Municipalities around the state are now finalising their budgets, providing an opportunity to discover whether they are taking their responsibilities for active transport seriously.
Have bike facilities made the cut? Or are they the expenditures that have been cut?
Your local council could well have its final draft budget out for consultation, so as a bike riding community, we have a chance to take a peek.
Most local governments have a bike strategies that set out their plans for facilities and programs that get more people riding to work, school and university, and for recreation and health.
These strategies should be picked up in the council planning process so that each year some aspect of the strategy is delivered via funding from the budget, often supplemented by external sources.
It could be funds for planning, design or construction. Or for various stages of construction of a multi-year project.
Councils have special websites for public participation where you will find all the information and you can comment. Some will have public briefings scheduled.
Here are a few examples:
The City of Yarra’s documentation describes "Making a range of improvements across Yarra’s bicycle network with a focus on Strategic Cycling Corridors like Wellington Street’s bicycle lanes”.
At the city of Port Phillip we learn: "Bike Infrastructure Delivery Program – The timing of construction for the Inkerman St Safe Travel Corridor was shifted to 2026/27 based on the latest plans.”
At the City of Merri-Bek: "Footpaths, bicycle paths and transport infrastructure ($4.5 million)”.
Not exactly precise and detailed, but you can dig further as the full budget documents will be available.
Councillors and staff can help you find the material you need in order to make an assessment and have your say to maintain the momentum for the development of better facilities in your community.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.