Geelong Active Streets

  • Bike Valet Parking
    Bike Valet Parking
  • Cafe Go Geelong Bike Racks
    Cafe Go Geelong Bike Racks
  • Coreflute Signage
    Coreflute Signage
  • History of Eastern Creek
    History of Eastern Creek
  • New outdoor street furnitire as part of the event
    New outdoor street furnitire as part of the event
Introduction

The Geelong Active Streets Event was a creative cycling and walking event held in central Geelong. It enabled the community to take part in safe active travel, raise awareness of sustainable transport, and additionally allowed the Council to trial initiatives such as a priority bike route, bike valet and bike parking.

Description of project

The City of Greater Geelong sought to deliver an event that would enable the community to experience and enjoy safe active travel, whilst supporting current and future Council active travel initiatives. After consulting with multiple Council departments and local advocacy group Bike Safe, it was decided to trial a section of the Principal Bicycle Network linking Geelong West and central Geelong. To make the temporary priority bicycle route attractive, fun and safe for the community to ride, Co Design Studio (a place making and urban design consultancy that helps create low‐cost improvements to streets and public spaces) were contracted to implement and evaluate the temporary bicycle route. Creative and colourful way‐finding signage was installed on the road, shared pedestrian/bike zones, and on non‐regulatory traffic poles. Temporary materials used included corflute signs, chalk and decal stickers. To encourage people to trial the temporary priority bicycle route, family friendly activities including a bicycle and sneaker decorating station and simple bicycle maintenance were held in two locations around the route. Local points of interest were also highlighted. Volunteers were placed at difficult to navigate intersections along the route to help guide and support people around. The event also provided a platform to test a style of bike parking outside of a busy local café (removal of a car park and replaced with bike parking and signage) and a supervised bike valet service. To encourage walking in central Geelong, Guru Dudu (a Melbourne-based Performer, Facilitator and Place Making consultant) was engaged to deliver two Silent Disco Walking Tours. Participants listened to music and comical commentary from Guru Dudu through supplied headphones while dancing the streets of central Geelong in spontaneous flash mob style. The event hoped to raise awareness about the benefits of active lifestyles (cycling and walking), build community awareness around active transport, and test the practicality of a permanent bicycle route through central Geelong, in keeping with Council’s strategic priorities for establishing a Principal Bicycle Network (PBN). As such, while the event was a short-term activity, it sought to establish long-term change.

Project team
  • City of Greater Geelong
  • CoDesign
  • Bike Safe
  • Local traders
Project cost

Approximately $40,000

Health value

The Geelong Active Streets event delivered on actions within the Principal Bicycle Network, Geelong Public Health and Wellbeing Plan, Greater Geelong Physical Activity Strategy and the Greater Geelong Cycle Strategy. The cycling and walking event offered health value via opportunities for active participation in physical activity, as well as the advocacy and promotion of cycling and active living for wellbeing. The event additionally promoted mental and social health via community engagement.

Economic value

The Central Geelong Action Plan aims to create a vibrant, thriving, liveable and successful city centre with a strong sense of identity1. The Geelong Active Streets event involved extensive consultation with local traders located along the Little Malop Street and Malop Street sections of the trial route. This provided a unique opportunity to bring these stakeholders on board to be part of the discussion and many became early champions and led activities during the event.

Environmental value

One of the key aims of the Central Geelong Action Plan is to provide accessible transport choices through cycling and walking networks and advocating for better public transport. Geelong Active Streets enabled the temporary trail of a section of the Principal Bike Network linking Geelong West and central Geelong. Recommendations from the trial for longer term changes included: reducing cyclist and pedestrian idle time, improve traffic flow through the widening of a footbridge, provision of more bike parking and the deliver of more cycling events to activate the network.

Social value

Geelong Active Streets provided a community-connected event that involved multiple stakeholder groups, volunteers, cyclists and pedestrians. It promoted values shared by those who are passionate about cycling while also encouraging walking through central Geelong. The event encouraged those who don’t often cycle, to get on their bike and celebrate cycling in their city through an engaging and inclusive event.

Use value

Approximately 200 people trialled the priority bike route and engaged in the Geelong Active Streets event. 97% of survey respondents supported permanency of the priority bicycle route. Council departments are working towards long-term changes to the built environment along this route to improve cycling and walking. 95% of survey respondents supported the bike parking style in a car parking bay. The bike parking at Café Go is now permanent and additional locations are being considered. The supervised bike valet service had 46 bikes booked in throughout the day and has enabled discussions around active travel at future council and community events. Geelong Active Streets encouraged a more active and healthy community through active travel and has strengthened working relationships across Council as well as generating support for using a tactical urbanism approach.

References

1. Central Geelong Taskforce (2013), Central Geelong Action Plan, City of Greater Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Type of project
Festival, Local Government Initiative, Main Street
Scale of project
Local Area
Location
Regional