The ‘State of Australian Cities 2013 is a federal Dept. of Infrastructure and Transport publication released on the 30 June. The report on Geelong has some notes on Geelong’s livability and active travel.

The low-lights for Geelong are

  • Less people riding (in 2011) than in 2006. Commuting by bicycle or walking in Geelong is below average for non-capital major cities.
    “Active travel can improve liveability in cities by increasing health and wellbeing and reducing traffic congestion. In 2011, 4.8% of Geelong commuters walked or rode a bicycle to work. This was one of the lowest proportions of the non-capital major cities and was a drop from 5.4% in 2006.”
  • On average less women are riding than in other cities
    “In 2011, Geelong had 4.1 male bicycle commuters for every female bicycle commuter, compared with an average ratio of 3.3:1 across the major cities.”

The highlight is: 

  • Nationally bicycle commuting  rates are the highest in 40yrs
    “Rates of walking and cycling fell throughout the 1990s before recovering in the first decade of the century. The proportion of journeys to work made by bicycle is now the highest it has been in 40 years.”

Safety is why women and children don’t ride:

“In a national survey of women and cycling earlier this year, the most commonly cited factors preventing women from cycling were the speed and volume of traffic (51.6 per cent of  surveyed women) and aggression from other road users (45.9 per cent) (Cycling Promotion  Fund and Heart Foundation 2013, p. 15). This may explain some of the imbalance in the ratio  of male to female cyclists. A recent national survey of children and cycling has revealed similar safety concerns and  found that just 11 per cent of surveyed school students rode a bicycle to school (Cycling  Promotion Fund and Heart Foundation 2012, p. 6). Surveyed parents reporting that personal  and road safety concerns were the main reasons their children did not cycle to school  (Cycling Promotion Fund and Heart Foundation 2012, p. 10).”

Our own thoughts

This report suggests that Geelong has dropped the ball for encouraging more people to ride or walk .  We already know that rider safety is not what it should be to get women and kids riding. If you’d like something done about public and active transport –  tell the Federal minister; sign this partition:

See the full Report and Geelong Factsheet

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