the new patisserie near Pasco Vale Station.

Melbourne BUG: Nic Dow reported that their focus is currently on the St Kilda Rd protected bike lanes from Flinders St to St Kilda Junction, pushing to lock them in before the election. They are working with Port Phillip BUG on this and Prahran MP Clem Newton-Brown has been supportive. Nik offered to forward a letter on this subject to be included with the minutes. There is still no outbound bike lane on Princes Bridge and the focus there is still on convenience for motorists.

BRIMBUG: Ferdi Saliba reported that $800,000 has been spent on the Kororoit Creek Trail and there is now a good underpass at Station Rd. New cycle infrastructure has been provided as part of the Regional Rail Link project, including a 3km path from West Footscray to Sunshine. There is the possibility of using the service lanes on the Western Hwy as a bike route. Various other highways were named where this could be an option. VicRoads would need to do the necessary work to create continuous cycle routes.

City of Whitehorse Bicycle Advisory Committee: Chris Trueman reported that Whitehorse Council has allocated an extra $50,000 to cycling in their budget, a small amount but a major triumph for cycle advocates given past resistance. COWBAC is becoming a more effective advocacy group.

Warrnambool: Richard Adams reported that there is currently no BUG in Warrnambool but he is trying to get the various cycling clubs to establish a network. There is a sustainable transport officer who is working to resurrect cycling activities, and they are pushing to establish a bicycle advisory committee.

Darebin BUG: Michael Hansford and Edward Hore reported that the newly painted bike lanes in Darebin Rd had gaps where cars had been parked on painting day. Apparently the paint had to be redone as incorrect, slippery paint had been used. The Great Northern Bikeway, aka St Georges Rd Path, is being duplicated in some sections, and the alignment is being adjusted in places to match desire lines, eg at Atherton Rd. Re-synchronising of lights at the terminal roundabout could lead to very long delays though this is being reconsidered. The Capital City Trail is to be realigned through a park to avoid the underpass at Rushall Station. The path branching off the Darebin Creek Path to La Trobe University has been reopened now that the burnt bridge has been replaced.

Moonee BUG: Frank Kinnersley said that his BUG’s main concern at present is the impact of the East West Link, though with Labor’s change of position this may not go ahead. The proposed widening of City Link will affect bike routes, but only during the construction period. The BUG is looking for trade-offs which could include a new bridge and an upgrade of a water pipeline track. They have lost their sustainable transport officer but expect a replacement.

Boroondara BUG: Peter Campbell reported that the BUG continues to promote the North Eastern Bicycle Corridor through various channels. The minister has not yet committed to the project but the BUG is hoping for a pre-election announcement. The petition now has nearly 500 signatures. BUG members have met with Tim Smith, candidate for Kew, and Luke Donnellan, Labor transport spokesman. Tim Smith, while not engaged by the NEBC showed some interest in local electorate issues. Luke Donnellan indicated that Labor will set up a fund for community transport with a budget of $30M. He also mentioned the need for statewide signage standards. The Boroondara Bicycle Advisory Committee continues to work well.

Whitehorse Cyclists Advocacy Group: Peter Carter reported that 1.7km of the Box Hill to Ringwood Rail Trail has been constructed and opened. VicRoads recently had a public display of the concept design for the remaining 8.3km. However Whitehorse Council has refused permission for two sections, one on the footpath which just falls short of the ‘standard’ of 3m, and another through a park. Council has allocated funds for the design of the Syndal to Heatherdale pipe track path.
Glen Eira BUG: Helen Millicer reported via email that the BUG was still working on getting the bike strategy reviewed and getting a new one next year. Support is growing in Council for a transport advisory committee that would include cycling. The BUG is looking for an engineer member to contribute expertise on design and costings of bike infrastructure and would appreciate any leads.

Manningham BUG: Alan Ball reported via email that Council has completed the Mullum Mullum Creek Path as far as Park Rd, which has bike lanes linking to the Eastlink Path. The 1km Heads Rd to Eastlink section is still to be completed.

