The 2019 Australian Cycling Participation Survey results are out, and unfortunately there’s not much good news. Nationally there has been a statistically significant drop in cycling participation over the past two years since the last survey in 2017.
Queensland is no exception. The proportion of people who cycled in the previous week in 2019 was 13.5%, down from 16.6% in 2017. That continues a trend from 2011 where the rate was 18.1% and has been steadily declining, with a slight rebound in 2017. Queensland also saw a decline in bicycle ownership in the past two years.
If there’s any solace, it’s that in Brisbane, the sharp decline since 2017 has bounced back slightly in 2019. At last week, last month and last year intervals, Brisbane saw a slight improvement from 2017, but all 3 are well below the rates reported in 2011. And unfortunately that only means that the decline in regional cities has been sharper.
All this despite the Queensland State Government and Brisbane City Council spruiking their respective cycling investments in the past 8 years. Perhaps this indicates the investment is not in the right type of projects?
We know that safe, connected, protected infrastructure motivates people to ride. On good quality infrastructure like the Bicentennial Bikeway the a rise in people cycling is noticeable.
But know the CBD is a black hole for cycling in Brisbane. Let’s commit to building a CBD grid of protected bike lanes. Let’s fix the missing links in the major bikeways – like Sylvan Road between the Western Freeway and Bicentennial Bikeway.
Let’s stop breaking quality bikeways with poor developments like Howard Smith Wharves and what’s proposed for shared space at Queen’s Wharf.
Because no amount of encouragement programs, training courses or gimmicks is going to arrest this slide. Only strong investment in creating a cycling environment people want to ride in will turn things around!
You can review the report here.