A review of BTA activities in 2012
The BTA is committed to a safer environment for people who choose to ride a bicycle to work, school, shops and trains stations. We work towards a complete and connected network of principal shared paths (PSP), the freeways of cycling. Where people on bicycles have to share the road with people in cars, we work towards a safer road environment through a safe passing distance, lower speeds and suburban bicycle routes. We feel that if more people feel safe on our roads, more will cycle. We promote cycling as a healthy, sustainable and environmentally responsible form of transport.
Since 2006, direct funding towards cycling infrastructure has languished at around $2.6mio per year. The BTA has lobbied at all levels of government to increase funding, and in 2012 funding for cycling infrastructure was increased to $12.66mio per year for two years. In December 2012 the RAC released a report on the economic benefits of cycling for Perth, and we used the information contained in the report as well as our own research to lobby the government to increase spending on cycling. As part of the 2013 election campaign the current government promised a further $30mio towards cycling infrastructure.
The West Australian Bike Network Plan (WABN). The BTA was present at all official presentations and discussions of this plan. The BTA initiated a full day public information workshop which was hosted by the RAC and attracted representatives from State and Local Government Departments, representatives of cycling organizations and members of the public. The WABN attracted over 550 submissions, well above the 200 expected by the authors of the plan. The BTA was directly involved in organizational submissions, including Fremantle and WALGA. We personally discussed our feedback with the Director General of Transport and the Minister of Transport.
City of Perth Infrastructure and Bicycle Plan. We discussed their Bike Plan prior to the official draft release, and subsequently, together with the RAC, organised a feedback session for the cycle plan, in addition to our own formal feedback. We discussed cycling infrastructure in the CBD with the Office of the Minister for Planning and with the MRA. We were involved in discussions with the Elizabeth Key planners, and provided formal feedback on the design guidelines for this project.
Other cycle plans. We engaged with the bike plans of the EMRC, Mosman Park, South Perth, Melville, Vincent, Bassendean, Joondalup and Fremantle as well as the Scarborough Beach Road Activity Corridor Framework. This included saddle surveys, discussion with the consultants writing the report, attending public workshops and formal feedback.
We supported the local office of the Greens to produce a comprehensive and costed plan to increase cycling participation to 29% by 2029, and participated in a round table discussion with the Greens and other stakeholders discussing the future of cycling in Perth.
Other infrastructure related activities
For five years we worked towards making the cycling/pedestrian interaction safer at the City West train station, finally resulting in structural modifications to the path this year.
In Bassendean our efforts and discussions with Minister for Transport, the Heritage council, the Town of Bassendean and MainRoadsWA resulted in the resurfacing of the Guildford bridge footpath with a cycle friendly material.
We regularly attend, and contribute, to the Cyclist and Pedestrian Advisory Group meetings with MainRoadsWA and the West Australian Bike Network Implementation Group meetings at the Department of Transport, as well as the Traffic Management on Local Roads meetings at MainRoadsWA.
We attended the Bike Futures Conference.
Cycling infrastructre maintenance and mapping. We tracked all 2011/2012 Metro Local Government Grants and their status, and made the results publicly available via Google Maps. We developed a publicly available Google Map to show interruption to cycle routes in the CBD. We developed a prototype application to record ‘potholes’ on the shared path. We corresponded with local councils in regards to shared paths and PSPs in their areas, in particular on northern routes, north of Karrinyup Rd. We supported the elected members in Joondalup in their efforts to eradicate caltrop in their area
A safer road environment
We discussed lower speeds on selected suburban roads and the legalised one metre passing distance with the RAC board and the Road Safety Council. We had discussions with Curtin University to explore joint projects on cycling safety and infrastructure. We corresponded with advocacy groups and researchers in Australia and overseas to understand how a safe legalised passing distance of affects the subjective and objective feeling of being safe for people on bicycles. We conducted a poll amongst cyclists that resulted in 100% support for the concept.
We were involved and presented at all three RAC OLA cycling safety forums, and also participated in the RAC pedestrian safety forum.
We regularly attended, and contribute to the Vulnerable Road User Action Group meetings at the RAC
Our board members have direct discussion with WA police on cycling road safety matters.
Promotion of cycling
Y-cycle? and BikeWeek. The BTA sourced, organized, compiled and rendered about eight hours of cycling themed video material and screened it at Northbridge Piazza during Bikeweek. Over 200 people were served coffee and muffins (sponsored by the RAC), with many more stopping to watch some of the material. We also organised a raffle on the day.
We explored the possibility to screen cycling related material on both big screens in Perth on a regular schedule (at Northbridge Piazza and in front of the Alexander Library), but failed to attract funding support.
We were part of TV and radio programs, were mentioned in the press at state and local level, and produced own material based on bike mounted cameras, for instance the “2012 Shared Path Bike Hike” Video, which showed what a cyclist experiences when he is using shared paths instead of the freeway to mimic the Freeway Bike Hike.
We attend many of the “Cycle in Spring” and BikeWeek events, canvassing the opinion of cyclists and using their feedback to inform our communications with government departments and politicians, and participated in Tim’s ride. We attended the Sustainable Transport Forum.
Website and Facebook
We made over 1000 posts on our Facebook page, and over 250 posts on our website, and we produce regular newsletters that are sent to both to BTA members and politicians
We engaged with the new CEO of Westcycle in January, and had numerous meetings and discussion with them to support the creation and effectiveness of WestCycle, moving towards co-location in 2013.