Outcomes from Cycling Round Table in Campbelltown

Here are notes taken by BT's Emma Pharo, who, together with our Alasdair Doyle, attended the forum today.

Welcome (Minister McKim)
- mentioned Battery Pt walkway funding and extensions to Intercity Cycleway
- spoke of the importance of separated infrastructure, but the ongoing importance of sharing our roads because there will never be door-to-door separated facilities for everyone
- imperative to save lives on our roads

John Wadsley will prepare a report from the discussion today that will be circulated before the end of the year.


DIER updates on programs:


Positive Provisioning (Luke Middleton)
- the policy is going to the Executive for approval this month (17th November)
- the proposing agency will need to demonstrate to Executive why cycling is NOT being considered, rather than the other way around

Road Safety and Operations (Deb Davis)
- using the "safe system approach", on advice of Bruce Corben (formerly Monash)
(system has four components: roads, speeds, behaviour, vehicles)
- part of the Australian road rules working group (Amy Gillett Foundation has made a formal submission asking for consideration of 1 m rule change for bike passing distance. This was followed by debate about whether this is any improvement on the current ‘safe passing distance’, given inability to enforce and the large number of other priorities to get less confident people riding.)
- a cycling education campaign is under development, in order to try to be proactive and not be directed by crash stats which are difficult to interpret in terms of risk for cyclists

Planning and Design (Adrian Paine)
- work on heritage, environment and a broad range of issues related to roads
- this section of DIER are part of the delivery of policy rather than creation of policy
- they serve as the interface between the high level policy and actual building of roads

GENERAL BRAINSTORMING ON THEMES
- a variety of points were raised on particular aspects such as 1 m overtaking rule, role of education, issue of Tasmanians being wedded to their cars ('Tasmanians would drive to the toilet if they could!'), the distinction between bike riders and ‘sports’ cyclists, issue of road verges not being built properly to accommodate cyclists (space is there but they have built in ongoing maintenance issues) and forcing them onto the road, bipartisan support needed.
- infrastructure and maintenance budget is WAY behind need; this is an issue in all states

THEMATIC DISCUSSIONS:

Behaviour
- lack of recognition of multi-modal nature of Tasmanian society and that many of us are both riders and car drivers
- unhelpful fanning of perception in some media that an issue is drivers versus cyclists
- poor behaviour is often related to poor design, and good design gives cyclists space
- police tend not to have resources to respond to undesirable behaviour and not a high priority given tight resources
- impatience and self-centred society is having impact on road behaviour (google Cameron Munro’s SKM report on interaction of drivers and cyclists)
- campaigns that start young can be productive...schools bike education is important
- marketing messages in Tasmania have the added difficulty of needing to get through to high levels of illiteracy, particularly among recidivist traffic offenders

Regulation
- lack of automatic driver liability makes culture change very difficult
- need to be careful to not to over-regulate
- we want good design rather than regulation. Optimal situation is for minimum regulation, and what regulation we have needs to be enforceable and resourced
- Cycling Tasmania have 1 m rule as top priority; feedback from participants is that this is not enforceable and distance changes with speed over and under 60kph so quite a complex rule change; getting evidence in court after a crash that the distance was less than 1 m is likely to be ineffective; similar to tailgating rule for cars in that there is no fixed distance. Rule change is not going to make any difference if the car driver is at fault.
- the gold standard now for shared urban spaces is 30kph
- larger issue of urban design and density was mentioned; Tasmania is behind the ball in terms of new design such as linear parks being suitable for green spaces as part of development permits
- road rule test needs to include compulsory component about bikes. As far as audience knew, there was a randomly appearing question in test on cyclists but not in every test
- what is in the 'road risk curriculum' in schools at the moment? Need a broad and positive school bike ed training in all Tasmanian schools

Infrastructure
- need a large and ongoing budget for bike infrastructure; positive provisioning is only going to go so far
- DIER now have excellent $38M Federal proposal that shouldn't be left on shelf but actively pursued; Executive needs to follow up on all extant active transport projects
- clean road verges needed and new seals need to be bike-friendly and not coarse chip seals; new verges should be bike suitable (this is captured in positive provisioning policy so that it has to be bike friendly and needs to go to Executive for approval if not)
- principal urban cycling network (PUCN) should be the focus
- there is a strong need to understand what type of infrastructure is appropriate so that we cater to multiple users (sports riders, road verge riders, less confident riders all have different needs). Sometimes a wide footpath might be the appropriate facility.
- signage needed, particularly on PUCNs. Need to follow DIER signage guides.
- narrowing existing travel lanes can create a lot of space for active travel and was how lane was installed on Argyle St

Other themes
- serious issues around health and equity in Tasmania, so Heart Foundation suggest a State policy around 'healthy places and spaces' that integrates many of the ideas that have been raised so far. Significant interest among participants for recommending that government take it up and take to planning commission. This would give a priority setting that would help release funds. It would help establish and show leadership, so that active projects don't need to start with a justification of why the facility is needed. Wales has legislated for local authorities to come up with cycle plans (much the same as local government has to do for storm water management act in Tas). South Australia have done this for active transport.
- accreditation for volunteers for road events is desirable but cannot be resourced; police themselves cannot do it and private companies can only do it for road works. This may change so that these companies can also do events.

LAST MINUTE ISSUES
Caveat for the list below is that we need to make sure that the list has a solid foundation in evidence. Some of the suggestions in this final session need to be 'investigated' to make sure that these are real issues and not just personal opinion. This session could have gone better, with a few dominant people suggesting ideas that were either not raised during the day or were raised with little support. Below is not a complete list because some suggestions were either impractical, ill focused or showed lack of understanding of existing work and projects.

- permanent bike budget for infrastructure
- catering to different bike groups and recognising that sports road cyclists are different to commuters, and different again to casual recreational riders
- state policy for healthy places and spaces
- building capacity in all levels of government to plan and deliver road safety for bike riders
- evidence-based decision making and clear objectives (e.g. road safety which is different from getting more people riding)
- bike education in schools
- opportunities to retrain drivers (e.g. after loss of licence)
- signage in high use area for bike riders

 


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