Moreland Council adopts transformative transport strategy

March 15, 2019 at 12:55 am 2 comments

Moreland Mayor Cr Abboud

Moreland Mayor Cr Natalie Abboud walks the talk on mode share shift to sustainable transport.

To conclude the debate on Moreland Council’s transformative Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy (MITS) Cr Abboud told her own personal journey which outlined her fears and her new found freedom in her Mayoral e-bike that she uses to move about Moreland fulfilling her duties as Mayor.

Her speech came after 2 hours of debate in the Council chamber on the strategy and 18 amendments that were proposed for the Council motion. Most amendments were debated: some were lost, some were passed and incorporated into the final motion. The Strategy was passed with 10 votes in Favour and one abstention.

The strategy is an important local policy to change people’s transport and mobility behaviour away from cars to public transport, walking and cycling. It is driven by the need to reduce transport emissions as part of taking climate action for the climate emergency, but also to reduce air pollution to improve the health and liveability of our municipality. (Read Climate Action Moreland submission on the MITS)

So What’s included in this plan, in a nutshell?

  • ✔️Adapt the use of local roads, parking, footpaths and shared path to make sure people, safety and alternative forms of travel are prioritised over private vehicle use.
  • ✔️Strong advocacy for increased supply and reliability of public transport networks across Moreland including buses and trains.
  • ✔️Mandate maximum rather than minimum parking rates for residential developments in Brunswick, Coburg and Glenroy Major Activity Centres (MAC’s) while still allowing parking rights for existing residents and those who need it. This will allow the market to test parking demand rather than simply defaulting to providing lots of it. For residents, it means cost savings by trading-off car parking in areas where there is excellent access to alternatives.
  • ✔️Develop a 10-year program of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure for all abilities including wider footpaths, new and improved bicycle lanes, and greener streetscapes.
  • ✔️Increase safety and livability in our residential streets by closing some local roads to through traffic and allowing access for local traffic, pedestrians and cyclists.
  • ✔️Continue to roll out 40km/h speed limits on all local streets and conduct a 12-month trial of 30km/h speed limits on local streets in two selected areas in the south of Moreland.

The successful amendments to the main motion included:

  • Update the document with references to climate emergency as appropriate
  • Increase in Council parking enforcement resources, including wider hours and out of hours contact
  • Set a target of ten road closures to be completed by 2022/23.
  • Continue reduction of speed limits near schools, activity centres, transport interchanges, cycling corridors where there is 10 km difference between arterial and abutting local roads
  • Minimum 200 bike parking per annum to be installed, for all types of bikes including cargo bikes, bikes with trailers, etc, additional business case for extra $40k to budget process.
  • Delegate authority to parking officers regarding expansion of accessible parking bays in activity centres:
  • Not install any more roundabouts in the municipality due to their problematic nature for safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Improve road markings for cyclists and pedestrians at existing roundabouts and work to replace the most dangerous roundabouts with more appropriate treatments – refer this to 10 year bicycle program that will come up in May Council meeting
  • Council staff to organise a meeting with Brunswick Residents Network, Victoria Walks, Moreland BUG and other key stakeholders in early April to discuss draft 10 year program of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure which is planned to be presented in May Council meeting
  • Council to conduct 12 month trial for making key transport data publicly available on webpage
  • In the implementation plan, buses should run from first train to last train. Improved reliability for train services. Increased frequency of night time trams and trains.

Deputy Mayor Cr Riley as the mover of the substantive motion said;

This policy is shifting the balance in our city. It has been weighted far too much for cars, and all the pollution, the noise, the damage, the accidents they cause. We just had a dreadful one on Sydney Road and Bell street this morning. We are shifting the balance to those active transport modes that we talked about. It aligns with our climate emergency stance and all the things we are doing there.

Roads make up most of our open space in this city. That is a problem. We need to free those roads up to enhance and make our city liveable, a cooler city, more shade, more pleasant and all the things that Council has been saying. This policy will give us a chance to move in that direction.

Here is a transcript of Mayor Cr Natalie Abboud’s closing comments before Cr Riley’s summation and the substantive motion being put to the vote.

“When this council was elected – there are eleven of us – the first piece of work we were asked to do together was the Council plan, the 4 year ter.. We sat down together and had a bunch of workshops and were engaged in the council plan and it had some strategic objectives, the second of which was to promote a progressive city.

Under those strategic objectives were key priorities and the second key priority reads like this:
facilitate a demonstrable shift to more sustainable modes of transport that also targets a long term reduction in car use.

Occasionally this Council has been accused of being Greens dominated and I think we have shown that that isn’t the case. We have 4 Greens, we have 4 legitimate Independents, and then we have 2 ALP and one Socialist Alliance Councillors. We don’t always agree. We don’t always vote the same way, but we have all sat down and agreed on this piece of work which was developed at the beginning of the Council term.

For me personally, I was one of the people who was lied to about their big fat diesel volkswagen and I have been terrified of the idea of riding down the Upfield bike path on my terribly old clunky Gazelle which did not have a battery and getting grabbed, like actually happened in the city and luckily that person was rescued by somebody and that person is great.

There are some real fears I had about whether my 3 kids would be able to take on board riding bikes, which is absolutely ridiculous in hindsight. When I was elected to the Mayoralty I had the option of taking a car or doing what other councillors have done in the past which is to get an electric bike. So I think that if someone like me – I am a 47 year old mother of 3 boys – can adopt regular use of an e-bike which involves me riding the kids to school. Now they just take off and I have to catch up with them even with the battery.

The confidence that I have on that bike which means I ride all over the city and many many times, most times, I am putting the brakes on to slow down for cars who are caught in Traffic.

I was that car and I was caught in that traffic.

I am 100 percent sure that this city is up for this. I need to acknowledge a million times over that not everyone will be able to transition the way I did. That some people will rely on full time use of their cars. But some of us should not be in cars, we should be using other methods of transport and I was one of those people. It has been totally liberating for me. I am fitter, I am faster, I am so proud of myself, and my kids are riding their bikes.

So I am definitely endorsing this substantive motion.”

Mayor’s statement on Moreland Integrated Transport strategy:

Cr Dale Martin Summarises the MITS outcomes:

Entry filed under: Climate Emergency, Moreland Council, news, Policy, public transport, transport, walking. Tags: , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Carlo Carli  |  March 15, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    The market will determine the amount of parking in new high density developments, is code that developers will build considerably less car parking. This could be a good or a bad thing depending on whether the resident continues to drive, if they do they will eventually find parking in areas without permit parking which will create new areas of congestion. Residential visitor parking demands are still likely to be generated regardless of how good the walking, cycling and public transport access is. Visitors will travel from various distances, and they might not have good access to public transport from their home.
    Accordingly, residential visitor parking demands will need to be accommodated on‐street. I am not sure that always works with a 2 hour parking limit.

  • […] Council last week adopted a transformational policy to drive transport mode share shift: the Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy, but we also need the state government to step up and upgrade the Upfield line, instead of ignoring […]


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