What are the benefits of bike/riding in moving people around in Tasmania?
Bicycling and creating bike friendly towns is good for our economy, the community's health and the environment. I want to see Tasmania transformed into a bike friendly state for all of these reasons.
Australia has someone of the highest levels of physical inactivity in the world. Riding a bike not only improves physical fitness and mental well-being – studies have shown that children who use active transport to get to school, do better at school. Regular bicycle riders also take one less sick day per year than non-riders on average
Bike riding improves reduces traffic congestion, benefiting the local economy and improving the live-ability of our towns. Bike friendly towns have cleaner air and less noise, water and carbon pollution.
- What are your policies to encourage bike riding in Tasmania?
Cyclists and high speed motorised traffic just don’t mix and cyclists are fed up with being endangered and ignored. Building dedicated bike lanes and separated bike paths and upgrading intersections so that cars and bikes no longer compete for road space is crucial to encouraging bike riding in Tasmania.
The Greens want to see more bicycle infrastructure, and will introduce apermanent National Bike Paths Projects program with an annual budget of $80 million. The program will be able to fund best practise bike infrastructure in Tasmania.
By building bike friendly infrastructure and dedicated bike lanes, commuters can be motivated to use bicycles instead of cars. Combined with education programs, this will ensure bike riding is an attractive alternative form of transport.
The Greens also support initiatives such as building safe bike routes to schools, to get kids riding early and keeping them riding throughout their life. We support better co-ordination with other public transport infrastructure, bike hire schemes and education and promotion programs to encourage riding.
The Greens are strong supporters of the Amy Gillett Foundation’s national ‘a metre matters’ campaign. Greens MP’s across the country have taken action and moved Bills that will require cars to give at least 1 metre overtaking distance when passing cyclists.
- Will you pledge to increase bike infrastructure if elected?
Yes, the Greens will spend $80 million a year on bike infrastructure.
- Which local projects will I advocate for?
As part of a Greens team in the federal parliament I will advocate for the establishment of the $80 million a year bike infrastructure fund. I will also push for funding of local bikeway projects if there are other programs that could be used to fund local cycleways.
I will be a strong voice in our parliament and local media for the development of the Sandy Bay Cycleway and the Battery Point Promenade, the Derwent Park path and the extension of the Inner City Cycleway and Main Road bike lanes to Granton. I would also continue to consult with Bicycle Tasmania about the priorities to lobby for, as defined by the cyclists of Hobart.
- How I promote cycling as an attractive form of transportation?
I have taken the proactive step of using a bike as my main campaign vehicle for my campaign for the seat of Denison. By doing this I hope to promote the benefits of cycling and demonstrate that a bike is a serious form of transport, not just something used by kids and for recreation.
I also started a local campaign to promote the benefits of walking and cycling to school because of concern seeing so many children being driven to school in Hobart.
- The most recent survey by the Australian Sports Commission indicated that men were two and a half times more likely to commute by bicycle than women. Why do you believe this is, and what is your strategy to encourage women to cycle?
There have been a number of studies and surveys conducted about women and cycling, including a recent study by the Heart Foundation in 2013. When asked to name barriers to riding, women surveyed often raise “traffic and aggression from other road users” as a reason why they ride less than they would like.
Other safety concerns amongst women in relation to cycling involve traffic and cars, with the speed and volume of cars and trucks, as well as distracted drivers, being the major safety concerns.
Due to these factors, women feel that dedicated bike paths would entice them to cycle more frequently. The Greens plan to build dedicated bike infrastructure, constructed using best practise rules, would alleviate safety concerns and encourage women to cycle more.