See this interesting opinion piece looking at how we can prevent accidents like this http://www.ourworldtoday.com.au/news/article/cyclists-need-not-die
We often get the Copenhagen example cited. Adelaide has an area of 1800sqkm, Copenhagen 88sqkm. I agree with JDL, we must adapt to the city, conditions and infrastructure we have and not compare ourselves with some unattainable cycling Utopia.
When I lived in the UK I worked for a vary large company, I doubt any of my workmates lived more than 10 miles (probably much less) from work, the town centre, entertainment venues. I know many people in Adelaide who have to travel in excess of 50kms to get to work, the European example with smaller cities and towns with higher population densities can't be compared to Australias vast distances IMO.
The surface area of a city does not really tell you much. Even if Adelaide stretches quite far, not too many people cover the whole distance travelling to work. While some do indeed travel far to work, many do not.
I can't agree that Copenhagen (and many other cities) are unattainable cycling Utopias. Copenhagen is in fact one of the most spread out cities in Europe (certainly not only 88sqkm). The distances travelled are not that different from here. For example, our train lines extends north to Gawler. That's a distance of 43 kms. In Copenhagen, the suburban train line travels to Hillerod (which is 38 kms), Frederikssund (44 kms) or Koge (about 42 kms) among others. Also, once you're out of the CBD in many European cities (Copenhagen included), people live in separate houses like we do rather than apartments.
Blaming our car dominance on perceived differences in population density I think is a mistake. The differences are not that great at all. Like Mark says, we need a politician with guts.
There is also a question of definitions. Some will say that Adelaide has a population of well over a million, yet the 2006 census indicated less than 11,000. People ask me where I live; I say, Adelaide. What suburb? I do not live in the suburbs, I live in Adelaide. (Habeo non sub urbem, sed in urbem.)
Do we define "Adelaide" as equal to the greater metropolitan area and rural fringes (rather large), or as equal to the Corporate City of Adelaide (very much smaller), or as Adelaide (that is, the part of the City of Adelaide south of the Torrens)?
For anyone who hasn't seen it David Hembrow has a great list of "Myths and Excuses". Worth a read. I know the size of Adelaide precludes a lot of people cycling to work but it doesn't explain why short trips to the local shops are all done by car or why we don't have hundreds of people cycling to the train station and then getting the train to work. It doesn't explain why parents (like me!) drive their kids 500m to school. In Holland nearly all kids cycle to school. So much so that when they need to go on a school trip to the museum or whatever they don't hire a bus they just all cycle.
It comes down to political will. If the price of petrol gets high enough or the penny finally drops with the pollies on what the solution to childhood and adult obesity is then these things will happen.
Wow that site is terrible, what irresponsible parents. Kids riding without helmets. Kids riding without helmets and without their hands on the handlebars. Don't their governments care? Our government knows that helmets reduce the risk of serious head injury by 60%. Can't we share this with them? Its proven scientific fact. I can't believe it, don't these people realise how dangerous riding a bicycle is? Its only blind luck that cyclists can get to the bottom of a hill without crashing and smashing their heads against the ground.
Per the NSW RTA "Don’t think that little ride to the shops warrants wearing one? Well I’ve got news for you, even on a short ride you could have a big fall, and you could suffer a major brain injury". Cycling is scary stuff.
And on the wrong side of the road !
Edward, Michael or others above, would one of you like to write an opinion piece on the issue of cycling in Adelaide for the news website I am Editor for - www.ourworldtoday.com.au ? I think it is an interesting issue and one we will follow up with a story talking to the state's politicians about future plans for cycling paths etc
Please email me if interested on email@example.com
Kind regards, Mike
Let's put a cyclist up for a senate seat. Pokies got a seat, Disability got a seat, Surely there are enough cyclists to get a senate seat???
I have a lot of faith in humanity. Ultimately we do a lot of great things. However, on unpopular issues we drag our feet. Climate change? Debate and blame until the cows … stop f@#ting. And then at the last possible moment, when it has become blatantly obvious that change is needed, we will do something. Hopefully the right thing, but that's a different issue.
We prefer the status quo, and are swayed by the big boys in the room (fuel and car companies). Instigating change from a long-standing easy car loving lifestyle to a more bike-friendly culture is probably perceived by pollies as political suicide.
We may have to wait a while, until other factors (petrol prices, health issues) become big enough to support alternative view points.
All we may be able to do in the meantime is chip away, keep the cause in the media, and convert a relative/friend/work colleague to cycling.
Cyclists could keep contacting their representatives (federal, state and local) with negative and positive comments, until the politicians realise there is vote value in supporting better infrastructure, safer cycling and sustainable transport.