Active Whitehorse News – September/October 2018

biketober_whitehorseGet on a bike this October…

Rediscover the joys and benefits of cycling!

Biketober Whitehorse is a fun and friendly cycling campaign to get more people riding in Whitehorse!  It doesn’t matter if you ride every day or haven’t been on a bike in years, you can ride for fun or transportation any time, anywhere in October to take part.

There are prizes for riding and encouraging others, including our annual global prize draw for a trip to New Zealand or the Grand Canyon! Not confident about getting the Grand Canyon prize ? Well…you WIN anyway because riding more is so good for you!

Biketober Whitehorse is free to join and is open to everyone who lives, works or studies in the City of Whitehorse.

Find out more and Register Here

Happiest Children

Why are Dutch children the HAPPIEST and healthiest on earth?

Approx 75% of  children in the Netherlands aged 12 – 16 ride to school

C’mon Australian parents … stop driving your kids to school and let them be healthier and happier too.

And a plea to local councils – don’t just support the once a year Ride-to-School day and a few other isolated “special occasion” days to be active, make a concerted effort to get the majority of children riding to school EVERY DAY!

An idea for Box Hill?

Streets only allow ‘ultra-low emission’ vehicles, walkers and bikes.


Only pedestrians. cyclists and e-bikes, electric cars, the newest hybrids and hydrogen vehicles  will be allowed in the new zones during rush hour.

Islington Council in London has banned petrol, diesel and older hybrid from nine London streets in Hackney in a “pioneering” scheme.

Only electric cars, the newest hybrids, hydrogen vehicles and bikes or e-bikes will be allowed during the morning and evening rush hours in London’s first “ultra-low emissions zones”.

Other drivers face fines of £130.

The zones will operate from 07:00 – 10:00 and 16:00 – 19:00 Monday to Friday. They will be policed using automatic number plate recognition.

WATAG believes that those planning for Box Hill’s potentially “traffic-clogged” future, need to closely examine what other cities are already doing to try an alleviate their problems now.

Big “outside the square ” thinking is needed for Box Hill to ensure its future is not the same as in Hackney.

Just dreaming…

Or could Box Hill hope to emulate Utrecht one day?

Sit back and count the cars. Don’t try to count the pedestrians and bikes. You’ll go nuts!

Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands with a population of about 350,000.Building the cycling city

We CAN do it … our city leaders should read this new book,  Building the Cycling City to find that it’s totally possible.

Click here to listen to a sample narration of the preface, introduction and early chapters. You can buy the entire audio book too, or the book can be purchased here online, or do a Google search for other local bookshops.

It’s already been recommended to the Whitehorse-Manningham library to add to their collection.

Free Parking?

You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. —JONI MITCHELL

“Children first learn about free parking when they play Monopoly. The chance of landing on free parking is low, about the same as the chance of going to jail. Monopoly misleads its players on this score, however, because parking is free for 99 percent of all automobile trips in the U.S.
This book argues that another kind of  deception is also at play on the Monopoly board because in the real world, there is no such thing as “free” parking.
The cost of parking is hidden in higher prices for everything else. In addition to the monetary cost, which is enormous, free parking imposes many other hidden costs on cities, the economy, and the environment.”
Extracted from Chapter1 : The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Stroup.
Click here for a summary of the book by Tri-State Transportation Campaign, New York.
Click image to buy the book from Amazon

Here is an interesting discussion from Auckland on The Low Cost of Ending the High Cost of Free Parking.

Good for Busine$$

The $$ benefits of walking and cycling friendly streets

This report explores the economic benefits of making streets more walking and cycling friendly.

It looks at case studies from around the world showing that catering for pedestrians and cyclists provides increased business and vitality that is better for business than catering for more cars.

The report has shows that:
• A high proportion of all retail expenditure comes from local residents and workers.
• Space allocated to bicycle parking can produce much higher levels of retail spend than the same space devoted to car parking.
• Many car-borne shoppers are “drive-through” shoppers, stopping to pick up one item on the way to their eventual destination, rather than people for whom shopping is their main purpose for visiting the area.
• Whilst it is difficult to estimate the value of non-drive-in spend for main streets, it is always bigger than we think.
• Retail vitality would be best served by traffic restraint, public transport improvements, and a range of measures to improve the walking and cycling environment.

WATAG believes that this message needs to be broadcast loudly to all involved in planning for a super-sized Box Hill.

With many more people living in Box Hill this will lead to big retail and service industry opportunities. The shopping Centre owner – Vicinity – recognises this, which is why it has plans to spend $1 billion to turn its complex into a Chadstone- like major “town-centre” type of shopping experience  – to not only cater for new residents, but to people from then entire region.

20 minute neighbourhoods bring more business

Plan Melbourne has a principle of 20-minute neighbourhoods, Streets Alive Yarra defines this well.

The Business Community of Box Hill deserve an integrated Box Hill CBD environment which will bring them maximum benefit.
And residents and visitors deserve a vital and refreshed Active Transport friendly environment to enjoy.

Super Highways and Quietways

London aims to match Amsterdam and Copenhagen

This short film shows how, with foresight and resolve, city leaders and planners can start to turn a car-centric city like London into  a place for people rather than cars.

We have made good progress too…if you live in the inner- Melbourne area.

In the suburbs we need to replicate London’s Quietways with speed limits of 30km/hr, and street marking and minor infrastructure changes to match. We’ve made a start in Yarra City.

Why is there so much resistance in places like Whitehorse and other middle and outer suburbs?

