Active Whitehorse News – April 2023

Is now a good time?

More info? Refer to

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


The time is NOW for this

Six months ago we started a petition to Whitehorse Council to work with the Victorian Department of Transport (now Department of Transport and Planning – DPT) to make it safe for people to cross Blackburn Rd at two key places. We noted that:

This section of State Highway in suburban Melbourne is 1.4km without a safe crossing. This forces parents with young children, elderly people, walkers and cyclists to cross the road at midway points without guidance. No other State Highways in this region have such an extended distance between safe crossing points.”

The community agreed and 734 people registered their support. In December 2022 Whitehorse Council acknowledged receipt of the petition and noted that the request will be referred to Council’s Engineering and Investment Team to liaise with the Department of Transport. They agreed to this unanimously.

The Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Hon Melissa Horne, was asked in a letter sent in December 2022, “On behalf of the local residents, WATAG would like you to arrange for the Department of Transport to work with Whitehorse Council to make these crossing points safe.

Her response mid-March 2023?

“The Department of Transport and Planning (DTP) advises me that they have investigated the existing road segment along Blackburn Road between Blackburn Village and Canterbury Road. This investigation, along with a review of the historical safety records of the sites, determined that the crossings are operating in a safe manner.
DTP will continue to monitor these locations to identify and prioritise future improvements for consideration in a future program in a statewide context.”

The Minister and DPT advisors obviously hadn’t considered the message in the little video clip at the start of this newsletter. When WILL it be time to take action?

However, the Minister also advised:
“At the end of March 2023, DTP will also raise this matter with the City of Whitehorse and work with them to understand Council’s priorities for pedestrian infrastructure within the local area.”

Now in early April 2023 Whitehorse Council have advised:
“The issues you have raised are currently being investigated by the Engineering & Investment
department. Once our investigations are complete, you will be contacted and advised of the

What’s to be made of all the above?

  1. It seems that because there are no records of deaths or serious injury at these locations, they are considered by the DPT to be safe. But they will monitor the locations! Presumably if a death or serious injury does occur, they will give greater priority to action being taken.
  2. Any further progress depends on DPT understanding Whitehorse Council’s priorities for pedestrians in this area.
  3. Whitehorse Council are now investigating the matter – but could have done so proactively immediately on receipt of the petition.

Local MP’s Will Fowles and Paul Hamer have been asked to help because it seems that another local MP, Paul Mullahy, successfully worked with a local school kid to get a safe crossing over a nearby road with similar traffic conditions.

Traffic count data from Department of Transport shows Blackburn Rd to be nearly 50% busier than Highbury Rd.

Let’s hope that everyone concerned takes action soon to make the crossing points safe NOW not some time in the future.

A post script.

Nowhere in the community’s’ request for a safe crossing was it stated that an expensive signalised crossing was being requested. In fact our view is that we believe most people would be very happy with a far cheaper signed zebra crossing which gives pedestrians priority, and doesn’t needlessly hold up people waiting to cross, or cars waiting for the light sequence to complete.

Some responses to letters sent to local MP’s have said that the ‘guidelines’ for selecting the type of crossing point to the crossing having to be signalised. We invite all those who think that to take a trip along Williamstown Rd Port Melbourne which is an arterial road like Blackburn Rd, and where the traffic count not much less than Blackburn Rd , but with a LOT more trucks.

Image by Google Maps

As the photo shows, a far cheaper and easier-to-install Zebra crossing gives priority to pedestrians.
Why not at least try this out and if still not satisfactory, budget for a signalised replacement? At least the local children, and others in the community, will have far better protection very quickly.
If you are concerned about this delay, why not contact your MPs, and local Council now?

Click here if you’d like to comment on this.

Need inspiration?

Click the Book of Doing below, for 100 great ideas about other communities in ACTION. A new page will open so you can flick through and maybe become inspired to take action yourself.

Click here to comment on this.

Change CAN happen

Paris – Photo: by EmmanuelSPV

It just needs a human-centred perspective, and the will to make it happen. See next item.

What do you think? Click here to comment.

The Spanish city that banned cars

Source: The Guardian and World Economic Forum

Barcelona is embracing car-free streets too – check it out. View this World Economic Forum video.

Click here to comment.

Come and chatUnfortunately this event has been cancelled!

Here’s you chance to chat with Alison McCormack, CEO of Bicycle Network, and your neighbours in an informal friendly way at Blackburn Lake Visitor Centre, and discuss how we can make our streets safe and open for children – safe enough to ride to school. And for Mum or Dad to accompany them.

