Watered by onsite tanks, with forecourt & interior foodgardens
From little things big things grow. Edible streetscapes reduce urban ‘heat island’ effect, encourage neighbourly exchange & healthy exercise, offer access to fresh-picked tasty goodness & grow local resilience in a changing climate. Please urge ongoing funding for Yarra’s Urban Agriculture Facilitator to further enable, resource and multiply these community initiatives.
YCAN will be doing a little gentle surveying at the Sustainable Living Festival this weekend at Fed Square. The theme is cycling and the aim is to encourage Yarra Council to be bold. The survey is just 7 questions and is an easy survey with a receptive audience.
We are able to park a few things like our bags at the Beyond Zero Emissions stall (Thank you BZE). There will be clip boards with the surveys in them and pens.
If you have some time and are intending to go to the SLF, we’d love your help to survey people. Give Mack a call if you can help – 0422 952 554.
Have your final say about the Copenhagen-style bike lane on Wellington Street!
Tuesday 19 February, 6.30pm
Richmond Town Hall, 333 Bridge Rd, Richmond
Wellington St is a popular and well connected route in the inner network. With over 400 riders in the 7-9am peak it provides a major transport function and serves as a viable connection from North Fitzroy through to East Melbourne
YCAN has strongly supported a Copenhagen lane on Wellington St as a part of the Bicycle strategy Yarra Council has adopted. We see it as the missing link in getting more people to ride their bikes.
After a long time it is finally coming to a head and Yarra Council will be giving it the thumbs up or down.
Shockingly some people don’t support a Copenhagen lane on Wellington Street. We are sure that they just don’t understand that the entire city is doomed to grind to a standstill if we fail to make it safe for people to get out of their car and on the their bike. Frequently it is faster to ride across the city of Yarra than to drive, but until people feel it is safe, the large shift out of cars and onto bikes that is council’s policy won’t happen.
So come along, bring some friends and support a sustainable, healthier and more liveable city.
YCAN in conjunction with the Community Church of St Mark is holding an afternoon of all things sustainable. Think you’ve done everything you can to reduce your footprint? This free event might still be able to teach you a thing or two.
These workshops bring you the latest developments in strategies for sustainable living on the practical, everyday level, and up to date information of bigger picture issues.
The Green Family Life Festival is a community event that aims to inspire families to live more sustainably, follow the seasons, celebrate their garden and care for the planet.
Come along and stroll the marketplace to find great products and ideas to encourage sustainability. Watch demonstrations for take-home ideas such as making your own balance bike, composting, creating an edible garden and keeping chickens in your backyard. Take a sustainable house tour to learn more about retro-fitting your home or sit back and enjoy organic food and wine and live music from charming folk band Anna Smyrk and the Appetites.
The day will also be jam-packed with fun and games for the kids including face painting, singing and dancing with Mini Maestros, sustainable story time, cargo bike rides and tree planting. Plus there will be competitions with great prizes including an art and craft competition using recycled materials, and for the handy man or woman at heart a ‘flat pack assembly competition’ sponsored by Ikea and compered by Deputy Leader of the Greens Adam Bandt!
A fun and informative, family-friendly event with loads to see, do, explore and take home. Entry is $5 per family but well worth it. Join in the celebrations and add a splash of green to your family life. For the full program click here or call 9428 9901.
Let Yarra City Council know you support a Copenhagen bike lane for Wellington St – fill out the survey here.
The City of Yarra is now consulting the community with a proposal to construct a Copenhagen bike lane between Johnston St and Victoria St. Consultation includes an online survey, an information booth in Wellington St for local foot/ cycling traffic and local workers/ businesses, and a community info session in the Reading Room at the Fitzroy Town Hall.
The City of Yarra’s world leading position is in danger of being lost. In spite of all the good work done so far, the clear need for the role, and the desire for the role by the community, the Council hasn’t included funding for the Urban Agriculture Facilitator in the 2012/13 budget.
