Moving through our daily lives is so fundamental to our existence, but most of us never really think about it.
Inspiration Café – Future Movers, the final 2017 Curriculum for Change event, was an opportunity to give it some thought, see what can be done, and be proactive in shaping the future of transport.
An amazing night with 100 people in a jam packed room – full of energy and good will. People willing to have a say and get involved in creating safer, enjoyable, sustainable travel for everyone.
A diverse range of people attended – bike riders, truck and frieght groups, walkers, public transport users, people using mobility equipment, car drivers, government agencies, interested community members of varying ages and backgrounds, mums and dads, business owners, employees, community groups and more.
To kick off and get people in the mood, a couple of short videos were shown:
Truck drier’s blind-spot from British Safety Council on You Tube
We then heard from event partners Jac Torres Gomez of Bike Bendigo and Brian Weastley of Vic Roads to set the scene:
Jac spoke about how people on bikes are disproportionately vulnerable on the roads and emphasised the need to understand different perspectives of transport users, bringing the human side to the conversation. Prior to the event she asked how other transport users felt when passing a bike.
“With feelings such as nervous, concerned and worried, they are surprisingly similar to how people on bikes feel too.”
Brian spoke of the need to plan for an increasing population. “We are keen to keep having the conversation with our community so we are aware of their experiences, ideas and local knowledge as we plan sustainably for future generations.”
Next up was the fun part – an interactive discussion led by MC Ian McBurney to encourage connection and conversations.
Participants were asked to share their answers to a number of questions including what’s your preferred mode of transport, identify 3 challenges in getting around for yourself or for others and what’s your best idea to make the journey safer and more enjoyable for everyone.
Challenges highlighted included:
- cost, frequency and routes of public transport
- accommodating an increasing population including people with specific mobility needs
- changing mindsets, particularly breaking car driving culture
- lack of bike infrastructure, mixing bike lanes with car lanes
- design of the city is predominantly for cars
- lack of funding for bike and public transport infrastructure
- safety concerns including roundabouts
Some great solution ideas too such as ….
- safe transport education
- shared bike and car schemes
- better signs and safe cycling routes, separate to cars, including continuous and separated bike routes
- education for traders to understand benefits of foot traffic
- smaller and more frequent bus services
- incentives to reduce car travel to school
- improve links between different modes of transport
- alternative transport festival
- rickshaws as transport for the elderly and those who can’t get out and about
- encourage working from home to reduce need to travel
28 people committed to taking next steps such as:
- pursuing protected bike lanes for Bendigo
- get the bike fixed, ride more, walk more
- join the Council’s ITLUS group
- join Bike Bendigo and go on community ride
- keep engaging with people about road safety
- explore the link between active travel in school years and driver safety in adulthood
- create a community biking and walking network
Many people agreed that the terrific attendance and participation for a topic that may otherwise seem contentious and focused on blaming of others, was a great outcome.
This is only made possible through the extensive engagement and relationship building that has been happening through this years Curriculum for Change program.
Building this kind of momentum is a huge investment: 15 months of consistent work addressing challenges identified and specific to our community. All generously funded by local forward thinking organisations that understand the importance local people make to producing real sustained positive change. Over and above the enormous swags of volunteer time provided by Make A Change and Jumpleads.
Creating long term positive change takes time, it takes understanding the perspectives of others, listening, bringing together different groups of people to: explore new ideas and opportunities; make new connections; and find new ways to forward existing initiatives.
Future Movers was one significant step towards Bendigo being a great liveable city. To get involved in the next steps sign up to the enews for updates and register to attend the upcoming 2018 Curriculum for Change training events.