More people will ride bikes if we give them the choice
Victoria is fortunate. We have some of the best places to ride bikes in the country.
We have neighbourhoods where the number of people using bikes for daily trips matches international cities renowned as being bike friendly. We have policy settings and strategies designed to put bikes on an equal footing with other transport modes.
So how is it that people who ride bikes frequently feel forgotten, left out and starved of opportunities?
The problem is that most of us still can’t simply choose to ride our bike when and where we want to. It’s clearly not a level playing field.
While staggering amounts—billions upon billions—are funneled into building more roads and rail, bike riders are left raiding the government dumpster for spare change. It’s the battle of the build and people who ride are left behind.
Yes – we need roads, trams and trains to move people and freight around. But it’s not going to solve the traffic congestion that’s choking our cities, towns and suburbs. It’s not going to future-proof our communities against an ever-growing population and increasing cost of living. It’s not going to stop our most vulnerable road users from dying on our roads.
We know that if we build more accessible, connected and attractive places to ride, more people of all ages, backgrounds and genders will. If we make bike riding easier, Victorians will choose active transport over the other modes.
Yet governments are denying the community that choice.
By biasing investment towards non-active modes and crimping spending on essential bike facilities and programs, choice is being distorted and public investment misdirected.
Our message to the Victorian political parties is: don’t forget about bikes.
Make bike infrastructure universal. Make it easier for more people to jump on their bikes for their own health and happiness and the liveability of the entire community. Let people choose.
People will still drive, that is their choice. But many more of us will ride.
1. Build places for people to ride
Main street makeovers
Make Sydney Road a best practice example of main street recovery and show the way for future transformations.
Strategic Cycling Corridors
Accelerate the roll out of Strategic Cycling Corridors with prioritised planning, design and delivery program. One example is the delivery of separated infrastructure on St Kilda Road.
A Metropolitan Trails Network program to deliver on the potential of Melbourne future network of recreational trails.
Low speed local neighbourhoods
Introduce a state-wide program whereby communities can apply for funding packages for liveable neighbourhood.
Regional trails and tourism
In this term, complete the Daylesford to Macedon, and Yarra Ranges trails. And proceed with the 12 Apostles Trail.
Health circuits in Rural Victoria
Introduce a health circuits program to boost physical activity in rural and peri-urban areas.
2. Normalising bike riding
Fund Bicycle Network’s flagship behaviour change program Ride2School over the next four years.
Station access and bike parking
Every station needs a local bike network and secure bike parking (Parkiteer cages).
End of trip facilities review
Review planning provisions for end of trip facilities.
3. Suport and protect people who ride
Introduce a minimum passing distance law
Victoria is the only state without specific Minimum Passing Distance Laws or a trial underway. Find out more about our campaign.
Allow footpath riding in Victoria
In Victoria you can only ride on the footpath up to 12 years old. It’s time Victoria caught up with the rest of Australia. Learn more here.
4. Strategic direction
Active Transport Victoria (ATV)
Renew, refresh and empower ATV to obtain greater contribution from across government towards active transport.
Boost Safe System Investment for bike riders
TAC and VicRoads launch a separate Safe System program to address bike safety.
Standards and guidance review
Produce new Victorian Guidelines for bike infrastructure that meet contemporary international standards
Bike policy should not be hard or complicated.
Parties of all ideologies can make a massive difference for people who ride.
How are the major parties tracking?
Announcements, commitments and promises are coming in thick and fast from all parties.
We’re combing through the info, tracking and grading all the commitments made so that you can make an informed vote this election.Election tracker
Contact your local candidates and ask what they’re doing for bikes. We’ll share their responses online – just make sure you cc us at firstname.lastname@example.orgFind electorate
The Victorian Greens have unfolded a $250M plan to boost bike riding, including developments in infrastructure, education, bike tourism and existing laws.
Protected bike lanes down the centre of St Kilda Road will become a reality if the Labor Party wins the election in November.
The Daylesford to Hanging Rock Rail Trail has been promised funding by the Victorian Liberal Nationals, if they get up in this year's election.
Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards has given his thoughts on the upcoming Victorian state election and why it shouldn't fought out over freeways.
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