Melbourne’s bike building burst

The City of Melbourne has signalled a frenzy of bike infrastructure construction in response to the ongoing climate crisis.

Last week the city committed to an urgent acceleration of plans to roll-out 44 km of high quality, low-stress bike routes across the municipality.

The move follows the city’s climate emergency declaration last year.

Melbourne is already rocking every morning and evening with throngs of bike commuters. However, there are many more city workers and visitors who say they want to take up bike commuting, but are waiting for the infrastructure to improve.

Melbourne’s new Transport Strategy 2030 identified a mesh of key bike links in central Melbourne that connect to important destinations and have the ability to be repurposed and upgraded for bike.

Instead of taking 10 years to deliver the new links, the council will take just 4 years.

To make it affordable, cheaper materials will be used. There shall be no sprinklings of gold-dust!

What will be the first new bike routes out of the starting gate? It’s not known yet, but we hope to bring you the news soon.

This is an ambitious move. Few councils and governments have been able to get even close to their construction schedules for much-needed bike infrastructure.

But now, with the blow-torch of climate change pointed at the belly of government, here's hoping.

A map showing proposed protected bike lanes in the City of Melbourne area.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the catastrophic bushfires show time is running out and we need coordinated action from all levels of government.

"Cities are driving change but we need a strong national response to pull the big levers of reform to meet the nation's Paris commitments and put Australia on the road to zero carbon emissions by 2050,” the Lord Mayor said.

"The City of Melbourne has a strong track record of taking action to reduce our carbon emissions and we acknowledge that more needs to be done.

"We have reduced emissions from the City of Melbourne's operations by more than 50 per cent in six years and we are accredited as being carbon neutral. We are hoping to achieve similar impacts across the municipality through collaborating with the private sector and other levels of government."

"Higher temperatures and extreme weather events will have an impact on all of us," the Lord Mayor said.

"Trees, such as our elms and even some indigenous eucalypts, will struggle to grow in drought conditions – higher temperatures mean we could lose 35 per cent of the city's trees in the next 20 years.”

Among other initiatives to be accelerated are:

  • Transition Council operations from fossil fuels
  • Stimulate end market circular economy solutions
  • Embed climate change and biodiversity action into Council processes, programs and design and construction of assets
  • Mandate greening and zero emissions buildings through the Planning Scheme
  • Accelerate renewable energy purchasing by businesses and residents.
    Incentivise good building environmental performance (including renewable energy use) through rates
  • Build a business coalition to advance the clean and circular economy

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