IF WELL DESIGNED INFRASTRUCTURE IS ESSENTIAL FOR SAFE PARTICIPATION – WHAT ARE WE DOING IN PERTH?
“The most cost effective measure we can make to move people is bike infrastructure” says the Director of Transportation of the San Francisco Municipal Transport Agency, Ed Reiskin. He spoke at an American conference of transport planners. The panel discussion and links to the video can be found here. Closer to home we had Ian Ker writing a detailed report for the RAC, examining the economic benefits of cycling in WA. It appears that Ed Reiskin was spot on: the report shows that the benefit/cost ratio of cycling investment in WA is 3.4 to 1, compared to 1.8 to 1 for public transport and normally about 1 to 1 for roads. It will be illuminating to see how the political parties explain their transport expenditure when they announce their policies for the upcoming election.
The economy Associate Professor Cameron Gordon suggests that incorporating active transport in all aspects of transport design would save many lives, a view shared by Helen Wallis of the Australian National University. And not only does active transport save lives, cycling also improves your brain chemistry!
So all we need to do is to get more people cycling. To do so we need to address the reasons why people do NOT cycle, and not surprisingly the question of safety tops the list in a three year study done in the UK, summarised here (with link to the original material). That a safer environment with lower car speeds would drastically increase the number of people cycling is the opinion of the European Cycling Federation commenting on a recommendation by the International Transport Forum to reduce suburban car speeds to 30 kmh. In New York protected bike lanes have increased cycling volumes by up to 177%.
PEST PLANT LOCAL LAW
Councils of the City of Joondalup and the City of Stirling have gazetted local laws to control the pest plant Caltrop. As a cyclist you may have had a fair amount of contact with this destructive weed. It is an invasive and damaging weed found in unkempt sandy verges and beside footpaths. When its seeds dry out, it becomes a menace to feet and bicycle tyres. Caltrop (Tribulus terrestris) is a summer growing weed and is most proliferate after summer and spring rains. The plants grow rapidly, flowering and forming new burrs within three to five weeks.
The newly adopted Pest Plant Local Law 2012 will allow authorised officers from the Cities of Joondalup and Stirling to serve notice on the owner or occupiers of private land to treat the identified pest plant (in this case Caltrop) in the manner specified by that council.
CASH FOR CONTAINERS
WALGA is still looking for more public support for its “Cash for Containers” campaign – go to the online petition. This should be of great interest to cyclists as a container deposit regulation (enforcing container refunds in this state, somewhat similar to that done in SA) would see a lot less broken glass on our bike paths.
GET WELL SOON
Jim Kyrnen – Manager of Cycling Integration at the Public Transport Authority , had an accident recently and the BTA wishes him a speedy recovery.
PATH ETIQUETTE KEEP LEFT ON SHARED PATHS AND GIVE WAY TO THE MOST VULNERABLE ROAD USER
Although it is obvious to most riders, there are still many cyclists recounting incidents where they have been unable to pass individual cyclists or cycling groups due to their insistence on using every available centimeter of shared path. Keep left on shared paths, and if you are traveling at a greater speed than pedestrians or more leisurable cyclists please give a greater amount of space to the slower, more vulnerable path user. Imagine or remember how it feels for a pedestrian or less experienced rider to be passed at high speeds. It can make such a user feel exposed and insecure. Lets encourage MORE people to enjoy the pleasures of cycling what ever speed they feel comfortable traveling at.
FOLLOWING US ON FACEBOOK IS FUN
Have you seen the BTA on Facebook?? If you “Like” us and “Share” our posts you get the quick nibbles, and help us promote a safer Perth for people on bicycles.