Safe cy­cling idea in the ring

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - South Perth Kensington - Michele Nu­gent

A CARLISLE man who re­cap­tured his child­hood love of bike rid­ing as a Curtin Uni­ver­sity stu­dent and now ped­als 16km to work daily, has re­leased a thought-pro­vok­ing re­port that could have Perth rid­ing the curve of the lat­est in­ter­na­tion­ally-ac­cepted in­fra­struc­ture for cy­clists.

An­drew Wilkin­son (32), with the help of the Vic­to­ria Park Tran­si­tion Net­work and Vic Park Col­lec­tive, spent a few months writ­ing the Perth Cy­cle Ring re­port that ad­vo­cates the in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­cepted Dutch model of pro­vid­ing pro­tected lanes for cy­clists, keep­ing them apart from mo­torists and pedes­tri­ans.

The econ­o­mist, who has de­liv­ered ur­ban plan­ning lec­tures at Curtin and Mel­bourne uni­ver­si­ties, said peo­ple were less likely to cy­cle if they didn’t feel safe for the en­tire route of their jour­ney.

“The Dutch model is be­com­ing the in­ter­na­tional stan­dard and is a strong trend in North Amer­ica where bike use has quadru­pled in the last five years,” Mr Wilkin­son said.

“The av­er­age num­ber of uses for those paths has grown by 75 per cent and 90 per cent of cy­clists say­ing they feel safe.”

He said com­pa­ra­ble lanes were rare in Perth but pointed to a 400m stretch be­tween the Can­ning High­way overpass and Kens­ing­ton Pri­mary School that he said could be ex­tended in all di­rec­tions, giv­ing ac­cess to the river and CBD and from the city to Curtin Uni­ver­sity.

The for­mer Bi­cy­cle Trans­port Al­liance board mem­ber said all cy­clists had had close calls with mo­torists, cit­ing in­ci­dents where he had de­lib­er­ately been passed at close quar­ters at high speed or shouted at.

“Pro­tected bike lanes can be in­stalled cheaply by us­ing specif­i­cally de­signed plas­tic sep­a­ra­tion bar­ri­ers, on lo­cal streets with spare road width,” he said.

“The Perth Cy­cle Ring con­cept is a safe, cir­cu­lar cy­cling route around the mid­dle sub­urbs. It con­nects the ex­ist­ing strate­gic bike net­work with train sta­tions, uni­ver­si­ties, schools, shops and cen­tres of em­ploy­ment.”

Go to http://perth­cy­cler­­port for more in­for­ma­tion.

An­drew Wilkin­son has pre­pared a de­tailed re­port in an ef­fort to make

cy­cling in Perth safer.

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