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Better bike links AND community engagement

Dear Editor,

As the Member for Western Victoria, I call on Geelong City Hall to host a meeting of affected parties, residences and retailers, to hear community concerns about the Building Better Bike Connections Southern Link Cycling Route.

It is a matter of urgency.

As a keen cyclist and strong advocate for designated cycling lanes, I am concerned about the lack of consultation and the manner in which the City of Greater Geelong Administrators have dumped this project on the incoming Council, showing a complete lack of community engagement.

My own electoral office is affected by the Southern Link and the only notice was a letter dated 8th January from the City saying the office occupied a property along the route and referred me to a website.

I rent a property in Albert Street, Melbourne.  The street has a designated cycle lane between carparks and retail/residences.  I have witnessed unsuspecting pedestrians almost being “cleaned up” by speedy cyclists who work on the basis they have right of way regardless of the safety of others.

I share the concerns of retailers, particularly on High Street, of the impact to their businesses and the safety of their customers of this proposed cycling route.  I questioned why a safer route has not been offered?

While the TAC is obsessed with wire ropes than upgrading roads, and Christine Couzens will do anything to get her photo in the paper, even if she tries to kid us she can ride a bike in high heels, the reality is that little community engagement has happened.

It is highly unlikely the ‘needs test’ has been met given very few cyclists would use the High Street option.

It is not good enough for the City of Greater Geelong to just seek feedback through a website.  It should face the community in a public meeting.