Thursday, 24 September 2020

City of Perth councillor candidates - part 1

The second in a series of guest blog posts. Perth Bike Hub asks candidates in the City of Perth council election to share their vision for bicycle transport. Here’s Part 1 of responses from council candidates.

Responses from other candidates are here:

Perth Bike Hub has a Facebook page and can be found on Twitter @perthbikehub


SURVEY QUESTIONS

1. What is your vision for the role of bicycles and other micro-mobility modes (such as electric scooters) in the City of Perth’s transport system?

2. Around two-thirds of Australians say they would like to ride a bicycle, especially for short trips, but only if it feels safe. Would you like to see more Perth residents on bicycles and if so, what specific actions will you take to improve bicycle transport in the City of Perth should you be elected?

3. The state government recently announced funding to build key bicycle routes along Bennett, Moore, Wittenoom and Nile Streets. If elected will you support construction of these routes?


COUNCILLOR CANDIDATES


LEXI BARTON



1.  I support fully the greater use of bicycles and other micro-mobility modes provided they are used in a way and in an environment that is always safe for users and non-users alike. 

2.  I would like to see many more Perth residents on bicycles and will always support the construction of the requisite infrastructure that, in the opinion of the experts, is safe both users and non-users alike.

3.  This is a state government initiative. Should the City of Perth Council for whatever reason be required to comment or approve all or part of the State Government's plan, I will support it.

PBH summary:

Lexi Barton voices hesitant support for increased and safer bike riding in Perth but does not expand on what she will do to bring this about. 


She offers support for the proposed East Perth bicycle routes but seems to hold the issue at arm’s length.


Her somewhat guarded responses suggest a degree of discomfort and unfamiliarity with the topic and the issues involved. However she also indicates an openness to the advice of relevant experts.



DWAYNE BERWICK


Did not respond.



CLYDE BEVAN


1.  I encourage the use of bikes and micro mobility modes in the City of Perth.  I have been lucky enough to travel overseas and see bikes used as a thriving mode of transport, eg in Copenhagen.  I have also seen the pollution from too many cars in a city.  We should be encouraging people to ride their bikes and have places to keep them safe.  

2.  I will actively encourage more cycleways, bicycle storage areas and promote the health benefits of cycling.  I am very pleased to see the government taking the initiative and building a new bridge for walking and cycling over the causeway, as I have always found that crossing difficult and dangerous.

3.  I will encourage construction of all bicycle routes as I fully understand the benefits to the city of a safe bicycle network and culture.

PBH summary:

Clyde Bevan offers broad support for cycling and commits to backing the proposed East Perth cycle routes.


While his comments suggest riding a bike is not for him (“their bikes” “keep them safe”) he makes some encouraging statements regarding bikes and micromobility in the city, namely his acknowledgement of the negative impact car traffic can have on cities through pollution and the issue of needing safe places to cycle.


He appears to understand there are health benefits associated with riding bicycles though it is unclear if he understand the bike's role in broader liveability and better city making. It will be interesting to see if he can move from encouraging cycling to actually enabling it.



MARK DAVIDSON



1.  Both my wife and I ride bicycles and would like to see improved infrastructure to support micro-mobility options. Some great options have been used in Sydney with dedicated cycling lanes with curbs to distinguish the cycling tracks from the road.

2.  As per option one dedicated cycling tracks with curbs to distinguish from the roads.

 

3.  Yes I would support. I will be happy to work to reduce the environmental impact of cars in the city.


PBH summary:

Mark Davidson voices his support for better facilities for cycling and other micrombility options. 


He points to the leadership shown by the City of Sydney in rolling out dedicated protected bike lanes. 


He supports the East Perth bicycle routes and shows some understanding of the negative effects of a car-dominated city.



RAJ DOSHI


1.  Bikes are a big deal in my house and in our complex. I have chosen to live, work and bring up my boy 7 and 5 years of age in the City. One of our favourite family activities at the weekends is bike riding around the Swan river, we also own electric and manual scooters and enjoy using them around the Swan river.


We usually do one of two routes and I strongly believe there can never be too many bike paths and micro mobility modes in a city that is keen to grow into a bustling metropolitan location to draw new residents and visitors. This is very important for future proofing the city.


