2015-03-25 Meeting minutes

Victorian BUGs Meeting, Tuesday 24th March 2015

Rose Room, Carringbush Hotel, Langridge St, Abbottsford


1.      Minutes of previous meeting, Tuesday 16th September 2014

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

2.      Attendance and Apologies

Present: Graeme Oke (BrimBUG); Rachel Mackay, (Glen Eira BUG); Gordon Macmillan, Julia Blunden, David Farrow (Boroondara BUG); Adeo Esplago, (Melbourne BUG); Frank Kinnersley (Moonee BUG) (Chair); David Hall, Robert Cook (Whitehorse Cyclists); Edward Hore, Sara Stace, (Australian Cycle Alliance), Richard Adams (Southwest Cycling Network - Warrnambool); Maurie Abbott (Banyule BUG); Harvey Edwards (Manningham BUG); Georgie Fyfe-Jamieson, Rochelle Bell (Port Phillip BUG)

Apologies: Ferdi Saliba (BrimBUG), Peter Campbell, Glennys Jones, Alister Huth, John Parker (Boroondara BUG), Helen Millicer, (Glen Eira BUG); Alan Ball (Manningham BUG); Chris Trueman (Whitehorse Cyclists); Michael Hansford (Darebin BUG), Darren McClelland (?)

GuestMark Donnellan, Open Space Project Management, City of Yarra

3.      BUG reports

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

·         Moonee BUG: Frank Kinnersley said that while the East West Link is dead (but not buried) the widening of the Tullamarine Fwy is still going ahead and it is important to get some benefits for cyclists out of this project. Moonee Valley has lost their Sustainable Transport Officer who achieved some good policies which may now lapse and need to be lobbied for again.

·         BRIMBUG: Graeme Oke reported that they had 10 achievements in 2014. These include a pedestrian bridge over the rail line at Albion, signage on the Federation and Kororoit Creek Trails, and works to extend the latter.

·         Manningham BUG: Harvey Edwards reported that with the demolition of a house on public land there is now the possibility of a path on the south side of the Yarra at Finns Reserve.

·         Banyule BUG: Maurie Abbott reported that another unsealed stretch of the Yarra Trail will be sealed in the next six months. There has been a full review of the bike strategy which demonstrated that while much has been achieved there is still a lot unfinished and continued pressure is needed from the BUG.

·         Whitehorse Cyclists Advocacy Group: David Hall reported that the group continues to press council on many minor matters but that council is basically unfriendly. COWBAC is supposed to do useful work but doesn’t, hence the need for an advocacy group that is independent of council. The Box Hill to Ringwood Rail Trail is proceeding very slowly. This is a VicRoads project which is being thwarted by council. An east west shared path has been promised on the Healesville Fwy Reserve, owned by VicRoads. There are also plans for a shared path along the Mitcham – Syndal pipe track.

·         Boroondara BUG: Julia Blunden reported on three bridge projects. The new bridge over the Gardiners Creek at the H A Smith Reserve, just east of Glenferrie Rd, has been completed to a very high standard and is generally working well. While the Darebin-Yarra Link is proceeding north of the Yarra, Boroondara Council continues to block access via Willsmere Park. The land section of the Walmer St Bridge which takes the Yarra Trail across the river from Kew to Richmond is currently supported by scaffolding and council is waiting on state government funding to rebuild it. Julia also mentioned a letter sent by the BUG to Robert Freemantle, executive Director Transport, Policy, Planning and Reform stressing the urgency of these last two projects and other cycling matters.

·         Glen Eira BUG: Rachel McKay reported that the BUG had restarted in 2010 in order to provide input into council’s cycling strategy. It is unclear whether this ends in 2015 or 2020. Rachel spoke about the Cycling Forum organized by the BUG for the following evening. Signage is being installed in Glen Eira but it is not consistent. A big redevelopment is planned for Ormond Station and this may affect the viaduct used by the Rosstown Rail Trail. New bike parking rails have been installed at the council offices.

