Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

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Thoglette
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Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby Thoglette » Fri Sep 01, 2023 3:30 pm

Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline
The Conversation : September 1, 2023 6.01am AEST
Matthew Mclaughlin, The University of Western Australia, Peter McCue, UNSW Sydney

Causes claimed: poor planning; not spending enough on non car transport -> sprawl & induced demand.

Solutions prescribed
1. 30kph default suburban road speeds
2. 1500m school safe zones (without quite specifying how such “safe” areas are to be made. Or enforced)
3. E-bike subsidies

The first is blindingly obvious.
The last one has me wondering who funded this work as it’s waaaay down the list of things that matter.
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g-boaf
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby g-boaf » Fri Sep 01, 2023 3:36 pm

Thoglette wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 3:30 pm
Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline
The Conversation : September 1, 2023 6.01am AEST
Matthew Mclaughlin, The University of Western Australia, Peter McCue, UNSW Sydney

Causes claimed: poor planning; not spending enough on non car transport -> sprawl & induced demand.

Solutions prescribed
1. 30kph default suburban road speeds
2. 1500m school safe zones (without quite specifying how such “safe” areas are to be made. Or enforced)
3. E-bike subsidies

The first is blindingly obvious.
The last one has me wondering who funded this work as it’s waaaay down the list of things that matter.
Oh yeah, instead of cycling I'll sit at my keyboard typing away... :roll: Do those report writers actually ride a lot or just write reports?

Hmm.. https://theconversation.com/profiles/pe ... ue-1466363

Meanwhile, where I was in France there were stacks of people riding in all the cities where I was, either mountain bikes, some on road bikes, whatever kind of bike really. No particular special provisions for cycling - everyone just rides on the road without being bothered by traffic.

warthog1
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby warthog1 » Fri Sep 01, 2023 4:56 pm

More separated infrastructure. Being away from cars is sooo much better!
I say that as a hardened roadie with over 200k km on road.
I can only imagine how scary it is being close passed for comparative beginners. :(
I didn't realise how much it affects your enjoyment and state of mind, being near cars, until there were none, as gravel riding has taught me.

I expect e bikes will bring more participation but we need safer infrastructure and failing that, more areas with slower traffic speeds.
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g-boaf
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby g-boaf » Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:14 pm

warthog1 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 4:56 pm
More separated infrastructure. Being away from cars is sooo much better!
This bit reinforces and rewards the "geroff the road" mentality. It tells drivers that people on bicycles have no place on any road and that the car is king.

What is really needed is very, very heavy enforcement of rules to make drivers behave carefully and considerately around riders.

As for the old "cyclists run red lights", well motorists do too. This afternoon - the trail bike rider stops for the red light, but as soon as the crossing traffic cleared he guns it through the red light. :roll: So motorists, you are all guilty by association too. :!:

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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby am50em » Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:38 pm

No particular special provisions for cycling - everyone just rides on the road without being bothered by traffic.
This comment made me wonder if this was true for Paris as well.


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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby warthog1 » Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:48 pm

g-boaf wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:14 pm
warthog1 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 4:56 pm
More separated infrastructure. Being away from cars is sooo much better!
This bit reinforces and rewards the "geroff the road" mentality. It tells drivers that people on bicycles have no place on any road and that the car is king.

What is really needed is very, very heavy enforcement of rules to make drivers behave carefully and considerately around riders.

Do you seriously believe any of that is likely to happen in Newscorp informed Australia?
Far more chance of separated infrastructure.
Yes however naff all chance of dramatic improvement any time soon imo.
I have bailed onto the gravel basically.
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby g-boaf » Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:53 pm

warthog1 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:48 pm
g-boaf wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:14 pm
warthog1 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 4:56 pm
More separated infrastructure. Being away from cars is sooo much better!
This bit reinforces and rewards the "geroff the road" mentality. It tells drivers that people on bicycles have no place on any road and that the car is king.

What is really needed is very, very heavy enforcement of rules to make drivers behave carefully and considerately around riders.

Do you seriously believe any of that is likely to happen in Newscorp informed Australia?
Far more chance of separated infrastructure.
Yes however naff all chance of dramatic improvement any time soon imo.
I have bailed onto the gravel basically.
We have to fight them. Giving up won't change a thing.