I would like to see more bike paths around the city to ease traffic and some well thought out plans for bike bridges to connect areas together.


2.  I would like to include bike lanes on Murray St/Hay St, these are quieter roads than St Georges Tce especially in rush hour traffic. End of trip facilities need to be made available for those who wish to ride but don't have access to these types of facilities at work.  Bike storage needs to be safe and secure. Having more bike share schemes in the different areas like London the Santander bikes and Lime bikes as options for commuters near train and bus stations.


3.  Absolutely, Bike paths create footflow and positive traffic, this is much needed and can help with areas in East Perth where people are loitering around and shouldn't be. This would in itself create a safer space for people to use. City bike paths need to be well lit at night.


PBH summary:

Raj Doshi speaks positively about cycling and makes the connection between urban growth and the need to provide for active transport. 


She supports more bicycle infrastructure, including the proposed East Perth routes, and identifies some other specific routes. 


Her preference for bike lanes on Hay and Murray streets over St Georges Terrace may reflect a lack of understanding that people on bikes like safe direct travel routes that reach destinations just like those using other modes, but she is broadly supportive of improvements for cycling.


She proposes more secure bike parking and end-of-trip facilities and seems to understand that more people on bikes can help with ‘eyes on the street’.


Her support for bike share is positive, a well-designed large-scale system could be a game-changer for Perth. However, bike share is unlikely to succeed until the current helmet legislation is amended (which falls outside local government control).



MICHAEL FELIX


1.  My vision for the central districts of Perth are to be more accessible, safer and friendlier to for all forms of personal transportation, including bicycles, person mobility devices and pedestrians. Placing a greater focus on these methods will lead to not only improved safety and health outcomes, but will also activate the streetscapes, making it a more vibrant place for people to interact and engage with local business and develop a great season of community.


2.  I would not only like to see more bicycles throughout the city but also more people being able to safely walk the streets of Perth. Specific actions would be to support the development of dedicated bicycle/electronic device laneway to all safe movement around key inbound and linking roads (area that I see on a daily basis, living just off Milligan Street – the morning battle for cyclists trying to engage into the city and onto the Terrace is an extreme dangerous and needs to be improved).


Also, I am an advocate for the creation of wide promenades along further sections of Hay and Murray streets , with dedicated pathway for Bicycles through them.

An example of this is the section of Street from William Street to His Majesty’s Theatre -widening the promenade to make it more prominent for pedestrians, dedicated cycle paths and by widening the promenade meaning that local business can engage the streetscape better making it a more vibrant area that people want to visit and enjoy, and significantly safer.


Similar can be said for the similar section of Murray Street, with a number of night time venues and bars in this area, if you have ever ventured this in an afternoon or evening the number of people out and about is great to see, but the interaction with the amount of traffic also pushing through this area makes it terribly unsafe. Even during business days, having the mix of traffic, the CAT bus and then trying to accommodate bicycles and other road users is just not practical or safe.


I would be an advocate to push for better traffic management and the development of smart streetscapes and for improved and safer access for bicycles. Cars play a significant role in Western Australia but doesn’t have to be the only means of transport, let Perth be a smarter city, not just one dedicated by Cars.


3.  If elected I would support the development of these routes, along with a push to also improve links on the Western sections of Perth, the arena to the convention centre and connections for Thomas Rd to the city and partnering to better links to Subiaco/Nedlands and Perth.


PBH summary:

Michael Felix shares a positive vision for cycling and other active transport modes, including walking, and appears to understand cycling’s role in enhancing community connection and urban vitality.


He recognises the need for safety improvements in the city to make non-motorised travel options a better experience. He supports dedicated bike/e-scooter lanes, shows an awareness of some of the challenges of shared space and identifies specific routes where he sees scope to reallocate more space to pedestrians and bike riders.

 

He supports the proposed East Perth bicycle routes and backs additional improvements for other areas of the city.



BRENT FLEETON


1.  If people want to make the choice to cycle, they should be encouraged to. Perth's CBD is a complex web of transport modes all coming to end-of-trip. I have heard from many friends working in West Perth that it is a nightmare getting across/down Thomas Street into West Perth/CBD safely on a bike.


