The Mayor of Stonnington made a call for protected bike lanes on Chapel Street at this morning’s memorial event for Gitta Scheenhouwer.
Cr Steve Stefanopoulos said that car parking should be removed and replaced with bike lanes and wider footpaths to reinvigorate Chapel Street and make it a more comfortable and attractive place to ride.
He made the announcement to more than 100 people who had gathered to remember Gitta who was killed while riding on Chapel Street on 12 August and highlight the importance of bike rider safety.
Bike riders met at the Main Yarra Trail on Alexandra Avenue in South Yarra at 7:00am to hear from Cr Stefanopoulos, local Greens MP Sam Hibbins, Ed Hore from Cycle and Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards.
All those who spoke gave a similar message – what happened to Gitta was a tragedy and we need to do more to make sure that we stop other people being killed while riding a bike.
“Bike riding is an activity we associate with fun, joy and good health, that’s why when tragedy strikes and a rider is killed it hits us all so hard,” said Mr Richards.
“My deepest sympathies go to Gitta’s family and friends. She came to Australia to make lifelong memories. To lose her life in such horrific circumstances is just so tragic.”
“We are failing and we aren’t doing enough. It’s not good enough that we don’t have protected bike lanes on Chapel Street and other similar places like Sydney Road where we lost Alberto Paulon.”
The Mayor of Stonnington Steve Stefanopoulos wants to see car parking removed from Chapel Street and replaced with protected bike lanes and wider footpaths. He has also asked people who ride to support this call. #TogetherWeRide pic.twitter.com/QkzQD2LKQX
— Bicycle Network (@bicycle_network) August 27, 2018
Bells ring aloud
After gathering on Alexandra Avenue people jumped on their bikes and rode down Chapel Street to the site of the crash.
As they rode past a roadside memorial people rung their bells as a touching mark of recognition.
It marked a solemn but strong event which reminded us all of the strength that the bike riding community has when it comes together.
It’s important that we now continue this solidarity and back in the calls for protected bike lanes on Chapel Street.
We recommend showing your support by contacting Stonnington Council, as well as Premier Daniel Andrews as the project would need state government funding to proceed.
A special thanks
Bicycle Network would like to thank all everyone who took part in today's memorial ride, including Cycle who organised the ride and Victoria Police and Yarra Trams for their support.
It's great to see the bike riding community come together and support each other.
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) August 27, 2018