Yarra recently celebrated finding an extra $282k for bike lanes and $100k for pedestrian infrastructure in Cremorne. This is part of ~ $38m of capital works, which is 18% of the total budget of $214m.
In the 2021/22 budget, transport highlights, including the extra spending highlighted above, totals $3.1m, or $30 per person per year.
In comparison, the City of Moreland has allocated $62m to capital works, or 31% of its budget. This includes $7m for new footpaths and bicycle paths and another $7m for parks, open space and streetscapes. A single line item of $7m per year is $38 per person per year, higher than in Yarra.
In New Zealand, Christchurch City Council has allocated NZ$243 million in funding for cycling improvements in their 2021-31 Long Term Plan. This is NZ$24 million per year, or NZ$62 per person per year, or AU$59 per year, double that of Yarra.
The City of Yarra has obligations to:
- maintain a functioning city by avoiding gridlock,
- help decarbonise transport by 2030,
- prevent death and serious injury by protecting the public, and
- comply with Objective 6 of the Council Plan.
To deliver on these obligations, we need to spend $100 per person per year, or $10m per year, on footpaths, crossings, bike lanes, pocket parks and place making. While every investment is appreciated, e.g. an extra $282k for bike lanes, we do still need to significantly increase our budget allocation. As a first step, next year’s budget for active transport can increase to $60 per person per year, matching the spending we can see in Christchurch. As a second step, expenditure in following years can stabilise at $100 per person per year. Revenue to support such expenditure is readily available.
Published 19th July 2021