In 1995 I arrived in the Netherlands chasing the dream of one day riding the Tour de France. I left dreaming that one day it would be as safe to ride a bike in Melbourne as it is in Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Utrecht.
|Most people who ride a bike for commuting are not 'cyclists'.|
On every trip to the supermarket or town centre I saw countless people riding without seeing a single "cyclist": kids riding to school, business people in suits on their way to work, retirees meeting up for a coffee. People going about their daily business with the bike being a healthy, economical, efficient and environmentally friendly mode of transport.
A key difference between Melbourne and any of the densely populated Dutch cities is infrastructure.
I have no doubt that safety concerns are the primary barrier preventing a lot of people from riding. Painted bike lanes are a step in the right direction but don’t provide a significant increase in safety.
Read the opinion piece by Matthew Keenan from today’s Age - “Ride-on policies to encourage cycling commuters will be win for all.”