Sustainable Fawkner teamed up with Climate Action Merribek to preparare this submission to a Legislative Assembly Inquiry into the impact of road safety behaviours on vulnerable road users. It was submitted 19 May 2023.
We started with highlighting problem locations around Merri-bek municipality, particularly in the northern suburbs such as Fawkner. This is by no means a comprehensive list but more illustrative of the many issues facing vulnerable users at specific locations. We then highlighted the need to address infrastructure to address safety and also as a response to reduce transport emissions. We came up with the following recommendations:
Invest in Safer infrastructure for vulnerable road users. Increasing safety for vulnerable road users means investing in safer footpaths, crossings, separated bike paths and protected bike lanes, and where pedestrian and cycling traffic is low, more shared use bike paths.
More Safety signage. It also means that more safety signage at key intersections is used warning drivers of both pedestrian and cycling activity, including early start signage for cyclists.
Driver Education. In the past too much emphasis has been placed on changing behaviours of vulnerable road users for their own safety as part of education campaigns. This amounts to ‘Blaming the Victim’. There needs to be a much greater focus on drivers sharing public roads, with an emphasis on safety, and also encouraging use of cycling and walking for local trips.
Addressing safety of vulnerable road users needs to also address the need to reduce transport emissions. The saftey of vulnerable road users and the need to change mobility behavious to reduce emissions should both drive more investment in active transport infrastructure. As dedicated infrastructure improves there is likely to be a compounding increase of active transport mode share reflecting the improved safety environment for vulnerable road users. This requires a boost to recurrent funding for active transport as a proportion of Transport funding in the Victorian budget
Build safe cycling infrastructure along the Strategic Cycling corridors. Sometime, like the extension of the Upfield bike path beyond the M80, this is entirely new infrastructure waiting to be built.
Increase funding to active transport to 20 percent of the state transport budget, as recommended by the United Nations.
Just over the border of Merri Creek in Reservoir from Fawkner is Ngarri Djarrang Grassland, formerly Central Creek Grasslands. The two blocks of native grasslands are bisected by Davidson street and surrounded by suburban houses. There are yellow signs warning that kangaroos cross. A Mob of perhaps 12 kangaroos calls this grassland area home. Here is your opportunity to visit and help in this special area, Courtesy of the Friends of Merri Creek
Sunday 23 May, 10am-12.30pm
Meet at the corner of Davidson St and Orchid Ave, Reservoir – see Google map. Help restore the endangered grasslands of Ngarri-djarrang and set up seed orchards for threatened grassland plants. Funded by a Darebin City Council Medium Grant to Friends of Merri Creek and supported by MCMC.
Residents in North Coburg are crying foul at Moreland Council, as a well loved and used football oval is threatened to become a fenced synthetic field of plastic grass. All without any transparency or public consultation and engagement by Moreland Council with local residents. Continue reading →
For North-east ward 4 Councillors are to be elected, from 19 candidates.
For North-west ward 4 Councillors are to be elected, from 17 candidates.
For South ward 3 Councillors are to be elected, from 15 candidates.
I don’t know about you but I want Councillors that are prepared to engage with residents on multiple issues.
We have been tracking candidate responses to community group surveys, pledges and forums on various issues. What we are interested in reporting is engagement, not the respective views of candidates to a particular survey.
This provides a measure for candidate engagement.
Do you really want to elect someone who only talks to their community circle and ignores other significant citizen engagement? Continue reading →
Sacred Kingfisher at Fawkner logged in Nov 2011 birdsurvey
The bird surveys on Merri Creek in May are on soon. How are the birds faring after a long dry summer? Pick a site and come along! The following details are supplied by Friends of Merri Creek. Continue reading →
Toxic Free Fawkner is campaigning to get the properties that were part of the old NuFarm site cleaned up and opposing inappropriate development of these properties.
Later this week the group will be showing a film to help raise funds for the campaign. This is to raise money for a VCAT case about the toxic site at 102 McBryde St Fawkner.
This site isn’t any contaminated site. It is one of a small number of sites in Australia that is contaminated with dioxin.
Several dangerous chemicals were produced on the site, but the most dangerous one is dioxin. Dioxin is a by-product of the chemicals that were produced on the site 24-D and 245-T. These two chemicals make Agent Orange if they are mixed together.
The group are screening a film about the impact of dioxin on a New Zealand community and the campaign to get the site cleaned up.
Thursday 19 April, 7.30pm
Fawkner Primary School, corner Lorne St & McBryde St, Fawkner
(enter from McBryde St)
Entry $15 waged/ $5 concession/ $20 solidarity
Detraining on the Upfield line from a broken down train south of Park St.
I got to experience a broken down train and the community response in helping each other off the Upfield train yesterday.
Because of level crossing removal work at Camp Road trains are only running to COBURG on the Upfield Line. Yesterday I cycled to COBURG and used the Parkiteer cage for my bike and caught the train into the city for an event. Everything was well, and I caught the 5:02 train from Flinders Street.
The problem with my train started occurring after Flemington Bridge station with the train motor seeming to sputter causing jumps. We made it past Royal Park before the engine pretty well died in fits and starts. “You can do it, you can do it” chanted someone in my carriage as the train inched forward in a few splutters of progress. Continue reading →
I attended Moreland Council on Wednesday night. One of the items for consideration was the land swap with Darul Ulum College and Evans Reserve. Although I have no in principal objection to the land swap – council will not loose any land as part of Evans Reserve – I am concerned about the seven native trees in part of Evans Reserve that will be swapped.
One tree is located towards the north east corner of the land to be swapped, and the other six are in the south west corner of Evans Reserve.
I did get to ask a question, which prompted an addition in the land swap motion later in the meeting. An extra point was added to the motion for Council Officers in the land swap negotiations to try and ensure the seven native trees were saved as part of the deal.
So more car parking for Darul Ulum College (a good thing) but it adds to the urban heat island effect (a bad thing). Saving these seven trees is important if they can be incorporated as part of the expanded car parking, especially given the recent Urban Forest Strategy adopted by Council which stressed the importance of saving trees in the private realm.
No guarantees at this stage, but I am hoping these trees can be incorporated as part of the new car parking land in Darul Ulum College as part of the land swap deal. If not, then the College will have angered local residents.
The College needs to pull their weight when it comes to climate action, even in such a small thing as retaining seven native trees in an extended car park.
Congratulations to Friends of Merri Creek for receiving $50,000 in community biodiversity grant funding from the state government for their program: The Secret Seven: Seeds for our Flora’s Future.
Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio visited the sheoak woodlands at Moomba Park in Fawkner on September 14 where the announcement was made that an additional $4 million will go towards community-based projects in the latest round of grants under the Biodiversity On-ground Action program. (See Ministerial press release) Continue reading →