Sunday, 18 October 2020

City of Perth election results

The City of Perth 2020 election is complete. Who are the people that will represent the city? Will they understand the importance of cycling?

In earlier blog posts, Perth Bike Hub asked each election candidate to share their vision for cycling transport in the city. Here is a compilation of those responses by the people who won a place.


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? 


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

Full results on the voting can be found on the Electoral Commission page here. 


LORD MAYOR


BASIL ZEMPILAS


1. It would be great to see more people travelling to and from work in the CBD using bicycles, reducing road congestion.

 

2. A safer, friendlier city for everyone is my absolute priority. I will continue to push for 200 additional police for the city centre to address anti-social behaviour and ensure all road users are safe. 

 

3. Yes, I support the State Government’s WA Bicycle Network Plan.


PBH summary:

Basil Zempilas voices superficial support for cycling but shows little understanding of the issues and offers no meaningful action that would enable Perth residents to ride more.


He speaks of bike riding only as something for commuting city workers.


He does not adequately answer two of the three questions: His comments about police do not address the question and, although he backs the state government’s WA Bicycle Network Plan, he does not say whether or not he will support the proposed East Perth cycle routes.




COUNCILLOR WITH THREE-YEAR TERM


SANDI ANGHIE



1. There is no doubt we need to make our City safer, and more friendly, for bicycles and other modes of micro-mobility. This is for the members of our Perth community who love cycling, and also because the benefits of urban cycling are far-reaching - including business, economic, transport and public health benefits (physical and mental).

Talking to a building owner last week, he noted that his tenants are no longer asking for more car bays, but for better end of trip facilities. This is great news.

 

We need to look at the long term plan for our City transport system and also what we can do right now. For example, during Coronavirus lockdown Paris set up 650 kilometres of pop-up bike lanes in the city. This is something the City of Perth could do on weekends now - to draw families into the City when our streets are typically quiet.

 

2. I would look to increase the City's cycling infrastructure - building on the City's current Cycle Plan Implementation Program 2016 – 2021. The City needs to collaborate with Main Roads WA, the Department of Transport, land owners and businesses to make our City safer, and more friendly, for bicycles and other modes of micro-mobility.

3. Yes. Central to my plan for Perth is a city of neighbourhoods - and the importance of community. I believe a great city is a liveable and enjoyable place, and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure plays a significant role - providing opportunities for interaction and a sense of community, which does not happen when people are travelling in cars.


PBH comments:

Sandy Anghie puts a strong focus on neighbourhoods, community and liveability, and seems to understand that bike-friendly cities benefit everyone, not just those who cycle.


She demonstrates an awareness of global responses to improving liveability through cycling and suggests ways Perth could learn from other cities.


She appears to understand the important role of infrastructure in getting people onto bikes, and shows knowledge of other stakeholders involved in the negotiation and planning process.

She supports the proposed East Perth bicycle routes.




DI BAIN



1. My vision for Perth is to create a City with soul. We need to breathe new life to our streets with a coherent cycle route and promote Perth as a trans-modal City by encouraging electric scooters and e-bike sharing solutions, as well as allowing scooters to park on the footpath for free in key shopping hubs.

 

2. I would love to see more Perth residents on bicycles - it creates vibrancy and will make our City greener. I'll improve bicycle transport by funding a coherent, community-informed cycle route with no dead-ends and developing a walking plan for the City.

 

3. Yes, absolutely. These cycle routes will feed into my coherent cycle route throughout the City, with no dead-ends.


PBH summary:

Di Bain speaks positively about the benefits to the city of having a multi-modal transport system, including bicycles. Her reference to ‘no dead-ends’ hints at a more holistic network focus, rather than isolated lanes. However little detail is provided and her reference to a ‘coherent cycle route’ does not sound like a large scale cycling network plan for the whole city. 


It’s unclear if her desire for footpath scooter parking refers to conventional petrol-powered scooters (mopeds) and motorbikes. If so, this is worrisome as the experience of Melbourne shows.


She supports the proposed East Perth bicycle routes.




REBECCA GORDON



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.




CATHERINE LEZER



1.  Surely Perth has to be one of the best places to cycle in the world.  I would like to see Perth known as a cycling destination for tourists and locals alike.  

 

2.  Installing bike counters, bike parking (and lighting) and end of trip facilities are some things where council can have an impact.

 

3.  Need more detail, which I hope will come in due time.


PBH summary:

Catherine Lezer believes conditions for riding a bicycle in central Perth are already good (among the best in the world) and wants to use this cycling status as a way to draw visitors and locals.


She notes a number of bike-related matters where council can play a role (counters, parking, lighting and end-of-trip facilities) but does not say whether these are things she will champion on council. 


She would not commit either way on the proposed East Perth cycle routes.




COUNCILLOR WITH ONE-YEAR TERM


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.




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.




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.




VICTOR KO



1. Under utilised; We need more public facilities to securely park bikes and charge scooters/skateboards.We have many vacant shops and blocks within Perth that can be supplied with power and converted to stops for commuters.


I want to see more use of alternative transport, this is the best solution to reduce congestion many of our 1-way streets...


I personally own a Canadian Lacroix Prototype, a high end electric skateboard and want more opportunities in Perth to use it.

2. Make it easier to travel on bike, encourage bikes to share pedestrian footpaths (they are allowed now), provide rest areas/charging stops within the city.

- End of trip facilities.

- Allow trains to have areas where bikes can be taken on.

3. I support the construction of new bicycle routes, however they need to comply with local laws and be subjected to input from residents that live or share these routes.


I DO NOT support: Scooter or bike renting, these have become an issue for local councils overseas, where companies make scooter/bikes cheap to rent, while users end up dumping these bikes on footpaths after they are used.


PBH summary:

Viktor Ko identifies potential for more secure bike parking and charging stations for e-mobility devices. As an e-skateboard user, he likely has greater insight than most on the issue of charging provision in the city.


It’s odd he considers traffic congestion as primarily an issue for one-way streets, and his acceptance (indeed, further encouragement) of the current footpath jostle between pedestrians and bike riders lacks vision. However, he says he does support the construction of new bicycle routes. 


Additionally he calls for more end-of-trip facilities and train provision for bicycles.


His vocal opposition to shared scooter/bike schemes suggests a reluctance to learn from the challenges of other jurisdictions and find better solutions for our own city. While dock-less schemes can be problematic, there are hundreds of cities worldwide with successful docked style schemes.


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