October 30, 2009
The allocation of $2.2 Million for six cycling projects around Tasmania was welcomed by 110 cyclists as they joined peak hour traffic on the monthly Critical Mass Bike Ride in Hobart on Friday.
In a letter written to Senator Anthony Albanese, Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government and signed by 44 riders, health advocacy group Healthy Transport Hobart wrote:
“We take this opportunity to express our thanks for the recent anouncement of funding for several cycling infrastructure projects in Tasmania including $577,000 for an arterial bike network in Launceston, $969,000 for a shared cycling and walking path in near Burnie, $206,031 for extension of the intercity cycleway past its end point at Claremont, $299,091 for safe cycleway for Strahan, $100,000 for the Binalong Bay cycleway and $75,000 for Prospect Vale Fitness Trail.”
“We hope that this signals a new direction in Commonwealth funding for not only recreational but vital community transport arrangements with real financial support for cycling infrastructure projects through new funding arrangements between the Commonwealth and Local Government.”
“We appreciate that Commonwealth / State / Local Government funding arrangements are complex and transforming the Australian transport system to become more sustainable (and less expensive for Governments and individuals) is not an easy ask. However we truly believe cycling has a very important part to play in Australia as it does in our lives”
“We would like to know what future funding arrangements will ensure our city, Hobart, can attract similar funding to that received by other parts of Tasmania”.
Hobart City Council Alderman Bill Harvey, who featured in Friday’s Mercury with a Mexican street vendor juicer, made the most of the warm weather and a few bags of oranges, to provide riders with healthy refreshment.
Ride participant Liam Correy, said he was impressed with Alderman Harvey’s idea and was looking forward to a greater variety of juices to be available to cyclists after the monthly ride.
Daily bicycle commuter, Katie Kingshott, who rides approximately 20km a day, said that Friday’s ride “encapsulated everything positive I associate with cycling including the social interaction, the out of a car perspective you get of the street-scape in beautiful weather and the fact you can just ride your bike right up onto Salamanca Lawns and sit down for dinner and a beer knowing you have been doing something healthy for you and your city”.
Healthy Transport Hobart plans to promote the ride as a great way to head out on a Friday night.: “we were really happy to see a few people bring along some dinner and drink or two or go and get something and bring it back onto the lawns, we have been trying to encourage people to stay in the city after the ride to add a new dimension” said Liam.
Friday’s ride however did not pass without minor controversy with some riders concerned that it had become too respectful. Since its expansion from February last year, riders have taken a courteous and law abiding approach to the ride attempting to keep to one lane only and follow all traffic signals. In other cities riders attempt to keep the group flowing safely through ‘corking’ intersections to let all riders through against the traffic signals.
Advocate for the law abiding style of ride, Liam Correy, said “he wanted to ensure that participants did not break road rules which would result in frustration to other road users and give cyclists a bad name”.
Lastly: To us the ride is a celebration of cycling and a show of support for action to make cycling a realistic transport option for all in Hobart, not just us. It is therefore important to us that we don’t mix up our message too much. While we understand people like to make the most of a good crowd to advertise their events, we would prefer if people only handed out info about cycling events etc at the ride. While we understand that the forests, climate change, poverty and political issues are all important, the feedback we get from the ride is that people want it to stay simple and apolitical. Apologies if we cause offence. We are the ones with the megaphone!!
Hobart City Council Alderman Bill Harvey notified us of a complaint he received 2 weeks ago about bikes in the city without bells. To rectify this he gathered at least 10 high quality, but chronologically advanced bike bells, and had them distributed at Friday’s ride. There will be more available on the next Critical Mass Ride.
October 30, 2009
Healthy Transport Hobart sat in on the first round of consultation for the Kingborough Intergrated Transport Strategy at the Kingborough Civic Centre on Thursday 29th October 2009. This consultation is being run by Pitt & Sherry and Parsons and Brinckerhoff. The factors driving the study include demands for sustainability, accessibility, growth and integration of land use planning and transport planning.
