May 15, 2012 by Greta Mayr
Independent studies show that the number of bike trips in Sydney over the past two years has increased by an impressive 82% - but we need more bike lanes and infrastructure if we expect that rise to continue. Scientific studies have proven, although what may appear to be common sense, that there is a direct relationship between the number of available bike lanes and the number of bike riders in a given city.
A total of 200 kilometres of biking networks is set to be built in and around the CBD, 55km of which includes separated cycleway. Since 2010, 10km of separated cycleway has been constructed in the city and a further 2.5km is currently in the design stage.
The Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said “our work to make bike riding safer and more practical is paying off” as more and more people are choosing to ride their bikes to and from work in the city.
The increase in bikers brings about a myriad of benefits to both society and the individual. Despite many people’s misconceptions, riding bikes in the inner city often takes a similar amount of time as driving a car and it significantly decreases congestion on the roads.
The infrastructure involved in building the bike lanes is shown to employ more people than projects like road resurfacing, as it is labour rather than machine intensive. Other obvious advantages include decreased carbon emissions due to less fuel burning and the subsequent reduction in Australia’s carbon footprint.
The problem, according to the Lord Mayor, is that “the NSW Government needs to support this enormous growth by working with the City and other councils to expand the network which will encourage even more people to take up riding”. The NSW Premier needs to start investing in this crucial project for the benefits of more cyclers to really kick in.