Bring back the bike budget

Bring back the bike budgetThe road to reinstating Victoria’s bike infrastructure budget could be long and hard, but not for want of enthusiasm by Melbourne’s cyclists.

Well over 500 cyclists braved one of Melbourne’s most miserable mornings to turn up to Bicycle Network Victoria’s pre-work rally on the steps of Parliament on Thursday.

They were treated to a good speech from CEO Harry Barber and a good event with lots of photo ops, many of which made the papers and evening news.

Numerous cyclists were bewildered that a modern government willing to court the all-conquering Cadel Evans and spruik our Bike City status could be so planning-illiterate as to cancel such a program. What’s next? Our rights to the road?

Cyclists braved the weather for a before-work rallyThe infrastructure program is peanuts in terms of the state budget. We probably spend more each year on cars and drivers for State Ministers.

If those same Ministers spent a week on a bike – even during business hours – we’d see enough savings to reinstate the whole program, as well as the will to do so.

Bike City gets a flat

UCI Worlds bunch en route to Geelong 2010

Riding in Melbourne is pretty good – good roads, some shared paths, great mountain biking, a bayside training route, mountains within reach and a mild climate. Cadel Evans’ brief visit home after winning the 2011 Tour de France drew the biggest crowd ever seen in Federation Square and new Premier Ted Baillieu delivered a speech so good that you’d reckon his writer rides.

But we also have some of the most aggressive drivers known to man and a road network designed without much thought for cyclists. So things are good but they could be better.

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