Issues that had been identified from previous consultation sessions included Vision, Behavioural change, a local focus, better bus scheduling and route design, park and ride facilities, improved accessibility for walking and bicycles, maintenance of the road network, co-ordination of land use and transport planning, higher urban densities to facilitate walking and public transport use and equity.
The consultation session sought to get feedback on the initial framework and get thoughts on key actions that are needed to deliver the vision.
The vision for kingborough in 2020 is that is will be a thriving, vibrant connected community healthy by nature and naturally beautiful. The objectives for the Integrated Transport Strategy were: Available transport, affordable transport, sustainable transport, safe transport and behavioural change.
The strategy elements included: land use and development, walking and cycling, public transport, road network and education and promotion.
HTH consultation rep Liam Correy who attended the session highlighted that research and evaluation of the strategy and its implementation would be extremely valuable. He highlighted that non specific data such as that provided by the ABS or local government data would not be enough if best practice evaluation of the strategy was to lead to sustainable development in achieving its outcomes. This research and evaluation component was requested to be incorporated in the education and promotion strategy element, but could reach out over all the key elements.
An example of this evaluation method could be focussed on walking and cycling and numbers following a new bike lane or widened footpath, or what number changes occurred when user friendly bus shelters were rolled out. Our concerns stem from a trend especially within the public health and transport sectors to spend millions of dollars on hard and soft infrastructure without allocating funds to evaluate how effective that infrastructure was.
The meeting was attended by approximately 12 people including Kingborough Mayor Graham Bury and Deputy Mayor Flora Fox. Some really interesting points were raised including: the need to factor in ‘on the ground climate change impact’ in the future, that 400 metres was the expected distance for people to be able to walk to a service from their home (ie a shop or bus stop), that unless specific demands such as bike racks on busses are written into contracts of companies such as metro, they will not happen and also the need for toilets at bus stops to add convenience.
The consultation session raised some important questions that we believe need addressing. Why was there not more people at the consultation, why was there limited facilitation of key actions needed to deliver the vision? Objectives and Strategies were available for feedback on the documentation presented but no key action section was included. Perhaps greater publicity around such consultations might enable greater public participation.
Healthy Transport Hobart will be writing to the consultants to request what community groups, schools and organisations have been consulted in the process.
If you would like to contribute to the consultation then please write to:
Pitt & Sherry, Attention: James McIntosh
199 Macquarie St, Hobart, Tasmania, 7001.
October 28, 2009
Critical Mass Bike Ride Hobart
Picnic in the Park
|Friday||Showers, possibly thundery.||Min||11||Max||24|
Ride your bike out this Friday night to celebrate the longer days and warmer weather. Cyclists will be converging on Franklin Square in Hobart on Friday 30th September for the monthly mass ride around the city to celebrate the benefits of cycling.
WHAT: Hundreds of cyclists riding around Hobart to then dine at Salamanca
WHEN: 5.10 – 6pm, Friday 30th October 2009
WHERE: Franklin Square to Salamanca Lawns
Meet 5.10pm Franklin Square
Motorists on Macquarie Street can expect a short delay at the end of their week as bicycles join peak hour traffic. A 100 bicycle riders are expected to ride around Hobart this Friday to show support for cycling as an excellent form of transport in the city.
The Critical Mass Bike ride which occurs in hundreds of cities around the world is an occasionally controversial event due confrontations between Cyclists and Motorists.
Hobart’s ride has been attracting large numbers of riders each month for over a year now and has been incident free due to the courteous nature displayed by regular riders.
Katie Kingshott, events manager for Healthy Transport Hobart, a group who hand out spot prizes on the ride said, she is “looking forward to the joining the city on her bike once again to help raise awareness of the healthy and sustainable transport options bicycles provide”.
Daily bicycle commuter, Liam Correy of Taroona, said “the ride is a great example of how people can create a hassle free night out and get some exercise in as well”, “you don’t have to worry about parking as long as you bring along a bike lock” and “I can have a couple of guilt free drinks, as I’ll get some healthy physical activity on my way home”.
