Active Transport Survey – Comments

Question 23 of the Survey asked:
“Are there any comments you’d like to make about Active Transport in general, or about this survey?”

Here’s what people wrote:

“I Think Has Been Very Proactive, And Has Made Me Think About Being More Active. Thankyou.”
“Well done Active Transport, keep up the good work.”
“I am totally committed to active transport as it solves so many of societies problems from our health problems to transport congestion and its economic impacts. We need to convert some major roads to bicycle only and look to the Scandanavian countries and Netherlands for inspiration and examples.”
“More should be done to improve and encourage commuting to work and recreation in Victoria”
“Good idea to get an idea of public needs to encourage activity.”
“Good on you for having a go”
More activity is vital in our sedentary society, also to reduce the use of cars and free up space on the roads, reduce pollution and CO2 output, and save money.  (The money saving aspect of cycling has not been advertised much).
“It is an important issue to pursue, so good on you. Greater funding allocation at state and local gov level is worth pursuing.”
“It’s heavily needed in society, not only to improve the health of the people participating in it, but also to transform societies dependance on private transport and the troubles that are brought with it. eg traffic, pollution and individualism.”
“I would like more people to get active”
“Active transport is important to increase flexibility and convenience of travel”
“Great to change peoples views of biking riding, educate others on riding and making it easier for existing bike riders. Need more bike lanes, in City of Whitehorse.”
“Overall good survey. Few typos though :-)”
“It’s important! Thank you.”
“All good!”
“I think this survey is a good idea, I would like a bicycle as the places and things I want and need to do are all within striking distance if I had this form of transport.  cycling is most enjoyable and only financial constraints have in the past prevented acquisition of this form of transport.”
“Keep up the good work. Improving people’s opportunities to walk/ride in a safe environment is the first step in getting people out and mobilizing more.”
“Excellent that this survey allows us to give our thoughts & examples of improvements.
If I was answering this survey with my previously young/now teenage children in mind, my answers would be very different & more emphasis placed on safe bike lanes. I encourage my children to cycle on the footpaths in some instances because the roads are far too dangerous. I do this myself occasionally also.
I have ridden a bike occasionally since I was 18, always loved it but didn’t ride often. At the age of 50+ I have taken to CYCLING like a duck to water – programs run by Bicycle Network for Women (the Ascent training & skills sessions) have given me the skills & confidence to be a strong rider in a short time (2 1/2 years). Without this I wouldn’t be riding like I am.”
“I applaud your efforts to encourage the general population to be more active.
The benefits to community & personal health is in increased activity.”
“Thanks for the opportunity to give feedback. The bike trails in the Whitehorse area are amazingly good and I appreciate the way any new infrastructure accommodates and/or increases options. There are always some dissenters, but keep on working for the majority!”
“Active transport is a great idea for those who are able, both for themselves and for the entire community in terms.of less pollution and congestion on the roads.”
“Good luck. People are naturally lazy and full of excuses. try to take their views away from the actual exercise but the things they gain. Health, Social, Nice weather/scenery, etc.”
“Active Transport is a great objective but for many people in our Retirement Village it is probably too difficult.
As with many surveys I find answering some of the questions very difficult to choose appropriate responses.”
“Most of my physical activity is done either on a bike or on foot. Ride all around Melbourne. Have to drive to supermarket for weekly shopping as it is too hard and impractical to bring shopping home on the bike. No need for a gym when doing incidental exercise just getting around the city. Crowding on trains is an issue.”
“Great survey to encourage people to ride and walk more”
