At the recent Future Movers 2 | Streets for People, we looked to the future, via the lens of those who are in action now: ready and willing to create safer more enjoyable travel for all. The evening was an opportunity to think differently about our streets, the way we move around and use them, the way we share them with other users, and the possibilities for the future.
We heard from eight diverse speakers, sharing their thoughts and perspectives on everyday travel and the challenges and opportunities ahead:
Trevor Budge, City of Greater Bendigo highlighted the changes that are coming in the future, such as the rise of electric scooters and car sharing that will enable us to get rid of our own cars.
Nicola Dunnicliff-Wells, President of Bike Bendigo, reflected on the use of streets designed for children. “People use streets differently where there are no cars. Where bike paths are good, people will ride. Where streets work for children, they would probably work for everyone.”
Damien Power, from Power’s Country express, shared the challenges of driving trucks in and around town, the difficulties of space for unloading and the need for other users to be aware of large vehicles such as when turning. Top improvements by the freight industry include access for larger vehicles, more improved loading zones, and a freight terminal hub.
Leah Holden, a La Trobe University marketing student, provided a unique perspective on road safety. Her generation is on the go and convenience is a priority. Taking a cultural and behaviour change perspective, Leah said “Emotive campaigns would make an impact on my generation.” Her idea was to create a “puppy” campaign, and showed a past TAC campaign that used puppies effectively.
Norm Quin, from Quin’s Bluebird fruit shop, reminisced about the old days when there was much less traffic and back then you could ride without a helmet. He shared his frustrations from a retailer perspective including how skateboards, bikes and scooters on footpaths cause issues, parking problems and the dangers of loading bays.
Lyn Coulter, principal of Epsom Primary School, along with two students Mack Ashton and Sarah Piotrowski, talked about what their school has done to reduce traffic around the school and to promote active travel. Lyn said that more children would like to ride to school, but parents are reluctant to let them. Their approach was to involve the children in the discussions and solutions, “The best changemakers in a parent’s life are their children”.
Jamie Ellis from Whitmore’s Bus Lines explained their strong focus on innovative transport solutions and how they are encouraging multi-modal travel. A key message in his talk was the importance of collaboration and partnerships across different organisations. For example, being willing and able to co-ordinate bus times with train times made a difference for people transferring between services.
Megan Goode, Vice President of Bike Bendigo, discussed the recent successful Havlin Street Mural project. She said that painting the mural provides the opportunity to change the way people relate to the space and allows for community to feel involved, “making the road not such a place for cars”.
Other perspectives shared in the discussion included:
- An observation from Bendigo Tramways about the success of the recent White Night Bendigo and how they ran their tram service until 2am for the first time in 40 years, and the potential for more events like this to make use of the streets in a different way.
- Consideration needs to be given to parking and safety at night. People, in particular women, may need to park close to work when walking to cars at night.
- The rise of autonomous vehicles, thinking ahead “do we need parking in 2050 if we don’t have our own cars?”
Those in attendance explored what everyday travel in Bendigo could look and feel like in 2030, and what principles could be adopted to help get us there.
Some of the principles agreed included:
- Prioritise solutions for public use over private use
- Take small steps to get to the vision of safe, enjoyable travel for all – start with what we have
- Separate different users such as people and cyclists from motor vehicles/trucks
- Any new infrastructure or upgraded infrastructure needs to be designed to be wider and incorporate different transport users
- Take heavy transport out of the city
- Utilise the streets for people more (such as regularly close off streets for events and community use)
- Ensure accessibility for a variety of abilities, making it inclusive
- Incorporate equity – equally sharing the efforts across the community
People attended for lots of different reasons:
Why did you come tonight?
- Staying safe together
- Safe riding and walking
- Interest in road safety
- Interested in need for car parking in CBD
- Concerns about Bgo CBD
- Talk about riding
- Free parking in CBD for ratepayers
- Interested to hear ideas
- To listen
- To see the latest ideas are for the whole city area
- To get new ideas and listen
- Felt it would be interesting
- To hear the conversation and viewpoints of Bendigo’s transport issues
- To listen and share
- Be a part of my local community
- To learn (heart)
- To listen, ask questions and participate
- I came tonight to support my brother while he is speaking about something he is passionate in and to become more involved in the topic.
- To advocate for safe, integrated transport solutions for Junortoun
- To ask about the bike tracks… future plans (?)… plan to link them (?)
- Good infrastructure development for all
- Want more on-road cycle lanes, markings and separation!
- Interest in city infrastructure links in trails networks
- Connection of bike path systems
- To find out what is being done to make our roads greater
- To understand the direction of travel in and around Bendigo
- Was here last year
- Connect with people doing great things
- To promote everyday cycling in Bendigo
- Because I care about my city
- People with a disability being involved in consultation and planning
- We need this conversation!
- Hear and understand others views issues
- How to make active travel the norm
- To promote separated safe lanes
A lot of people, when asked, are concerned about safety on the roads:
What’s your biggest concern with everyday travel?
- Better public transport in regional areas
- Active travel with children
- Car dependency
- Social norm is car
- Reliance on car and expectation for free parking
- 1 person in car
- Parking – people employed in the city parking in the CBD
- Parking – View street trader
- Getting hit as I bike ride with my daughter
- Turning to unnecessary options
- Getting more congested on the road
- Petrol is very expensive but cycling is pretty risky!
- Commuting – cycling Spring Gully to Huntly
- Commuting (kids) – Spring Gully to BSE
- Keeping my 6 year old away from traffic when walking/riding
- Need separated bike lanes that lead to places
- Riding into CBD or across areas from outer Western suburbs
- Turning lanes on tram tracks
- Streets built for cars not pedestrians
- Expansion of bicycle infrastructure especially outside the CBD
- Accessibility and connectivity of services – train and bus
- Safety for bike riders on roads
- Cars giving way to bikes and walkers
- Discontinuous bike lanes
- Not enough protection for cyclists on road!
- When cycling close proximity to vehicles
- Safety on bike and walking
- Safe space for riders and walkers
- My concern is how safe it’s going to be when I’m old enough to drive
- Safety of cyclists as Bendigo’s population increases!
- I’ll get hit by a car on my bike
- Unsafe passing by motorists and motorists on phones
- Need separated bike lanes to ride bikes etc – all mobilities
- Bike track under the fountain – White Hills to Kangaroo Flat
- Lack of protected and separated bike lanes
This work will be used to support Bike Bendigo’s efforts to create safe, enjoyable travel for all. If you’d like to stay in touch with Bike Bendigo or get involved with their advocacy efforts, please get in touch at http://www.bikebendigo.com/contact/