Geelong North-South cycling route – URGENT HELP NEEDED

Geelong – Cycle City – It’s crunch time!We need the support of all cyclists to ensure that the vital North South bike route becomes a reality.

Geelong City Council will vote on Tuesday, April 30th.  After extensive research and community feedback, council officers have found the best route and the are recommending a separated path as the safest option.

North-South bikeway – recommended route

However, a small but very vocal group of traders is lobbying hard to oppose any change to the existing road structure.

Help ensure your own and other bike riders’ safe cycling by coming along to the meeting, asking a question, and lobbying your elected Councillors.

  • Contact Councillors.  Find your ward councillors here. Send an email or make contact them by phone.
  • Attend the council meeting: Tuesday, April 30th, 7.00pm – Geelong City Hall, Gheringhap Street, Geelong (Meeting agenda available by 5pm, Friday 26th April here.)
  • Ask a question at the meeting.  (Questions need to be submitted by noon, Tuesday 30th April on the CoGG website.  You must be present at the meeting to ask your question in person.)

Build it and they will come!

Commuting in Sydney

  • All around the world, when safe cycling infrastructure is provided, people will use it. 
  • In places where cycling is safe, more women choose cycling (a 50/50 female/male balance is a sure sign that people see cycling as a safe option).
  • Geelong is a perfect place to cycle – good climate, few hills, relatively compact.
  • There is a commitment from our City to improve Geelong’s cycling infrastructure
  • Bridge over railway, Little Malop Street – East-west bike corridor.

In the 1980s, Geelong was the ‘go-to’ place for best practice in cycling infrastructure.  Let’s return Geelong to its rightful place –

GEELONG – CYCLE CITY!

Examples of Australasian best practice in cycling infrastructure:

Sydney – how providing safe cycling infrastructure boosts cycling numbers and busts congestion.

 

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Have your say on the proposed north-south bike route – Moorabool Street section

If you read the press there has been a small, but very angry, negative response to any proposed bike route through High Street, Belmont.  Despite this, the majority of respondents to the numerous city surveys has been positive.

Now there is a move from businesses in South Geelong to stop the proposed section of the route along Moorabool Street, due to a loss of all-day car parking.

If you ever travel from north to south in Geelong by bike, please have your say.  There are three opportunities to view the proposed route and possible alternatives (all of which add time and hazards for cyclists) – at a marquee set up on Moorabool Street (between the Senior Citizens and GMHBA Stadium) where people can come and ask questions on the following dates:

  • Thursday 14 February 8am – 12noon
  • Saturday 16 February 9am – 1pm
  • Tuesday 19 February 11am – 3pm

For more information about the proposed route, and downloads of maps, go to Better Bike Connections

The proposed direct route – a 2-way separated bike path on the west side of Moorabool Street from the Barwon Bridge to Carr Street, then separated bike paths each side of Gheringhap Street to the CBD and Deakin Waterfront Campus.

 

 

Ted Wilson Trail Update

Church Street end now re-opened, but beware of temptation

Finally, after over a year, the Church Street end of the Ted Wilson Trail and western end of Church Street have reopened.

The shared path along Church Street that leads to the Ted Wilson Trail (newly re-opened Church Street on the left)

However, avoid the temptation of the new sweeping path down the hill to Fyansford!

The path makes and abrupt halt at the bottom of the long hill – at the edge of the estate.  When it will be finished nobody knows.  Cyclists need to pedal back up the hill and take the usual route along Hyland Street to access Fyansford.

“Fyansford” end of the new path from Church Street to Fyansford

Riding along the re-opened Ted Wilson Trail isn’t all roses either.  The path is seriously overgrown with weeds, which are beginning to compromise the integrity of the path surface.  Hopefully, CoGG will soon rectify this.  (If you have Snap, Send, Solve  on your phone – send in a request to have this fixed.  The more people who do so, the more likelihood of fast action.)

We note that the Ted Wilson Trail is now closed between Bacchus Marsh Road and Anakie Road for 5 months from 8th January till 8th June.  Cyclists detour to Matthews Road, and have to negotiate the very busy multi-land roundabout at Cox, Anakie and Matthews Road.