2.  We need to incentivise businesses to encourage their employees to use public transport or cycling. I know that's not always possible, but when it is, it's a win for everyone. Fewer cars on the road means less congestion in the CBD.


One way we can do that as a future Council is to pay part of the State Government's parking levy of each parking bay that we can prove is not being used because that employee is now cycling into work instead. We can quantify this if businesses have a car used by employees to visit clients etc. A great example is Nexia Australia. This is a business located in the very centre of Perth. They have 5 car bays. 1 firm car branded for client visits, most employees now cycle in or catch a train, then use this car to visit clients.


I will fight every day to see a reduction in the parking levy. It's unfair, it takes in way more than is needed to fund the CAT Bus service, and it needs to end now.


3.  I haven't seen the plans, or how they impact on the streetscape/residents/businesses of those targetted streets, so I cannot comment positively or negatively. What I can say is we have learned lessons from Bike Boulevards in Bayswater and Mt Hawthorn, and a lot of money has been wasted on ineffective street changes where money could be more effectively used elsewhere.


PBH summary:

Brent Fleeton shows an understanding of one of urban bicycle transport’s fundamentals – competing demand for finite space. Thanks to friends, he knows the status quo isn’t working for bike riding in the City of Perth, he understands everyone benefits from fewer cars in the city and believes more should be done to reduce car journeys into central Perth.


Despite all this, he offers no meaningful measures to improve matters for cycling or any other micromobility modes. His strategies to reduce city car journeys centre on reform of the Perth Parking Levy without improving alternative options.


Brent Fleeton declines to say whether or not he will support the proposed East Perth bicycle routes. However, his dim view of Safe Active Streets (bike boulevards) and lack of other meaningful active transport proposals is indicative of someone looking for an excuse to say no rather than learning from past problems and endeavouring to do better.



VANCE FRANKLIN


1.  I'm lucky to be coming into Council (hopefully) at an already fantastic time for cyclists, in the midst of the City's Cycle Plan 2029. Living in the city, I've made a choice not to own a motor vehicle. My main mode of transport is foot and bicycle, so I am %100 onboard with this vision and progression of the plan to optimise cycling infrastructure, encouraging the use of bicycle and other micro-mobility as main modes of transport.

2.  At last count, 60% of Perth City residents don’t own a car. I am in that group. Just last week, I had a chat with a guy at work, who usually rides down Beaufort Street to the City, which as you know has designated Bus and cycle lanes in the morning. On my walk into work on this day I saw him riding down William St, so I asked him why he changed his course. He told me that he had been copping some serious flack from motorists and just didn’t feel safe riding down Beaufort St anymore. That’s not OK. 

Whilst the City’s Cycle Plan is fantastic, I think there is room for movement in the education piece around safety. We can’t just target this plan at cyclists, we need to get everyone on board and we need to highlight the ongoing evolution of shared transport infrastructure and each individuals role in the safe use of that infrastructure. I want to make sure that every milestone of this plan comes with that education piece.

3.  %100 and I look forward to using them!

PBH summary:

Vance Franklin shares a positive vision for bicycle and other micromobility transport options in the city. He seems to understand that current provision for city cycling is not good enough and that there's a need to build infrastructure to improve safety. He speaks highly of the city's Cycle Plan which is very modest in its vision.


He put a strong emphasis on the role of eduction on matters of road safety, and his reference to 'shared transport infrastructure' is confusing (does he want more shared bus and bike lanes? Bike traffic mixing it with the cars on busy streets?).


He supports the proposed East Perth cycle routes.



LIAM GOBBERT


1.  Being a town planner by trade, I know the value and importance of prioritising active transport - the City’s Transport Plan prioritises cycling above that of car users and my personal vision would be to see protected or at least dedicated and identified priority cycle lanes on every street. There’s too much of a hodgepodge mishmash approach at the moment and we need to be rolling out a standard approach to address this.


