Active Whitehorse News – December 2022

Christmas get-together

Amazing how the year has flown by.
And now we’re about to have the WATAG Christmas get-together at Blackburn Lake Visitor Centre in the delightful courtyard.

You’re invited to come along and join us.


Bring the family, bring your friends. Blackburn Lake is a great place for kids to have fun, to have a stroll before socialising, or to sit an have a chat (and sip of some cheer too if you like!)

EVERYONE is invited – It’s a Community Chat event.

When?

Sunday18th December 2022
4:30 – 8:30pm

Where?

Blackburn Lake Visitors Centre Courtyard
Central Rd Blackburn 3130

Bring food and drink to share but please bring all your own crockery, cutlery, glasses
Note: There’s a BBQ adjacent to the Visitors Centre, so bring your meat & BBQ utensils if you like.

Its FREE but please RSVP 
REMEMBER BYO EVERYTHING.

The WATAG Committee looks forward to saying hello and maybe sharing a Christmas tipple with you!


Contents


Ride and Stride

Credit: Zero carbon Merri-bek

In Melbourne’s City of Merri-bek they say:
“…our streets belong to everyone who walks, rides, plays and drives. We want more children to feel safe, confident and able to walk or ride around their local neighbourhoods, and by 2030 we are aiming for 80% of all trips to our schools to be made via sustainable forms of transport; whether this be by foot, bike, scooter or public transport.”

Surely this is an achievable aim for all Melbourne suburban councils? WATAG would like Whitehorse especially to fully embrace the idea of children feeling safe, confident and able to walk or ride around their local neighbourhoods.

Read about the Merri-bek program here and ask your local Councillor why we are not also doing this in Whitehorse.

And check out the article below on how e-cargo bike trials are making a major contribution to this program and to Merri-beks’ climate actions too.

It might be useful to review a couple of very relevant articles in our last newsletter – see links below.

What are your thoughts? Click here to comment on this.


Some welcome news

Good news for WATAG

Annual General Meetings of small organisations like WATAG are usually pretty much procedural affairs with the Annual Report being presented and accepted by Members.  But WATAG’s meeting on 23rd November had a very welcome addition. 

Image credit: Scott Green

Long standing WATAG member, Scott Green added his skills to the Committee.

Scott says: “I am a recreational cyclist,  but more importantly for me – a bike rider/commuter . I travel and shop by bike and I also use a combination of bike and train. I believe our whole community would benefit by using active transport leading to fewer noisy and polluting vehicles on the roads. Being involved with WATAG,  I wish to continue these aims”.

We very much welcome Scott as a new addition to the Committee, and would really like to extend the Committee by adding others with wide experiences too. – walking and/or riding ones! Are YOU interested? (email info@watag.org)

Good news for Whitehorse

WATAG is delighted to welcome into the Whitehorse community a new Senior Transport Project Officer in the Engineering & Investment team at Whitehorse Council.
Vaughn Allan recently joined the Council’s team after five years as a consultant at The Institute for Sensible Transport whose by-line is  “We specialise in helping cities realise their goals by providing advice on sustainable mobility, transport innovation and policy development”

Image credit: Vaughn Allan LinkedIn

At WATAG we love the idea of sustainable mobility and transport innovation.

Vaughn has also worked with Bicycle Network as a Ride2School Coordinator. He has been fortunate enough to spend six months studying at Utrecht University in the Netherlands (Ed. we are very jealous here!).

He has also had a stint as an Intern at Department of Premier and Cabinet (Vic) which is valuable experience into the inner sanctum of how Governments work.

Vaughn has a Bachelor Degree (with Honours) – Urban and Regional Planning, from RMIT.

And to cap it all off, he gets to work each day in Nunawading by using multimodal means -riding his Brompton bike and train.

Welcome Vaughn!

Do you like this? Click here to let us know.


Is your library like this?

Credit: Bibliotheek Utrecht

At the library in Neude, Utrecht you can recharge your electric devices by cycling while you sit and study. One of the coolest places to visit in Utrecht!

This is probably the result of Utrecht’s place, even in the Netherlands, as the cycle capital of the world.

It’s truly remarkable. There are bikes everywhere, and cycling (and walking) is just so normalised that no-one raises an eyebrow about bike use.

Kudos Bibliotheek Utrecht. A great idea.

And just so you can make another comparison with your library, how do the bike hoops out the front of your local library, compare with this for bicycle storage

In the basement there is space for 720 bicycles. Cyclists can park here for free for the first 24 hours. The opening hours are long and your bike is safe and dry while you visit the library.

