New Research Shows Cycling in Melbourne More Popular Than Ever
The number of people riding bikes in the morning peak in the City of Melbourne has nearly doubled in the past year, according to a new report.
The City of Melbourne's first Bicycle Account summarises cyclist behaviour, cycling trends, cycling safety standards and includes an update on the development of infrastructure to cater for cyclists' needs.
The Account found cyclists accounted for almost 8% of all morning peak vehicles from 7am - 10am in 2007, compared to just 4% in 2006.
The figures also show the number of cyclists riding on roads at all times of the day increased by an average of 10% in 2007, while off-road routes in the municipality increased by an average of 20%.
Lord Mayor John So said more cyclists are enjoying the benefits of cycling in Melbourne.
"Cycling is becoming more popular, particularly as people become more aware of the environment and want to incorporate a healthy lifestyle within their daily routine. More than half of the cyclists surveyed for this initiative described Melbourne as a cycle-friendly city - we want to ensure that even more cyclists share that view in the future," the Lord Mayor said.
Key findings include:
· Cycling in the winter months between March and June decreased by 16% in 2007, compared to a 41% decrease in 2006.
· 92% of cyclists said they rode for fitness.
· 78% of cyclists surveyed agreed cycling is the best way to start the day.
· 16% of cyclists surveyed said they ride every day.
· Cyclists riding into the city from the west using Footscray Rd in the morning peak increased by 37% in 2007 compared to 2006 figures.
· Cyclists riding from the north using Canning St in the morning peak increased by 36% in 2007 compared to 2006 figures.
· Cyclists riding on the Yarra River's north and south banks in the morning peak increased by 33% compared to 2006 figures.
· Cyclists' least favoured routes were Swanston St (11%), St Kilda Road (10%), Flinders St (5.5%), Collins St (5%), Elizabeth St (3.5%).
"The Bicycle Account will help Melbourne assess its position compared to other cities throughout Australia and the world. One of the important things we will be able to track by creating this document annually is the satisfaction of cyclists who use the roads, bike lanes and pathways," the Lord Mayor said.
"We have already received positive feedback following the introduction of the new 'Copenhagen Style' cycling lanes in Swanston St this year, and we will be consulting with the cycling community about future initiatives to ensure Melbourne continues to be a bike friendly city."
The Melbourne Bicycle Account also found the number of cyclists using Swanston St has more than doubled since 1999 and the majority of cyclists who rode to the City of Melbourne parked in off-street bike parking facilities.
1,821 cyclists were surveyed in 2007 by Bicycle Victoria to produce the report, which will be published annually to assess progress as part of the City of Melbourne's Bike Plan 2007-2011.
Further projects underway as part of the Bike Plan 2007-2011 include:
· Establishing a web link for cyclists to report issues and hazards;
· Reviewing the installation of dedicated CBD bike lanes (including developing measures to improve conditions for cyclists near platform tram stops);
· Implementing a plan in response to the number of crashes in Swanston and Flinders Sts.