My bicycle (picture attached) is my primary mode of transport to get to/from work and to do my weekly grocery shop at the Murray St Woolies. I’ve seen a few folks on the electric scooters and Segways while out on my run - quite frankly, if it gets people out of the car or serves a tourism purpose then we should be looking at how we can facilitate that. That’s Council’s role. I know there are some regulations limiting electric assisted vehicle use on paths but I haven’t been hearing this causing issues for ratepayers. I work at the PTA so i might be a little biased!


I am constantly finding shortcomings in the connectivity of the PSP/PBN paths, footpaths, and cycle lanes (I’m building a list!). It’s unacceptable and if elected I would be championing to upgrade the network.


2.  I would love to see more people on bikes! It’d reduce congestion and contribute to an overall healthier lifestyle. I want to see dedicated cycle infrastructure on every street.


I would be incorporating a KPI in the CEO’s contract to deliver a cycle plan that directly relates to the Capital Works Budget endorsed by Council. Council can plan infrastructure years in advance and endorse an approach for roads to be redesigned to incorporate new cycle lanes (like Barrack Street for example). I’d also like to see more bike pumps along the PBN in the City’s district.


3.  Absolutely! I’d look into what other Capital Works we could bundle in to avoid disruption to residents and businesses while works are under way. If any WaterCorp pipes or Western Power cables need replacing in those areas or if the City’s other plans for new tree planting for example can fit in I’d be pushing for that to happen.


Encouraging people to ride increases active surveillance on the streets and contributes to the overall perception of safety, so I’ll 100% support cycling infrastructure wherever I can.


PBH summary:

Liam Gobbert offers a positive vision for Perth cycling and understands the importance of providing safe dedicated space for people to ride. He sees opportunities for microbility devices such as e-scooters to promote greater mobility options and assist with tourism. 

He is aware of the city’s cycling connectivity issues, identifies a lack of consistency in design approaches and commits to addressing these issues. He supports the proposed East Perth cycle routes. 

His suggestions to link cycling provision to the CEO’s key performance indicators and to streamline infrastructure construction with other planned capital works, shows he is thinking about ways to boost accountability and efficiency.



REBECCA GORDON


UPDATE 1 October 2020: A response from Rebecca Gordon was not included at the time of first publication. The delay was a result of an email problem.


1.  Any method of transport which reduces the impact on road infrastructure and is better for the commuter and the environment should be encouraged. Cycling and micro-mobility modes are beneficial to users and governments alike.


I have previously worked in a company seeking to bring autonomous and electric vehicles to Perth and understand that even when public transport works well the first-mile-last-mile commute can be best satisfied by bicycles/scooters etc.


Vehicle share models for apartment buildings successfully operate in Sydney and I can see this successfully operating for micro-mobility modes here in Perth.


Whilst bike hire models currently operate in Perth the use of them is negligible. I see them stationed at the Hyatt everyday and for the first time in three years witnessed one being taken out for use today. In rolling out future versions of this model, greater consultation with stakeholders should be undertaken in order to understand how to maximise their usage. The equivalent system in Brisbane appears to work very successfully for locals and tourists.

2.  Greater infrastructure to encourage alternative methods of transport such as dedicated, purpose-built bike lanes, end-of-trip facilities for cyclists and charging stations for e-devices. The cost of the latter can be borne by developers of new properties and larger businesses. 


My apartment building has no secure communal space to store bikes and with apartments getting smaller and smaller, it is becoming impractical to store them. Planning for future developments should consider this and ensure provision is made for secure storage.


Elected members are not necessarily experts on everything, including cycling, so appropriate community engagement should be undertaken. Such engagement should be well-advertised and easily accessible to ensure interested parties participate.


I am quite interested in the increased uptake of Uber Eats (and similar food delivery services) that are normalising cycling in Our City. As this becomes more prevalent, greater cycling infrastructure will be required which will hopefully then promote others to ride more.


An additional deterrent to more cycling is helmet laws, however this is not within the control of local government


3.  Absolutely, as stated above, the promotion of cycling is beneficial to all stakeholders and if state government funding is available the opportunity should be taken, ensuring it is spent appropriately on creating fit-for-purpose infrastructure that will satisfy the needs of stakeholders


PBH summary:

Rebecca Gordon recognises the wider community benefits of getting more people on bikes and other micromobility modes. She shows an awareness of the potential for bicycles and e-scooters to improve mobility options through better integration with public transport (the first mile/last mile challenge).


