Nothing would convince me to cycle to work
School of Civil & Environmental Engineering Honours students Pearl Lee, Nick Cranney and Michael Dean have been exploring different ways to better enable cycling as a transport system in Sydney, to avoid increasing traffic congestion and pollution caused by cars. Sydney has very low levels of cycling/commuting rate – a mere 1.5% compared to levels of over 50% attained in bike friendly cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam.
Pearl’s large survey of more than 800 respondents on the “1m passing law” prior to its introduction, provided good evidence on the safety factor constraint which limits participation in city cycling – which could replace the majority of trips, less than 5km, taken by cars. It reinforced the subsequent introduction of this law in NSW, and supports its ongoing implementation in other States of Australia.
Nick Cranney’s research showed how improved end of trip shower/change/bike store facilities in office buildings could lead to increased participation by workers in cycling commuting, leading to an improved actual performance, against design performance, of their high Green Star rated buildings. His study was supported by surveys of cyclists and car drivers in these buildings, although the quotation above taken from one of the respondents who wrote “I ticked the questions on lockers by mistake. Nothing would convince me to cycle to work” shows it’s not just lack of end of trip facilities that prevent people from cycling in Sydney!
Michael Dean’s project used the freely available Strava app to map out routes taken by cyclists, to facilitate the design of cycleways in Sydney and other cities. Pearl and Nick’s surveys reinforced the often-reported barrier to cycling as perceptions of safety; a barrier that can only be overcome for many people by separated cycleways – such as those being introduced by Mayor Clover Moore in the City of Sydney.
All three students prepared conference papers on their various projects which were presented at the Bike Futures Sydney 2016 conference hosted by UNSW in September. Pearl is working with School Industry Partner AECOM in their Hong Kong office, so the presentation was made by one of her supervisors, Professor Richard Stuetz. Prof Stuetz also presented Michael Dean’s project