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BIKE FRIENDLY CITIES- AUSTIN, USA

2019 is shaping up to be a critically important year for the cycling community to ensure that Perth becomes a bike-friendly city. With both the Road Safety Commission’s WA Road Safety Strategy and the Department of Transport’s CBD Transport Plan currently under review, in the coming months, the community will be asked to ‘have their say’ and we need to as many people who want to see Perth become a bike-friendly city to get involved.

Over the coming weeks, we will be featuring cities from around the world that have transformed into bike-friendly cities to inspire Western Australia and particularly the City of Perth to #InvestInCycling

Texas may be well-known oil and if it were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world. However, its state capital, Austin is bucking the Texan image of oil and Formula 1 racing by creating an all ages and ability cycling network. Austin shows us that even a smaller city can still be a bike-friendly city.

Key facts

  • In 2012, they built their first several miles of protected bikeways and have consistently incorporated innovative bikeway treatments into their designs.
  • When the city published its 2014 Bicycle Master Plan, Austin had 210 miles of bicycle lanes, a 70 percent increase over what existed five years before. This plan proposed a city-wide plan for an all ages and abilities (AAA) cycling network.
  • In 2016, Austin had achieved a 5-6% cycling mode share
  • In 2016, Austin committed $20 million exclusively for new bike lanes, $26 million for multi-use trails and $28 million for school-access projects that will also include bikeways. Lots of the multimodal projects will include better bike lanes.
  • With more than 1,000 paying members, local advocacy group Bike Austin played a big role in advocating for the city’s $720 million mobility bond that was passed in November 2017, speaking up not just for cyclists but also for pedestrians.

Key Project: 2014 Austin Bicycle Plan

  • The 2014 Austin Bicycle plan appeared to be pivotal in the City’s transition into separated bicycle facilities.
  • The plan identified that internationally, there was a shift in best practice in bicycle planning and that painted single lines were simply not enough to make most people feel safe while riding.
  • The plan identified short trips as a mean to increase cycling. In particular, the plan focused on central Austin and connecting neighbourhood destinations such as schools, parks, businesses and shopping districts.
  • Lastly, citing the success seen in Seville, it noted that building a complete bicycle network as a key to success.
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