So you really want to know how to get more people riding bikes more often? Then read on…
- Set an achievable target. Eg. We want the council to commit to a cycling mode share of 5% of all trips that are less than 5 km in 5 years. This goal needs to be targeted in locations/suburbs where this rate is most achievable. This would provide a successful ‘fail fast’ model and will allow for other groups/locations to piggyback off any successes.
2. Run promotional campaigns. Eg. We want the council to commit to an ongoing cycling promotion campaign that;
- highlights cycling as an easy and attractive way to travel, and show the enormous health and economic benefits of cycling to individuals and society, and highlights how safe cycling is.
- highlights the enormous health and economic costs of motoring to individuals and society, and highlights how dangerous driving is.
3. Build infrastructure. Eg. We want the council to build the necessary push and pull infrastructure that makes cycling more attractive and driving less attractive. All infrastructure that will help achieve the goal are on the table. You can put Policy into this category here too, if you like. Policy to remove parking, reduce speed limits etc. All the things that will help achieve step 1.
Of course, the building of cycle paths is just a part of step 3. A part of step 3. Sorry to be repeating myself. For me, step 3 suggests a broad range of infrastructure and policy options that will need to be implemented in order to help tame The Death Star. And as you may have guessed, it’s at step 3 where things currently start and stall. Steps 1 and 2 are the foundations of step 3. Building “political will” is what some people like to call it. And interestingly, achieving steps 1 and 2 will require a broad range of skills. Less engineering, more communicating and selling. There’s no conundrum in getting bicycle infrastructure built, as I have heard some say – simply start at the start.
Unfortunately, there is no short cut to cycling utopia.
‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat. As easy as walking, but faster.
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