·         Southwest Cycling Network - Warrnambool: Richard Adams reported that he is now meeting regularly with a senior council officer, and is hopeful of starting a cycling reference group. Warrnambool has a good Sustainable Transport Officer two days a week. Council is paying for training for Bike Ed instructors. Work is being done to encourage riding to school. There has been a petition by Deakin University students for a shared path to the campus. There has been good media coverage of cycling issues thanks to Richard’s contacts. Power Corps ran a fund raiser.

·         Port Phillip: Georgie Fyfe-Jamieson reported that the BUG started up at the end of 2014. They have around thirty members and meet monthly. So far they have run a few social rides and are working on their priorities. A grant they received will be spent on training ride leaders. Rochelle Bell is working on liaising with council. A bike only path at Beacon Cove has been lost. It is important for the BUG to have input into the Fishermans Bend development.

·         Australian Cycling Alliance: Sara Stace reported that the Alliance is running a women’s forum at Jimmy Watsons in Carlton followed by a general session.

·         Melbourne BUG: Adeo Esplago reported that they are still working on St Kilda Rd. Victoria Market still needs work and it’s important to be involved in the planning before work starts there.

4.        Mark Donnellan, Open Space Project Management, City of Yarra: Mark began by pointing out that the City of Yarra has the highest utility cycling rate of any Australian municipality and that it is proud of its reputation. Although Mark has been a cyclist since that age of twelve he is a parks person first and a cyclist second and gives walkers a higher priority than cyclists. Mark has worked for the City of Yarra for eleven years. There are no dedicated bike paths in Yarra and probably never will be as public space is very constrained and mainly in the form of linear parks. Mark has given much thought to his treatment of shared paths which departs from the norm. He believes that line marking the path edges but omitting centre line marking leads to improved cyclist behaviour. This has been borne out by the drop in the number of complaints since this treatment was introduced. In eleven years there have no report off a serious collision between a cyclist and a walker, though there have doubtless been minor ones. Signs indicating that cyclists must dismount on bridges and such are unenforceable and Mark is having them removed. There was some discussion of the lack of centre line marking with some of those present claiming value for them. Mark is putting various stencils on Yarra’s shared paths which he believes will help to slow riders down.

5.        Melbourne Ultralite Network Project: Adeo Esplago spoke about this project in which he is involved. It involves the use of e-cargo-bikes to carry light freight, replacing many trucks on our roads, both in the CBD but also the broader metropolitan area. There are strong economic arguments for this. Unlike trucks e-bikes are silent and there would not need to be any curfew imposed on them as there is for trucks. Goods could be delivered round the clock making Melbourne a true 24 hour city. And with modern technology it would be easy to find goods to be transported on the return trip.

The Melbourne Metro project is currently being planned. Arden St, Parkville and Domain stations could be ultralite hubs, as could the new wholesale market at Epping. Hubs will need charging facilities, turning areas and high capacity, two-tiered bike parking. Goods carried around the city will be mainly food, fashion, etc very suitable for this form of transport. Adeo suggested that the e-cargo-bikes could use existing shared paths including the St Georges Rd and Galada Tamboore paths, as well as bike lanes on roads such as St Kilda Rd, Flemington Rd and Royal Pde. He claimed that this would put more pressure on government to improve the condition of these paths and bike lanes.

Concerns were expressed by others present about both the speed and the width of the e-cargo-bikes which would be sharing paths and bike lanes with other cyclists

6.        Taking bikes on V/Line trains: There was only time for very brief discussion of this agenda item. Most of those present agreed that this is a problem. It was suggested that individuals write letters about this issue as numbers of complaints count. It is also important that future train carriages are designed to better accommodate bikes.

A number of agenda items were not discussed due to lack of time.

7.        Next Meeting: Tuesday 8th September 2015 (note change from date on agenda)

Notes by Julia Blunden

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