A few random maps/observations about buses in #Bendigo…
1. How far you can get on a bus in 10 minutes from the station, is Quarry Hill quicker to walk? From Plan B La Trobe Zone B maps, www.victoriawalks.org.au/mapmytown
2. Bendigo bus network, not so simple to understand! A result of tweaks over the years or changes to urban form? Is coverage the most important priority?
3. VicLink, Bendigo Transit inner city bus route map. No services operate between View St and Myrtle St Along High St.
4. Density of bus routes (not services/trips) in the city centre, darker red indicates more services that run in that area. Greater service variety provides more connections and focused bus and pedestrian activity. Is the whole city centre benefitting?
Why you should get to the Bendigo community transport discussions…
The City of Greater Bendigo seems to have learnt a few valuable lessons since the release, and sweeping community rebuff, of the Draft Road Transport Strategy last year. Firstly, these community discussions are happening well before any strategic decision-making, planning or grand designs have been drawn up. There’s no sense that the outcome is predetermined, council is willing to make this a learning and a doing process. The lines of communication are open.
Secondly, we’re finally talking about transport and the various systems of transport as part of a greater entity, not simply roads, not simply buses, not simply freight, walking or cycling but a city, a region, a complex network of interactivity. Transport and it’s relationship to a myriad of other concerns, from land use and economics to healthy communities, the food system and sustainable urban environments, can all be laid out on the table for a deeper consideration of the issues, the potential effects of interventions to produce more robust planning outcomes.
Thirdly, no one can say this one is flying under the radar. The road strategy, with it’s ‘integrated’ transport corridor or internal bypass, gazumped the Bendigo community. No one really expected it, it had me reaching for my copy of Jane Jacobs The Death and Life of Great American Cities and revisiting her epic, and ultimately successful, battle with the New York modernist and master of highways, Robert Moses. The Bendigo road strategy’s folly was borne out of planning in isolation and making decisions that affect people without speaking to them directly in the first place. But a benefit out of the road strategy has been the shedding of complacency in the community about important planning issues such as this and a renewed demand for informed and participative transport planning processes.
This time at least, it appears there is a genuine effort to get broader stakeholder involvement in the early discussions, to take a wider sample of opinion and start communicating. In both directions.
We’ll see where it goes, but at this stage one can at least be optimistic that this process will foster much greater participation and collaboration in determining our transport future. A project, a plan, a future for the city that we may all be able to get behind or at least energetically express an opinion on.
So, take the opportunity and get yourself to one or both of these community discussions. It’s an opportunity to learn from some expert speakers in the field and to get in at the start of something big for Bendigo.
Find out more and register for the community transport discussions here