Why wait until the driver’s licence? We can teach children safe cycling in school. In the Netherlands, the school children take a traffic exam on their bikes when they are just 11 years old. With a rite of passage on bicycles, are we surprised that the Netherlands is a cycling nation. The nature of a rite of passage is something to celebrate!
We must recognise that in low cycling countries our fears have a large impact on our cycling behaviour and our instincts (feelings) are poorly tuned to the real risk of cycling. A positive experience (enjoyment) makes it more likely that we will cycle again. A mishap in the early stages will discourage further cycling. This is why good cycle infrastructure makes a difference, as it creates a forgiving environment to cycle.
Paralysis through analysis: we have enough data, we know what we need to do, we are just not doing it. Policy work in the ACT has gone around in circles since 2004. The recommendations of the ACT Transport strategies and consults reports are all too often never implemented – it is not for lack of reports. Here is the history of cycling transport policy in the ACT.
Human-scale accessibility is about building cities, so that we can get around them easily by walking, with a wheelchair, or a walking frame. Everybody should be able to do it, young or old. It does not involve a lot of expenses, acquiring a driver’s licence, or wealth to afford a car. Human-scale accessibility is the expression of mobility as a human right. Cycling is a good example of Human-scale accessibility with a long history. Micromobility adds many new ways for people to get around, including skateboards, e-scooters, and hoverboards. Streets need to be built in a way that make them safe for human-scale accessibility.
In the era of climate change, one would expect less people to own an environmentally damaging car – but nothing can be further from the truth. The latest ABS survey from 2021 shows that car ownership in Canberra has increased in the last year by 2.3%, equal highest of all Australian states.
We are creatures of habit. The book The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz that we develop rules of thumb to lighten the cognitive load of making decisions. Habits, too, lighten the cognitive load, as they provide the reassurance that the way we have always thought about doing things is somehow the best.
Canberra.bikes` submission for the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services. Making Canberra a city where we can cycle safely and easily, at any time, from 8-80 years. Here is the table of contents with links to the text.
A useful list of references for active travel and cycling in the ACT from the Submission to the Standing Committee.
What can be done here is to present the transcript of three gems from Australian commentators in the Step away from the car 2.0 podcast, recorded at Australia Walking and Cycling Conference. One of my favourites is Getting There Faster by Slowing Down, featuring Paul Tranter, an academic, here in Canberra.
The issues with the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services approach to the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Amendment Bill 2021 (No 2).