April 25, 2009
A weather forecast of ‘showers developing’ and a drizzly 5pm didn’t deter 68 riders from joining Hobart’s monthly celebration riding in the dark for the first time this year! Accompanied by two officers from the Tas Police bike squad followed a regular route around the city and through battery point adding a spectacular fleet of flashing bike lights to the streets.
April 22, 2009
A beautiful evening greeted 9 folk who chose to throw their support behind earth friendly transport on two wheels and delay the journey home to celebrate what a fine form of transport the bicycle provides. Earth Day was on 22nd April, 2009, and while just another one of those ‘bloody days’ for everything it stood out from the crowd as a fairly important one! According to some media reports, the Earth Day ride in Budapest, Hungary in 2008 attracted over 50,000 people.
Check out the Budapest Ride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1mwkYdgjTs
April 19, 2009
It looks like Hobart’s first significant on road bike lane treatment is about to make reality. Subtle line markings discovered over the weekend give some idea of the space that has been allocated to bikes! To some this may seem insignificant, but to those of us who ride the Argyle/Campbell commute regularly it is a great step toward further developments across the city!
April 19, 2009
Had a stop over in Brisbane last week that allowed an hour or so of daylight to check out what sort of cycling environments they have to offer. Seems that they not only provide on-road treatments but some serious separate bike and pedestrian environments. Cruising along at 5pm was an experience alright! Not only was there the usual bike track recreational enthusiasts but some seriously high numbers of commuters racing home from work! In terms of infrastructure however, allegedly Brisbane city council has put up $100 million for bike projects, and they send out reflective clips with their rates (I’m not sure why someone in Brisbane would ride with trousers on?). What’s more, they are building a tunnel costing billions to put cars under the city! Not a bad thing really eh?
April 19, 2009
Despite holding views in the past that didn’t rate Mountain Biking highly. The recent Kellevie 24 Hour endurance race highlighted to one HTH member the skill that riding off the road actually requires, is quite applicable to hitting the streets of Hobart at peak hour! Not only does riding on an off road single track keep you alert and improves response times to changing conditions, but it strengthens all those muscles that might come in handy if evasive action is needed or getting home quick is a priority. Moral of the story: more mountain bikers equals more skilled riders, more skilled riders equals less problems with riding to work!
April 8, 2009
HCC Alderman, Ron Christie organised a Save Our City Summit for Hobart Traders and interested parties on Wednesday 8th April, 2009.
Healthy Transport Hobart members Liam and Katie, joined the packed out room at the HCC to listen in on what the traders concerns were and what their solutions were.
Following on from Jan Gehl’s recent lectures in Hobart, we were interested to see if the idea of bringing more people into the city was to be offered up as a solution.
“What right do people have to put up with being pushed?”
“Don’t see any police presence in the mall?””
“Lets put our foot down and actually say something about it!
Every trader is concerned, ‘why do we have to put up with bogans in the city?”
‘It’s the same group of these people who frequents the city. We should deter them from leaving where they are to stop them coming into the city. We’ve got to stop them coming into the city!”
The meeting was attended by Lord Mayor Rob Valentine, aldermen Helen Burnett, Bill Harvey, Eva Ruzika and Darlene Haigh.
The traders offered these solutions to their problems:
“Zero tolerance required! Start booking them, people walk the streets against red lights!”
“Rent the police to have a task force required to police the mall with zero tolerance”
“Make these people realise that they are just not welcome”
“Ban smoking in the mall: they smoke a lot, need to realise they have to move on!”
“Ban drunkards! “
“There are internationals who do smoke, and their are traders who do have smoking tables, if we shift em out of the mall and they just go into the side streets!”
“It is disappointing that there is no state government representative! We need sniffer dogs in malls and in the night clubs. On the spot fines! We are massive rate payers! Zero tolerance equals zero problems.!! Carry the power! “
“State government will know about this meeting!”
Two Speakers stood out above the rest by pointing at what causes these problems:
Helen Burnett also spoke and said: we need to look at it from a health perspective. Its not a simple problem! There is a lot of people living in inner Melbourne which makes it a better place now! We as a city need to address this by having people living in the city! These problems are social. There is also a good lot of youth including the Youth Futures group of the Hobart City Council. We can’t just put up gates, its not that simple!”
Stuart Scott from the public order response team also spoke. He said there needs to be an in depth understanding of issues confronting youth and why they are confronting people! They come from every type of family, every suburb, and all have a very complex range of issues!
Social, cultural issues, dysfunctional parenting, drugs , alcohol. Council offers youth arc, and there is case management of these kids! Zero tolerance is a difficult issue when dealing with children! There is 12-13 officers with 400 people locked up this year and its not something we should be proud of. We need to deal with the complexity by getting these kids in school! Kids need to be able to engage in something meaningful, family life is hell, if the have to prospects they will go to Ashley!
We came away slightly disturbed, but hopeful that a city with more bikes will help solve some of these problems. One of our biggest challenges is to educate people who make comments like the one below, that answers do not lie in bringing cars back into people spaces.
“The solution is simple. The Mall serves no useful purpose to anyone else except shoplifters, vandals, thugs and bogans, get rid of it and make it a happy street again. More parking for shoppers and peace for retailers”. (comment on mercury website)