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Tackling Congestion - Bikes

June 20, 2019

 

Bikes in the main street in Winterthur, Switzerland. Notice the sign posting and lack of cars – April 2019

 

In Europe there is real congestion. However, the transport options are increasingly diverse. Driving through one city there were electric scooters, bikes (sharing and private), electric buses, trams, trains, shuttles as well as cars, trucks, prams and pedestrians. Although this made it more challenging to move through, it also reflected the balance of convenience and cost of transport.

 

Noticeable was the increase in cycle paths, cycle parking and a respect from drivers. There is plenty of evidence that cycling reduces congestion as well as reducing pollution, improving health, saving money and bringing positive social benefits. The continued move towards restricting cars in favour of public transport and bikes is very noticeable in Europe, thereby increasing convenience and reducing costs. Perhaps close one lane (or two) either way on St George’s terrace for bikes and restaurants/ cafes?

 

A multi-decker bike stand next to the town hall in Munich, Germany – April 2019

 

What this is really about is the social and economic impact of different modes of transport. Cars are notoriously inefficient, wasteful, expensive and increasingly inconvenient. There are economic and social arguments to support more diverse transport options and the use of scarce resources (cash) to achieve the maximum impact could be better considered, as it seems WA is an outlier. This also supports greater urban density because it means more and better services therefore greater convenience. Our studies into the economic benefits of increasing urban density makes it clear it is the best option not only for government but also developers and dwelling owners.

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