Bathurst Becoming Bicycle Friendly
This is the beginnning of a 20 year project to see if this city can become a city of bicycles, friendly to this means of transport, with its citizens travelling in safety, convivially, enjoying the benefits of convenience, health, economy and reduced pollution.
Currently this city is not unlike many cities, tied to the petrol driven car as a principal means of transport.
Some of the things we would like to influence in the planning is to see this council take seriously, bicycles as a transport option in our city. There are several factors at play which can be seen as within the council's interest and therefore our interests as citizens.
With motorised transport dominating our roads, congestion becomes an increasing problem and with population increasing this becomes increasingly so. Many will find it simply more convenient to cycle directly to their place of work, study, shopping or leisure than find the ever more elusive parking spot.
At the same time, enjoy the many health benefits coming from increased activity and also contributing to the economy through less sick days taken from work.
Less cars on the road decreases the cost of supporting vehicle infrastructure and parking facilities and road repairs. This would come at a time anyway when costs of petrol/diesel/gas are all escalating and diminishing in supply. A significant side benefit of less cars on the road means we are also able to decrease our contribution to carbon pollution.
I, unashamedly take as my model, Copenhagen.
Many other European cities are bicycle friendly but Copenhagen appears to be pre-eminent. They began planning for bicycles in 2000 and by the time they release their report this year they hope that they will have exceeded 40% of people in a city of just over a million people cycling to work, study or other general transportation needs.
Of course Bathurst is a different situation and different methods will no doubt need to be adopted to bring about a large scale change in public attitude as has been the case in Copenhagen.