Bicycle Network: Funding & Budgets
Planning Checklist for Cycling
The Planning Checklist for Cycling and Practice Note can be used to help build healthy new suburbs where everyone can ride their bikes as part of their everyday life.
Planning checklist innovation launched
15 October 2012. The Planning Checklist for Cycling and Practice Note have been developed as part of the three year Healthy New Suburbs in Urban Growth Zones project funded by VicHealth.
The Checklist and associated Practice Note are designed to be used as part of the planning process to enable professionals to develop suburbs that encourage healthy lifestyles for all residents and visitors.
Without appropriate riding facilities, children and adults cannot and will not ride. Many new suburbs have been built that do not have cycling facilities that connect to daily destinations such as schools, shops, community facilities and train stations. In many cases the cycling facilities provided do not suit the people who might use them - for instance, on-road bike lanes provided on busy, fast roads do not suit riding by children or family groups who want to ride to school.
The Checklist aims to ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated. It enables planners to make sure new sub-divisions meet the current planning and engineering requirements in Victoria. It focuses on three requirements of an effective cycling network:
- Connectivity to destinations- providing cycling routes that connect to destinations
- Permeability of the suburb - providing a choice of direct routes across a suburb and to local destinations
- Quality of infrastructure - providing the correct cycling infrastructure to the target population, their trip purpose and the places they want to go.
At each stage of the planning process a series of questions are asked to evaluate the provision of above requirements. Questions are designed to set benchmarks that are both assessable and achievable.
- New Community - at the regional or precinct planning stage the focus is the basic structure of a suburb including transport and recreational bicycle corridors and connections to major destinations and centres. In Melbourne this includes assessment of Growth Corridor Plans and Precinct Structure Plans.
- New Neighbourhood - within a suburb or precinct plan the focus is on establishing consistent connections to surrounding areas and providing internal access through a neighbourhood
- New Streets and Parks - at this stage detailed plans are assessed on whether they meet the relevant engineering guides.
In order to complete an assessment using Planning Checklist for Cycling, plans must show enough detail to allow the questions to be answered. This may require additional information or detail than currently required by councils or the state government.
It is important to emphasise that the Checklist is not a rating tool. All checklist items are considered essential and all relevant questions require a response. All assessment questions and associated criteria are considered essential and answers should be given to all within the relevant section.
Certain aspects are outside the scope of the Checklist.
It is well known that more compact suburbs favour walking and cycling as more destinations within easy walking and riding distance. Similarly access to frequent and convenient public transport is directly associated with reduced dependency on car travel. Both are fundamental to encouraging more cycling.
This Checklist does not canvas those issues as they need to be addressed in more fundamental and broader planning.
The Checklist does not consider provision for cycling within individual buildings such as bicycle parking facilities. These issues are addressed in permits for individual buildings.
Similarly it is the outside the domain of the planner to consider initiatives such as education, encouragement and enforcement. These issues are not addressed in the Checklist but should be included in complementary council strategies.