Token consultation on painting M80 overpass while ignoring actual improvement to cycling infrastructure

Major Roads doing a tokenistic paint job of greenwashing the lack of improving M80Upgrade cycling infrastructure

Major Roads Projects Victoria is doing some community engagement on cycling infrastructure. What colour to paint the pedestrian/cycling bridge over the M80 ring road – the Blaxland Road bridge. This bridge is part of the Western Ring Road Trail.

Meanwhile Major Roads Projects Victoria has ignored calls for actually improving cycling infrastructure as part of this multi-million dollar major transport project by extending the Merri Creek Trail along the M80 road easement with a 300 metre concrete path. This path which would improve access to Bolinda Road Reserve and Merri Creek Parklands from the south. It was proposed as part of the M80 Upgrade work over 2 years ago by Hume Council.

The Victorian Transport Integration Act 2010 mandates that major transport projects should improve associated cycling infrastructure. This has clearly been ignored.

The M80 upgrade between Edgars Road and Sydney Road involves new lanes and offramps involving hundreds of millions dollars and they can’t even add a 300 metre path that would improve recreational active transport connectivity as suggested by Hume Council.

Suggesting people vote for the colour of a bridge is not community consultation, when they have failed to actually impriove the cycling infrastructure as part of this project. That would entail extending the Merri Creek Trail as proposed by Hume Council. It is the worst form of tokenistic hypocrisy.

But I guess they will be able to tick the community consultation box nonetheless.

What action can you take?

Want to have a say? Major Road projects have asked people to text their preferred colour for the bridge with 3 choices: ‘BANKSIA’, ‘BRIGHT LIME’ or ‘KIKUYU’ to 0499 073 073.

I suggest ‘bullshit brown’ might be far more appropriate. But maybe a better message to send in not playing their colour games is to text:

“Give us the 300m concrete #MerriCreekTrail path extension not a tokenistic bridge paint job”

The poll by Major Roads Victoria will close at 11:59pm, Sunday 21 February 2021.

Here is the map from a Hume Council meeting in 2018 proposing the extension of the Merri Creek Trail.

Hume Council map showing plans for extending the Merri Creek trail to Bolinda Road Reserve

References:

Background article on extending the Merri Creek Trail as part of M80 Upgrade

Victoria’s Big Build: Help us colour the Blaxland bridge

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