Whitehorse has a plan for many EasyRide routes across the city. But THREE years from initially planning this idea, the first one has only just got into the budget. At this rate it will be decades. Can we wait that long? If you live in Whitehorse, talk to your Councillors about speeding this up.

Let’s take a leaf out of London’s book and really make a difference. Let’s make a big commitment in the next Whitehorse budget to get this job done much sooner.

How might the parks on Eastlink look after NEL

The Koonung Wetlands will be swamped by bitumen!

A further look at the information NELA has released ( the latest information on the NEL is disturbing

The effect on  open space in at the Koonung Wetlands – as depicted by the NEL artist – shows a massive road consuming a LOT of bushy parkland. Overlaying this impression  onto a Google Map photo,  gives the “before and after” photos shown below.

Wetlands Now


Wetlands New


NELA simply comments on the lovely new pedestrian and cycling bridge!

Thumbs down in Whitehorse for NEL

Opposition to NEL at Council Forum

The full-house audience was decidedly worried about the effect of the proposed additions to the Eastern Freeway in Whitehorse as a result of the proposed North East Link (NEL) and the adverse impact on live-ability and loss of parkland at a Whitehorse City Council Forum on Tuesday 11th September 2018.  WATAG was represented on the panel of five speakers.audience photo

The WATAG presentation included these slides leunig typeThe WATAG presentation also spoke to the additional impact of NEL traffic on an already compromised future for Active Transport and traffic flows around the Box Hill area when the high-rise Metropolitan Activity Centre really takes off in the immediate future.

The following two links from the NEL show their spin on the project. Big dollars have been spent on artist’s impressions and top-of-the-line video representations and brochure production. It would be good to see equally high-end dollars allocated for Active Transport too.  The aim should be for a top-of-the-range Active Transport outcome – at least as good as the convenience and safety outlook for cars and trucks.

Snap Send Solve is now official in Whitehorse

Snap send solve logoWe’ve written before about the benefits of using Snap Send Solve. So it’s really pleasing to report that Whitehorse Council has officially agreed to work with Snap Send Solve to receive reports about hazardous or other reportable situations encountered while walking or riding.
Refer to the Council website.

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

Whitehorse Springs to Life

Spring Festival - Whitehorse

Sunday 21 October 2018, 10am-4pm, Whitehorse Civic Centre, Nunawading

Celebrate all the fun, fabulous and quirky talents that make Whitehorse great! Enjoy rides, activities, live music, face painting, interactive workshops, roving performers and the opportunity to engage with the many community groups participating on the day!

Visit us at the WATAG stall. We have lots to tell you about Active Transport, several different and interesting bikes to see, plus the fabulous Penny Farthing featured last year.

Leave your car at home and ride to the Festival to avoid the traffic snarls. Its easy, but plan a safe route beforehand. Bike parking is available onsite.

PLUS, as a bonus, Council has arranged for some fabulous prizes for some lucky winners selected from those who register when they arrive. Registration is at the WATAG stall.

Keeping up-to-date with the news

To avoid clogging up your inboxes, Active Whitehorse News is only sent bi-monthly.
But … we also publish a lot of other interesting and relevant information, sourced world-wide, about Active Transport and, very importantly, planning for it.
Are these articles essential reading for those involved in transport planning and delivery, and those seeking to influence them? WATAG thinks so. Which is why we are encouraging you to take the time to read them.
We publish these articles as posts on our “Whats in the News” blog.
To give you an idea of what these posts are like, several of the individual items in this newsletter are reprints of recent blog posts.
To receive automatic notification when a new item is added to the blog, simply add your email address in the box at the top right hand side of all our web pages, and click to receive updates.

And if you are a Twitter aficionado , WATAG has some erudite things to say quite regularly. We are @WATAG10

Not so Fast!

Why Slower Residential Streets are Sorely Needed

img_7463To some folks, slower speeds on residential streets sounds like sheer blasphemy. For others, it could mean the difference between life and death.
There’s been a renewed interest recently in Canada for reducing the speed limits on our streets. The City of Calgary is considering making 30km/h the default speed limit on all of its residential streets, and Toronto mayoral candidate Jen Keesmaat has just proposed the same thing for Toronto.

These proposals are not without resistance though, especially among those who experience transportation exclusively behind the wheel of a car. Compared to streets with limits of 50km/h, 30km/h seems really slow. With commutes in urban areas becoming increasingly longer, every bit of time savings is highly valued by people, and this can seem like an affront on that crisis.

Despite this resistance, there is valid justification for these proposals; slower residential streets are safer, build more community, and are becoming the best practice globally.

The Global Slow-Down

These proposals may seem bold and new locally, but they’re already making strong headway in other parts of the world. Since 2016, the city of Christchurch, New Zealand has had a 30km/h speed limit in place for its entire central city. In just two years, collision rates and injuries have dropped, all while pedestrian and vehicle traffic have grown. London has also made its entire city centre a 30 km/h zone, and is extending these zones at other town centres and high risk areas. Finally, in the Netherlands, one of the global leaders in road safety, 70% of urban streets are posted at 30 km/h or less.

It’s time for a reassessment of how we use our residential streets. Would we rather they save us a minute off our commute, or that they become a safe space for families, neighbours and children?

Finally … as a tribute to:biketober_whitehorse

We present a Film Festival of the best in cycling around the world.

If you really WANT to do it…nothing is impossible.

Shopping in Holland and Australia

If Vancouver can do it…so can we

We hope you’ve enjoyed this newsletter.
Don’t forget to sign up for our “Whats in the News” blog articles, and be even more informed.

Keep active and happy!

ACNC Registered Charity Tick

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.