Safer walking and cycling is most easily achieved by reducing traffic speed. We have known this for over a decade but do too little to curb road speeds. A remarkable report summarises the Australian cycling problem as we find it today: Dr Jan Garrard, Safe Speed: promoting safe walking and cycling by reducing traffic speed, Heart Foundation, City of Port Phillip and City of Yarra, Victoria, November 2008.
It is not the cold that stops kids from riding to school but the lack of safe infrastructure. All parents are concerned about their children’s safety. In Finland, children will ride to school on snow in subzero all year round. Clearly, the cold does not hold them back. Without a separated bike path and swept bike paths, it would not happen.
In making roads better for cars we have made an environment hostile to people and in particular children.
Different to other surveys, it tells us about cycling in Australia and Canberra over the last decade.
Walking to school was common and could be again. The Ride or Walk to School program encourages kids to ride to school by teaching them the skills they need to do it. Active Streets aims to improve the paths around schools to make it safe to do so.
The ACT Government has a program for cycling safety for primary school children. One of the lessons identifies cycling hazards. The examples are found everywhere in Canberra. Perhaps we should send TCCS back to school. The hazards in the ACT take too long time to fixed.
Walking or cycling to school seems like a good idea. Active Streets is an ACT Government initiative to encourage children to walk to school. Most of never heard of it. Currently, the program is still poorly funded.
Businesses are accustomed to calculating the lifetime cost of ownership of a motor vehicle. This is something we rarely do in our private lives. An inexpensive new car with an on-road purchase price below $20,000 will cost easily $4000 per annum when all costs are considered. For that price, a family could have a number of very nice bikes. Bikes have a lifetime cost as well and here is one example.
Cycling injuries are far more common than fatalities.
The Canberra bike stores are fewer, bigger and more competitive. They will usually price match. Bike stores just want the sale. Kids grow fast, and once an enthusiastic cyclist, then always a cyclist. They know you will be back. Pricing for kids bikes starts from $200 and goes up to about $500.