City planning impacted by cycling growth
The number of people cycling to work in Adelaide has increased by almost 50% in a five-year period, particularly among well-educated professionals, according to a University of Adelaide study.
Transport expert Dr Jennifer Bonham said the most recent Census statistics show that 41.9% more people (6498 in total) are cycling to work in Adelaide's urban areas, with increasing numbers of women living near the city opting for the bicycle over other methods of transport.
Dr Bonham presented her findings at the Australian Cycling Conference at the University of Adelaide earlier this year.
The conference, scheduled on a rest day of the Tour Down Under, included cycling researchers and transport planners from Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
Key topics under discussion included community bike fleets, reducing the number of cycling accidents, strategies to encourage cycling as a preferred mode of transport, "pedalling hatred" and gender cycling trends.
Case studies were also presented on an Aboriginal bike fleet project in Sydney, a workplace cycle challenge in England which involved 38 organisations, and a study of Brisbane's network of bike lanes.
Macquarie University PhD candidate Adrian Emilsen discussed motorists' attitudes to cyclists, highlighting an incident in Sydney last May when a training group of 50 road cyclists were brought down in a collision with a car that was considered an unprovoked act of road rage.
Researchers from Monash University also presented their findings on behaviour patterns of commuter cyclists in Melbourne.
Dr Bonham said the resurgent interest in cycling for urban transport was putting pressure on planners and governments to improve bike networks and understand the factors that influence cyclists.
"Cycling has an important role to play in short to medium distance journeys in a carbon-constrained world and transport, health and census statistics show that cycling is on the increase in Australia," Dr Bonham said.
The conference was supported by Unley and Adelaide City Councils, Office of Cycling and Walking, Bicycle Institute of South Australia, HUBTraffic and Transport and the University of Adelaide.
Story by Candy Gibson