Over a thousand people were counted riding past the Brunswick Baths on a weekday morning earlier this year. Nearly all were coming down the narrow Upfield bike path on their way to work or school.
Brunswick has one of the highest proportions of commuter cyclists in Victoria. I’ve been riding to work for years and over the last five years more and more workmates are joining me. We’ve had to get a second bike rack at work.
Bike facilities are certainly getting better. We’re seeing more bike racks and bike lanes, and more courtesy from drivers. But now that cycling is an accepted way of travelling, we need to do more.
The Upfield path is dangerously tight at several points; a good friend had three weeks in hospital with fractures earlier this year after a bike on bike collision. We need more work on safe north-south bike routes through Brunswick.
Cycling keeps us healthy, cuts carbon emissions, and you get to work with a spring in your step. But we need our road builders and councils to think about cyclists as adult commuters, and we need a state government that wants to support them. The Greens want to:
1. Speed up building the Principal Bicycle Network. We’ll give councils up to $5 per person per year to spend on bike lanes and racks.
2. Increase clearly designated road space for cyclists and protected cycleways where demand and risk are high.
3. Give cyclists priority over motor vehicles in high concentration zones such as schools.
4. Reform road laws to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety, such as the a metre mattters law. We want more TAC money spent on improving cycling safety.
5. Better integrate cycling with public transport, including bike access to trains and secure bike storage at public transport stops and stations.
6. Boost regional and rural cycling and cycle touring. Some people choose a large 4-wheel drive for occasional holidays of the year and spend the rest of the year driving it around town. Let’s get more people putting their bikes on buses and trains and heading out into the country.
If you want better cycling infrastructure and support here in Victoria, vote for the party you can trust to stand up for bikes.