While transition to Electric Vehicles is perhaps a part of the solution, the real need is to increase public transport quality, service and frequency, and increase cycling and walking infrastructure, to create environmentally friendly social urban environments where people want to work, live, and visit and live their lives.
Transition to Electric Vehicles is only a small part of the solution, even when these vehicles are 100% renewables recharged (ie not dependant on a largely coal based grid). Electric Vehicles still contain a substantial space footprint use in our urban environment.
We already have so many parking issues around the Moreland municipality that just changing to electric vehicles isn’t going to solve the many space and parking problems in an urban environment, whether it be in Brunswick, Coburg, Glenroy or Fawkner. We clearly need to think laterally to find solutions.
Public transport, cycling and walking infrastructure and creating urban environments around these activities should be a primary focus in terms of transport related climate action and creating more liveable and social urban environments. This is even more important in middle and outer suburbs that often have very poor public transport and cycling infrastructure to start with, which particularly includes the suburbs of northern Moreland where car dependency is much higher than in Brunswick and Coburg.
We also need to be looking not just within the borders of our municipality, but enhancing changes across municipal boundaries. We seldom live our lives within one suburb or muncipality and creating good links and flows between municipalities is equally important. We do this very well with roads, but it also needs to be strongly fostered with public transport, cycling and walking infrastructure.
Moreland Council’s Integrated Transport Strategy that is currently being developed, needs to address problems of urban planning and transport use, taking into account the need to move to a zero carbon emissions goal by 2040.
Transport greenhouse gas emissions in Moreland are currently 25 per cent of Moreland’s total emissions. This is second only to emissions from electricity generation and energy use.
Some of the changes can be done through building appropriate infrastructure and urban planning; some can to be done through strong advocacy to State and Federal Government in areas such as improved public transport integration and frequency, extension to public transport services; some changes will need to involve community education to illicit behavourial changes in the Moreland community.
Moreland Council pressing state government on Upfield train service, Upfield Bike Path
At Moreland Council’s March meeting a General business motion moved by Cr Sue Bolton raised the quality of service of the Upfield train line. This affects Moreland and Hume public transport users and residents.
Cr Bolton articulated that “The Upfield train line is the 5th worst of the 17 train lines in Melbourne, for the practice of short-shunting – that is when Metro Trains terminates trains before the end of the line, stranding the passengers who live further out. This is according to the publicly available figures.”
Short shunting at Coburg definitely affects train users north of Coburg, both residents of Moreland and Hume municipalities.
The motion requested a report on train services performance on the Upfield Line from Council Officers. The Motion was passed by Council.
Another motion moved by Cr Mark Riley was on Improving bicycle infrastructure on the Upfield Line with neighbouring Hume City to create a major bike corridor.
This motion on the Upfield Bike Path put forward strong advocacy to State Government MPs covering Moreland for constructing the Upfield Bike Path extension to create an important arterial bike route between Moreland and Hume municipalities.
This advocacy is particularly important given the lack of any facilities provided by VicRoads for cycling north south through Campbellfield, in suburbs with high car dependency rates.
Tackling transport emissions and transport planning are important issues for the Moreland Community and for building a more liveable, sustainable urban environment.
Climate Action Moreland thinks much more can be done, needs to be done in curbing transport emissions. At the start of March 2018 we prepared the follow text for citizens to have some initial input into Moreland’s Integrated Transport Strategy.
CAMoreland leaflet on Moreland’s Integrated Transport Strategy community consultation
The Paris Climate Agreement aspirational target limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees is starting to look unachievable. Even meeting the hard target of 2 degrees, which will still result in huge damage (e.g. probable loss of the Great Barrier Reef) will require governments everywhere to lift their game.
IT’S A CLIMATE EMERGENCY. We need sustainable Transport
Moreland Council should play its part in addressing that emergency. Transport accounted for 25.8% of greenhouse emissions in Moreland in 2013-14. Council is currently working on a new Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy. We think it needs to take the climate emergency seriously.
The Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy should be founded on the objective of achieving the largest possible reduction of motor vehicle trips into, out of, within, or through Moreland and a radical increase in more sustainable transport modes – public transport, cycling, walking.
Climate Action Moreland encourages Moreland residents to let the Council know they support:
- A massive increase in bicycle funding to enable Council to meet its commitments in the Moreland Bicycle Strategy 2011-21 (PDF) and set better targets for later years.
- All footpaths should be brought up to standard (if necessary, creating them) and maintained that way.
- Roundabouts, which are dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, should be taken out.
- Traffic calming measures should be vigorously pursued.
- Council should advocate, loudly and often, for improved public transport and against major road construction. This includes advocating for upgrading of the Upfield line to achieve a service up to the frequency of most of the rest of Melbourne’s railway lines, as well as extending the Number 19 tram from North Coburg to Campbellfield and the Number 58 tram from West Coburg to Hadfield and Glenroy.
A lot needs to change for Moreland’s Integrated Transport Strategy to be up to the task set by the climate emergency. We think that this would be a good start.
Don’t forget the Public Meeting on Transport – March 21, 7pm, Brunswick Town Hall
Moreland Community for Action on Transport (MCAT) (Facebook) is organising a public meeting to provide information on the Westgate Tunnel project to the inner Melbourne local communities, to support the people of the more affected Western suburbs in their campaign against it, to develop campaign strategies, and to advocate for more and better public transport infrastructure and services. Speakers include Western Suburbs activists, academics, and Moreland Councillors.
When: Wednesday 21 March, 7:00pm to 9;00pm.
Where: Brunswick Town Hall, Sydney Road Brunswick.
RSVP: Facebook event