Active Whitehorse News – July/August 2018

More about Exercise…

Long term benefits

  • Brisk walking for 30 minutes or more daily on most days of the week can help walking seniorsadults and older adults to get health benefits arising from achieving the moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) guidelines. Yet many people do not achieve these levels.
  • Previous pedometer-based 12-week walking programs, have shown positive effects and helped people achieve the guidelines for up to 12 months. But for sustained health benefits, increased physical activity levels need to be maintained well beyond that time.
  • This study showed that adult and older adult participants receiving 12-week pedometer-based walking programs are still doing more physical activity 3–4 years later, and that relatively short pedometer programs can help address the public health physical inactivity challenge.

…and more about walking.

Walking isn’t just for the birds, but for those that thrive on Twitter …
Victoria Walks Twitter page has excellent content. Its worth a click to have a look.

‘Poor drivers, bad road design’: What’s behind the spike in pedestrian deaths?

walking flinders stThere has been a rise in pedestrian deaths so far this year and at least one pro-walking group has pointed the finger squarely at motorists and road design.

Victoria Walks commissioned research into senior citizens and pedestrian deaths, and the CEO, Mr Rossiter, said the result was clear.

“We found the most common crash scenario is right-turning vehicles and the second most common is left-turning. They’re both where drivers should be giving way,” he said.

Mr Rossiter advocated lowering the speed limit in suburban areas to a uniform 40kph, and as low as 20kph in parts of major cities. [Click below to read more…]

[From 25 May 2018]

Law change gives green light for teenagers to ride on footpaths

Victoria is now last cab off the rank.

As students return from the winter holidays, teenagers will no longer have to navigate traffic on busy roads while riding their bikes to school.  [ 21 July 2018]

teens riding

The Active Transport community is generally united against the danger of cars for walkers and cyclists. But footpath riding is an exception to this rule. Victoria Walks is steadfastly against people riding on footpaths, and doesn’t believe that young NSW teenagers will be any safer with this change. Bicycle Network is steadfastly advocating that all states allow all people to ride on footpaths, and thinks the NSW age limit should be higher than only up to 15 years old. Now Victoria is the only state requiring 12 – 15 year old children to ride on the road.

As a society we are faced with:

  • an increased use of motorised trolleys and electric bikes to keep an aging community mobile
  •  the need to keep people actively walking and riding more for increased health benefits,
  • the need to encourage young people to develop the healthy habit of riding and walking to meet their transport needs rather than become even more car dependent.

WATAG believes that this situation must be addressed by commonwealth and state governments to try and find ways to uniformly meet all these seemingly competing needs. It is local governments who are the prime delivering agencies. Unfortunately they are receiving no guidance about resolving this matter.

Maybe this should be the subject of a major AusRoads study?

Refer also to the article and link in our last Newsletter – click here to view.

New Traffic Signals in London Will Give Pedestrians the Green Light By Default

“Green man authority” will prioritize pedestrians over cars, part of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plan to increase walking and transit trips. [ 23 July 2018]

green man priority crossing

New at the WATAG website …

What’s “In the News”?

Interesting News items from all-over with relevance to Active Transport. Some would say these articles are essential reading for those involved in transport planning and delivery, and those seeking to influence them.
To receive updates when they are made, simply enter your email in the box in the right-hand column on any WATAG web page.

Facebook –  We’ve signed up to keep you informed Check our Facebook page – “Like us” if you like!

Twitter – WATAG has also ventured into the “Twittersphere” . Check here.

Where is Box Hill Headed?

Development MapYou will be interested (and probably quite amazed) at the number of developments in Box Hill currently in the planning stage or under construction. A population increase for Box Hill of up to around 10,000 people in the next few years, is now almost guaranteed – making it the biggest metropolitan activity centre after the City of Melbourne.

Click here (or the map) for a larger view and a chart showing all the individual developments. And this is already two months out-of-date!

Where is the planning to ensure that these new residents (together of course with all the existing “locals”)  will have an urban centre which is built to enable them to move around freely and enjoy their urban environment?

And this problem will only be added to by the increased business visits to the area as a result of the increased resident population, PLUS the totally unknown, but potentially VERY SUBSTANTIAL effect of the increased traffic heading to and from Box Hill when the planned North East Link is built.