“People should be encouraged (financially) to combine Active Transport with Public Transport.”
“It would be wonderful if more people tried other means of transport, other than cars.”
“Making it easier  for walking and cycling to be an efficient form of transport by creating direct  and safe routes. Currently priority is on cars and cyclists have to take the back streets usually in a convoluted route that takes commitment and also sends the message that cycling is not an equally  legit form of transport – its seem as  not normal”
“active transport is important in helping to reduce carbon emissions and the community should be encouraged more to engage it all kinds of active transport.”
“It is very important to have choices.”
“active transport is one of the most important things not just for me but for the whole world – massively benefits the environment and our personal selves”
“Anything to improve non-car transport is a great initiative. Good one!”
“This was a great survey, lucky I saw the little article in the leader otherwise I may have not known about it. I love this community”
“More bike lanes, more improvement of roads so they are bike friendly”
“Footpaths are generally too narrow to walk 2 abreast and there seems to be a lot of overhanging hedges/trees. Dogs off lead and not under proper control are a real danger on Shared Paths. Many pram crossovers are really unsuitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters – too steep, poor lay backs, bull nosed gutters. Bollards on Shared Paths are a danger and many end treatments, crossovers and crossing light buttons are poorly designed/thought-out the  likes of tandems, bike trailers, tagalongs, cargo bikes, recumbents, trikes, handcycles. Poor connectivity for crossing major roads on a bike. Back street speed limits need to be 40kph or less. Many shared paths and bike lanes suffer from missing links especially north or south access to BHR SUP.”
“Trains are often a little late, but this is unintentionally caused  by wheel chair/scooter users. Rubber fingers at platforms OK, but level trains with platforms are needed.”
“transport is not adapting to the large population increase in Melbourne. It’s also too expensive for what you get”
“allowed to ride in malls , all public parks and gardens throughout Melbourne. of course only on paths ,with speed restrictions. eg Flagstaff , Carlton , Fitzroy , Treasury gardens.”
“Apparently Whitehorse has planning rules that everyone needs a double garage when they build a new house. That’s terrible – you’re pushing cars onto people.”
“People see cycling as unsafe, especially on roads. However I’ve had more close calls, and know of more accidents affecting other cyclists, on shared paths rather than on roads. There is a disconnect here, and unrealistic views on risk.  Plus risk vs reward. The rewards outweigh the risks when it comes to cycling. This needs to be promoted more.”
“Whitehorse Council needs to be more committed to building and promoting the development of cycling infrastructure.”
“Roads are becoming more and more hostile for non-car transport. Many drivers are aggressive towards cyclists. Conditions for pedestrians are poor – traffic signalling, lights etc are all arranged for the convenience of cars. Pedestrian safety is poor.”
“Better access to enable people to develop a culture of riding bikes to stations. Also there is an enormous decrease in students riding bikes to school. Traffic treatments around schools make it so much more dangerous to ride bikes near schools.”
“All of it needs to be aimed to ensure our cities are able to be independently navigated by an 11-year-old girl (i.e. when she’s 12 she’s not allowed to ride on the footpath). If we think of this, this means it must be safe and easy.”
“Great that more and more bike paths are being made, would be great to ride and walk more”
“Forest Hill is a difficult suburb for me to ride in cos of lack of bike lanes and motorist understanding.”
“Educating vehicle users about the sharing of roads with cyclists and pedestrians is still a significant issue; probably should always be given priority so that the children grow up having respect for other users of roads. It’s as if many people today think roads are solely built for cars and trucks and not for cyclists. Many people drive carefully past me, but others come dangerously close.

