2010-05-05 Meeting minutes

Combined BUGs Meeting, Wednesday 5th May 2010

Venue: Carringbush Hotel, Abbottsford

Attendance and Apologies

Present: John Parker, Julia Blunden (note taker), Glennys Jones, Peter Campbell, Gordon Macmillan, David Leong, Ken Morrison (Boroondara); Frank Kinnersley (Moonee Valley); Graeme Oke, Ferdi Saliba, Peter Dodd, Christine Wilson, Margaret Grzes (Brimbank); Chris Star (Chair), Steve Barnett (Yarra); John Merory (Austin-Mercy and Banyule); Bruce Dite (Whitehorse), David Pawley (McBUG – Monash Community BUG)

Apologies: Maurie Abbott (Banyule)

Minutes of previous meeting, Thursday 12th November 2009

These were passed. Moved Frank K, seconded Peter C.

Matters Arising

1 Naming and Signage of Off-road Trails

Peter C has created a page on this topic in the Greenlivingpedia at: http://www.greenlivingpedia.org/Bicycle_route_naming_and_signs_standards This article has been edited by a couple of people but still requires some refinement.

Action: It needs to be completed asap, preferably in the next week and sent to the relevant parties including the Premier and Minster for Roads, Tim Pallas. Peter C agreed to coordinate this process.

2. Inter BUG networking and sharing advocacy issues

It was agreed that the most effective medium for this is the online discussion group Vicbugchat. Many of those at the meeting were still not members.

Action: It was seen as vital that all present join up and also promote membership via our various networks. The web site for Vicbugchat is: http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/vicbugchat/

The question of relations with Bicycle Victoria was raised.

Action: Although past experience has not been encouraging it was seen as desirable that they be advised of our existence and purpose and invited to send a representative of their choosing to our next meeting. Another suggestion was that we seek representation on the Victorian Bicycle Advisory Committee. This has been tried in the past but another approach was seen as worthwhile. David L suggested that incorporation might improve our chances.

The subject of Bicycle Advisory Committees was also raised. Some of the BUGs represented at the meeting already participate in such committees while others do not. A template laying down the desirable composition and operation of such committees was seen as desirable.

New Business

3 Yarra BUG Radio – sharing the weekly program with the BUGs

Chris S outlined the current state of the Yarra BUG program on 3CR. It airs on Mondays 10-10.30am but is also available to download as a podcast. Programs are archived after 16 weeks. The program covers a wide range of topics and is not limited to local issues. It reaches all of Melbourne and as far afield as Geelong. It has both a live audience, mainly loyal 3CR listeners, and a high rate of downloads.

Although Yarra BUG have set the program up they would welcome involvement of other BUGs, both in the presentation of programs and meeting the $1,200 per year cost. 3CR provide training which is not compulsory but covers issues of libel and self-censorship.

Action: We should all advertise the show via our various networks, and consider becoming involved in programming or funding or both.

4 Draft Revised Principal Bicycle Network

This is being developed by VicRoads in consultation with Bicycle Victoria and local councils. The document came out in February and the deadline for council feedback was the end of April. Some BUGs learned of the document’s existence via their councils. There has been no move as yet by VicRoads either to supply the document to BUGs or to seek their input.

When requested to do so by Boroondara BUG the response was that our input will be sought at some later date, presumably when there is limited scope for major change to the document. While Boroondara BUG believes that the draft is an improvement on the original PBN we have concerns that there are some errors, and a lack of clarity as to whether some routes are currently safe or proposed to be made so. We also question the validity of the concept of focusing almost exclusively on the 10km radius from the CBD.

Action: Individuals and BUGs should lobby for an opportunity for input on the draft revised PBN asap. If anyone is unable to get hold of it email a request to Julia B at jblunden@bigpond.com or go to the Greenlivingpedia web site.

5 Bus Lanes and Bikes

Gordon M asked whether it is legal for cyclists to use bus lanes. It appears that there is no consistency on this. While VicRoads have ruled that it is illegal on some roads, eg Stud Rd, Springvale Rd and Warrigal Rd, it has been legal on Johnston St, Collingwood since the bus lane was installed there. Regardless of legality the bus lane is often the safest place to ride. Bicycle Victoria advocates sharing of lanes between buses and bikes.

Action: the matter of inconsistency on this issue should be taken up with VicRoads. We can all act locally on this, quoting examples of shared bus lanes.

6 Honeywell development

This development is planned for the Yarra bank at 677 – 679 Victoria St Abbotsford. Glennys J reported that it has now gone to VCAT. From the point of view of cyclists the problem is that the development threatens to impede our passage along the Yarra Trail. Glennys undertook to keep us informed via Vicbugchat. (For those who would like more information and options for action see the following web site: http://yarrariveractionalliance.com/)

7 Gipps St Steps Project

Chris S reported that the original plan to solve the problem of the Gipps St steps by continuing the path downstream along the City of Yarra side of the river had a number of problems and would have been very expensive. The current proposal for a bridge across to the Boroondara side of the river at Clark St has many advantages. We noted that the announcement recently passed on by BV was very vague as to timing.

Action: We should all lobby relevant councils and MPs to expedite this project.

8 Taking bikes on V/Line trains

Julia B said she had listed this item in order to urge people to complete the survey currently being conducted by the Department of Transport. This can be found at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SP6MMMR

Peter C offered to set up a wiki page on this topic as a means of preserving all our collective wisdom on the subject.

9 Other business

Ken M raised the issue of the invisibility of some pedestrians and their dogs on the shared paths during the hours of darkness. Action: perhaps a letter to the Progress Leader?

David P reported that Bayside Council has as yet declined to declare a clearway along Beach Rd on Saturday mornings in line with Port Phillip and Kingston Councils. David had a petition for us to sign. If others would like to help check out the following web sites: http://www.michaelforbes.org and www.beachroadcyclist.com.au

Peter C alerted us to opposition to the Albert St bike lane by VECI.

David P reported that a bicycle strategy is being developed for Monash’s Clayton Campus.

John P asked the Brimbug members present if they had any knowledge of plans for a destination for the rusty bridge on the Galada Tamboore Pathway. Frank K said that there is a concept plan for this area.

10 Next Meeting

It was agreed that the next combined BUGs meeting will be held on Wednesday 1st September at the same venue, arriving from 6pm for a 7pm meeting start. Chris S offered to make the booking.

11 Final comments

At Peter C’s suggestion those present commented briefly on their impressions of the meeting. There was general agreement that it had been worthwhile and that a lot of ground had been covered, though perhaps a little skewed towards Boroondara/Yarra issues.