The Council introduced the role on the advice of the Community Garden Advisory Committee, itself set up as result of clear community demand for gardening opportunities in the community space. At the time of writing, submissions could still be made (to Althea.Wright@yarracity.vic.gov.au by Monday 7th May), and hopefully enough went in to convince the Council that the community demand is still there.
If it is after 7th May, you could still leave a comment below, and we’ll pass them on to the councillors.
To download the petition calling for more Copenhagen lanes in the City of Yarra click here.
Yarra Council has some interesting ideas. One of which is that painting a road equals building a bike lane. Like some magic talisman, the painted lines will protect you.
There seems to be a fundamental disconnect between what an average person on a bike would call a bike lane and what the Yarra Council thinks a bike lane is.
Call me crazy but when I read that Council wants, “Yarra to be the best cycling city in Australia with the highest mode share for cycling to work, schools, shops of any city in Australia”, and “to have an effective interconnected, continuous and well maintained bicycle network that inexperienced and experienced riders feel safe and comfortable using”, I don’t think of some paint and rubber on the road, it just doesn’t achieve that for me.
Now those objectives are entirely commendable and I for one would love to see Yarra Council achieve them. I have an image of people happily jumping on their bikes to buy some milk or take the kids to soccer training as just a normal part of practically everyone’s life.
“In mid 2011, Council constructed a new bicycle route that connects Heidelberg Road in Clifton Hill with Gipps Street in Abbotsford.
“The route provides a separated road space for cyclists that connects cyclists to other key bicycle routes and provides better access to other parts of Yarra and the CBD.
“The project cost $280,000.
“The majority of work involved painting line markings to create better definition along the route. Traffic treatments were also installed at several locations to provide greater separation between cyclists and vehicles.”
Frankly the $280,000 does not equal “a separated road space for cyclists” it has put some paint and rubber on the road. It is spin doctoring to call that “separated”. It is time to call it what it is, dangerous window dressing that continues the second class status of cyclists and puts them in harm’s way, while pretending to provide them with a bike lane.
If like me you have used that route you will know that you take a punt with your life every time you turn from Bath Street into Johnston St to get onto Gipps St and I pray that someone doesn’t have to get killed there before a real solution for cyclists crossing Johnston Street is put in place.
There is a profound double standard that applies to cyclists. Cyclists incidence of injury and death is increasing and it is justified as a consequence of increasing numbers of cyclists in the community. But that would be totally unacceptable for motorists. The death toll must go down every year for motorists, even though there are more on the roads and rightly so. We should have safe roads for all the people who use them. But cyclists are getting a bum deal and it is time to face that fact. The TAC website shows that for the year to date there is a 67% increase.
Even an innocent momentary lapse of concentration on a motorist’s part and splat, cyclist’s Christmas cancelled.
Without projects that really create bike lanes to world’s best practice, Yarra cannot become “the best cycling city in Australia” or “have an effective interconnected, continuous and well maintained bicycle network that inexperienced and experienced riders feel safe and comfortable using”
Which is why, if Yarra is to become “the best cycling city in Australia” it will have to become the highest funding per capita Council in Australia and build physically separated bicycle lanes that are safe to travel in.
Thankfully Yarra has some great natural advantages in that contest. We have a geographical small council, we have many broad streets and we have a lot of cyclists already.
So let’s grab the mantle off Sydney and just do it, build (not paint) a great network of real bike lanes, ones that physically separate cyclists and motorists, like the Copenhagen style does, and build new bike paths that cyclists of all ages and ability feel safe using.
When Yarra starts doing that, rather than acting like a graffiti artist on our road running wild with paint, then we will increasingly feel like the roads are safe for cyclists and many more will jump on a bike. Yarra cannot fix the problem of the entire city, but Yarra can certainly lead the way for the entire metropolitan area.
In the meantime cyclists will continue to protect parked cars from damage with their lives rather than parked cars protecting cyclists’ lives. How many people have to be injured or killed on Yarra’s roads before a cyclists’ life is more valuable than a parked car?