“Imagine how much more accessible and attractive Hobart would be to people if there wasn’t so many cars whizzing round on a Friday night”, “We are trying to encourage people who live in the city to discover the joys of going out on their bikes and leaving the car behind”. “And best of all, cyclists have the sexiest legs” said Katie.
Healthy Transport Hobart recommends riders bring a picnic dinner and some beverages, but not too many as they might just get a flat tyre.
October 28, 2009
The Hobart City Council has earned some bonus browny points in the eyes of Healthy Transport Hobart with an excellent repair job of the super dangerous crack on the junction of Antill and Regent Streets. We wrote to them on October the fourth notifying them of the danger this particular crack and another on Sandy Bay Rd posed to cyclists. The good news is that there is one less crack to contend with around Hobart and that the HCC took only 24 days to complete the repair. We wait with anticipation for the repair of the Sandy Bay rd crack, which to their credit has been marked with white paint.
Below is the nice letter we sent to the council:
Dear Hobart City Council,
We at Healthy Transport Hobart would like to sincerely thank you for the rapid response you took to repair the crack on the junction of Regent and Antill Streets we notified you of which posed a significant danger to cyclists. We look forward to the repair of the hole on Sandy Bay Rd.
Liam Correy and Katie Kingshott
October 27, 2009
There has been more conversations between Healthy Transport Hobart and Kingborough’s Youth Development officer who is working hard to raise the transport needs of young people to a higher level. She has arranged for 4 young people to speak to the Premier David Bartlett on the 13th of November at the launch of the documentary made of the consultation. Despite their esteemed positions as university students and professionals, HTH members struggle to comprehend the consultation processes they contribute to and are therefore hopeful that this sets a precedent for dialogue between young people and policy makers when it comes to the communities transport needs.
October 27, 2009
Healthy Transport Hobart congratulates The Clemes campus of the Friends School on some forward thinking finance direction towards providing bicycle parking for its students. Healthy Transport Hobart School Bicycle Parking Officer, Galen Correy, recently reported the promise of a small amount of money to increase the year 11/12 bicycle parking capacity.
He will be submitting his recommendations to the school shortly with some designs and products to fit the spaces available.
Several members of HTH spent their last two years of school at Friends and are absolutely thrilled that the school is encouraging students to ride on a regular basis by providing excellent parking amenities.
These guys have good options – BV (Bike Victoria) – http://www.bv.com.au/bike-parking/
Contact – Mark Rossiter / Tim Ceolin – 1 300 727 808
( There Pushbike Tree and other products are very – “Cutting edge”)
October 27, 2009
Acting State Representative for Healthy Transport Hobart, Liam Correy, recently met with an urban planner by the name of ‘Ben’, who was down in Tassie for the Bus Industry Confederation annual conference. Ben is an expert in the field of Urban Planning and some great discussions were had. He also works for Infrastructure Australia and is involved in making big change happen in Australia. His quote “A good bus service does not need timetables as it runs frequently and with such reliability that people know if they turn up to the bus stop they will be picked up in less than 15 minutes”.
We were a little disappointed not to hear much in the media about it considering public transport is a rather important issue in Hobart but our friends at ABC knew it was on:
The Bus Industry Confederation annual conference is the key policy forum for bus and coach operators, suppliers, regulators and advocates of public transport in Australia. This year’s theme is Moving Australians – Sustainable Transport. The conference will focus on the BIC’s efforts to see a National Moving People Strategy developed and implemented for Australia as part of the solution to address issues such as climate change, urban congestion, social exclusion and peak oil. The conference is being held in Hobart, Tasmania, from Sunday 25 to Wednesday 28 October 2009.
October 27, 2009
Healthy Transport Hobart’s Kingborough progress observer Liam, recently attended his first KBUG meeting in several months and was seriously impressed with the level of progress they are generating. Not only are they an incredibly organised and official group but they are making serious progress in addressing cycling issues in Kingborough. Most impressive is their jobs to do list which as has seen several improvements made around the municipality in the favour of bikes. One of their members Rob Sheers, is working tirelessly to ensure the Bonnet Hill link between Taroona and Kingston has a bicycle dedicated lane on the uphill sections. http://www.stvcc.asn.au/Assets/BonnettHillClimbingLanes.pdf
October 27, 2009
Healthy Transport Hobart sent chief data and statistics officer Liam Correy to a recent presentation put on by the HCC featuring Mike Williamson from Bicycle Victoria.
