Climate and sustainability Comment on Council agenda 10 August 2022

August 10, 2022 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment

Climate Council graphic on sustainable transport

Our comment on Moreland (Merri-Bek) Council agenda for 10 August 2022, sent to all Councillors.

Dear Councillors, 

There are a few agenda items of significance at Council meeting in August. Two deal with improving cycling infrastructure, one with advocacy for improving public transport (buses) as part of a northern region assessment. These three agenda items are important for addressing transport emissions in Moreland.

Transport is about 16 percent of Moreland’s community emissions profile, with automotive emissions being 12 percent. (Refer Snapshot July 2019-June 2020 https://snapshotclimate.com.au/locality/municipality/australia/victoria/moreland/2019/fy )

The Councillor NOM on a Council policy on surfaces for sportsfields and open spaces is also important for climate and sustainability considerations.

On items 7.2 and 7.3 on improving cycling infrastructure there is background information you need to keep in mind. These are long term infrastructure changes that are needed induced through changes we need to make to mobility brought about by the climate emergency.

The International Energy Agency in March 2022 put out a document on A 10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use. The fourth point in this plan was to “Make public transport cheaper; incentivise micro-mobility, walking and cycling. Most of these actions are actionable at state and Federal level, but providing better infrastructure for cycling is definitely important for the Council to implement. We have all seen how global events have increased fuel prices.
https://www.iea.org/reports/a-10-point-plan-to-cut-oil-use

The Climate Council published a sustainable transport policy guide in July 2022. It had 3 main policy asks:

  1. Allocate Appropriate Budget For Public Transport, Walking And Bike-Riding In Line With Best Practice And The Public’s Needs
  2. Encouraging electric bike (e-bike) uptake
  3. Convert the state’s bus fleet to clean, Quiet and zero-emission buses

The first policy ask is of relevance here for the two agenda items 7.2 and 7.3. Protected cycling lanes are important to encourage mode change, particularly in the north of the municipality.
https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/sustainable-transport-policies-states/

You might also be interested in reading what the IPCC 6th assessment report said on cycling.
Extend the Upfield Bike Path Campaign published this presentation from one of the IPCC authors.
https://upfieldbikepath.wordpress.com/2022/06/04/what-does-the-ipcc-6th-assessment-climate-report-say-on-cycling-and-addressing-local-melbourne-transport-mode-shift/

This article also mentions Local Melbourne research on potential for cycling increase.

The study by Pearson et al (March 2022), ‘The potential for bike riding across entire cities: Quantifying spatial variation in interest in bike riding’, provides justification for separated cycling infrastructure to encourage people interested in cycling to start doing so. This is particularly important for women interested in starting to cycle. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214140521003200 )

The researchers conclude that “Our results show the potential for substantial increases in cycling participation, but only when high-quality cycling infrastructure is provided.”

Putting in protected infrastructure for cycling can encourage more people to cycle, which will also reduce congestion and is also important for some people to reduce mobility costs with the costs of living. This is also an equity issue. more people on lower incomes tend to cycle due to reduced cost. Women are more likely to cycle if there is protected cycling infrastructure to feel safe.

7.2  Kent Road, Pascoe Vale Trial Separated Bike Lanes – Outcome of 12-month trial

Importance: reduce transport emissions through provision of protected cycling and shared use infrastructure. Kent Road protected cycling lanes are a key part of the Coburg to Glenroy cycling route. Council officers have recommended Option 1 of retaining present protected cycling lanes with a few modifications and taking into account engagement and issues raised by residents and businesses, and value for ratepayers.


7.3  Safe Movement of Pedestrians and Cyclists – Outcomes of 12-month trials

Importance, reduce transport emissions through provision of protected cycling and shared use infrastructure. Recommends all 4 projects be made permanent with slight modifications.

7.4  Northern Region Transport Strategy (Bus) and related bus advocacy

Importance: Reduce transport emissions through better public transport. Good to see this bus advocacy strategy. There are several improvements suggested to link parts of Moreland with Melbourne airport and La Trobe University. Also a bus service to replicate the Suburban rail loop, but with a shuttle service from Fawkner station to Camp Road. Also advocates improving frequency and quality of service of 530 route along Sydney Road and 531 through Fawkner.

8.2  Developing a policy regarding sports playing surfaces in City of Moreland

Importance: triple bottom line assessment of sports playing fields and open space to meet numerous sustainability and climate associated policies. There is presently no climate risk assessment as part of the Sports and Active Recreation Strategy (2020)


John Englart
Convenor, Climate Action Moreland

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

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