So I for one am just going to have to disagree with Yarra Council and continue to say that there are no new bike lanes in Yarra and it doesn’t look like there will be any in the near future. Not while they are still thinking a bit of paint creates an on-road bike lane. That’s just not good enough, not when people’s lives are at stake.
People who have been road riding for some time tend to develop an acceptance of the risks, they develop strategies to cope with it. I for one, light up my bike like a Christmas tree at nights on the road. However, we tend to forget that it is scary and off-putting for most people to use your bike on the roads with cars zipping past you just centimetres away.
Victoria Police’s Operation Halo demonstrates that the magic paint just doesn’t work to keep cyclists and motorists separated.
“More than 130 motorcyclists have been snared for riding in the bike lane, as have 42 car and truck drivers” during Operation Halo.
The Age recently had an article that highlighted just how scary it can be out there on the roads.
“Helmet cameras tested on Melbourne roads two years ago show how prevalent scares are for cyclists. Marilyn Johnson, from the Monash University Accident Research Centre, found in footage compiled by 13 riders over 127 hours there were two crashes, six near-crashes and 46 instances where riders had to take evasive action. Drivers were at fault 87 per cent of the time.”
So come on Yarra get your act together put away the paint brush and build real bike lanes.
To download the petition calling for more Copenhagen lanes in the City of Yarra click here.
Some of YCAN’s best friends are cyclists. Cycling is a fantastic way to get some exercise, zip around Yarra and do your bit to have a smaller carbon footprint. But shockingly the City of Yarra has been identified as one of five high risk municipalities for the Victorian Police’s Operation Halo which has been running over the last few weeks. It is also disappointing that the Council is being very slow to properly implement its bicycle strategy.
Operation Halo has seen about 100 police a day working across the Melbourne, Port Phillip, Yarra, Boroondara and Stonnington Police Service Areas (PSAs) during peak commuter times at high-collision locations. YCAN believes that cyclists deserve the opportunity to cycle around Yarra without running the gauntlet. Cycling deserves to be a normal part of our lives in Yarra. It takes up a tiny proportion of the space that cars do, making the roads less congested for those who have to use motor vehicles. We all want to know that the ambulance is not going to get stuck in gridlock when we call it, cyclists leave the road clearer.
Police have detected 3943 offences which could have contributed to pedestrian, cyclist and motorcycle road trauma in the first three weeks of Operation Halo.
State Bicycle Coordinator Sergeant Arty Lavos said “This operation is about targeting road trauma involving our vulnerable road users such as cyclists, motorcycle riders and pedestrians,”
“Our road toll is currently 47 – that’s 15 higher than this time last year. Of those deaths, four have been cyclists, five pedestrians and six motorcycle riders.” Sgt Lavos said.
It isn’t surprising that motor vehicles make up the majority of the offences.
What is surprising is that means 8.5% of those deaths were cyclists. It seems a disproportionate number of cyclist have died in that period. We are not saying that it is the fault of motorists. What we are saying is that both motorists and cyclists deserve the opportunity to travel safely and that having separate bike lanes in the Copenhagen style will make travelling safer for everyone. This is a failure to provide the infrastructure that the huge increase in cyclists calls for.
The City of Yarra has a Bicycle strategy that should have meant that our community got five Copenhagen lanes per year. As yet the City of Yarra has failed to provide even one. How many people will be injured or die before Yarra Council starts to meet this modest target? Would the Police have needed to deploy one hundred officers if our community was safer for cyclists? If you are a cyclist or have someone you love who enjoys cycling then this affects you. Let’s make cycling safer. And let’s solve gridlock before it strangles our city.
It is time for Council to stop thinking that some white lines and green paint will protect the people of this city. Everyone is a winner when more people regularly cycle, unless it ends in tears.
YCAN calls on the City of Yarra to fully implement its bike strategy and show genuine leadership by becoming the highest per capita funder of cycling infrastructure in Australia.