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Walking & Riding in Merri-bek

Walking in Merri-bek

Merri-bek streets belong to everyone, but we have some way to go before there are adequate shared zones, safer streets and fewer cars in the municipality.

Our streets are still car dominated even though we know that most of our residents want safer, greener and more accessible and vibrant neighbourhoods.

Walkable communities also play a vital role in reducing traffic congestion and transport emissions.

Towards walkable neighbourhoods

Aligning our goals with leading global cities, Council plans to manage the inevitable transport impacts of population growth, with the municipality projected to house 43,000 new residents by 2036. Prioritising a shift to support active transport (walking and cycling) and public transport.

By 2030, we’re also aiming for 80% of all trips to/from Merri-bek schools to be made via sustainable forms of transport: walking, bike, scooter or public transport.

The Ride & Stride program is an innovative behaviour change program designed to support this goal by getting more kids walking, riding and scooting to school. In 2022, the program held 9 Open Streets days, e-cargo bike trials, TagOn technology and more. Contact Council to find out more.

If you’re new to the area or keen to walk more often, you can visit Council’s main website to explore the neighbourhood and our longer walking trails.

The Heart Foundation also lists casual social walking groups by suburb. You can find your closest group or start and register your own group: Visit the website.

Our active community

One of the best ways to accelerate change is to let local shops know you arrived by foot.

Cars take up a lot of space in a shopping strip so traders tend to overestimate how many people drive. By reminding shop keepers how much of their business comes from pedestrians you can help turn local businesses into advocates for better walking facilities in Merri-bek.

Merri-bek has active community groups advocating for walkable neighbourhoods. These include:

Walk-on Merri-bek – numerous active campaigns across the municipality.

Pedestrian Safety for Nicholson St Coburg – focusses on pedestrian safety along Nicholson St, Coburg.

Besafestreets – focusses on pedestrian safety along Albion/Nicholson St, Brunswick East.

Safe Access over Bell St Bridge for Everyone – focusses on pedestrian safety – particularly for Coburg High school students – at Bell St Bridge, Coburg.

Brunswick Residents Network – supports and initiates local campaigns on all transport issues

Climate Action Merri-bek – supports and advocates for all active transport in Merri-bek

State-wide or national groups include:

Victoria Walks – promotes walkable communities with submissions, policy and more. Includes urban hiking maps.

Towards walkable neighbourhoods

You can keep up to date with upcoming improvements to our local streets and footpaths and provide feedback to council on specific upgrades via Conversations Moreland.

Riding in Merri-bek

You’ve probably noticed more people cycling and using electric cargo bikes in our streets, and for good reason.

Once you get into the habit of riding a bike regularly, it’s hard to go back. Cycling provides freedom of movement, exercise, community, and the joy of being outdoors in your neighbourhood. Riding is affordable and therefore accessible to most people.

Make cycling safe, comfortable (especially for those who are less confident), and a preferred mode of travel in Merri-bek is a priority for Council.

Towards rideable neighbourhoods

Prioritising a shift to cycling, walking and public transport you can view the pipeline of cycling projects planned by Council in the Capital Works Plan 2019-2029.

By 2030, Council is also aiming for 80% of all trips to/from Merri-bek schools to be made by sustainable forms of transport, including riding. The Ride & Stride program to support this goal held 9 Open Streets days, e-cargo bike trials and more in 2022. Contact Council to find out more.

For on and off-road cycle lanes and paths, you can view this interactive Google map. Council also provides a simplified map of recommended bike trails and routes. Bicycle Network also has a collection of bike trail maps covering Merri-bek and beyond.

Our Active Community

Let local shops know you arrived by bike.

When you remind shop keepers how much of their business comes from bike riders you help turn local businesses into cycling champions. Local business owners (and their customers) can also advocate for bicycle corrals. Find out more about bicycle corrals in Merri-bek.

Like our walking groups, Merri-bek has active community groups advocating for safe cycling in our neighbourhoods. These include:

Merri-bek Bicycle User Group – hosts regular social rides and campaigns and submissions.

Brunswick Residents Network – supports and initiates local campaigns on all transport issues

Climate Action Merri-bek – supports and advocates for all active transport in Merri-bek

State-wide or national groups include:

Bicycle Network – insurance, advocacy and bike events like Ride2School and Ride2Work. Bicycle Network also services the Parkiteer secure bike parking at Merlynston, Coburg and Fawkner train stations.

Freedom wheels – personalised bikes so that everyone can enjoy riding a bike – regardless of age, ability or mobility.