- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 19 September 2012
One bus seating 69 passenger can replace a block of cars. Likewise the same 69 people on bicycles also replace a block of cars. The spokesperson for the Cycling Promotion Fund, Stephen Hodges says “The image succinctly illustrates the greater space efficiency of bus and bicycle travel”
The Cycling Promotion Fund is an Australian bicycle industry supported advocacy group that reaches out to the general public as well as political decision makers. They have recreated a 1991 photo taken in Münster, Germany which was used to promote alternative transport.
“As Australia’s population swells and our cities experience ever increasing congestion we need to get smarter about how we use existing road space” comments Mr Hodges “including investing more in alternatives such as public transport and cycling—if we are to move people more efficiently and effectively.”
The photographs are available for free to help promote the message of more efficient transport.
“Eight out of ten Australian adults still use a private motor vehicle to travel to work or full-time study, just 14% take public transport, 4% walk and a mere 2% cycle, with 30% of these trips in the cities under 3km” Mr Hodge said.
Australian Motorised Mentality
This week, a Sydney local newspaper reported Greenwich Public School digs in over bikes. A donation to fund bicycle racks at this North Shore public school was knocked back with the school responding “…the topography around the school is also very steep and generally not suitable for cycling, especially for young children.”
While safe cycling is important, existing infrastructure often doesn’t accommodate for cycling and the attractive short term option of forgoing cycling results in a long term disadvantage. More cyclists mean less cars and congestion, particularly when safe cycling routes are developed and motorised traffic is split from pedal powered traffic. The long term benefits of cycling also include a lower environmental impact and a healthier more active society.
Car drivers and Cyclists Head to Head
One of the biggest issues facing cyclists is that some car drivers feel impeded by cyclists on public roads. Even when the overwhelming majority of cyclists as well as car drivers (etc) obey the law, often drivers who feel obstructed will argue the rights cyclists. This is also reflected in government policy from the lack of spending on cycling infrastructure to (sometimes) half-hearted attempts at building infrastructure ignoring cyclists.
Though cyclists whether commuting, recreational or sporting only make up a small percentage of road users, creating facilities such as better cycleways or cycling lines not only affirm the legal rights of cyclists, but also draw more cyclists away from busy routes and onto cycle lanes and cycleways – a coexistence that both cyclists and motorists would welcome.
The Cycling Promotion Fund photo can be downloaded and used for free by organisations, groups and individuals for the promotion of cycling. More details on this photo are on the CPF website.