The car industry and governments also need to be involved: for instance, why are there no airbags for cyclists and pedestrians fitted to cars? The vehicle occupants are all nice and safe but too bad for those in the way outside the car… there is something very wrong with this kind of thinking.

Designing of roads should take the topography of the land into account so that there are at least some roads on the way to work or shops that do not go up and down the hills instead of following the contours. Of course, hills are good too, but on the way to work or shopping and to encourage those still unfit it helps if the way is easy.”

“After not being able to walk for four years, I wonder how long it will take.”
“Security from drunks on the train and at stations. Ie special needs friend bullied at Ringwood station and prescription glasses stolen.”
“stop to get permit to high rise building in suburbs.
more population need to develop more services( roads , rails , stations &…) , but public transport not grow up as high rise building in Melbourne. I can’t see any good future for my city.”
“bike paths bike paths bike paths!!! along train lines”
“Better encouragement of end-to-end riding services are important”
“Short distance can be managed by families but anything longer such as pickup and off to swimming will require good time management and use of car. Ride to work days more frequent to be similar to bus timetables so you know you can ride with others on the same stretch of road or track.”
“Carrots and sticks.

  • Higher private car costs (rego and fuel) could help fund improved cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. Highest priority is more separate bicycling lanes like the “Copenhagen” lanes in parts of our city.
  • .Slower car speeds… if 40 kph is the recommended “safe” speed outside schools, then surely its also the “safe” speed outside parks, libraries and, in fact, everywhere else.”
“I know Council wants everyone to walk or bus to the shops, however it’s not so practical for people working long hours. I would like to return to cycling to the shops, in my experience it’s proved dangerous to life and limb in central box hill, and frustrating with a lack of clear bike routes that aren’t otherwise congested with people and cars, and a shortage of bike parking…the racks are mostly full, and no bike parking is out of the rain. It would be great if as a result of this survey access improved.”
“improve bike paths in Whitehorse — get rid of the islands in the bikes paths which are supposed to stop cars travelling in them and also stop bikes using them — they force bikes out into the traffic at pinch points.  Make sure all on-road bikes paths, especially, are wide enough. Something 30cm wide with a bike symbol on it is not a bike path.”
“Whitehorse could do with more active transport options, and local government need to do more.  The main roads in the area are a big impediment to getting people more active more often.”
“The number of inconsiderate and dangerous drivers seems to have increased dramatically  over the last 5 years”
“Need more restrictions around schools to ‘encourage’ parents to review their car usage for school trips. eg. provide drop-off parking at a distance from school.”
“Access to public transport is improving e.g. bike path along Belgrave train line Ringwood to Box hill is great & I now ride and store my bike in secure cage at the station. More secure bike storage at shopping centres would be good. Would love to ride my bike to work, but risks riding in peak traffic traveling from outer suburbs to inner in now too high for me to consider.”
“Starting with the children to attempt to influence their parents to travel to and from school actively is something I have been trying to do at my workplace”
“Try and work better with over groups or company to get more transport option
Have more bike path that connect to each over and take you more directly to places save you have to travel further than you have to”
“Too many government bodies at all levels talk a lot but what they do is tokenistic at best. There is non true understanding of the needs of local residents.”
“Throughout history, many levels of government lead transport development by anticipating needs and investing in SAFE & well maintained infrastructure to ensure there are multiple ways for people to move from one location to another.