You might already have seen this poster, but this a timely reminder about the details.
Click here to download it now.

Wednesday 26th April at about 7pm

Blackburn Lake Visitor Centre, Central Rd Blackburn

What’s happening:
Come at around 7pm for a Sip’N’Nibble and meet Alison and your neighbours. Then at about 7:30 we’ll start the conversation about Open Streets and Riding to School

As the first female CEO in Bicycle Network’s near-50-year history,  Alison McCormack loves the idea of safe streets for children to play on and ride to school, and she’s a fearless advocate for women feeling safe to ride too.

Bicycle Network’s Ride2School team works with schools and local authorities to facilitate special Open Streets days where the streets surrounding a school are dedicated to active transport only. These days are carefully planned, with signage, traffic control and pre-event communication between schools, councils and residents.

More about Open Streets here too from Victoria Walks.

Plus you might like to review the Community Chat August 2022, given by Professor Anna Timperio from Deakin University. Click here to read.

Remember that you need to register for this event:
Click here now. Or scan the QR code shown here.

Next Community Chat?

On Wednesday June 28th at Blackburn Lake Visitors Centre, we will chat with Whitehorse Council’s Senior Transport Project Officer Vaughn Allen. Read the item below about Easy Ride Routes to read information about Vaughn – and you’ll definitely want to attend.
And mark the date in your diary now!

What are your thoughts? Click here.

Over 50’s e-bike expo day – a great success

Most people (perhaps we should say all people) want to keep active when they reach that 50 year milestone. And many showed that they’d like to keep riding for exercise (or simply for fun!) by attending the E-Bike/E-Trike Expo on 26th March at Nunawading Community Hub.

The opportunity to learn about, and to actually try out bikes and trikes, and even a recumbent bike, in a car-free environment was warmly welcomed.

Big thanks to Rebecca of REV E-bikes Nunawading for her talk on e-bike selection, and comprehensive display including a recumbent bike which many found, to their surprise, to be VERY comfortable to ride!

Thanks also to Hong from 99 Bikes Blackburn and John from Kwolity bikes for displaying their excellent e bikes and trikes and providing advice to everyone.

Also thanks to Whitehorse Council – especially Chris Hui and Vaughn Allen, and the staff at Nunawading Community Hub for helping to make this event such as success.

Photo credit: Jeremy Maxwell and Helen Trueman

Oh and in case you thought Trikes are a more recent trend, check out these photos from Melbourne’s world-class bike museum!

Let’s hope WATAG’s recent “Expo” is the start of a new trend in Trikes and the first of more “expos” in the future, exploring how to keep everyone active.

Any thoughts? Click here.

Get to know Easy Ride Routes

Whitehorse Council is keen to bust the myth that you have to be a certain age or fitness level to use a bike to get around. They’ve developed a network of low-stress local streets and off-road cycle paths to help make cycling to work or the shops safe and comfortable. Six (out of a planned 18) Easy Ride Routes are now open for public use.

The first Council-arranged Community Bike Ride to introduce Easy Ride Routes was held on 1st April and it attracted quite a crowd!
This has led the Council to schedule another. See image of email from Vaughn Allen at Council.

When: 2pm Saturday 6 May
Where: Aqualink Box Hill, Surrey Park, Box Hill. Meet in the eastern carpark off Alexander St.
What: Join us on a fun and low-stress cycle from Surrey Park, using Easy Ride Routes EW4, NS2 and the Gardiners Creek Trail, and then finish back at the starting point.

To help plan for the event, please register at: Community Ride #2 RSVP | Your Say Whitehorse

Contact Vaughn Allen if you have queries:
or phone on 03 9262 6024.

You can read more about Vaughn here in our December Newsletter.

Check out the Council’s Easy Ride Route page and they are asking for Feedback here too.

Click here – Comments welcome.

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.

Two TOP resources

Bicycle Network’s’ Newsroom where you’ll find great articles like this one from a study published in The Journal of Physiology.
Six minutes of vigorous bike riding boosts the brain” and up-to-date cycling related news too about campaigns they are running.

Victoria Walks has terrific information about the benefits of walking, research, urban planning, road management, behaviour change, walking route resources including maps etc. for Victoria – urban and rural. And much more. Check it out.

Click here to have your say.

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 or click the image.

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?

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Your view

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

1 Response to Active Whitehorse News – April 2023

  1. Chris Naylor says:

    Whereabouts is this Melbourne bike museum you speak of?


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