Election: Call for walking investment in Victoria12 Oct 2022
In the approach to the November 26 state election, we're asking parties to commit to the following key investment areas:
- Champion a walking culture: strategies to increase walking and improve safety
- Create a dedicated investment stream for safer streets and vibrant public spaces to give more Victorians walkable neighbourhoods
- 200 walking tourism projects to support economies and health in regional Victoria
Victoria has not had a walking strategy since 2010. Too many Victorians live in car dependent areas with nowhere to walk to, or no safe, appealing way to walk to daily destinations.
“State funding for walking has historically been tiny compared to funding for other forms of transport,” says Ben Rossiter, Executive Officer of Victoria Walks. “As the cheapest, most sustainable and most accessible way to move people from A to B, the next Victorian Government must embrace and champion walking.”
Our Victorian Walking survey showed strong backing for more government action – better walking access to shops (75% support for government action) and schools (72% support) were the highest ranked proposals. The most commonly identified barriers to walking related to a lack of main road crossings, and poor or missing footpaths.
We’re proposing a total of $942 million in investment over four years. This is informed by real projects submitted by Victorian councils and water authorities.
One example is the Peninsula Trail to complete 11 missing links in the local path network, eventually creating a 130 km continuous off-road trail loop around the Mornington Peninsula.
Craig Vanstone runs the Two to Tango Cafe in Somerville. He says the path will bring new customers and the potential to expand his business. “The increase in foot traffic provided by Peninsula Trail will be extremely beneficial for local businesses that have been hit hard by Covid-19.”
The benefits go well beyond tourist dollars. Colleen McGreal, Principal of St Macartan’s Parish Primary School, sees the value for local kids. “The establishment of safe walking and bike riding links, with greatly reduced motor vehicle hazards would greatly benefit our staff, students and families.”
We'd love you to help us get the word out
We've sent our Election Asks to the major parties and other candidates, now it's your turn! Get in touch with those seeking to represent you. Explain the issues in your area and tell them to get behind our asks! It's time to put our best foot forward and make Victoria the walking state!
- Our election and investment proposals
- Victorian Walking Survey
- Our summary of party election commitments for walking
Media coverage of our proposals:
- Interview focusing on speed limits on 3AW radio and another focused on footpaths
- Coverage by ABC News focusing on outer suburbs
- Article in The Age
- Article in the Herald Sun focused on speed limits (paywall)
- Article in the Ballarat Courier (paywall)
- Article in the Bendigo Advertiser (paywall)