Active transport ideas join with a climate change and sustainability ethos for a better community!

Tell us your thoughts? Click here to comment on this.


E-cargo bike trials

Image credit: Merri-bek Council

Electric bikes transform how families move.
And there’s plenty of proof of just how transformational they can be.

Near Melbourne, Australia, the Merri-bek Council launched an e-cargo bike loaner program for parents. As you might guess, people are happy to test out changing their habits, especially when the barriers to trying something out are removed.

The outcomes are impressive!

Before the trial: 55% drove
After: 67% plan to ride instead
And very importantly, 73% of participants were women

The Merri-bek Council worked with local e-bike subscription service Lug & Carrie to get more families switching the car for a happier, healthier school run. Partnering with a provider that offers a low-cost weekly subscription means they can provide more affordable, equitable transport alternatives for local families.

We’d like to suggest that Whitehorse contact Lug & Carrie [tel: (03) 9000 0830 email: info@lug-carrie.com] and arrange a meeting. And for the record… WATAG has NO connection with this company, but we would like to see REAL progress towards more people in Whitehorse riding and walking – especially to school.

Click here for much more information about how the scheme works, including some excellent links about e-bikes in general check out Merri-beks’s guide to electric transport.

Talk to your neighbours and parents on the ‘school run’ and have a chat with your local Councillor too.

Tell us your thoughts? Click here to comment on this.


Talking of triangles…

Image Credit: Darwin Movement Strategy

The City of Darwin‘s new 2030 Movement Strategy rightly places pedestrians at the top of the movement hierarchy.
We’re a long way from Darwin down here in Whitehorse, Melbourne, but totally in sync with them about this movement priority. We’d LOVE our local Council to adopt this priority when looking at all projects in our community. We’d especially love them to retro-fit (would have to be slowly ‘cos it’s a big job) our existing local street infrastructure to reflect this priority.

Read “A very special event” in our last newsletter. It shows how this CAN be made normal. As a society we just have to decide we actually do want cleaner and more healthy transport modes, and talk to our Councillors and politicians to encourage them to make it happen.

What do you think? Click here to comment on this.


…and trikes

How to cater for older folk, and the less-abled too.
Or…Don’t just get on your bike – stay on it or maybe on a trike instead!
Have you or friends said “I used to ride but my balance isn’t what it used to be”? Or “I haven’t the strength to ride up hills any more” or maybe “I like riding with the group but I can’t keep up and it’s embarrassing.”  

Here’s a way to keep upright.

You’ve certainly heard about e-bikes, but what about e-trikes?

Image credit: Kwolity Trikes

Many factors lead to a person giving up on  the life-long enjoyment of riding for errands or social activities.  Older people or those with limited mobility often progress to an electric mobility scooter without being aware of alternatives. A lifelong cyclist may well appreciate riding an e-trike so they can continue to be active while having all the advantages of a mobility scooter. Trikes were once shunned because of stability problems when cornering. But a new addition on the market of a luxury tilting e-trike from Kwolity, changes all that. You might say “it puts a new tilt on things”!

WATAG Committee Member Graeme Stone testing out the Kwolity Trike on Whitehorse Rd. Image credit: WATAG

In early 2023 WATAG is planning a community event – an older cycling Expo – to demonstrate practical alternatives for maintaining active transport for people not comfortable on two wheels or who have reduced power to cycle or reduced ability to walk.

People with reduced mobility or those who are less confident or comfortable on only two wheels may find a solution among the vehicles we aim to display.  WATAG plans to display eBikes, e-Trikes, Tilting e-Trike and Recumbent Trikes at the cycling Expo and hopes to enable you to test ride these.

Watch for details in the next edition of Eastsider News in February, and look for updates  in the next “Active Whitehorse News” BUT…make sure you are registered as a ‘Subscriber’ so you’ll be notified when it’s published (Subscriber button is at top of the RH column)

Tracey on her “Progear” trike. Image credit WATAG

Local experience.

Whitehorse resident Tracey Roy has been riding her e-trike around the Blackburn – Nunawading area for about 4 years now.

Tracey loves her trike, and whilst she enjoys her own company said “I would love to start a group called Whitehorse Trike Riders”.

“Its not for long rides – maybe 5kms. I do a circuit when I ride my trike and it’s very easy.”

She added “I don’t ride in the rain or heat!”

If you are interested, let us know – secretary@watag.org – and we’ll put you in touch with Tracey.

