This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)
Australia’s biggest city is attempting to increase cycling, with ambitious plans to introduce a 200 kilometre network of cycle lanes (55km of which will be fully separated) by 2016. Whilst 84% of Sydney’s residents consider the plan a positive addition to the city’s infrastructure, it will be a few years before the success of the scheme can be judged. However, some North American cities have already invested heavily in their bicycle infrastructure, seeing a resulting increase in usage.
In Portland, the construction of 500km of developed bikeways has resulted in approximately 10% of Portlanders now identifying bikes as their primary mode of transport.
Portland had a non existent bike culture 20 years ago. The man behind the transformation of Portland into a bike friendly city says that Sydney can also become a cycling city, citing the construction of more dedicated cycle paths as vital to this. He also noted that it was a question of government and political will – something that Sydney has embraced with their planned $76 million spending over the next four years on bike path infrastructure.
Bicycle use has increased by as much as 40 per cent since 2008 in areas of Montreal where the city has invested in bike paths or lanes, according to a new McGill University study.
From 2006 – 2009, New York City built 200 miles of bike lanes and saw a 45% increase in commuter cycling
There is hope that government financial backing, community approval of the Cycle Plan, and new cycle paths will help turn Sydney into bicycle friendly City, with improvements in health, the environment and a reduction in Sydney’s congestion and greenhouse gas emission problems. Whilst the success of similar plans in North American cities can’t act as a guarantee of improved cycling rates in Sydney, it certainly is a positive sign.