A traffic management strategy for all of Southbank

A traffic management strategy for all of Southbank

Southbank3006’s micro-mobility forum on February 26, the first for the year, brought together experts to discuss the future of transport in Melbourne. This was timely as the City of Melbourne opens its dialogue with residents on pedestrian safety in the coming months.

Central to safety is getting the risk hierarchy right in our traffic management and transport planning in Southbank. Not having a comprehensive traffic management strategy for Southbank makes this difficult so we should use this consultation as a community to agree that:

That pedestrian and bike rider safety, as the most at-risk groups in road safety, is best served by making low traffic neighbourhoods across Southbank a priority for the council to deliver.

We need a traffic management strategy for Southbank, not piecemeal, quick-fix solutions to problems.

We need City Rd and Citylink Tunnel working as they were designed so freight movement is done efficiently.

Car rat runs are shut down and speed limits are addressed in our residential streets.

We take back road space used for parking for much needed open and green space.

Southbank3006’s micro-mobility forum showed what can be done. First up we heard from Dutch Cargo, which specialises in micro-mobility solutions, highlighting the benefits of cycling, including the positive effects on physical and mental health, the speed and convenience of e-bikes, and the benefits for children’s social and spatial awareness. Dutch Cargo also emphasised the environmental benefits of cycling, such as reducing pollution and carbon emissions.

The City of Melbourne’s transport strategy was also discussed during the forum, with a focus on promoting safer and more equitable transport options. The strategy includes initiatives to reduce motor vehicle speeds, install bike lanes, and use infrastructure improvements to protect vulnerable road users.

Ash Lee, the City of Melbourne’s community partner for Southbank, was also present, and announced an exciting new pedestrian safety study that has just launched. More information on this is available through the Southbank Neighbourhood Portal. So, please participate and help address what we need to make Southbank residential areas low traffic neighbourhoods.

At the forum, Victoria Police were also present to help attendees prevent bike and scooter theft and to give some great practical tips for keeping your property safe and secure. More than a dozen bikes were engraved at the event, and attendees were encouraged to register their bikes and other property with PropertyVault, an online database that has helped thousands of Australians recover their stolen property.

The forum also raised interesting questions about the privatisation of public spaces, with the private scooter trials being deemed a success by the City of Melbourne. This is particularly important that if franchises are given to private operators, the pricing for using public assets is appropriate and they commit to service level agreements as part of a social contract with residents and the council. This can then address many of the concerns people raise about their operations.

The Southbank3006 committee looks to the example of Portland, Oregon, where Bird, the primary e-scooter provider, agreed to collect all its vehicles each night for charging and necessary maintenance, and remit $1 per vehicle per day to the city to build more bike lanes, promote safe riding, and maintain shared infrastructure as part of their social contract.

Southbank3006 considered the question of whether Melbourne’s local councils are following other municipalities in raising funds from the privatisation of public space. With a great push towards providing more equitable space in the city’s heavily car-dominated road network, it was questioned why those who are clearly profiting off the already limited public space are not paying for it.

Overall, the micro-mobility forum provided attendees with insights into the benefits of micro-mobility solutions such as cycling and e-bikes, as well as the challenges that need to be addressed to promote their wider adoption. The forum also highlighted the importance of addressing bike and scooter theft and exploring opportunities for partnerships with private companies to invest in micro-mobility infrastructure.

By working together to address these challenges and consider innovative funding solutions, we can create a more sustainable and financially resilient city, and a more liveable future for all residents.  For more information on sustainable, financially resilient, liveable places, check out the Strong Towns movement at strongtowns.org.

Southbank3006 hosts monthly forums on important community topics. To find out more, join for free via the website. •

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