  • EG: for shorter distances, footpaths to the neighbours or local shops have historically been a given with land and money allocated in any new development.
  • For distances of a few km to access local facilities and
  • centres, local roads have been a given with land and money allocated.
  • For longer distance travel, freeways, trains and trams have been provided to enable people to move swiftly from A to B.
  • Biking routes are progressively being joined together, but to date have predominantly been ad hoc and highly dependant on individuals within multiple levels of government to push for investment.  Many local routes within and between councils are not SAFE for both walkers and riders.  ..either too narrow, too many types of posts, too many tight turns, unseen barriers, uneven surfaces…that would be unthinkable for roads.
  • There is heavy investment in cars to near eliminate injuries and there is heavy investment in both local and major roads to minimise the risk of accidents occurring.
  • There are no guidelines for councils to follow to raise the standards of SAFETY for cycling trails within the city, with the goal of no broken bones…akin to no deaths or broken bones in car accidents.”
“Link trains to bike routes.”
“all trains including express trains should stop at Laburnum”
“Increased amount of secure bicycle parking at train stations. Box Hill could do with a lot more bicycle parking. For such a significant transport hub, it has very little secure parking.”
“Not having a bike is a possibility not considered by the survey.”
“I found out about this survey from a gentlemen sitting in a park (Forest Hill) whilst walking my dog. I thought it was a great idea with the location – certainly got me to participate in this survey!”
“better separation of vehicles and bicycles on main roads, not just a cycle lane marked,but a lane separated perhaps by a kerb or low barrier. Red ,green cycle lights at intersections with traffic lights, to make the rues clear for the moronic minority who give cyclists a bad reputation by ignoring road rules”
“Walking takes too much time.”
“Rail paths around Blackburn to Ringwood are too interrupted and discontinuous, poorly signed and places so most of us use the roads”
“Continuation of the bike lanes at intersections need to be improved.  Every bike lane around Whitehorse runs out at an intersection.  There are no bike boxes, even where there is a bike lane before and after the intersection e.g. Canterbury Road and Blackburn Road.”
  1. “Secure undercover bike storage at smaller interchange facilities.
  2. Bike racks on buses which are easily & quickly accessed.
  3. Community advertisements on tv re bike safety & road rules so that all can harmoniously exist.”
“Melbourne is a huge city by area. It takes a long time to get where you are going and unfortunately PT doesn’t cut it.
My own Active Transport is bicycle – anywhere, any time, any weather. I do sometimes take my bike on a train so as to get to my destination quicker.”
“Better bike storage and change facilities are work places including clothes lockers.”
“For me, engaging in active transport is dependent on the weather, the distance to places I need to travel to, and the speed of active vs non-active transport in reaching my destination. So I don’t use active transport as a means of getting from A to B but do use it as an activity in its own right.”
“It used to be a pleasure and a delight to walk and ride in Melbourne, it is depressing and ugly now. Who makes the decisions?”
“Something that has just occurred to me recently with the (almost) completion of the Box Hill – Ringwood bike path, is that this kind of thing should be done more often.  Running a bike path parallel with rail lines (which are in almost all cases in Melbourne of a radial layout) is such a sensible idea.  Trains cannot climb steep slopes, and so follow gentle gradients, which is perfect for cyclists.  If there was some way to utilise the space adjacent to railway lines (often space has been left for access), it would be brilliant.”
“Use bike paths a lot for fitness and recreation – don’t like riding on roads as not safe.  Linking paths makes a real difference to (eg Ringwood rail trail provides good off road access to Eastlink trail and also good access to Box Hill).”
“New bike paths are great!”
“Just paths for bike riding would be very useful for safety.”
“Clearer signage and distances marked on bike tracks”
“People should be encouraged (financially) to combine Active Transport with Public Transport.”
“Hope  the public transport are more reliable”
“would be great if there was a bike track along all train lines.”
“heavy traffic both on the road and on footpaths is a deterrent.”
“Modern suburbs have made it less attractive to walk or ride a bike for local services and errands. Eg, many of the small corner shops that used to be scattered all around have long since closed. This forces people to use cars, and it’s a conundrum because it was the rise of private car use, I guess, that caused the closure of,the corner shops and small strip shops.
If we could turn back the clock Whitehorse would be less congested and more friendly with a smattering of local corner stores.”
“Smaller buses are needed, in the off peak hours, and to run more often that the present times. I think smaller buses should be more economical, The near future they would run by electricity, and with the schedule of the train’s. And running all night. I often catch bus to the train station, missing the time table means too long wait for the next one, not good with my health”
“More cycle paths is the right direction
Speed limits to apply to bike paths  eg 25 KPH
Register all bikes”
“I enjoy using the train to get into the city or meet up with cycling friends to go riding.”
“More car parks at train stations, even if I have to pay.
Trains that are less crowded. More public transport on Sundays.”
“Multi modal is the way to go”
“I would use public transport more if it were cheaper, or if there were ‘multiple day’or weekend passes. I currently ride the bike to the train station, but it is a good 30 minutes ride.”
“apps that indicate bus real time location like tram would be great.”
“Could I suggest you have a comments box at the end of the multiple choice questions – provides opportunity for feedback / additional comments related to that topic”
“try to get mostly double carriage trams to be use being on a very very busy tram. With one carriage in the heat can be extremely uncomfortable”
“I swim 3 days per week. Because of the gear I have to carry I take the car. I used to ride my bike to swimming, but that required storage for helmet, and I had to carry shoes for the riding, and carry thongs for round the pool. It just became too hard.”
“We would like to see a wider railway network”
“Free public transport”
“Hope I win the bike :-)”
“It would be nice if the headings for the questions were ‘frozen’. A message that comes up when the mouse hovers over a selection doesn’t do it for me!”
“Get a market researcher to redesign this survey.”

Thanks again to all who participated and gave their time to give comments.
Check back later in December, when the responses to all questions has been analysed.
We hope to have a comprehensive report available.