Where should we spend our money?
The truth about a city’s aspirations isn’t found in its vision. It’s found in its budget.Brent Toderian
The City of Yarra has obligations to deliver on:
- Community Vision 2036 (a transport system that is innovative, efficient, sustainable and accessible);
- Council Plan 2021-2025 (Strategic Objective 5 Transport and Movement);
- Transport Strategy 2022-2032 (implement a new deal for schools, walking, and cycling); and
- Safe Travel Strategy 2016 (eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2026).
To deliver on these obligations council needs to budget an expenditure of $10 million per year for active transport. As an added advantage, and as acknowledged in the Council Plan, effective networks of active transport infrastructure would also deliver more customers for our traders.
Active transport & local area place making
Infrastructure for active transport includes:
- 30 km/h Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, with through traffic kept to the perimeter;
- protected footpaths, including continuing at grade when crossing minor streets;
- protected bicycle lanes, to link neighbourhoods;
- protected intersections, for major street crossings;
- protected public transport stops; and
- more trees, resting places and pocket parks.
Allocate $10 million per year
Streets Alive Yarra’s proposal to allocate $10 million per year over 10 years is equivalent to spending $100 per year per resident, and is an order of magnitude higher than what we are spending now. Independent justification for a budget of $10 million per year can be collated by tasking council officers to cost the implementation of the Transport Strategy (and associated action plan) by 2032.
Sourcing $10 million per year
The City of Yarra can easily raise $50 million per year by selling daily parking permits to commuters, allowing $10 million to be spent on transport, with the remainder supporting other services or infrastructure.
The truth about a city’s aspirations isn’t found in its vision. It’s found in its budget. Yarra should acknowledge its obligations; and execute on those obligations by allocating an annual budget of $10 million for active transport.