Cycling the easy answer to traffic chaos
With motor cars grid-locked and buses, trains and ferries running at full capacity, city commuters are urged to change to the easiest, cheapest and healthiest transport alternative – the bicycle.
“The only thing moving at normal speed on the roads yesterday were the bikes” observed CBD Bicycle User Group (CBD BUG) co-convenor Paul Murdoch. “We estimate cyclists almost doubled overnight. A crisis such as this leads to a sudden realisation of the benefits enjoyed by regular cycling commuters every day”.
According to European studies, it is faster to ride your bike than catch a bus or train for a 7 kilometre journey: roughly the distance from Indooroopilly to the CBD. Around 54% of car trips in Brisbane are less than 5 kilometres – a distance easily covered much more quickly by bike than by buses or trains.
Mr Murdoch rejected the Lord Mayor’s call for more river crossings for cars, stating “the expressway and on-ramps closures have reduced the number of cars entering the CBD, while the Lord Mayor’s plans to increase river-crossings for cars would simply increase traffic congestion”. “Spending a fraction of the current budget allocated for increasing car trips to deliver a network of quality cycling routes would not only reduce congestion, but also limit the obesity epidemic and dramatically improve Brisbane’s environment”.
He went on to say that “traffic engineers and motor industry advocates should now be very nervous as the secret to reducing Brisbane’s traffic congestion has now been revealed – and it’s not by building more roads or bridges for cars”.
The CBD BUG operates a bike buddy scheme in which new cyclists are partnered with experienced riders who assist in:
• planning a good route from home to work and back;
• tips for riding in traffic;
• setting up a bicycle for commuting;
• choosing the best clothing and gear for commuting.
More information is available from the CBD BUG at firstname.lastname@example.org.