Saturday, February 19, 2011

One of the Best Cycle friendly Cities.

The Chief Minister Jon Stanhope proclaimed that he would compare Canberra as one of the best 'Cycle friendly cities' in the world, in reply to a question on Chief Minister Talk-back, ABC radio , Friday . He was asked why the Pedestrian and Cycle review which was part of the 2010 - 2016 Sustainable transport action plan now (Transport for Canberra), hasn't been released yet and why are we still putting cycle lanes on 'high speed high volume roads'.

'I would put Canberra up against any city in the world in comparison to its pedestrian and cycle networks. While I haven't been to the Scandinavian countries of Holland and Denmark, nothing I've seen from around Australia comes close. When I was overseas last year (Spain) I also didn't see anything that matches Canberra.'

 Reminds me of the saying "In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king" .

While I maybe paraphrasing , this is basically what he said. There is no doubt that Canberra has a good cycle network with a extensive network of asphalt shared path that are used by walkers runners, skaters and bike riders at 2.4metres wide and several concrete footpaths at 1.2m. The addition of Cycle lanes on major arterial roads has been the next phase of the network.

Cycle path ,Lyneham
Cycle lane, Monaro highjway.100km/h
Major arterial road with Bus lanes and cycle lanes , Road speed limit 80Km/h

Footpath crossing a bridge ,Woden

Cycle path, Kambah

So why aren't Canberran's cycling more?

While our use of bicycles to work is higher than the national average most people in Canberran's use their cars because it is more convenient to do so, even for such short journey's to the local shops or to see friends.

Local Shops, Car parks full
  • There is plenty of free parking , and where there is pay parking it is relatively cheap in comparison to other world cities. 
  • Speed limits are high in residential areas and around town centres, which makes it unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists 
  • Priority at most intersections are for motor vehicles. 
  • Car travel speed times are more important than safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

Lets just remind ourselves what a cycle nation look like and the infrastructure that has made it all happen.

1 comment:

The Duck Herder said...

sigh..... I know. In so many areas, (active transport, resource recovery, organics recycling etc etc), our pollies and guvmint seem content with mediocrity, and feeling good for comparing ourselves with the worst of the worst, instead of aiming to be awesome and wonderful.

We look down instead of up.

We compare our cycling infrastructure favorably with other cities with minuscule cycling rates, instead of cities with high cycling rates.

And we confuse cycling rates with using bikes for transport.