Cycling in Sydney Australia
My respects to Prof Rissel and to Dan sticking up for peer review. It was the 1980s. Like John I also was out there in the 1970s. I lived in Glebe, Ultimo and Newtown and rode. I had no car. Eventually I opened a bike shop - in 1979. So I was quite aware of bike use levels.
I recall being amazed at how few bikes there were. Around UNSW there were some but in the Inner West virtually none. In the winters I could go as long as two (yes 2) weeks without seeing another adult on a bike. That was not typical but it emphasises that there were very few adult cyclists.
Now I see bikes where I never saw them. Now I am at intersections that in the 80's saw virtually no bikes when there are bikes crossing in all of the four directions. My observations are inner-city-based and the data in the research is broader. The data we saw a few weeks ago on the RTA site showed big increases on SHB and Anzac B but no increase in many other places.
Again, the public transport seeming 'safer, cleaner, more effective & less crowded' is likely just to be due to the fact that public transport funding hasn't kept pace with population growth either - it *was* actually better relative to the population size but now we're trying to play catch-up from a position where a tiny proportion of the population actually gives a hoot - same for cycling expenditure.
It's amusing to see people pulling out personal observations and anecdotes to somehow discredit the paper's findings... a common theme.
I have contradictory anecdotes to yours growing up in my large hometown - bicycle use was much, much higher and effectively has been drying up (adults & children particularly - school/work/other trips). These anecdotes are just as irrelevant.
What? I kinda agree with HFree??
Not sure about the early 70s but the bb family have had houses in the same area since my great grandfather. The density of the suburb is still much the same, houses.
I have biked into the North Sydney (school) in the late 70s and then city for college and work from the 1980s. Saw no one other than other loons and I still see some of them now.
Most people used public transport then, but from 1989 interest rates went down from around the 19% mark and cars became cheaper in price and cheaper to buy and the use went up.
Peak hour from Manly to the CBD was around 8.00 to 9.00 AM. Now it is 6.15 to 9.45 which is the same time you now see good numbers of bikes both for people training and commuting as people are finding out that riding is a very good day to day option.
All opinions count John!
This is yours counting +1.
This is mine counting +1.
Looks like imports ramp up in the lead up to Christmas and then fall off again, presumably as new models are introduced in the new year and old stock is cleared.
This data sadly doesn't include any locally made (or locally assembled?) bicycles so the figures are probably higher but who really knows? What percentage of these imports would be department store junk I wonder? Many of which don't even use standard parts and are rapidly junked - my neighbour bought a few of them. They're next to useless. No, they ARE useless as they can't be used even after a year.
What the data doesn't show is how much (or for how long) the bicycles are used if at all - just that they were 'imported' - nor does it show how many bicycles are owned by each households. Most people I know who ride regularly have at least 2 or 3 bikes. It's a crude assessment.
It does appear that 'Peak Bicycle Imports' occurred in 2007 and when you divide those yearly figures by the Australian population over that period the graph certainly looks less impressive. Australia's current population is 16% higher than it was in 1998 - scary...
Is the public - those willing to actually ride a bicycle - already saturated with bicycles?
I think there is an error in the 2007 data Paul. It comes from Custon's data and that comes from import customs entries. There was a line in 2007 that looks very wrong. Just FYI. Beware of drawing conclusions. Imports were hardly a proxy for sales let alone use. Now of course there is further complication in large scale resurrection of old bikes and bikes little used before.
What is most alarming in the data is the decline in real terms in kids bike imports. That is shocking.
Usage is way up in the inner cities but not much in the outer areas where cars are faster, drivers are blinder and distances are greater.
Oh, I agree, I was just 'thinking out loud' with that post... and the 'peak bicycle' I was referring to in 2007 was more about the overall trend (a nice flattened bell curve), not specifically the spike in 2007.
I don't think this is a good proxy for bicycle sales at all - just all that is available it would seem.
Kids bikes get recycled, in that as the child grows the too little bike becomes another child's bike.
An initiative in Sydney to improve facilities and reduce fear of traffic has led to rapid growth in cycling, with numbers up by 82% in two years...
All these measures have combined to produce rapid growth in cycling over two years, with numbers up by an average of 82% across all areas of the city. They have also been able to demonstrate economic benefits through reduced congestion, better health, environmental improvements and savings for public transport. One newspaper reported an increase in property values as a result of the scheme. Even the infamous driver hostility is showing signs of waning.
Well spotted Kimberley! The journo is on thin ice there, especially with... up by an average of 82% across all areas of the city.
However, the recent data from CoS does show this level of increase in the city.
The Comments after the article are Great, looks like some ex-pat Sydney siders have a good old go!
Fiona at COS is a great asset to Clover and her team, and it's nice to see her trying to get a positive message across about Cycling in Sydney.
The Only other paper you will see positive articles in Oz in, is with Mr.O' in SMH.