Supporting the City of Melbourne to make the streets accessible for all
World Bicycle Day last Friday would normally be a day where we celebrated the simple, efficient bicycle and the positive way it can aid mobility for all – whether you are 8 or 80.
The global response to the COVID pandemic saw massive changes in how we move as we discovered walking and cycling in our local communities. Cities everywhere raced to open streets for their residents to walk and cycle for more of their short local trips as they safely distanced.
Australia’s second largest city was one of the first to lead with plans to open their city to alternative ways for people to access the CBD by giving a bit more space for cycling, strategically vital to ensure the long-term economic health of the city during and post COVID by opening streets to access for people.
Sadly, it seems bikelash has arrived on the UN’s International Day of the Bicycle, with the City subjected to a media and business campaign against the bike lanes that goes in exactly the opposite direction to other cities across the World.
WeRide, with many local, state and federal groups groups, is concerned the city leaders are failing to recognise the positive impact that the roll-out of the City of Melbourne’s plans for bike lanes would have. Separated lanes that occupy just 1% of the street space of the city when bicycles made up 7% of the peak into the CBD before COVID.
And let’s not forget that 43% of cars seen on CBD streets are not even stopping there, they are simply passing through.
We strongly support Lord Mayor Sally Capp’s plans to have streets that work for everyone. A range of options for getting around so people who walk have low stress options and space appropriate for this primary transport mode in the city. Lanes for bikes, scooters and other micro mobility devices so they can safely navigate to their destinations – often in our largest corporate headquarters where employers recognise that their staff value the end of trip facilities as much as free car spaces. And of course, attractive environments that boost the number of people wanting to visit businesses across the city.
With all this in mind we have submitted a call to the Councillors of the City of Melbourne considering the Future Melbourne strategy – and agenda item 6.9 in particular – to continue the roll out of the bicycle network and supported other submissions calling for the same.
Our letter of support was submitted on United Nations World Bicycle Day and can be read here: www.weride.org.au/…/WeRide-Submission_Letter-to-Melbourne-City-Councillors_Agenda-6.9_3June22.pdf
Make your voice count!
To have your voice heard, you can also submit a letter to Councillors to support and continue the roll out of bike lanes in the City of Melbourne, and seek to make a statement at the Committee meeting where this matter (Agenda item 6.9) will be heard on Tuesday, 7th of June (tomorrow!).
Some key points to assist you:
- The submission deadline is 10am Tues June 7! Please note, the meeting is due to start at 5.30pm, with agenda item 6.9 expected to be heard as late as 7.30pm, but check the Council meeting page for details and live stream to find out!
- The submission portal is here: https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/about-council/committees-meetings/meeting-archive/Pages/Future-Melbourne-Committee-7-June-2022.aspx
- You can indicate you would like to address the meeting in person when you submit your letter.
- Personal letters from residents of Melbourne will carry a lot of weight with Councillors!
- We have uploaded a template letter to assist you if you’d like some arguments on why you support the continued roll out, thanks to the Climate Council for pulling it together & for the following graphic.