In her three separate tenures as Mayor of the City of Yarra, Cr Jackie Fristacky has invited residents and visitors to ‘travel the Yarra way’.
“To travel the Yarra way is to walk, cycle and use public transport,” Cr Fristacky said.
In December 2013, the City of Yarra released the four-year Yarra Environment Strategy 2013-2017 (YES).
The strategy’s aim was to provide the direction and actions required to make the City of Yarra more sustainable.
A key pathway in this strategy is ‘Sustainable Transport’ and more broadly, sustainable infrastructure.
“Despite the larger projects such as rail and road being the responsibility of Federal and State Government, at a council level, we have created great developments for the City of Yarra’s infrastructure,” Cr Fristacky said.
One development is the adoption of a bike path on every road in the City of Yarra.
The project was created in 2003 and has progressively been rolled out.
“There are line markings on most roads, as part of ongoing maintenance, some line markings need to be redone,” Cr Fristacky said.
Melbourne Bike Share is a public bicycle hire scheme designed for short trips across the city and is another example of a recent addition to the City of Yarra’s sustainable infrastructure.
“Bike Share is growing, with already 51 stations across the city and thousands of users annually,” Cr Fristacky said.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data comparing the method of travel of people living in the City of Yarra showed a 2.1% increase in bicycle use between 2006 and 2011, with this number expected to rise once 2016 data is available according to Cr Fristacky.
“Bike paths are embedded in every road project as an important part of cycling infrastructure,” Cr Fristacky said.
Cycling isn’t the only transport priority for the City of Yarra.
In 2014, the route 12 tram was established, travelling from Victoria Parade to St Kilda.
“The route 12 tram shuttle was enormously important for Yarra,” Cr Fristacky said.
“Instead of the route 109 to Box Hill, route 12 provided a quicker, additional service for people to get around the City of Yarra, particularly through Victoria Parade,” Cr Fristacky said.
The City of Yarra is proposing a similar shuttle on Brunswick Street, as a joint venture between the Yarra and Moreland councils.
Dr Kane Nicholls has lived in Clifton Hill for two years and has embraced the sustainable transport mantra.
While 34.4% of residents in the City of Yarra get to work by car, Dr Nicholls isn’t one of them.
“I take the train from Clifton Hill station to work and then repeat the journey on the way home,” Dr Nicholls said.
“I rarely use my car, only when I go grocery shopping or to suburbs without a quick transport option such as Doncaster,” Dr Nicholls said.
The Doncaster Rail Project has been a buzz topic for the City of Yarra and a political issue for State Government for some time.
“We support Doncaster Rail as it will reduce sole occupancy vehicles on roads in the City of Yarra,” Cr Fristacky said.
“We opposed the East West link and the West Gate tunnel. These will have the opposite effect of a new public transport network,” Cr Fristacky said.
The Victorian State Government recently announced $10 million towards devising a new airport rail plan, despite a 2013 study by Public Transport Victoria concluding the high costs of the plan outweigh the project’s benefits.
“Airport Rail would reduce the number of people using the Eastern Freeway and lessen the number of cars driving through the City of Yarra, which is desirable,” Cr Fristacky said.
Both Cr Fristacky and Dr Nicholls are supporters of travelling ‘the Yarra way’ and next time you visit the City of Yarra, if you don’t already, maybe you should too.
Written by Nicholas Nakos