We’d love to hear your views about this? Click here to comment.


A great place to be

Lord Howe Island. Image credit: Chris Trueman

Lord Howe Island was one of the earliest Australian natural places listed as a World Heritage Site – in 1982 just after the Great Barrier Reef. If you’ve never visited, put it on your bucket list. I’ve just returned from my 4th visit! They prioritise environment over development on Lord Howe Island. It’s a tiny island – about 10km long by 1km wide and less that 20% is for living purposes for the 400 permanent residents and the 400 visitors allowed at any one time. The rest is protected park or adjacent bushland. There are very few cars, speed limit is 25km/hr and most journeys are by bike or foot.

A “great place to be” – almost nirvana!

Are there some lessons for us who are destined to live out our lives in cities and suburbia?

Read more to find out!


Too much traffic?

There IS an answer to this, and hopefully councils like Whitehorse and Boroondara will take note and take on the Bicycle Network approach as explained in their recent newsletter.

Bicycle Network’s Ride2School team partner with schools and local authorities to facilitate special days where the streets surrounding a school are dedicated to active transport only.

Opening the streets to walking, riding, scooting or skating instead of motor vehicles gives a small taste of what a more sustainable community can look like.

Open Streets days are carefully planned, with signage, traffic control and pre-event communication between schools, councils and residents. Drop-off points a short distance from the gates are also installed so that families who live further away can drive part-way and still enjoy the fun.”

Who would like to see this change outside your school?

Image credit Bicycle Network

An amazing transformation – it looks great!  

But we need to  move on from their aims noted in the article to “facilitate special days where the streets surrounding a school are dedicated to active transport only” and  “Opening the streets to walking, riding, scooting or skating instead of motor vehicles” on a special day.  Let’s try it over a week, or a month or even permanently!
The obvious success of the day shows it has viability. The “small taste of what a more sustainable community can look like” should become a full meal.
Otherwise we will continue to have annual Ride2School days, with no change to normal behaviour.
Check out this video https://tinyurl.com/bdft5y29  showing how this can, and does, happen every day.

As Bicycle Network says: “Want us to come to your school or council area?”
Hopefully our local councils will enquire here so our communities can benefit too.

Let us know if you think this is a good idea. Click here to comment.


Box Hill Mall – your ideas wanted

Image credit: Whitehorse Your say

Whitehorse Council invites you to have your say on the presentation and use of the Box Hill Mall. They are looking for your feedback on the outdoor areas of Main and Market Street including the lighting, seating, landscaping, how safe it feels and where improvements could be made.

WATAG believes planning for open space use must maximise opportunities for people to actually travel TO those open spaces. Consequently we recommend that the whole concept of better utilisation of Main and Market Streets be fully integrated with overall plans for

  • The inevitable Box Hill Station redevelopment,
  • SRL plans for the planned new Box Hill underground station,
  • Vicinity plans for their major shopping precinct redevelopment, and
  • The State Government’s intended implementation of North-south & East-west Strategic Cycling corridors which intersect in Box Hill

Click here to have Your Say now.

Feedback closes on 16 December 2022.


An opportunity to help

WATAG has just received this request from Whitehorse Council:

“JOIN THE Whitehorse Sport and Recreation Reference Group!
With a new Terms of Reference this year we are hoping to promote this recruitment to a broader section of our community that use our parks and reserves for physical activity outside of the structured “sporting club” environment.  Groups such as walking groups, Thai Chi,  bicycle groups and open space users involved in informal recreation and physical activity groups are invited to consider joining the reference group to ensure we can have a variety of open space and recreation users represented”.

WATAG congratulates Council for taking this step to recognise that non-structured physical activity is the primary way that the majority of residents participate in exercise.

As a WATAG supporter, if YOU are in Whitehorse, we suggest that you read the information below and consider whether you can help.


Whitehorse City Council is recruiting for the Whitehorse Sport and Recreation Reference Group!

Council is seeking expressions of interest from people involved in Whitehorse sport, recreation or physical activity or groups who would like to become a member of the Whitehorse Sport and Recreation Reference Group (formerly Whitehorse Sport and Recreation Network) for a one or two-year term. 

The purpose of the WSRN is provide a mechanism for Council to consult with key stakeholders from sport and recreation activity groups within the City of Whitehorse, seek specialist opinion and enable community participation in sport and recreation-related issues, initiatives, policies and strategies.

