Update November 1st
Of our new eleven Councillors, ten responded to the BUGs questionnaire summarised below. Of those ten, five committed to maintaining or increasing this year's budget for bicycle infrastructure ($5M) and to the broad vision for the BUG's proposed works program during the term of the new Council. The remaining five councillors are the Doyle team. So watch this space and be ready to join in and help persuade the City of Melbourne to keep up the momentum for getting more people onto bikes!
Original post October 4th
Melbourne BUG brings you the candidates' views on cycling in the City of Melbourne. Thanks to all the candidates who put in time to answer our questions and best of luck – we look forward to working with all of you in the new Council.
We have summarised each ticket below, starting with the best. You can read the detailed responses as we received them via the link after each summary. The level of support for increasing cycling in the municipality is very high, with most candidates committing to expenditure and progress exceeding that achieved in the current term of Council.
The BUG's suggested projects for the next term are listed at the end of this article. These were used as a guide to candidates, without asking them to endorse the specific roads/routes/treatments as listed but to illustrate the scope of what needs to be achieved. Only major projects have been listed. Candidates were asked if they supported this level of progress.
Greens' councillor Cathy Oke has an excellent track record of supporting and seeing through bicycle initiatives in the City of Melbourne. The Greens are the only group with a comprehensive, well thought out policy and their answers to our questionnaire showed a high level of understanding and commitment to what it will take to get (many) more people using a bicycle for transport. The only answer letting The Greens down was their insistence on requiring helmet laws for Melbourne Bikeshare, which is a lost opportunity to get many more people cycling in the City. Read complete answers.
Questionnaire answers show high level of understanding and commitment on all points, including clear opposition to building the East West tollway, and support for getting Melbourne Bike Share working by removing the helmet requirement. Read complete answers.
Community and Business Leadership
Good support for all our questions. Read complete answers.
Our Melbourne agree in general that council should fund and build a bike network along lines suggested by Melbourne BUG. They express qualified support for other objectives, such as speed limits, using some on-street parking space for bike facilities and reservations about the East West Tollway. Read complete answers.
Lead Councillor Jackie Watts supports at least maintaining current funding for bicycle projects and supports the level of progress suggested by Melbourne BUG. She gives qualified support for reallocation of space from cars to bikes, speed limit reductions, and making a better environment in the Little Streets. The East West tollway should only be considered after building the Doncaster rail and Melbourne Metro tunnel. Councillor Watts in her short time on Council has been supportive of bike projects. Read complete answers.
Gary Singer – John So Melbourne Living
Good support for the bike budget and qualified support for general level of progress. Good understanding of the potential of Melbourne's little streets. Support for building the East West tollway as a tunnel. Support for 40km/h speed limits in the CBD but not aware that 30km/h is the evidence-based speed for safety of vulnerable road users where cars, pedestrians and bicycles mix. Qualified support for a helmet law exemption for Melbourne Bike Share. Councillor Ong has had some queries about cyclists during his term on council but has nevertheless been prepared to support the budget and projects throughout and showed an admirable willingness to engage in a constructive dialogue, with good outcomes. Read complete answers.
As Lord Mayor for the current council, Robert Doyle has been prepared to support the important projects and progress that have taken place over the last few years. In the context of a consensus council, in which no group had a majority, Doyle was prepared to listen and compromise, with good results, even where his own policy directions had to be put aside. Given this election policy and questionnaire responses, we hope for a similar scenario in the new council. This is the only response not to commit to maintaining this year's bike budget in the next term of council. Team Doyle cites the council's Bike Plan as policy, gives qualified support for transfer of road space to bicycles subject to the effect on "existing road users" and supports the East West tollway. Read complete answers.
Of the Lord Mayor candidates, Forward Together and Put Public First did not respond to Melbourne BUG. Of the councillor-only tickets, no response was received from Stephen Mayne and Residents First. You can read candidates' statements at the Victorian Electoral Commission website.
Melbourne BUG's indicative works program
We didn't ask candidates to commit to exactly these projects, just the overall level of progress they represent. Actual routes and treatments need a careful design and consultation process. The important thing is to create a connected network of safe routes that can get you anywhere in the City.
Physically separated lanes
- St Kilda Rd all the way to St Kilda Junction
- Flemington Road
- Royal Parade
- Clarendon St north of Whiteman St, and Spencer St
- Flinders Street
- Albert St completed from Punt Rd to Spring St
On road lanes:
- Upgrades to Footscray Rd and Dynon Rd bike lanes, including better conditions on bridges at Maribyrnong River and Moonee Ponds Creek.
- Spring St or Exhibition St from Flinders to LaTrobe
- Bike lanes from the corner of Spring St and Latrobe St through Carlton Gardens to Canning St, alternatively a safe link from Canning Street to Albert St.
- William St permanent bike lanes
- Grattan St
- Connections from Brunswick St, Napier St, Smith St and Wellington St (Fitzroy & Collingwood) through to Albert St.
- Bike lanes in Wellington Parade (East Melbourne – probable loss of a travel lane both ways or some parking)