Separated infrastructure can just as easily be ripped up as has happened in Sydney before. So don't think that separated infrastructure is the solution. News Corp can intervene to get rid of or stop separated infrastructure too through its friends in government.
am50em wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:38 pm
No particular special provisions for cycling - everyone just rides on the road without being bothered by traffic.
This comment made me wonder if this was true for Paris as well.
I went nowhere near Paris. I was in Haute-Savoie, Savoie, Alpes-Maritimes and Italy.
Last edited by g-boaf on Fri Sep 01, 2023 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby warthog1 » Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:58 pm

g-boaf wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:53 pm
warthog1 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:48 pm
g-boaf wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:14 pm


This bit reinforces and rewards the "geroff the road" mentality. It tells drivers that people on bicycles have no place on any road and that the car is king.

What is really needed is very, very heavy enforcement of rules to make drivers behave carefully and considerately around riders.

Do you seriously believe any of that is likely to happen in Newscorp informed Australia?
Far more chance of separated infrastructure.
Yes however naff all chance of dramatic improvement any time soon imo.
I have bailed onto the gravel basically.
We have to fight them. Giving up won't change a thing.

Separated infrastructure can just as easily be ripped up as has happened in Sydney before. So don't think that separated infrastructure is the solution. News Corp can intervene to get rid of or stop separated infrastructure too through its friends in government.
You are the optimist. I do not see the attitudes of the Australian driving public improving so drastically that out roads miraculously become safe and welcoming any time soon and certainly not in my lifetime. I know 2 people that have been killed and multiple that have been hit. I have had countless close calls. Good luck with your wishes. 20 years plus of road cycling has convinced me it is completely unrealistic hence get the hell away.
All the best.
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g-boaf
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby g-boaf » Fri Sep 01, 2023 7:10 pm

So too have I had close calls, someone in the club I ride with died on the road as well. Someone I know was hit by a car when crossing a road, so even if you are relying on separated infrastructure you still aren't safe.

Another person I know as wiped out by a car on separated infrastructure - a cycling shared path. The car went up on the path and collected him then continued on until he was stopped.

Another occasion, motorbike riders on the separated infrastructure (M7 cycleway, totally separate to the road) deliberately crashed out two cyclists and nearly hit me head-on when they cut a blind corner, only the fact I was taking the corner slowly saved me - then I found the carnage 500m further ahead. Same cycleway, a 4WD departed the road and went through fences and across the cycleway, only just missing a rider I know.

Separated infrastructure in my area is crumbling and falling apart. Today I faced dirt, gravel, mud, big gaps between concrete sections, pot holes, etc. Separated infrastructure in bad condition caused a lot of crashes last year in my area among very experienced riders who were going slowly. If it's not that, then we have key sections that are closed before 7am and after 4:30pm, so you can't even use those parts. So you are stuck having to go on the road. At night, some of the infrastructure is unlit - that's not very safe.

We also get unregistered trailbikes and quad-bikes on the separated infrastructure. Police can't stop them because there are too few of them and by the time they get out there the trailbikes are long gone. They are free to menace bicycle riders and pedestrians as they please without any penalties.

Strong enforcement of robust laws is what we need. I do not trust separated infrastructure at all, it's a false sense of security. :!:
Last edited by g-boaf on Fri Sep 01, 2023 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby warthog1 » Fri Sep 01, 2023 7:53 pm

So you too have had multiple incidents and know people who have been killed.
That is because our roads are unsafe due to the drivers populating them.
I simply do not see that changing.
I am 22 years a Paramedic so have some experience with the results of stupid and distracted driving behaviour.
I do not see it improving. I see it getting worse tbh.
Device distraction is now so prevalent it is almost the norm or accepted behaviour.
Far from our enforcement improving it is getting worse. Less enforcement in terms of highway patrol and a visible police presence. More semi automated camera detection and less eyes on the road fixing the distracted, ignorant and arrogant behaviour.
I am not keen on being exposed to a multitude of aggressive, ignorant, incompetent and distracted operators of fast moving tonne+ metal objects buzzing by me.
I do not see anything changing that anytime soon.
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby warthog1 » Fri Sep 01, 2023 8:36 pm

am50em wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:38 pm
No particular special provisions for cycling - everyone just rides on the road without being bothered by traffic.
This comment made me wonder if this was true for Paris as well.