We are looking for people who:

  • Are an active member or participant of at least one Whitehorse sport, recreation or physical activity or group;
  • Are willing to participate in the Reference Group for a minimum of one year or two years;
  • Want to make a difference to their local community;
  • Can promote engagement opportunities with the Whitehorse sport, recreation and leisure community through own networks!

If this sounds like you please complete the online expression of interest form via Council’s website https://www.whitehorse.vic.gov.au/whitehorse-sport-and-recreation-network-recruitment  .

Nominations close on Sunday 8 January 2023.

Casey Andrews
Leisure and Recreation Services Administration Officer (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday)
Leisure and Recreation Services Department
Email: lars@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Ph: (03) 9262 6371


One trip at a time

Video credit: WeRide Australia

Let’s hope this short video is not just a memory. It’s message is certainly totally relevant today.

Do you think is is? Click here to comment on this.


Visionary friends

Streets Alive Yarra is a complementary community organisation in the the City of Yarra, with aims similar to WATAG in the City of Whitehorse. They are an inspiration to anyone wanting to influence all levels of government to work with their community to make it more beautiful, liveable and accessible for all.

Take the time to browse through the Streets Alive Yarra website and be inspired like we are.

Streets Alive Yarra: Our vision is for a beautiful, liveable and accessible city. Image credit: OCULUS.

“Our vision is for a beautiful, liveable and accessible city; with more trees, wider footpaths and thriving businesses in vibrant neighbourhoods. Residents and shoppers of all ages and abilities are …”
[Continue reading]


Please help me…

Beth needs help . Image credit: Graeme Stone

Back in April 2022 WATAG presented a petition to Whitehorse Council asking for collaboration with Spotlight Group to provide access for all from the Gardiners Creek Shared Path to Spotlight and beyond to other popular destinations such as Bunnings and Officeworks in Box Hill South.

We gave an update in August 2022 and reported that Council has followed through with this, and has made Spotlight aware of the problem. We hoped to be able to report next time that they have come to an agreement about implementing a solution which solves this problem. No luck!

Hopefully our friend Beth (pictured) will get a Christmas (New Year?) present by hearing from Whitehorse that they will, one day, allow her to get to Spotlight too.

We hear that Council Management are:
“waiting for the advice from Council’s Design and Construction team on an indicative cost”.
We hope this is good news and that when the costs are determined, Council will allocate funds to actually DO the job.

Your view? Click here to comment on this.


Another update

Last newsletter we reported on the petition progress to ask for Council to liaise with Government to make it safe for all users to cross Blackburn Rd. We finally secured 735 ‘signatures’ and asked for it to be presented to Whitehorse Council on28 November 2022. Some protocol issues meant that the Councillors will now consider this community request at their last meeting for 2022 on 12th December.

The Spotlight petition noted above did lead Whitehorse Council to do the liaison and investigation as requested.

We hope Councillors will afford the same opportunity for this request to be fully considered too.

Click here to comment on this.


Walk fast age slower

Credit: WEF – Click to view this excellent short video

The World Economic Forum (WEF) doesn’t just look a the health of economies, they look at the health of people who make up those economies. A particularly good article from WEF ask the question:
What are green prescriptions and which countries offer them

It is excellent reading

Click here to comment on this.


Eastsider News – not to be missed

Click here to subscribe to get Eastsider News delivered to your inbox every two months. Its FREE!

Click here to comment on this.


Interested in being Active too? Here’s how

Join as a WATAG Member and help the whole community to be active.
See above

Join a local group that enables you to be active and social too!

  1. Like walking (and some bike riding too)?
If you want to enjoy the great outdoors, meet new people and take up a physical activity for your health then explore the MWBC website.(Click image above)

2. Or is regular bike riding your idea of fun?

Whitehorse cyclists
We are a happy group of men and women who love the outdoors, enjoy riding bicycles and thrive in other people’s company.

Image credit: Chris Trueman

Bike parking is easy for morning tea time at Aqualink Box Hill during a Whitehorse Cyclist’s Easy Tuesday ride.
Around 25 riders getting fitter and enjoying the company of friends.
Good for local business too by putting money back into the local community.


Some questions for YOU

  1. If you HAVEN’T received these newsletters regularly every two months, this question is for YOU.

Did you enjoy THIS newsletter, and would you like to read future newsletters every two months?

Just click the button below.

You’ll enjoy it!


Your view

Tell us what you think about articles in the newsletter in the “Leave a Reply” box below.

2 Responses to Active Whitehorse News – December 2022

  1. Tracey says:

    Is anyone interested in the trike group?

    Like

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