2007 marks the eighth consecutive year that bicycle sales have trumped the car market in
“Soaring petrol prices, concern over climate change, crippling traffic congestion and the desire to lead healthier lifestyles all contributed to the record breaking year” said Elliot Fishman, Policy Advisor at the Cycling Promotion Fund.
In addition to the rise in sales, there’s also an increase in the amount people are riding. Cycling is currently the nation’s 4th most popular form of exercise and there has been a 17% increase in participation since 2001. Work commutes by bicycle in
The growth is most pronounced in dense city centers where bike access is part of the road plans. But there’s definitely room for improvement: 50% of car trips in Australian cities are less than 5km, with 30% under 3km. Those are certainly bikeable (and even walkable) distances.
In the U.S., initiatives like Clif Bar’s 2-Mile Challenge target these particularly-polluting short jaunts. Americans are slowly making steps away from their cars, but there are some lessons to be learned on this front from Oz.
Australia’s clearly heading in the right direction and partial carectomies abound. Advocacy groups aren’t sitting on their laurels though – national cycling organizations and 60 councils are proposing an increased investment in the country’s cycling infrastructure with the Healthy and Active Transport (HEAT) Proposal.