She supports dedicated cycle infrastructure (including the proposed East Perth routes), more end-of-trip facilities, e-charging stations for e-mobility devices and more secure bicycle storage in future residential developments. 


Her observations about bicycle delivery riders contributing to the normalisation of cycling hints at shifting cultural attitudes towards the role of bicycles in city life.



NANCY HADDADEN


1.  During the development of the Community Needs Study which was conducted in September through November 2019; cycling was identified as a transport mode which leverages people's wellbeing, due to the obvious reasons of its positive impacts on public health, and in keeping people active in general.


My vision for the role of bicycles and other micro-mobility modes in the City's transport system stems from one of the objectives within the City's Strategic Community Plan -  second theme:

PLACE. The relevant objective states "A connected and accessible City with well utilised and sustainable non-car transport options."


I believe bicycles and electric scooters have a much lower ecological footprint than cars, thus making them attractive mobility modes that enables the City of Perth to meet one of the objectives set in the PLACE theme of the Strategic Community Plan, in addition to meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.


2.  The issue we face with our current existing bicycle routes, and even when planning for new ones is the lack of developing a complete bicycle network that enables cyclists to go from point A to B in a safe manner. I think it is worth learning from the Netherlands as a leader in developing well interconnected bicycle routes, with road rules also applying to cyclists. We need to start planning and developing our bicycle infrastructure in the same manner we plan our roads and freeways. As with all engineering designs, safety of road users - cyclists in this case - is key.


Yes, I would definitely support developing interconnected bicycle routes without many disruptions to cyclists who find themselves dismounting their bikes for most of their trip. I think introducing 30 zone shared paths might be a good start, where it is not possible to create an additional bicycle lane due to limitation of space. Two good local examples here are: Cappuccino Strip in Fremantle and Elizabeth Street in Nedlands/Crawley. This model might be worth a trial on William Street where speed is usually low due to heavy traffic, and I find some cyclists struggling to navigate their way safely up that hill including myself.  Why not give it a trial!


With increased use of bikes comes the need for more bike sheds or bike parking spaces which is lacking in some locations at Central Perth.


3.  I would be interested to hear more from the local community living nearby the proposed new route to gain more perspective on this issue. Looking at the initial network plan, it doesn't seem to be well interconnected. I would support the new bicycle routes only if the detailed design considers developing an integrated and interconnected network to ensure safety of both cyclists and pedestrians. Again, the next stage of building these routes should give careful consideration to how these new routes are going to be merged with other modal transport routes. Where necessary, road speed adjustments need to be applied as well.


PBH summary:

Nancy Haddaden shows some awareness of the bicycle’s role in enhancing wellbeing, public health, sense of place and environmental sustainability and the importance of having a genuinely safe, connected cycling network.


She commits to learn from global best practice, suggests implementing low speed streets in some areas to enable shared use and points to some local examples from which to draw inspiration. She supports trialling new approaches to street design, a flexible (and initially lower cost) option that has proved valuable in many cities around the world.


She takes a cautious, non-comittal stance on the proposed East Perth bicycle routes.



REECE HARLEY


1.  Cycling and more active forms of transport like electric scooters should play a much greater role in the future of our City. Perth, in recent decades, has been dominated by the motor vehicle, but it doesn't always have to be this way.


Though the cities of Perth and Paris are different in a multitude of ways, the dramatic and rapid take-up of cycling in Paris in recent months demonstrates that they have reached a tipping point. Many years of concerted effort to build their cycling culture; car-free days in the inner city, construction of an integrated cycling network, and of course the famous bike-share system have laid the necessary groundwork. The leadership shown by the City Council and Mayor to seize the opportunity which COVID-19 provided was and remains an inspiration. Paris is not alone in this regard. Many cities around the world have invested heavily in cycling networks in recent months. 

 

The research is clear; cycling is good for the environment, good for public health and good for local economies. Perth faces a significant challenge however given that we are one of the most sprawling cities in the world. Building an effective cycling network must go hand in hand with other initiatives to increase residential density in our City, encourage and facilitate more local shopping venues for local residents, creating more interesting and vibrant town centres, incentivising the construction of more housing with lower car parking ratios, and mandating the provision of end-of-trip facilities and bike parking into new developments. 