Check back on the last WATAG Newsletter (click here) for more information on why this is so relevant to Box Hill.

Talk or write to your local Whitehorse Councillors if you are concerned. If they hear nothing, they’ll assume everything is OK, and perhaps do nothing!

North East Link – An Update

North East Link Strategic Bike & Walking Routes. This item was posted in WATAG’s “In the News” recently. It said ” We need to get this right before it’snela-logo-header set in concrete!”

Unfortunately  there is a grave danger that the concrete truck has already been ordered.

What promised to be a collaborative community consultation is steadily proving to be just another PR job (more cleverly executed than other recent examples), where participants are led to believe that community input can actually make a difference. Whereas is seems that the reality is that the plans are virtually already decided, and there is very little (if any) scope to include walking and cycling infrastructure that will make a substantial difference to the community.

WATAG has representatives on the NEL Community Technical Discussion Group – Walking & Cycling (CTDG) together with Boroondara Bug, Institute of Traffic Engineers, adjacent Councils, and other concerned community groups in the area.

At a recent CTDG meeting, a majority of community representatives spoke to the need to do more for Active Transport. But NEL representatives made it very clear that “this is a ROAD Project” and that the only requirement in relation to Active Transport was “not to make things worse”.

It seems that changing any of the design requirements to ensure that Active Transport will get the same kind of first class result that motorists can expect, is totally wishful thinking. Two community representatives left the meeting early out of frustration.

One member subsequently wrote to Duncan Elliott, Chief Executive Officer, North East Link Authority expressing grave concerns about the consultation process. The CEO’s reply said inter alia that the project “must reflect the network planning and policy directions of our client – in this case Transport for Victoria.”  So its worth looking at what Transport for Victoria thinks is important.

The Transport for Victoria website says:

  • “The Victorian Government is increasing the role of cycling and walking as a form of transport by making it easier and safer for people to ride and walk where they need to go”
  • “Riding a bike or walking are easy, environmentally-friendly and low-cost forms of transport – great for short trips or as part of your journey to work, education and other destinations.”
  • “Walking already makes up a significant number of the trips taken across Victoria. For example, two thirds of all trips in the city of Melbourne are on foot.”
  • “The Victorian Government wants to get even more people walking to help meet our growing transport needs, particularly around neighbourhoods.”
  • “Riding a bike is great for recreation, fitness or the daily commute. It also reduces congestion on our roads.”
  • “We want to get even more people on bikes by providing commuters with a safe, comfortable and connected cycling network, encouraging more local trips, and fostering a more inclusive cycling culture.”

Apparently all the above fine words only apply when implementing them doesn’t get in the way of a major road project for cars and trucks – particularly if its the biggest infrastructure spend of its type in Victoria.

What’s to be done?

WATAG member David Morrison met with Craig Richards, CEO Bicycle Network representing all the CTDG members to brief BN on the issues and subsequently sent him the following presentation.

Or click here to download it.

An online BN article recently highlighted:  Riders duck shoved on Swan Street


Bicycle Network 5 July 2018

“The massive Swan Street Bridge widening project has inexplicably failed to fix the sub-standard underpasses at the Yarra River.

The inadequacy of the underpasses on both sides of the river have been long recognised as hazardous, subject-to-flooding pinch-points on one of the nation’s busiest bike routes.

Now, as the bridge widening nears completion, the underpasses are being re-instated at the same sub-standard width. And clearances appear even worse than before.

There was no design, engineering or hydrology impediment to fixing this problem…”

Click here for the full article.

CTDG members have requested BN to actively campaign to ensure that this kind of failure to meet the needs of the Active Transport community must not be allowed to be repeated.

Letters have been written to the Victorian Minister for Transport and Minister for Planning.

With a State Election looming, many MP’s are keen to show they are listening to the community.

So if you think this is an issue that needs to be addressed, please write to all the parties involved, and tell them, and tell the world too via the letters to the paper.

Bouquets for Snap Send Solve

Snap send solve logoWe’ve written before about the benefits of using Snap Send Solve to let local authorities know about hazardous situation encountered while walking or riding.

Bicycle Network agree, and have recently published this Success Story.

Click here for more information and download the App to your phone.

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WATAG is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ABN 63 938 570 447.

Being registered as a charity with the ACNC demonstrates WATAG’s commitment to transparency and good governance.