What’s the issue?
The availability of active, sustainable transport options go hand in hand with healthy and liveable communities. Yet cyclists in the west and north west suburbs of Melbourne are stuck with a lack of safe cycling route options.
In the western suburbs there are bike lanes to nowhere, incomplete bike trails, and little bike infrastructure in places where it is really needed. This can force cyclists into dangerous situations and put them at greater risk of accidents.
We know that safety is the number one factor that would encourage more people to ride their bike. The more safe bike routes we have, the more people will choose to take the bike instead of the car. This will reduce traffic congestion, reduce pollution in our neighbourhoods, and make for a happier, healthier community!
We went out with a bike cam to show you just how dangerous it is riding down Dynon Road. It really is the ride from hell!
What are the Greens doing about it?
The Greens launched the Bike West campaign as a way to identify and promote solutions to the missing and dodgy bike routes that are so common in the western suburbs. Our goal is to create safe, connected bike routes across our neighbourhoods, and to see more people cycling!
Bike West has achieved some significant wins over the past few years, but we still have a long way to go to catch up with the standard and availability of bike routes elsewhere in Melbourne’s inner north and east.
In November 2015, Bike West launched the Getting the West on Track report, which identified the major missing bike links in Moonee Valley, Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay. This report was created following extensive consultation, research and field work, and you can read more about the results.
With the support of the community behind us, we are continuing to campaign hard for the government to invest in these bike missing links, because the west deserves the best!
What can I do to help?
We couldn’t have achieved everything we have done so far without the enthusiastic support of the community!
At the moment, the Victorian Parliament is conducting an inquiry into bike safety, so make sure you get your submission in before the 1 April deadline. It only takes a few minutes, so make a submission and make your voice heard.
If you’re keen to stay in the loop with the Bike West campaign and any upcoming events and volunteering opportunities, then sign up to our Bike West mailing list.
Bike West has achieved some huge wins over the past few years, making a massive impact on bike safety in the inner west. We’re going to keep working to improve bike routes across the western suburbs, but here’s a snapshot of our success so far:
1. We fixed the most dangerous intersection in the western suburbs
The Parker Street and Whitehall Street intersection in Footscray was a nightmare before our Bike West campaign. The intersection saw a major bike route and a major trucking route (that carried 4,200 trucks per day) cross over with no traffic lights!
It was the most dangerous intersection in the western suburbs, which was clear from the crash statistics with many cyclists being hit. Thanks to the Bike West campaign, the intersection has now been fixed and there are traffic lights with bike priority signals, as well as new green bike lanes and signage, line markings and skid-resistant asphalt resurfacing.
Take a look at what the intersection was like before our campaign. Thank goodness for Bike West!
2. We fixed Shepherd Bridge so cyclists can cross the river safely
The west’s main cycling link with the city forced cyclists over the notoriously dodgy Shepherd Bridge that links Footscray and West Melbourne over the Maribyrnong River.
It’s as busy as Punt Road and used by thousands of container trucks every day. Cyclists traveling in both directions had a very rough footpath that was only 1.6 metres wide, forcing bike riders to rub shoulders with trucks and dodge light poles in the middle of the path.
After a long community wide campaign we were successful in having the shared pathway widened to 3.5 metres, resurfaced and line marked, and the light poles relocated, making it much safer and enjoyable for cyclists.
3. We got the Westgate Punt funded as a seven-day week commuter service
The Westgate Punt is a bicycle ferry service that travels from the Scienceworks Jetty in Spotswood across the Yarra River to Fishermans Bend in Port Melbourne. It enables many people in the west – particularly the south west around the Williamstown and Altona area – to ride to the CBD.
The community campaigned to successfully have the Punt funded as a public transport service operating seven days per week, rather than just a weekend service.
Bike West in the media
Star Weekly (17 Nov 2015): Push to fix missing cycling links
Maribyrnong Leader (18 Nov 2015): Greens MP Hartland pedals campaign for better bike infrastructure in the west
3CR Radio (7 Dec 2015): Getting the Melbourne's west suburbs on track for riders
Sign up to our mailing list to find out more how you can get involved.