Saturday, August 1, 2009

On your Bike - reflections of cycling in Glen Eira

Thought Id express a few thoughts and experiences since sending the
red commodore to the recyclers in early June.
The pros and cons of being on 2 self-propelled wheels in the
est 600 km peddled so far in our municipality include-

Pros
- mostly very enjoyable!
- definately fitter
- lost 2 kgs
- short trips upto 5 km can be quicker than the car
- no parking hassles
- saved approx $400 in petrol and 0.7 tonnes co2 emmissions
- no lance armstrong but find can now ride in far higher gears
- further appreciate the importance of bike lanes
Cons
- always seem to be facing a stiff head-wind when heading along Glen Eira rd to City Hall , metaphor?
- have got wet few times , without coat
- longer trips more challenging to organise especially nth to
south across transport lines

Especially on the shorter trips say upto 5 km cycling is a great means
of transport with significant side benefits-
Most car journeys undertaken in melb i understand are of this length or less.
There is definately an greater role for cycling to play as a serious
transport option in our community.

Glen Eira Bicycle Strategy
This strategy is currently being formulated and researched- I am pleased that this will include consultations with both cyclists and non-cyclists throughout GE, before being presented to council I would hope later in the year

4 comments:

  1. Neil,

    Great to see one of our councillors cycling around Glen Eira and doing their bit to cut local pollution and traffic.

    I hope the forthcoming Bicycle Strategy seriously tackles the need for a comprehensive, well-connected and safe network of cycle routes, including to railways stations to relieve station parking.

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  2. cycling is great and if 10 years younger I might join you. However, I'd like to add a word of caution and appeal to common sense. Cycling appears to have become the common buzz word around municipalities and especially Glen Eira. funding is there so bike tracks are high on priority lists. My concern is: how much planning actually goes into where such paths should be? How much more concrete will be poured? Will there be total integration with open space policies, traffic management policies, and off leash areas, for example? Yes, get bike paths - but only if they fit into a complete structure plan and do not mean that other park/street/road users are disadvantaged and forgotten. And of course what about controlling reckless speedsters who come out of nowhere along shared paths without lights, without bells, and without a damn about pedestrians, kids, and the elderly. What will council do about this? I have yet to see speed signs anywhere, or officers actually fining people for not wearing helmets, or riding without bells. And most importantly - no morre concrete. Glen Eira is suffocating with this grey morass.

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  3. Elinor & MalcolmAugust 9, 2009 at 4:25 AM

    Hi Neil
    Yes, you certainly have covered a lot of the benefits we both experience. We travel to our workplaces by bicycle - 9km and 6km respectively - time to cycle is comparable to driving (and much more enjoyable). We cycle for a lot of short trips within the City of GE = shopping, recreation, visiting friends, etc. Would love to see some more cycle parking at local supermarkets - not sure whose responsibility this is. It's often impossible at times to get a carpark but if there was prominent and designated bike parking, would make it more attractive for people to cycle and shop. There needs to be full consultation with community about the needs of cyclists. The development of Centre Road Bentleigh, included a number of new cycle racks, but mostly tucked away in side streets, not in Centre Road itself where they are really needed. Prominent cycle lanes (eg new roundabout McKinnon/Thomas St)give cyclists more safety and prominence. We'll be interested to see where the new GE cycle strategy takes us.

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  4. Hi Neil,
    I enjoyed your coverage of the pros and cons of cycling.
    I do find it interesting that Glen Eira fails to incorporate cycling as a means of transport in Local Planning Policy. I think that we need to adopt a truly integrated approach to transport planning that incorporates cycling as a safe and viable means of transport for those of all ages. We need to look at connectivity and ease of accessibility to bicycle networks- what do the routes connect to/ from? (We need schools, shops, rail stations, work places and the like properly connected)
    Let's hope that the new strategy will ensure cycling is recognised as a means of transport (not just a leisure activity) and adequate infrastructure is put in place to facilitate safe cycling for children and adults alike.

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