I wish we would get a hurry on like that!
Dogs are the best people :wink:

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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby am50em » Sat Sep 02, 2023 6:09 am

Yes, while still work in progress, it is impressive. The other takeaway is the active and/or public transport is diminishing the primacy of cars. e.g. closing roads/tunnels to cars, removing on-street parking, reducing multi-lane roads to single lanes for motor traffic.
Last edited by am50em on Sat Sep 02, 2023 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby bychosis » Sat Sep 02, 2023 7:09 am

If the local kids are anything to go by cycling is definitely in decline. The little terrors are all riding -scooters now. The only ones on bikes seem to be properly into MTB. Hardly any other types of bike out there.
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby warthog1 » Sat Sep 02, 2023 10:16 am

g-boaf wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 6:14 pm


This bit reinforces and rewards the "geroff the road" mentality. It tells drivers that people on bicycles have no place on any road and that the car is king.

What is really needed is very, very heavy enforcement of rules to make drivers behave carefully and considerately around riders.

During our discussion yesterday I didn't clearly indicate that there is an element of this thinking I agree with.
It is a minority but there are those who think that way. Unfortunately it seems to extend to some of our enforcement officers too.

I just don't see it changing. :(

Anyway I have probably depressed people with my thoughts about the parlous state of our driving culture. It is probably heavily influenced by my work too.
I still do ride on the road I am just very selective about where and when.

Realistically we need to fix our driving culture and fix the safety of our infrastructure.
It is a big job.
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby g-boaf » Sat Sep 02, 2023 12:09 pm

bychosis wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2023 7:09 am
If the local kids are anything to go by cycling is definitely in decline. The little terrors are all riding -scooters now. The only ones on bikes seem to be properly into MTB. Hardly any other types of bike out there.
In France where I was, I saw dads out with their kids on road bikes. One dad and his young son were riding up Col du Granon. They had rolled out of Saint Chaffrey where I was staying. Kid was going great!! :D

The road environment here is too hostile and governments let motorists get away with it. Even some cyclists support it with the attitude of driving to the cycleway then driving away back home.

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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby Cyclophiliac » Sat Sep 02, 2023 7:45 pm

The only way to reverse the decline in cycling in Australia is strict liability laws. That's not going to happen, though, because this country (including the legislature and government) are car-obsessed. So that leaves only 2 ways to escape this anti-cycling hell. I can't afford the first option: leaving the country. I really wish I had the guts to take the second option.

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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby blizzard » Sat Sep 02, 2023 8:57 pm

Cyclophiliac wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2023 7:45 pm
The only way to reverse the decline in cycling in Australia is strict liability laws. That's not going to happen, though, because this country (including the legislature and government) are car-obsessed. So that leaves only 2 ways to escape this anti-cycling hell. I can't afford the first option: leaving the country. I really wish I had the guts to take the second option.
I can't see that really making a difference. Most people don't ride because they don't feel safe, separated lanes and mixed use streets that encourages lower car speeds will help people to ride more.

Also just setting a 30km/h speed limit wont do much as most people drive the speed they feel comfortable doing. Infrastructure changes are needed to make the streets slower e.g. creating raised intersections on suburban streets will probably have a bigger impact than just lowering the speed limit.

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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby warthog1 » Sat Sep 02, 2023 8:58 pm

Cyclophiliac wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2023 7:45 pm
The only way to reverse the decline in cycling in Australia is strict liability laws. That's not going to happen, though, because this country (including the legislature and government) are car-obsessed. So that leaves only 2 ways to escape this anti-cycling hell. I can't afford the first option: leaving the country. I really wish I had the guts to take the second option.
I'm not sure what the second option is? Doesn't sound good though. :(

It is slowly getting better in some parts with respect to infrastructure. I no longer live in Melb but when I visit I am seeing improvement.

