open topic, for anything cycling related.
Has anyone ever rated Aussie towns/suburbs/cities in terms of being cyclist friendly?
It occurred to me yesterday that if a council received a rating out 100 for their friendliness to cyclists, it may help some improve, and give others bragging rights.
It would need to be done by a group/association to hold any weight, but a) has anyone seen something like this, and b), would it work?
THis is something thats dynamic. A suburb is a huge area, with some streets which are good with no glass and other crap, and some which have potholes. Itll be hard to rate a suburb cause of this. Some suburbs dont have cycle lanes, but then they may have the nicest roads to ride on. Coming up with a way to rate how cycle suited a suburb will be hard to be fair.
I have seen a rating of LGAs in Victoria based on their bicycle infrastructure spending. I think BNV has done this.
There is also a self-rating form that you can use called the Bikeability survey
Some of the outer suburbs of Sydney, getting down towards Edensor Park, etc from Wetherill Park and down that way seem pretty good. Mostly wide and smooth shared paths alongside major roads if you don't want to mix it with traffic. Just watch for glass, there is some of it around.
I say shared paths, but in reality, pedestrians appear to be rare. Perhaps just the odd runner and that's about it.
I live in the inner North of Melbourne, which has a huge and largely successful network of cycling infrastructure used by just about everybody at some point. It truely adds character and human presence to an area having bicycles around, it just doesn't make sense to me why any council would not be actively improving bicycle infrastructure in the 21st century. Alas, I have friends who live in the far east, and riding over there, the contrast is shocking - there is not even a painted bicycle on most streets, the drivers are more hostile, it's impossible to safely navigate and you certainly see the effects - no cyclists, no faces in the street. It's eerie.
So; I'd give Yarra 8/10
Whitehorse a 3/10
And the State government 0/10.
Also, I did see something like this - Last years Darebin? council elections, somebody started a campaign called votebikedarebin. A URL was splashed on bicycle lanes in chalk, and the councillors running for council were rated on their bicycle friendliness. It was great, and as you could have guessed, Greens members were #1 and #2. I wish bicycles had nothing to do with politics but you can't deny it, conservative suburbs want nothing to do with cycling infrastructure.
Conservative governments aren't interested either.
My area of Greystanes is probably a 6/10. Good - but more could be done in a few obvious areas. Like a cycling track running west alongside the M4 out to the M7 and maybe as far as Penrith. That might replace the breakdown lane cycling path on the M4.
I live in the land of Mr Abbot and my commute takes me the through the liberal heartland of the Lower North Shore and Lane Cove. I can do my entire 24km each way commute on cycleways, shared paths and quiet back streets marked as cycle routes and facilitated as such by blocking off roads to MVs and providing cut-throughs for bicycles. I have no problem riding all over the place locally with my toddler son in a child seat.
IOW, not sure this a conservative vs whatever thing. I certainly find riding in the labor strongholds (until recently anyway) of Western Sydney far more... ermm... interesting.
FTR, going by voting results, I am more left wing (or at least socially progressive) than the average Australian (so I find the above a little disappointing in a way).
I probably should've phrased it as a question in hindsight, I half said that just to get a response and 'test the waters' on that opinion. And I'm glad that it's not universally true! Certainly in Victoria the greens are the only ones who are vocal about cycling, Labour ignore the issue but at least pay the minimum amount required. The Liberal govt. however cut all state state bicycle infrastructure funding to $0 this year, even on much needed projects that had already been funded.
Not bike hating as such, Lugnut.
The Libs budget deficit fetish meant every department was required to cut. And cut deep.
In education, they pretty much took a tomahawk to the TAFE system, for example.
Yes, it's hard to complain alongside the TAFE cuts. Still, the proposed East/West underground link flies in the face of that, I'm wondering how a big new freeway could possibly take priority over much needed public transport and cycling/walking infrastructure.
Post career I took a low level job-share in one of the so called affluent inner Melbourne councils.
In passing I have talked to a few of the operations managers, roads, waste management etc, and have asked about cycling infrastructure.
Here are some of the forthright (blunt) points made to me.
Policy is the realm of the elected representatives.
Policies in turn are influenced by other pressures, residual budget, commercial interests (traders, developers etc) residents pressure groups, tourism etc.-Budget allocation for capital works is mostly influenced by these pressures.
Most councils set their budget to the rate revenue and do not run deficits. Major capital works are mostly done on cash reserves or loans, not on ongoing revenues.
Transport policies only extend to non-arterial and secondary roads. For thru traffic they have to conform to whatever policy the state govt. sets (an often at their cost).
While councils do talk to each other about infrastrucure and common problems, no council in isolation is going to spend hard cash to create a cyclists nirvana that stops at the municipal boundary. Bayside councils will spend as they have a commercial reason to, viz. cyclo tourism and cyling groups contributing to traders revenues.
It can cost a council over $200,000 to oppose a development at VCAT. Any decision can then be overridden by the state minister anyway.
In inner metropolitan areas traffic spill over from through traffic into residential and commercial streets is costing more and increasing each year.
Councils have lost much of their planning powers and can only react to developments whick in turn sap their operational budget beyond the ratebook increase
Cycling is seen as basically recreational. Utility or commuting is not seen as significant. (And yes, they see that car reduction could reduce their budget outlays and alleviate other problems, but that is in the future. Their problems are in the present).
Melbourne City Council is a special case as it is a major sink or destination endpoint.
The priority of municipal cycling infrastructure is low in light of the above.
Should anyone be surprised that cycling infrastructure is not a local or municipal issue but a govt. one.
What a funny thing that Moreland, Darebin and Yarra (other inner Melbourne councils) don't seem to have such awful attitude. Don't know about Moonee Ponds or Maribyrnong. I could pretty much guess which council you are describing
First their attitude is not my attitude. I think by increasing car alternatives now will save billions for future generation, including my grandchildren.
I simply present their attitudes to the immediate problems that face them now. Havn't we all seen (and used) bandaid solutions in our working lives.
I reckon this concept holds a bit of merit, maybe not on a town/locality basis but maybe on a road by road basis, i mean there's an existing review system for everything out there at the moment (restaurants, shops etc.) so maybe a user review system for roads/streets/paths linked to google maps is something easily achieved and it would have potential benefits for cycle tourism and local small business alike, cafes takeaways etc. It only takes a net savvy geek (not me by any means) and maybe it'd even be worth something.
The main thing there is the orders of magnitude difference in the sort of amounts we're talking about. Our governments collectively spend at least 150 times as much more on infrastructure for cars as they doe on that for bikes. Supposedly somebody estimated that for the cost a 1km road tunnel in Queensland, they could have built at least 300 kilometres worth of bike paths, which probably means they could have made less major modifications to existing roads to provide something like 1000 km worth of better bicycling infrastructure for the same amount of money.
Wow which ones spend that much? Or do you mean over a 4 year term?
Here it is for the full comparison............... BIXE 2012.
City of Yarra - $16.21 per person
City of Manningham - $1.55 per person (this is an affluent area )
City of Darebin - $7.67 per person
City of Monash - $2.17 per person
City of Port Phillip - $10.50 per person
City of Melbourne - $50.07 per person
But the dullard's prize goes to.................. Rural City of Swan Hill - $0.00 per person, and the metropolitan prize to........... City of Maribyrnong - $0.91 per person
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