5. Melbourne Veloway Project 

Grant O’Donnell, lead member of the Melbourne Veloway B1 Consortium began by providing background to the project: The proposal for the Melbourne Veloway first went up on the BN web site in 2010 but has recently gained traction through publicity in the Herald Sun and elsewhere. A Youtube video has now had 10,000 hits. The project came out of work Grant’s company was doing near the City Loop. They came up with the idea of a veloway clipped to the City Loop between Southern Cross and Flinders St, on the south side where there is room for this. The cost is estimated to be $25 - $30M. The consortium includes architectural, engineering and other firms all of whom are currently volunteering their time. Details of the project are available on their web site at http://www.melbourneb1veloway.com.au/index.html 

Included in the plan is a bike hub at Batman Park. There is scope to link the veloway to existing bike routes to the west and east of the CBD. Nik Dow from Melbourne BUG raised the issue of connections into the CBD, without which he believes the veloway will not justify its cost. There was some discussion of what connections could be provided – Queensbridge St, Clarendon St, St Kilda Rd and Flinders St Station all being desirable but adding considerable cost. Grant reported that the RACV, originally opposed to the project is now onside, but dealing with all the various stakeholders is difficult!

6. Australian Cyclists Party 

Omar Kalifa, the national party leader provided a brief introduction to the party. It began 11 months ago and now has 2,000 members. It is now a registered party federally and in NSW, but still needs a few more members to register in Victoria. They hope to announce their candidates for the Victorian election soon. They are receiving policy advice from an expert panel of academics. Richard Bowen, the Victorian party leader then spoke. He said that the party’s aim was a more cycling friendly Australia. They hope to get at least one representative elected to the Victorian upper house in the November election and may stand in a marginal lower house seat as well. They aim to be a voice to help hold the government to its promises as well as pursuing their own cycling initiatives. They believe that the conversation about cycling in the media is currently very antagonistic and that the government needs to lead the way with a public education campaign to encourage sharing the road.

Their web site is at: https://australian-cyclists-party.org/ 

7. Bike Futures Conference 28 – 29 October, MCG, Melbourne. 

There will be four free passes available for BUG members this year, to be used to offer places for eight people to attend for one day each. Altogether nine number people had indicated interest in attending in the conference, but many of those were not present at the meeting. Julia Blunden offered to sort out by email how the places would be allocated and how the passes would be obtained and passed on for the second group. 

8. Regional Planning for Melbourne’s Trail Network 

Frank Kinnersley reported that six councils in Melbourne’s west have got together and organised consultants to prepare a plan for regional trail development. Hobsons Bay Council initiated the project and is managing it and liaising with the consultants. The question arose as to whether we need such initiatives in other Melbourne regions. It was suggested that bicycle advisory committees could initiate alliances. There is a problem with VicRoads regions not communicating with each other. BUGs can help with this. Peter Campbell stressed that there is a role for the State Government as well.

9. Dogs on lead on and near shared paths 

Chris Trueman reported that he had hit a dog on a shared path recently and hurt himself. As a result of this he has looked into the current situation and found that local laws vary considerably. Most councils have dogs-off-lead areas but these are not always accurately signed. Chris is planning to pursue this issue and as a starting point would like to gather information about local laws in place in different municipalities. He’d like to hear from members about the situation in their areas. His email address is: chris@trueman.org 

10. TravelSmart maps – soft versus hard copies 

There was some discussion of the future of TS maps. The Department of Transport has shed responsibility for the maps and it’s now over to councils. Some councils, eg Boroondara, are continuing to revise and print the maps in the same format. Some are making the maps available in electronic format and the usefulness of this depends largely on printing options – can they be printed in sections on A4 paper or not. Some councils are using Google maps and building TravelSmart information into these, sometimes drawing on Strava data. Concern was expressed that Strava data represents the routes chosen by confident riders and will not necessarily provide a good guide for less confident riders.

Other Business:

11. Next Meeting

Tuesday 24th March 2015

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