A Victorian parliamentary committee report into the state's coronavirus response has confirmed that bikes are an integral part of helping us reach a new normal.
The 500-page Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) paper released on Tuesday covered the government's management of the pandemic, including everything from testing and tracing to transport operation.
Walking and cycling infrastructure received its own section, with discussion about peoples increased interest in bike riding and walking during lockdown and the government's plans for bike infrastructure.
The report recommended that "the Department of Transport prioritise investment in safe cycling infrastructure to address the increase in demand".
Information was provided to the committee about the government's plans for building more places to ride, including trails as part of Level Crossing Removal, West Gate Tunnel and Metro Tunnel projects.
While longer term projects are good, the report says that more needs to be done now.
"The Committee notes that while Victoria has long term strategies focusing on cycling infrastructure such as the Victorian Cycling Strategy 2019–2028 and Active Transport strategy, safe cycling paths are required in the short term to address the increase in demand and protect Victorians from being exposed to COVID-19."
There are plans from the state government to build more places to ride in the near future, with more upgrades to come from it's $13 million pop-up bike lanes projects.
A pop-up bike lane has been installed on Heidelberg Road, with a total of 100km of protected lanes to be built in inner-Melbourne.
The Heidelberg Road bike lane has been a great success in its first weeks of operation, with people of all ages using the road that used to be the domain of strong and fearless cyclists.
Just saw a parent on a cargo bike pedalling their precious child cargo home down Heidelberg Road...wouldn’t have seen that before the protected pop up bike lane— Craig Richards (@richobicycle) February 2, 2021
Bicycle Network's Pedalling to a Better Normal plan, submitted to state and federal government's in May 2020, called for 250 kilometres of adaptable, separated bike lanes to be built in each state and territory.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.