As the facilities development manager representative for Local Government Mike spoke of the importance of gathering statistics on cycling numbers in Hobart if we want to boast of the catch cry from Bicycle Victoria “More People Cycling More Often”.
Mike is part of organising a nationwide bicycle count once a year in Australia on a Tuesday in March and wants the Hobart and surrounding municipalities to come on board. He charges a tidy sum of $3000 for the service which includes 22 count sites graphed and neatly presented for the use of key players in the healthy transport game.
The great thing about this service is that approx $1100 goes back into the organisations that provide volunteers for the counting. With Hobart City Council promising to put forward the money next year we hope that the surrounding councils can also join in the fun and get their first official measurement on bike travel numbers.
October 25, 2009
The sanity and safety of humans are not the only things compromised by high traffic speeds limits. Last night I was basking in the sunset as I cycled home along Sandy Bay Road, when I came across a sad situation. The ducks of the Derwent River had embarked on a road adventure. One duck got nailed by a Four Wheel Drive legally blasting along at about 60km/h. Without completely killing the duck, the perpetrator carried on driving and maybe didn’t even notice the bleeding and flapping animal stuck to the middle of the road. To remove the humanity from the situation even further, not one oncoming car bothered to give way to me or to another chap trying to rescue the duck from a second hit.
It was a really beautiful creature with shimmering green streaks through its feathers. It was a total bum to watch it die and to then lay it to rest on the foreshore.
If a pedestrian is hit by a car travelling at 64km/h they have an 85% chance of dying (National Crash Statistics). More vulnerable road users such as ducks have absolutely no chance. When cycling or walking it is easy to remain in touch with the surrounding environment and to notice small atrocities such as this one.
Healthy Transport Hobart support a speed limit reduction to 30km/h for all main urban thoroughfares in the wake of many pedestrian, cyclist and duck injuries sustained in Hobart this year.
October 25, 2009
Healthy Transport members continue to delight in the joys of carting heavy and bulky loads with their fleet of bob trailers and cargo bikes. A quick trip to the Taroona Community Garden Centre had the team laden with 5 large bags of mature compost for their vegie patch. Doubtful looks and kind offers to drop the compost off by car were happily declined as they rode away demonstrating that it is entirely possible and fun to fulfil all transportation needs by bicycle.
October 14, 2009
Ride to Work day in Hobart today produced a huge turnout of bikes around Hobart converging on Mawson Place for a free breakfast. Healthy Transport Hobart was out amongst it all counting the bicycle riders as they peddled their way to breakfast. Six “Cycle Angels” were deployed around the city to locations that allowed them to bless as many bike riders as possible with their presence. They would have been hard to miss with XXXL yellow t-shirts and “happy ride to work day” signs.
The counts were as follows: Junction of Molle and Collins St – 50 (between 6.15-8.15); Junction of Maquarie and Murray St – 80 (between 6.15 – 7.45); Junction of Burnett and Argyle St – 40 (between 6.15 – 7.45); Junction of Elizabeth St and Commercial Rd – 20 (between 7-7.45), Hobart End of Bike Track – 285 (6.15 – 7.55); Junction of Marieville Esp and Sandy Bay Rd – 65 (7-8.10). Making a grand total of 540 ride to work legends.
The cycle angels were not only counting bikes but also ringing their bells and flashing their signs to create awareness of the importance of today for bicycle users in Australia, and had puncture repair kits and big smiles for whoever needed a help on their journey.
The Burnett/Argyle St Angel, Liam, recieved a call from Andy Muirhead who was broadcasting live for ABC Radio Hobart from the Ride to Work Breakfast and had a good chat about being a gentleman cyclist and the good stuff that will be going down with Hobarts Critical Mass this Summer.