Monday, May 30, 2011

A Tale of Two cities.

A Tale of two cities, one that continues to see cycling in a negative way and another embracing them , well sort of.

The story featured on Perths 7.30 Report last Friday.


What more can you say about our crap infrastructure in Australia and those 'Middle Aged Men In Lycra' MAMILs.

Though Sydney seems to be moving in the right direction with this recent video from Sydney City Council, on the opening of the Bourke Street Cycleway


Well done Sydney, and of course Clover Moore!.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Walk Safely to School

The 20th of May was National Walk Safely to school Day. This day is organised by the Pedestrian Council of Australia to promote road safety for school children and physical activity. The rates of walking and cycling to school have dropped dramatically in the country since the 70's and 80's partly due to a number of factors one being the perceived issues around road safety.

The pedestrian council states that until a child reaches the age of 10 years ,then they must cross a road holding the hand (supervised) of an adult. Now given our relatively high traffic speed limits in residential areas (50km/h) then many would agree that is is a good idea. I note that another organisation, Kidsafe have suggested that 12 years is and ideal age because they can't judge speed and distance of Cars traveling on road. In this article where a child was pushing a pram onto a slip lane pedestrian crossing, was hit by a light truck that didn't give way. Clearly the driver was at fault and also the  poor design of intersections like these with slip lanes. What was Kidsafe's response ,that the children, in not so many words were at fault :

Children being in charge of other children is not an ideal situation. It’s very dangerous.’’

What price is mobility that would be safe for children. The child would have been told that at a Pedestrian crossing that motor vehicles have to give way. Yet to be sure you have to make sure that the driver comes to a complete stop before crossing, as many don't. But at a slip lane crossing, motor vehicle drivers are supposed to look left and right virtually at the same time which makes it dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists let alone children.

These national day's like 'National ride 2 School day' which I recently wrote about  do little to increase active transport to schools, but only to remind us in someway of a time when the majority of children used to walk and cycle to school. The mere term of walk 'SAFELY to school implies that walking can be dangerous so while many parents walk their children one or two days a year maybe or walk in 'walking school buses' really has no affect at all but to reiterate how unsafe our streets have become, particularly around schools.

What would increase active transport for children, certainly better infrastructure, reducing residential speeds to 30km/hr ( school zones less) restricting car use around schools and enforcing road rules like Rule 73 of the Australian Road Rules. Which is ignored routinely

But if you were on you bike then that would be different as a bike is classed as a vehicle under the Road Rules. WTF.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cycling Dutch Style

Cycling Dutch style are a group of Australians who are in Holland to look at the worlds greatest bicycle culture and how even today, the bike plays a vital role in everyday transportation.


So as Canberra and many other cities around Australia grapple with ever increasing car congestion and the livability of our cities. What are the solutions for our cities and how do we design a cycle friendly town and city.


Here is the group meeting up with the crew from A view from the cycle, David Hembrow ,his wife Judy and Mark Wagenbuur. You can view the full post here, and more of the tour here.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Following New Yorks Journey

One of the Films that got me interested in setting up this blog and calling for better infrastructure on our roads in Canberra was the Film by Streetfilms a few years ago, called "Physically Separated Bike Lanes"which looked at the problems of the current cycling infrastructure of cycle lanes in New York city. I particularly like Enrique Penalosa's comment on cycle lanes , 'A bike-way that is not safe for an 8 year old child is not a bike-way, to have them or not at all is the same in my opinion.'

This video has received well over a hundred thousand plays on Streetfilms and You Tube. You can clearly see the issues with cycle lanes on busy roads and how they do not protect the cyclist at all.

Streetfilms could  be credited with the change that has now happened in New York, but you also need Government officials with some Political guts to make things happen. Like the New York Transport commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Who went and visited places like Copenhagen to see for herself what could be achieved with the implementation of good cycling infrastructure.

So what has been the transformation for New York City.............

Like the film's title ,'its more than just Bike lanes'. Canberra could also improve its infrastructure like this, one that doesn't discriminate between the cycling for training, commuting to work, children riding to school , shopping by bike, and the many other uses. As have many other world cities.........
New York




Thursday, May 5, 2011

Good practice with some 'cycle chic'

Riding home through the city (Civic) yesterday, it was good to see some good practice for pedestrians and cyclists around construction zones was being applied. I have blogged about this before and the need for policy to be enforced for traffic management not just for motor vehicles but also for other users.

Good provisions for cyclists and pedestrians

...........with a nice bit of Cycle chic
Also some more shared zones are being used though many drivers still forget that in a shared zone ,Pedestrians have absolute right of way!

Childers Street, City West
My preference is to remove cars altogether from roads like these unless it is necessary for them to be there.

Like here in Helsinki,Finland..

 and of course here in Canberra
City walk Civic , City East.

..........though there is certainly differing views on that subject.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Australia Post, Delivered by Bike

Since I can remember the Post has always been delivered by motorbike or by van for big parcels, but it was nice to see the other day the post being delivered by bike, all  be it and electric bike. But then again it is quite hilly around our area. 

 Apparently mail used to be delivered by bike  back in the day. Though this is still the so in many cycling cities not to mention Copenhagen......
.....some very attarctive posties might I add, but then again it is hard to look good in fluro vests and helmets!