New bike plan for southern suburbs

The City of Kingston in Melbourne’s south has embarked on development of a new bike plan for the municipality.

Following in the wake of the release of its integrated transport strategy (ITS) last year—that provided the high-level direction—the council is developing a five-year plan to guide improvements to cycling routes and walking paths in Kingston.

The ITS had as its first objective "to make walking and cycling the preferred transport choice, particularly for short local trips.”

With the new plan the council says it hopes to "develop a network of trails and cycleways that are accessible, integrated and connected to other modes of transport to ensure residents and visitors to the City of Kingston have a range of safe and sustainable travel choices."

Importantly, the council wants the help of bike riders and walkers in the development of the plan.

"Key to the success of the plan is consultation, collaboration, and coordination between council departments, external stakeholders, and the wider community—and a joint effort with many authorities responsible for realising the network.

"We want to make sure Council takes on board your ideas and experiences of walking and cycling in our city, to get it right.

"We are opening this subject up for community consultation from 20 September-24 October and encourage you to get involved and to help us to map out a pedestrian and cycling-friendly Kingston.” 

There is a short survey and interactive map on the site to enable input.

As part of this first stage, the council hopes to identify:
  • any priorities for making walking and cycling the preferred transport choice, particularly for short local trips
  • concerns about (or barriers to) providing improvements for cyclists and pedestrians
  • specific locations (using on-line mapping software) where improvements for pedestrians and cyclists could be made – such as missing gaps in the network, new cycle parking, wayfinding, safety issues, new road crossings, cleaning and maintenance, and accessibility for people with a disability.

The council says the Cycling and Walking Plan will help it make informed decisions about future investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure; and develop a capital program of works for improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

The feedback collected in Stage One will be used to identify priorities and projects needed to develop our bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

Further consultation will be undertaken on the draft Cycling and Walking Plan and the proposed program of works over the next five years before finalising the strategic document.

"Walking and cycling are inexpensive and healthy modes of travel – particularly for short local trips,” Kingston says. "Many local journeys in the municipality are relatively short—less than 5km.

"However, most cycle trips in Kingston are made for recreation rather than to/from work or accessing other destinations such as shops, schools, and public transport. We want to make getting around without a car the best option for those trips too.

"The City of Kingston has great potential for increasing cycling and walking options as is it relatively flat and has a ‘spine’ of activity centres and destinations that are well connected by transport networks such as the Nepean Highway and the railway corridors.

"Walking or riding to work or the shops is also one of the most effective ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. They are activities that can be done by almost anyone, regardless of fitness.

"Although we are specifically naming 'walking and cycling' in this campaign, really we want to hear how we can make getting around better for anyone who uses shared paths/trails—or simply needs better access to make short trips around Kingston.

"If you use a skateboard, run with a pram, use a wheelchair, motorised scooter or any other transport methods we haven't specifically named—we'd love to hear from you too."

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.