This report was prepared for the Hobart City Council by consultant Sarah Boyle in conjunction with a Council Steering Committee chaired by Alderman Jeff Briscoe.
An important aspect of bicycle planning is to ensure that the success of future actions (plans and programs) can be measured. If the strategies of the Bike Plan are successful, then there should be an increase in the number of trips by cyclists and a reduction in the bicycle accident statistics.
A target for the number of trips by bicycle in future is 5% by the year 2002 and 10% by the year 2012. These are ambitious targets considering that the current level of usage is approximately 0.6% of all urban journeys.
A target for reduction in bicycle accidents is much more difficult to establish. It may be that success in generating more cycling trips actually leads to an increase in total bicycle accidents but that the accident exposure rate in fact decreases. Targets of a decrease in total accident exposure rate of are 5% by the year 2002 and 10% by the year 2012.
Major Findings of this Study
The Consultant's findings are numerous. The major findings include:
- Hobart's inclement weather has an affect on people's willingness to commute by bicycle. When the weather is perceived to be cold or wet, commuters are disinclined to cycle
- Cyclists tend to use the same major routes that motorists use and most bicycle accidents occur along these routes
- There is a high rate of under reporting of bicycle accidents
- General accident social costs based on police reported bicycle accidents, between 1985 and 1995 was estimated to be $5.6 million in the Hobart Municipality ($0.56 million per annum)
- New car registrations in the greater Hobart area have declined whereas new bicycle sales have increased
Key recommendations include:
- Install advance Bicycle stop lines and contrasting coloured bike lanes at traffic light intersections. This will allow cyclists to be highly visible both at intersections and whilst riding along the road
- Place contrasting coloured cycle lanes along high risk arterial roads using a distinctive colour and bicycle stencil and mark lesser routes with a line and stencil
- Construct smooth kerb crossings at road crossings where shared cycle/pedestrian footpath usage occurs
- Trial the installation of kerbside elevators or very steep hills - such as Napoleon Street in Battery Point
- Provide contra-flow cycle lanes along appropriate major arterial roads such as Collins St. and Molle St.
- Develop recreational and commuter cycle routes to be publicised and promoted by route maps and route signage
- Develop a specialised logo to identify Hobart cycleway facilities
- