Thursday, August 7, 2008

Getting Australia Moving

Cycling in Australia is on the increase! Over 1.68 million adults cycled in 2006; an increase of 244,000 from 2001. Australian capital cities have also experienced an average 22% increase in bicycle journeys to work, with Melbourne’s growth rate soaring 42% between 2001 and 2006.As Australians continue to lead increasingly busy lifestyles, cycling is in a unique position for its ability to combine physical activity, recreation and transport. This provides an important health benefit for a population failing to meet minimum physical activity requirements. Cycling is also a carbon neutral, petrol free form of transport, simultaneously helping Australians fight climate change and reduce fuel costs. For peak hour journeys in particular, the bicycle can reduce congestion and increase the efficiency of the transport system. For Australia to fully capitalise on the benefits of cycling, a whole-ofgovernment approach is required, with commitment from the health, transport, environment, education and planning portfolios. Only through a combined approach can the benefits of cycling be fully realised.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Design manual for bicycle traffic

'Design Manual for Bicyle traffic' is latest version of ‘Sign up for the bike’, the standard manual for those who design for bicycle traffic.

A bicycle-friendly infrastructure is one that allows direct and comfortable cycling in a safe and attractive traffic environment. Only then is it possible to create an alternative to the car. High quality bicycle infrastructures lead to a larger share of bicycles in the modal split. This design manual describes the steps required to achieve such an infrastructure from the policy plan to promote cycling to the physical implementation of a bicycle-friendly infrastructure. Bicycle infrastructure comprises all the technical provisions intended for cyclists.

A recurrent theme runs throughout the design manual as an assignment for the designer: immerse yourself in the idea that the cyclist is the future user of the design; give form to the objectives; balance functionality, form and use. This is a creative challenge demanding more than just the use of templates; the process compels the designer to consider and formulate the consequences of choices in his design. Also read: Cycling in The Netherlands (go to 'bestand')