It may not be a possibility where you live but getting on the dirt does escape the traffic.
Hope you can find a way to enjoy your riding anyway.
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby Mububban » Sat Sep 02, 2023 10:11 pm

Thoglette wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 3:30 pm
Solutions prescribed
1. 30kph default suburban road speeds
2. 1500m school safe zones (without quite specifying how such “safe” areas are to be made. Or enforced)
3. E-bike subsidies

The first is blindingly obvious.
The last one has me wondering who funded this work as it’s waaaay down the list of things that matter.

I think (legal) ebikes are the way to get Aussies to fall back in love with riding bikes. Let's face it, most people want transport, not exercise. Hence the popularity of e-scooters. All the convenience of a bike, with zero sweat and effort! Those of us that enjoy seeking out hills for exercise are the minority by far.

Ebike subsidies could get loads of drivers back onto two wheels, which would engender more compassion and understanding when they get back behind the wheel of their car. Slowly slowly, it might start to change public opinion as more drivers also begin to identify as part time cyclists.

So far, despite the alarming number of crashes and fatalities from e-scooters, I'm yet to detect a vibe that Aussies consider them a menace. Why? Because car drivers also use them, so they don't want to paint themselves with that negative brush. Ebikes could help change minds too.

Of course, we'd probably end up with more unrestricted 70kmh ebikes on the PSP.....humanity is what it is after all....
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby DavidS » Sun Sep 03, 2023 5:54 am

The trouble with separated infrastructure is when it, inevitably, hits the point where it is no longer separated. At intersections and driveways it is a disaster. I ride to work along Beach Rd and the separate bike lanes mean I am invisible to motor vehicles turning left, you cannot go through the intersections with any confidence at all. At least if you are next to the motor vehicles or in a general traffic lane you are more visible.

Attitudes need to change, and I agree with the above that eBikes may help as some drivers frustrated with traffic try them out.

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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby blizzard » Sun Sep 03, 2023 7:05 am

Mububban wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2023 10:11 pm

Ebike subsidies could get loads of drivers back onto two wheels, which would engender more compassion and understanding when they get back behind the wheel of their car. Slowly slowly, it might start to change public opinion as more drivers al

So far, despite the alarming number of crashes and fatalities from e-scooters, I'm yet to detect a vibe that Aussies consider them a menace. Why? Because car drivers also use them, so they don't want to paint themselves with that negative brush. Ebikes could help change minds too.
There's a lot of negative press around e-scooters about accidents, excess speed and house fires. I don't see the same about ebikes. However I agree, the general public don't seem to complain about them as much as bikes, I think because they are seen as transport rather than recreation.

rkelsen
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby rkelsen » Sun Sep 03, 2023 7:40 am

Went to Milan for a few days in late June. The people there know exactly how it is done. Lost count of the number of people I saw using bikes as functional transport. Mostly on old uprights & step throughs... the kind we know as "girl's bikes" The don't seem to care how old or rusty the bikes are. Not racing, just putting along at 15 to 20 kph in their best attire (no helmets) to get to work or the shops.

Attitudes here need to change. That's the biggest hurdle.

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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby g-boaf » Sun Sep 03, 2023 9:09 am

So nothing about enforcement of safer and more considerate driving behaviour?

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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby warthog1 » Sun Sep 03, 2023 9:29 am

rkelsen wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 7:40 am
Went to Milan for a few days in late June. The people there know exactly how it is done. Lost count of the number of people I saw using bikes as functional transport. Mostly on old uprights & step throughs... the kind we know as "girl's bikes" The don't seem to care how old or rusty the bikes are. Not racing, just putting along at 15 to 20 kph in their best attire (no helmets) to get to work or the shops.

Attitudes here need to change. That's the biggest hurdle.
Agreed. That is likely to start happening when more people get on them.
More people will do so when they feel safe. Those without experience want to be away from cars.
E-devices has a great chance of getting people out there.
As others have said most don't want exercise, they just want to get around.
If they feel safer they are more likely to see it as a valid option.
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby Nobody » Sun Sep 03, 2023 10:44 am

warthog1 wrote:I am not keen on being exposed to a multitude of aggressive, ignorant, incompetent and distracted operators of fast moving tonne+ metal objects buzzing by me.
I do not see anything changing that anytime soon.
Well said.

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