Why aren’t more of us on bikes?
Why is that the many South Australians who want to ride their bicycle more, aren’t and will recent investment pledges in infrastructure change this?
Back in 2014, when Mikael Colville-Andersen visited Adelaide for the Velo-City conference, he told the ABC that Australia was behind the times on urban planning.
So, can the Adelaide City Council and State Government’s recently announced investment of $12 million in cycling infrastructure change all this?
Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan thinks so:
“Hopefully, we’ll boost cycling participation throughout the city. We’re [already] seeing more and more people riding their bikes, particularly … [to] work”, he told In Daily.
Our own CEO, Christian Haag, welcomed the announcement: “This significant joint investment will greatly enhance Adelaide’s liveability for decades to come”, he said.
Being avid cyclists ourselves, we’d like to hear from those who don’t ride as frequently as they might like, whether for recreation or commuting to school, work, friends – to find out why not.
What stops us from using a bike instead of a car?
Will investment of this nature make it more attractive for anyone to get to work or school on their bike, or will it only encourage those who live near to or in the city? Will it change our transport behaviours?
The health, environmental and economic benefits of commuter cycling are pretty well understood – so what’s stopping us from a widespread shift away from the car and into other transport options? Research consistently points to a broad desire for alternate, more convenient and cost effective transport choices.
In “City Cycling” (2012), Paul Tranter notes that “a significant (and usually ignored) time cost is the time spent at work to earn the money to pay for all the expenses associated with the mode of transportation.”
Why do we work to pay for the way we get around? What is it about driving a car that is so entrenched in the Australian psyche?
Appropriate cycling infrastructure investment is a proven solution, and we commend the State Government and Adelaide City Council infrastructure funds going into improving the city’s cycle routes. Of course, this will take a few years to come to fruition.
We really want to hear about your story – in 25 words or less, is there something that prevents you from riding your bicycle as much as you’d like? Let us know in the Comments Section below.
In the meantime – Bike SA is working to make cycling a more accessible, easier and safer commuting option for South Australians, to help workplaces be supportive of active commuting, and to encourage all road users to be mindful of one another’s presence.
A big part of that work is our partnership with the Motor Accident Commission’s ‘Be Safe Be Seen’ Education Program. It’s free, and your organisation could have us along to chat. You can find out more here.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. In a couple of weeks we’ll pull together a snapshot of the key barriers!