I’ve never actually lived in Melbourne. But over the past 31 years since starting Bicycling Australia, our first cycling media business, I’ve usually visited Melbourne, which is the centre of Australia’s bicycle industry, at least six times per year… once every eight weeks or so. That totals around 200 visits, so it’s a familiar city to me.
Most readers of the Micromobility Report would probably agree that getting more people riding bikes more often is a good idea. By extension, they’d say that getting more families on bikes, more young kids travelling to school via bike, more shopping done by bike and a host of other everyday applications, would be even better.
Bicycle parking is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to encouraging more people to ride. But before anyone starts drilling holes in public space to install ‘permanent’ bike parking hoops, enclosures or other facilities, they have to jump through expensive hoops themselves in terms of approvals, ensuring they’re not potentially disrupting any underground utilities and so on.
These costs, combined with uncertainty amongst the relevant authorities that the parking would be regularly used, often leads to inaction. No parking leads to less riding and so the vicious cycle repeats.
The Conversation Hour is a Victorian based interview and talkback program on ABC Radio. Hosts Richelle Hunt and Warwick Long recently devoted an entire episode to the growing popularity of ebikes.
Richelle opened the program by declaring that she and her family, who were definitely not ‘hard core’ cyclists, were considering buying an ebike instead of a second car.
The program included calls from various members of the public plus experts from the Australian Electric Vehicle Association and Victoria Walks and Peter Bourke from Bicycle Industries Australia and We Ride Australia.