There are numerous policies that can help support and increase cycling participation. Many of them only involve minor changes or priority-setting; some will need a complete re-think or overhaul of approaches that have led us to where we are. Take, for example, the following policy initiatives we support:
- The establishment of a non-partisan, cross-party commission empowered to ensure government is acting to meet its cycling strategy targets and to report annually to the public on these actions and measures.
- A national standard for road cycling facilities, cycling infrastructure, road surface and road regulations. Also an agreed national standard for signage and bike lane design criteria.
- A government-driven campaign to improve attitudes between road users, especially towards vulnerable road users
- A legislated bias towards protecting vulnerable road users through improved enforcement.
- Support for a national standard of a minimum cyclist passing distance of 1 meter for up to 60 kph and 1.5 meters for over that speed.
- Ensuring all young people undergo bicycle skills training while at school.
- Motorist licensing tests to include 20% of questions towards road sharing regulations.
- A review of speed limits to take into account road design and quality for both present and proposed road users.
- Increased funding for the maintenance of current cycle paths and cycle lanes with a focus on outer-urban and regional roads and paths.
- A national program to evaluate and encourage large businesses to promote non-motor vehicle options for employees.
- A fundamental change to the Black Spot funding program to ensure it is not used as a political reward program and that projects deliver outcomes that meet or exceed current Austroads standards for safe design for all road users.
- An evaluation of the adequacy of laws and penalties that apply to aggressive behaviour by drivers of motor vehicles towards pedestrians and cyclists.
- The elimination wherever possible of “permission “or call buttons and triggers in favour of automatic right-of-way preferencing of pedestrians and cyclists at signalised intersections.
- Legislation and funding to support the furthering (or in some cases such as NSW, the beginning) of a national rail trails network.
- That a national inquiry or commission be established to review the efficacy of mandatory bicycle helmet legislation (MHL) based on the experience of the last 20+ years with a view towards recommending its continuation, removal or modification. Based on the recommendations of a recent inquiry in Queensland, we are ready to support the reform of bicycle helmet regulations that would allow adult cyclists the choice of wearing a helmet or not.
- The provision of proper bicycle storage areas on suburban and regional trains to encourage travel by bicycle and also bicycling tourism.
- Clarity and sufficiency in CTP schemes to address injuries suffered by pedestrians and cyclists.
- The establishment of a dedicated funding mechanism through an allocation of a portion of current tax receipts to underwrite national actions.
We have many more ideas about what could be done, but so might you? Please let us know what you would like to see added to the list?