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Bring back the Bike Budget: Rally tomorrow morning

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on June 20th, 2012

21 June , 2012
7:30 amto8:30 am

World Naked Bike Ride 2012 photo by Charles Van den Broek via flickr CC

Bicycle Network Victoria is inviting every person who rides a bike and cares about the safety of our streets to attend the before-work rally from 7.30-8.30, Thursday, 21 June to express their amazement and disappointment at the Baillieu decision to cut funding for bike infrastructure to zero.

“Ted Baillieu’s Government has snubbed the 1.1 million Victorians riding a bike every week and ignored the million more who want to join in but are waiting for appropriate facilities to appear,” Bicycle Network Chief Executive Officer Harry Barber said.

“We’re going to tell the Baillieu Government that we are amazed and disappointed that they seem to think doing nothing on bike infrastructure is an option – it’s not.

“The Baillieu Government have not grasped the unique ability of bikes to improve the carrying-capacity of our already congested road network. The simple truth is more cars can’t be added to already jammed roads but what we can do, for a small investment, is move thousands more people along existing roadways just by installing appropriate bike facilities.

“Thousands are already riding every day, thousands more want to ride but are waiting for the Government to act – Mr Baillieu, his Government and his zero-bike Budget are failing Victorians.”

Support for the rally is growing across the bike riding community. A number of groups and clubs have organised riders to travel to the rally together. Meeting places so far include:

  • Footscray – 7.00am Hyde Street opposite the Police Station.
  • North Melbourne – 7am North Melbourne Pool, 1 Macauley Rd – coordinated by Melbourne Bicycle User Group
  • Coburg – 6.30am Coburg Railway Station.
  • East Brunswick – 7.00am Café L’Amour, 76 Lygon St, East Brunswick, coordinated by Moreland Bicycle User Group.
  • Carlton – 7.00am Outside Dan O’Connell Hotel, Corner Princes and Canning Streets – coordinated by Yarra Bicycle Users Group.
  • Northcote – 7.00am, Jika Jika Community Centre, Corner Plant and Union Streets – coordinated by Darebin Bicycle User Group.
  • Brighton – 6.45am, corner Bay St and Nepean Highway.
  • Richmond: 7:00am Elizabeth Street and Church Street—outside the commission flats.

The Moreland and Yarra Councils have also passed resolutions supporting the rally. Moreland Council is promoting the rally and encouraging all staff who want to attend to do so. Yarra Council has adopted a similar supportive position and also “authorises a City of Yarra banner or banners being taken to the rally and displayed”.

High performance riders are also getting on board. The North Road Group – a regular Thursday early morning training ride to Mordialloc for road riders – has modified its course and timing and will now finish at the Parliament House steps in time to join the start of the rally at 7.30am.

The 2012 Victorian Budget papers show the government has allocated zero funding to the VicRoads Bicycle Program. (Some already-announced commitments from previous budgets are still trickling through. The Baillieu Government is trying to hide behind these carry over items.)

No high priority infrastructure projects planned for next year have been funded and desperately needed lanes, signals, intersections and other urgent safety improvements have been scrapped. The decision will increase the level of risk for existing riders and stop new riders joining in an activity that improves community health and cuts congestion.

7.30-8.30am, Thursday, 21 June