Sunday, 15 July 2012

Fun Ideas for Safer Crossings

At our evening meeting a few weeks back, Jodie put forward some fun ideas we could do to add a bit of colour to crossings and places we care about.  Here they are:

"This is a great SPOT for a pedestrian crossing!"
  • to ‘tag’ the place where the pedestrian crossing should go, 
  • to slow traffic and make walking safer, 

An example of children's sticker art facilitated by Yayoi Kusama
Drawing literally, on the idea of the ‘spot’ for a pedestrian crossing, spot stickers of various sizes and colours are stuck on the footpath either side of the road to indicate where we would like the crossing. The spots will ‘pool’ around where people wait to cross the road creating an interesting piece of art. Children love sticking stickers, so with close supervision and support from their parents, this should be a lot of fun.

Pennant Garlands
  • to provide a response activity to ‘The Prince’ story for Primary school aged children, allowing them to symbolise their presence as walkers
  • to slow traffic and bring attention to the crossing place
  • to provide information to children’s families about the crossing via the information and the permission form distributed by the schools
Street celebrations. Photograph by TIm Irving
Street Pennant Garlands
The pennant bunting flags would be displayed in a prominent spot at the proposed crossing.  The flags could be prepared as part of a school children's activity following a presentation of the story 'The Prince Who Walked To School' told by Walk On Moreland.  This story presents the importance of pedestrian advocacy in a narrative form. This activity can further engage school children by asking them to make pennants in a 'royal flag' theme.

Guerilla Gardening
  • to slow traffic 
  • to draw attention to the area as a place for people not just cars 
  • to provide opportunity for a different group of people (gardeners - maybe older people?) to voice their need and make their presence felt as pedestrians. 
Pothole garden
Adding some living colour can make a place less harsh and adds a touch of fun to an otherwise busy street.  There are always slivers of unused ground in the vicinity of a proposed crossing that can be taken advantage of and turned into ‘garden’.

Walk on Moreland annual photography competition 
  • to explore the issues of the ‘right to walk safely’ with the wider community.
Even musicians were pedestrians once.
Who will participate will depend on the categories but we could involve high school students, adults interested in photography and perhaps adults interested in digital art.  Secondly the exhibition of entries will provide a whole new audience.

Illustrating “The Prince who walked to school” together. 
  • to provide opportunity for local primary school students to think about pedestrians needs.

A children’s story was written by Nataniel earlier this year to raise the issues of pedestrian safety. This story is in need of some illustrations and we would like to invite children at the local primary schools to provide illustrations to accompany the story. The finished book could then be printed and shared with the local schools and perhaps launched with a special reading and exhibition at the Coburg library.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Evening Meeting 20 June

Dear Pedestrians,

It's time to come together to meet each other, inspire each other with our ideas for a more walkable world, and to develop a vision for Walk On Moreland during the next year.

The evening will be part-workshop, part-meet&greet, part-infoshare, and its in a pub to also make it part-fun. Dinner is available from the bar.

We'll run the agenda more or less as follows.

1. Introduction
   Introduction to Walk On Moreland, including what got things started, where 'Walking In Freedom....' comes from, and the group's positioning in relation to Council to date.

2. The Members
   We'll invite everyone to introduce themselves, including any relevant experience, what drew you to the group, and what you're hoping to get from your involvement.

3. Street Decorations
   See examples of street art which can draw attention to safety issues and bring some play to otherwise dreary streets.

4. Council's Strategies
   Get a quick overview of Council's pedestrian strategy, budget, capital works program, and status of current planning work.

5. Vision Setting
   Let's throw around some ideas about what we want to achieve.  How do we want to bring about cultural change?  What's the best way to organise ourselves?

6. Actions
   Put your hand up to get involved in street decoration activities, community engagement, state
   government lobbying, website development, or research.

When and Where
   Wednesday 20th June, 7.00pm for 7.15 start, we should be finished by 9.00pm
   The Moreland Hotel, cnr Sydney Road and Moreland Road

   Attendance is open to anyone.  If you can, RSVP so we have an idea on numbers.

If you have any suggestions please be in contact.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Council Meetings and Budget

Dear Munro Street People,

This update is mainly about Council Business and upcoming activities.  Have a great short week.

Cheers, Nataniel.

Letter to Mayor and Councillors

Last week we wrote to Council to formally introduce the 'Walk On Moreland' group and to support encourage Council to fund improvements at the Munro Street crossing.  See the full letter here.  The key points were:
  • Walk On Moreland has been established to support pedestrian-oriented decisions throughout Moreland,
  • The Munro Street crossing has received support from 350 community members (signatures attached),
  • Council's current strategy of completely relying on VicRoads for funding for Munro Street is risky, and Council should consider allocating funds towards the project,
  • In the interim Council should reduce the speed limit on Munro Street to 40km/h,
  • The letter included a 'Walk On Moreland' lapel badge for each Councillor - look out to see whether your favourite Councillor is sporting theirs!

Council Meeting - 2012-13 Budget - Tuesday 12 June 6.00pm

Council will decide on the 2012-13 Budget.  The budget includes about $4.4m for pedestrian infrastructure, which is a fairly good result.  See a quick comparison with Darebin and Yarra budgets here.

