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Cities around the world adapting to COVID-19


Cities around the world are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic by creating more space for people and bikes and the Andrews State Government and the City of Moreland must do the same.

Riding bikes and walking allow people to exercise while adhering to social distancing, and as cities around the world consider lifting lockdowns, many are building infrastructure to encourage people to remain on their bikes and feet, and out of cars.

Oakland, a major city in California is closing 10% of its roads completely to cars and making them only accessible for people on foot or on bikes.

Bogotá is opening 76kms of emergency bike lanes, expanding on the 550kms already built.

Berlin is installing new bike lanes to cope with increased demands, many of these were planned, but construction has been brought forward.

Milan, a relatively small city, is completely transforming how people in their city move around, building infrastructure that will encourage people to take active forms of transport and not choke the streets with cars once more.

Paris, never to be outdone, has promised no less than 650 kilometres of new bike lanes, the first to open on May 11, when the city is expected to ease lockdown measures. They’ve also promised that by 2024, every street in the entire city will be bike-friendly. A remarkable achievement.

In Brunswick, our roads have never been this quiet and our bike shops are busier than ever, servicing dusty bikes that are coming out of retirement.

This is truly a once in a generation opportunity to change how people move around our city.

Moreland City Council has a 10-year capital works program for people on bikes and walking, including projects that see protected bike lanes constructed on Lygon St, Victoria St, Blyth St, Hilton St and O’Hea St but most are not due to start building or for completion until around 2025.

Next week, I’ll be catching up with the Mayor and encouraging Council to make these projects a priority. We cannot allow this opportunity to pass us by and for our streets to be dominated by cars once more.

 

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Dr Tim Read
Greens MP for Brunswick
1 May 2020
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