Cars vs bikes
There is a lot said for and against giving priority to bicycles in urban areas. Let's hope we can publish a few articles giving various angles on the problem (such as this one -the Greens' Sydney Rd bikelanes proposal. We can take up the story for now with the claim that coronavirus tips the scales towards bikes.
Robert Durkacz 4 May 2020
Tim Read and the BRN both come up with a story that the coronavirus pandemic is something good for bikes in the ongoing struggle against the car. They find stories (different ones each) from media around the world, where various cities are temporarily reserving extra road space for bicycles. At a guess they both started with this article from the Guardian and then did some googling because the rest of the references they give collectively are not what anyone around here would be reading on a daily basis. This Guardian article is the only one they had in common: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/21/milan-seeks-to-prevent-post-crisis-return-of-traffic-pollution
The Greens are big boosters of bikes as we know but they also favour public transport. Unfortunately bikes are getting used in these places in preference to public transport, that being the riskiest way to travel in the epidemic.
You can find the BRN piece here:
- https://brunswickresidents.wordpress.com/2020/04/28/brunswick-residents-newsletter-april-2020/ or
then scan for:
- Redesigning cities after the pandemic
Tim Read's piece was not on his website but on his newsletter so we can't give you a link. The text is reproduced below without permission, subject to anything Tim might eventually have to say.
Dr Tim Read - Greens MP for Brunswick
1 May 2020
Cities around the world adapting to COVID-19
Cities around the world are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic by creating more space for people and bikes and the Andrews State Government and the City of Moreland must do the same.
Riding bikes and walking allow people to exercise while adhering to social distancing, and as cities around the world consider lifting lockdowns, many are building infrastructure to encourage people to remain on their bikes and feet and out of cars.
Oakland, a major city in California is closing 10% of its roads completely to cars and making them only accessible for people on foot or on bikes. https://twitter.com/DarwinBondGraha/status/1248471155322671105
Bogotá is opening 76kms of emergency bike lanes, expanding on the 550kms already built. https://www.smartcitiesworld.net/news/news/bogota-expands-bike-lanes-overnight-to-curb-coronavirus-spread-5127
Berlin is installing new bike lanes to cope with increased demands, many of these were planned, but construction has been brought forward. https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-04-22/berlin-gets-pop-up-bike-lanes-to-boost-cycling-in-pandemic
Milan, with a population of about 1.4 million, is completely transforming how people move around, building infrastructure to encourage people to take active forms of transport and not choke the streets with cars once more. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/21/milan-seeks-to-prevent-post-crisis-return-of-traffic-pollution
Paris, never to be outdone, has promised no less than 650 kilometres of new bike lanes, the first to open on May 11, when the city is expected to ease lockdown measures. They’ve also promised that by 2024, every street in the entire city will be bike-friendly. A remarkable achievement. https://cities-today.com/paris-to-create-650-kilometres-of-new-cycleways/
In Brunswick, our roads have never been this quiet and our bike shops are busier than ever, servicing dusty bikes that are coming out of retirement.
This is truly a once in a generation opportunity to change how people move around our city.
Moreland City Council has a 10-year capital works program for people on bikes and walking, including projects that see protected bike lanes constructed on Lygon St, Victoria St, Blyth St, Hilton St and O’Hea St but most are not due to start building or for completion until around 2025. https://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/globalassets/areas/transport/draft-10-year-bicycle-and-pedestrian-projects.pdf
Next week, I’ll be catching up with the Mayor and encouraging Council to make these projects a priority. We cannot allow this opportunity to pass us by and for our streets to be dominated by cars once more.
In the above quotation from Tim I am giving the links explicitly, whereas both Tim Read and the BRN give the links indirectly so that your access to the links can be tracked. This website makes no attempt to track anyone, we don't really agree with it and we don't know how to anyway.
BRN's links were: