Enhancing the cycleability of our environs is a great way to provide more transport options to your community and to help you build a more liveable, sustainable and healthy community. A number of good examples of encouraging cycling as a safe, convenient and reliable mode of transport are shown below, together with areas for improvement.
Have you got a good idea? We welcome your contributions and would be delighted to add them to our growing stock of good ideas. Please send all contributions (and photos) to adminthinkingtransport [dot] org [dot] au.
1. Bike lanes
We all know what a bike lane looks like and their importance to providing clearly defined road space for cyclists, helping to reduce the stress and crash-risk for cyclists riding in traffic. Rather than the stock standard bike lane, have you thought about adding a buffer zone, adding colour or changing the road surface? All of these help to improve the safety for cyclists and encourage more people to consider cycling as a transport mode.
This bike lane in North Melbourne is well separated from the traffic stream. A buffer zone forms an effective separation from a fast-moving traffic stream with many trucks.
Bike lane on Somerville Rd Bridge, Footscray (City of Maribyrnong) is provided with extra protection from the many trucks that use this road.
In the City of Melbourne, a bicycle light in the traffic lights gives cyclists priority.
In the City of Moreland, the footpath on one side of this road has been designated a shared cycle path. Coloured pavement at road crossings warns motorists to give way to foot and cycle traffic.
In the Greater City of Geelong, different road surfaces are used to reinforce the separation to motorists, channel and calm traffic. The different road surfaces helps to remind motorists it's a bike lane.
On the busy Melbourne - Geelong Road, locating the bike lane well into the road reservation provides safer cycling.
And on the well used Geelong-Torquay Road, a bike lane is much safer than cycling next to heavy traffic.
2. End of trip facilities
Secure bike parking will influence the choice of mode for the journey. An advantage cyclists often enjoy is parking close to a destination, as distinct from the motorist who can face parking uncertainty and a distance to walk.
Moreland City Council has recently completed a green travel plan. Secure bike parking is provided plus equipment to mend punctures and blow up tyres.
The Green Building at 60 Leicester St in Carlton provides bike parking and no car parking!
Bike parking is provided at a number of railway stations. Keilor Downs and Narre Warren attract cyclists.
3. New developments
New developments often include generous cycling and walking paths, though tend to be more suitable for the recreational cyclist. Often what is required is that new developments provide cycling paths that link into existing transport routes and key destinations, such as train stations and bus stops.
4. Bicycle Users Groups (BUGs)
Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) are local groups involved in various cycling activities. Some BUGs organise rides, while others campaign for better cycling facilities. A few do both. Many work with local councils. Best of all, they're a great source of information about where to ride in the local area.
The very active Hastings Bicycle Users Group are featured on Thinking Transport through their participation in the Bay2Bay cycling event, hosted by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. Other local governments that host BUGs include Banyule City Council, Boroondara City Council, Darebin City Council, Nillumbik Shire Council and Greater Geelong City Council.
Membership in local BUGs is a great way for the residents and local government to get involved with cycling issues, as well as build community networks. BUGs are always looking for new members.
A comprehensive list of BUGs and cycling clubs in Victoria has been compiled on the Bicycle Victoria website, along with a BUG Start Up Manual, which is a very useful resource for local government.
5. Set up a Bike Fleet
Bicycles can provide a highly versatile and cost effective alternative to the traditional car fleet. Bike Fleets are highly viable where local government employees need to;
- travel short distances,
- do not need to carry large loads,
- need to traverse high-density or congested areas, or
- live nearby to work
The Australian Government's TravelSmart program offers a Toolkit on 'How to set up a Successful Bikefleet' on their website, include advantages offered to local government and a straightforward process to set up such a project.
Bikes can effectively compliment cars in council and business fleets and require little maintenance, virtually no storage space, no petrol, and greatly increase fitness opportunities for staff. In metropolitan areas, bicycles are often a faster transport option than cars or even public transport, offering point-to-point transport and greater load carrying capacity than either walking or public transport.