The budget does not include any allocation for Munro Street, which is unfortunate but not unexpected, due to the early stage of the project design and most of the budget decisions having been made much earlier in the year.  Thanks to everyone who put in a budget submission on Munro Street, out of a total of 8 budget submissions, 5 were in support of Munro Street.

Council Meeting - Principal Pedestrian Network - Wednesday 13 June 7.00pm

Council will be asked to adopt a report on the 'Principal Pedestrian Network'.  This report includes the pedestrian priorty street network, and a list of 'potential pedestrian facilities' which require funding.  The Munro Street crossing is #1 on this list.  See the full reporthere (large download).

Munro Street Activity Day - Wednesday 13 June 9.30-11.30am

Despite this being a very busy week we'll go ahead with this.  We'll have a simple meet & greet.  If you're in the neighbourhood drop past to say hello.

Letter from Minister Mulder

We received a letter from Terry Mulder, Minister for Roads, and from VicRoads last week, in reply to a letter we sent in March.  The general gist of the letter was that VicRoads does not see Munro Street as a priority. But luckily they're funding lots of pedestrian works in Footscray, Werribee, Narre Warren, and on the Peninsula Link Freeway.  See the letter here.

Kelvin Thomson also received a similar letter.

Walk On Moreland Evening Meeting - 20 June

We will hold our first evening meeting next Wednesday 20 June.  Come along to meet other pedestrians and help shape our vision and plan for the rest of the year.  For more info join our Members mailing list here.  Edinburgh Castle 7.00pm.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Munro St #5 - Budget Comments

Hi Everyone,

Another fairly busy few weeks, we can now report on Council's strategy for Munro Street and a few other happenings.  Thanks to everyone's support, every bit of encouragement and advice we receive is appreciated.

Council Budget - 11th hour chance to comment
Council's 2012/13 budget is open for comment until Monday 5th at 5.00pm.   The draft budget includes:
Roads & carparks $4.19m 
Footpaths & bikepaths $1.71m
Pedestrian safety & traffic islands $0.55m
Shopping centre footpaths and streetscapes (Coburg, Glenroy, Brunswick & others) $1.64m
Total Pedestrian & Cycling $3.9m
Total Capital Works Program $33.09m

I'd encourage you to make a brief online submission in support of the Munro Street Crossing.  What to include?  Simply state that the Munro Street crossing is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists and urgently needs improvement, and that Council's budget should make allowance for this to be addressed as soon as possible.  If you've made a submission let me know.

Make a submission on Council's website

Munro Street Update
Over the last few weeks we've had various contacts with Council.  We've been informed that Council supports the crossing in principle, and that:
1. Council has prepared a concept layout for the proposal, which provides pedestrian operated signals allowing access across Munro Street between Railway Place and the Upfield Bike Path next to Dan Murphys. 
2. Council's funding strategy is to rely on VicRoads for all funding and detailed design work.  Council is in discussion with VicRoads to progress this.  Our correspondence with VicRoads (see below) indicates this may be a long process.
3. Council is concurrently pursuing a 40km/h speed limit in adjoining streets (although not on Munro Street).

We received a letter of response to the Minister for Transport and VicRoads, which states that funding for the Munro Street crossing is not likely to receive VicRoads funding.  While this may not be a definitive position, it is a strong indication that full funding is not going to be straightforward.

Council asked us to provide some quick input into their Principal Pedestrian Network plan.  I'll keep you posted on whether there's further chance to input to this.

Walk Safely To School Day at Moreland Primary School
Following from our Walk To School Day event we were invited to address the Moreland Primary School assembly.  We told a children's story about walking improvements, and asked the kids to think about what improvements they would most like to see in their neighbourhood.  Thanks Moreland PS!

You may be aware that Bicycle Network Victoria and Moreland Bicycle Users Group is running a campaign for increased bicycle infrastructure funding, including support for continuation of the Upfield Bike Path to the Western Ring Road, with the support of Christine Campbell MP.  If you'd like to support this campaign please see BNV or MBUG website.

Thanks everyone, keep in touch!

Nataniel & Team.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Walk Safely To School Day 2

We had a great time last Friday at Walk Safely To School Day at Munro Street.  We gave away T-shirts and yellow badges to about 15 kids on their way to school.  A big Hello to everyone we spoke to on the day.

Kelvin Thomson dropped past to lend his support, and to see first-hand the difficulty people have getting across Munro Street.  

We subsequently were invited to address the kids at Moreland Primary School today (Monday), where we asked the kids to think about what would make walking nicer in our neighbourhoods.  Thanks MPS!

Walk Safely To School Day with Kelvin Thomson MP, 18 May 2012
Thanks also to Antonine College for our badges, and to the Pedestrian Council of Australia for the T-Shirts.

Moreland Leader Article

We were featured in the Moreland Leader last week - you may have seen the article?

Walk On Moreland in the Leader Newspaper May 14, 2012
(PS yes well spotted we are advocating for a lower, not higher, speed limit at Munro Street)

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Walk Safely To School Day

Walk Safely To School Day - Friday 18th May

This Friday we will be participating in Walk Safely To School Day.  Come and see us at the Munro Street crossing to support safer walking for children.

Cheers, Nataniel Wolfson and the Team.

Walk To School Day Flyer