Sometimes issues in other parts of the municipality affect Fawkner residents, as well as residents of other suburbs. If you are a cyclist and use the Upfield path to commute into the city past Jewell Station this will directly affect you.
An apartment development in Brunswick next to Jewell station will close the Upfield Path for over two years.
I have checked out the NeoMetro website and the development has lots of ‘sustainable’ features including a rooftop garden and emphasises city living , and appears to emphasise pro-cycling living.
Why then does the development close down one of the major cycling arterials in the City of Moreland? And not just for a few days, or a week or two, but for two whole years?
There is something hypocritical in a supposedly pro-cycling development that closes one of the major cycling arterials in our city for two years or more.
My next major thought was how the hell did this development proposal entailing closing the Upfield Path for two years get through Moreland Council? Well, Councillors?
My next thought was: Would we allow a similar level of closure for a major road arterial like Sydney Road for an apartment development? I think not. Road users would be up in arms and rightly so.
In the CBD when developments take place scaffolding is erected to ensure continuing pedestrian access along footpaths. Why couldn’t similar be done with regard to the Upfield bike path at the cost to the developer in this instance?
Why do users of the Upfield path have to endure a major disruption for over two years while the developer reaps the benefit?
This does not only affect those who live near the development, but every user of the Upfield path using it to commute to the capital city trail or into the city from further afield such as Fawkner, Hadfield or Coburg.
How many cyclists will just decide to cycle down Sydney Road adding to the traffic there instead of taking the convoluted detour route?
How many might decide its just too hard and not cycle at all?
How many inexperienced cyclists might decide to take Sydney Road and be injured or even killed by a vehicle?
This section of Sydney road was labelled one of the worst for cycling accidents in Melbourne two years ago, yet the development might drive more cyclists to ride on Sydney Road.
Does anyone remember Alberto Paulon who was struck by a person opening a car door on Sydney Road causing him to be hit and tragically killed by a truck on Friday 27 February 2015?
This is Brunswick MP Jane Garrett at Albi’s memorial ride two years ago:
Where does she stand in regard to this development proposal closing the Upfield Path for 2 years which will almost certainly increase cycling traffic on Sydney Road in the same place where Alberto Paulon was killed?
Now watch Ed Hore from March 2015: in memorium: We cycle for fallen riders and the lives lost yet to happen.
So this developer, NeoMetro, has now set a precedent. What about the next development bordering on the Upfield bikepath? Will the path be closed again citing the NeoMetro development?
Maybe it’s time we just put a separated cycling lane all the way up Sydney Road to Bell Street? seeing that developers want to close the Upfield bike path for lengthy periods of time for their own benefit?