Ultralocal Cycling - 5 Point Plan

Recently posted on our website http://www.scapestrategy.com.au/ultralocal-cycling-–-5-point-plan/#...  is a Paper I delivered at the Australian Cycling Conference in Adelaide in January. I have recently joined the Sydney Cyclist blog and have been following discussions relating to the planning of bikepaths. My company consults in architecture, urban design and transport planning and I would greatly appreciate feedback from the Sydney Cyclist forum on my paper:

Abstract

Over the past five years, SCAPE strategy has researched the relationship between Transit Oriented Development and bicycles in the world’s most transit-rich city, Tokyo. Staggering differences between Japanese and Australian obesity statistics can be substantially attributed to differences in urban form. The bicycle is an intrinsic component of the Tokyo lifestyle, fundamental to the upbringing of children and the ability of people to age in place.

Notable in the Tokyo context is the intimate and seamless relationship between cycles and pedestrians. Fundamentally different to long-haul lycra cycling, and the politics of cycleways that dominate Australian thinking, Ultralocal Cycling engages virtually everybody in everyday movement around neighbourhoods. This results in a radical reinvention of urban form with streetscapes that are served by architectural, retail and civic amenity that is more tactile, safer and more culturally productive than our suburban model.

A new agenda needs to be embraced into the urban design debate in Australia that focuses on the immense consequences of tiny trips taken by children, mothers, commuters, the elderly and the fashion-conscious as we inevitably adapt Australian cities to a less energy-consumptive future.

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Having lived in Japan I can vouch that cycling is a very mainstream thing there, but it is ultralocal - it's rare for cycling trips to be longer than 1.5 km.

I live that same cycling lifestyle here in Sydney, although my range is a little longer - more like 5 or 6 km. That gets me everywhere I need to go. It's a very easy way to live in the inner-city of Sydney, which is well suited to the cycling lifestyle. We don't need a radical re-reinvention of the urban form in the inner-city; it's already cycling-friendly because of its density and narrow streets. A lot more discouragement of cars to make the streets more pleasant for cycling would help though.
I like this bit, from section 3:

While Arterial Roads, Sub-arterial Roads and even Collector Roads are constrained for space during times of peak use, Local Roads are typically over-sized for their transport needs. While the RTA in NSW categorizes these as Local Roads (roads and traffic being their thing) they are, in fact, Streets.

Streets potentially serve many more functions than merely providing access for vehicles; they are social spaces, they should be safe spaces and they should provide unfettered shared access to local amenities for all modes of movement in addition to cars. Usually the responsibility of Local Government, our suburban streets need urgent optimisation for shared uses. Cars in local streets need to be socialised through changing the nature of the street and embracing its other uses.

When we are cocooned in our cars we are usually oblivious to this social obligation and treat local streets as extensions of the arterial network that affords us speed and the luxury of an uninhibited ‘driver’ mindset. After all, all roads lead to home.

More local streets could be 30 K or even 10 K zones and gardens planted, seats installed etc. You can still drive your car down, but only if you go slow and smell the roses or chat to your neighbours.

Also good about cars "tethering" you, whereas on a bike you can just keep going. Go home a different way.
I like that bit too Bob. Actually just saved it on a little quotes file.

I'm not 100% sure about the bit that mentions we wouldn't need to change the road rules, we'd just need to have signs that permit cycling on footpaths.

One of the biggest things i noticed in Tokyo that didn't seem to get a mention is the shared crossings that enable cyclists to join in with pedestrian crossings instead of waiting in the middle of the road to turn right.

This would also make it legal for cyclists to turn left at red lights which is a big incentive to leave the car at home.

Or is that also just as simple as getting the RTA to paint bike symbols on pedestrian crossings?
THE 10 km shared street option was the " preferred option " for a group of residents in Birchgrove who wanted to retain the car parking on the footpath on both sides of the street. They agreed very quicly to accept the " SHARED STREET " option in their street and let the Wide prams ( for the twins ) to go down the street.

This group was definitely not " lefties " . But they then decided to consider having wide footpaths in the normal streets to allow the wide prams to travel. It may mean re-locating some of the trees.

The long-term resident in the narrow street ( Short Street ) said the street was better as a " shared street " .

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