Path closure sign on Ted Wilson Trail near Pioneer Road.

Support new Cycling Infrastructure for Geelong – have your say

To promote the safety of separated bicycle infrastructure, these kids have produced a music video…

Please find the time to comment on Geelong’s proposed new cycling infrastructure – https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/yoursay/item/8d51c8881af246e.aspx

To view the detailed plans, there’s one final drop-in session from 3-6pm, next Tuesday (February 13th) from 3-6pm.

Let the strength of our cycling voices lead to positive, safe cycling infrastructure!

Where are we cycling?

Strava* compiles the ride data of millions of subscribers to produce a ‘heat map’ of where cyclists are riding.  If you follow the link embedded in the map screenshot, it will show you the accumulated data up to 2017.  The map can be fully enlarged to show you the details of where people are riding in the area where you live.

Strava data for Geelong to 2017 Click the map to go to the heatmap.  Then move the map centre over Australia and enlarge till you come to the area you’d like for which you’d like more detail.

The heatmap is also a useful guide to where people ride, if you’re visiting somewhere new.  However, it’s important to realise that many of the people who use Strava are serious cyclists who like to ride far, fast and difficult.  As more and more average cyclists use Strava, the data will be less skewed towards the fast and furious end of cycling.

*Strava is an ap. which can be uploaded to a mobile phone, and will also link to GPS trackers like Garmin.  It tracks the user’s rides, giving a map, distance, ascent and other statistics.  It is available in a basic free version, or a premium version.  If you don’t have a bike computer, Strava will give you an accurate picture of how far and fast you have ridden.

Commuting by Bike

Summer is almost with us.  Consider using your bike for transport – not just a social jaunt.  Geelong is the perfect place to cycle commute – good climate, not too big, reasonable (and constantly improving) bike facilities and pretty flat.

Even in the USA cycle commuting is taking off…  Watch the video to hear these personal stories.  Perhaps we should make our own about the joys of cycling in Geelong.

Amsterdam: Cycling Heaven – 5 reasons why

Geelong moved a step closer to becoming a leading cycling city with the opening of the first stage of the Malop Street Green Spine last week.  There is now a one-way cycleway westwards from Yarra Street to Moorabool Street.  As funding becomes available, it is planned to extend this further along Malop Street.  City of Geelong is to be congratulated for this step towards making the Geelong CBD more people-friendly.  (Unfortunately, at least for the present, if you’re travelling eastwards, you still need to use the old bike lane with the hazards of fast-moving motor vehicles, and opening car doors.)

Amsterdam has one of the highest rates of cycling for transport in the world.  It wasn’t always so!  I recommend you read In the City of Bikes:  The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist by Pete Jordan (available at the Geelong Regional Library) to find out how Amsterdam transformed itself into a cycling Mecca. 

This is despite the fact that for much of the year, Amsterdam has an unfriendly climate for cycling.

Making a city where most trips are done on bikes requires utterly discarding conventional car-centric ways of thinking about transportation. Norman Garrick

With Geelong’s easy terrain, wonderful climate and the beginning of the Principal Bicycle Network, we’d love to see Geelong transformed to a place where cycling is the norm.

Five reasons why Amsterdam works so well for bikes

For more, here is an article on the five reasons why Amsterdam works so well for bikes.  Underlying all this is designing transport for people rather than cars.  In a city with a greater urban area population of 1.8 million people, traffic deaths are 2/100,000 of population.  Australia’s rate of traffic fatalities is close to triple this.

Look at any photo of people cycling in Amsterdam.  You’ll see  mixture of male and female, ages and many assorted bicycles.  One measure of how well our infrastructure makes cycling safe is the percentage of females riding bikes.

Cycling in Amsterdam. People go about their daily lives using bikes for transport. Low speeds and good infrastructure mean that cycling is safe for all. Image from http://www.local-life.com/amsterdam/articles/cycling-in-amsterdam