Changing city priorities: Let’s do more to promote cycling

A simple reordering of priorities may make our capital city, or at least a segment of it, more attractive to cyclists and encourage more people to use this sensible, healthy and environmentally commendable form of transport.

The National Transport Authority is to fund a study that will look at the impact of putting cycle lanes inside car parking spaces rather than between parked cars and moving traffic. This would offer cyclists a buffer zone and, hopefully, end the shabby practice of motorists parking in cycle lanes.

We seem to have a less than enthusiastic attitude towards cycling as a means of transport in our towns and cities. Weather and cultural reasons feed this reluctance, but so too do planning decisions and how we prioritise access for cars and trucks. Maybe it’s time to change that mindset and kill two birds with one stone.

Why not make cycleways mandatory along approaches to new schools, or established ones where possible, and say, shopping centres? This would replicate the change that introduced bus lanes so many years ago and made public transport far more efficient than it had been. This seems attractive on so many levels — it would make it possible to let schoolchildren cycle to school safely and encourage badly needed physical activity. Simple ideas change history and make our world a better place. Encouraging cycling, and protecting cyclists, in our towns and cities falls into the category.


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