 

Increasing the take-up of cycling is not just about painting white lines on bitumen, it's about building a genuine culture of cycling and a network of cycling infrastructure that connects key destinations, town centres and commuter routes while promoting the many benefits of cycling to the wider community. I see this as an essential goal for the incoming Council to whole-heartedly adopt.


2.  My vision for Perth is for a city with increased cycling, scooter use and pedestrianisation. We must realise this goal for the economic as well as the environmental resilience of our city.  When I think of cycling safety I imagine my three year old son on a bike. When you see parents and children cycling together then you know that you've achieved a safe cycling environment. The only place I see children cycling in Perth City is along our riverfront shared paths - and even that's not a common sight.

 

While the city is well-serviced by principal paths connecting the suburbs to the CBD (though improvements of these connections are still necessary) it's the smaller local connections in and around our central city that are mostly entirely lacking. Barrack street is an exception, where there are marked lanes connecting Stirling Street down to the Swan River and Riverside drive however these are only painted lanes which provide little protection from collision. Paint does not equal infrastructure. 

 

The next Council and Lord Mayor need to work collaboratively with State Government Agencies, local business and residents and community and advocacy groups and cyclists (as well as non-cyclists) to deliver a city-wide network of separated infrastructure, or safe and integrated cycling environments at very low speeds. The key to delivering increased rates of cycling is to truly understand and address the concerns on non-cyclists. 

 

We need to see traffic filtering as well as more cycle-friendly infrastructure like end of trip facilities and directional signage. Our cycling plan needs to be updated with a greater focus on redesigning road-sides and streetscapes to provide for lanes that are adjacent to the footpath rather than the roadway.


The approach I will take to these issues? I'll ask myself whether I'd feel comfortable having my son use the cycling infrastructure we build.


3.  The State Government's recent August announcement of funding for cycling routes along these streets is key to connecting Royal Street to the River and Matagarup Bridge to the CBD. It's heartening to see these recent commitments. I will fully support the construction of these routes - and will work with the City's transport planners and state government agencies to see that the infrastructure is delivered to a top standard, and, ideally, fully separated and properly integrated with connecting routes. 

 

I ask for your support in this election to ensure that the City of Perth Council is comprised of people who truly understand and are committed to the goal of making Perth a safe and enjoyable place to get around by bike.


PBH summary:

Reece Harley shows he has a keen understanding of what needs to be done to get more Perth residents on bikes. He calls for a combination of physically protected space, lower-speed streets, traffic filtering (to reduce rat running), engaging with stakeholders (including the non-cycling ‘interested but concerned’ people), all underpinned by city leadership.


Drawing inspiration from global experience and his toddler son, he recognises that painted lines do not equal safety, and he commits to developing a robust and genuinely useful cycling network that gets people to where they are going.


His focus on addressing the needs of those who do not currently ride bikes suggests a commitment to higher design standards and boosting cycling’s uptake.


His thinking is broad and he seems to understand that bikes are one element of many for creating a great city, for example he also mentions of the role of residential density, housing, car park ratios and local shopping amenity.



SHELLEY HILL



1. Bicycles and other micro-mobility modes promote sustainability - a clean and green image for the CBD and the city in general...we should make more of that, like they do in Amsterdam.  Living on the riverfront, I have noticed an increase in the number of people using electric scooters in particular, both for leisure and to get to work, but the mix of pedestrians and bikes doesn't always work, so I would like to see better paths for different users.


2.  It's not just feeling safe riding, but also where and when you park your bike.  More bike and scooter racks which are better secured and monitored would be great.


3. Yes.


PBH summary:

Shelley Hill believes more people on bikes can boost the city’s green credentials and appears to understand the shortcomings of a system that mixes pedestrians, bikes and e-scooters in the same spaces.

While she does not offer any concrete proposals to make bike riding safer, (other than endorsing construction of the proposed East Perth bicycle routes), she speaks favourably of more secure bike and scooter parking options.




DAVID HO





Did not respond.








No comments:

Post a comment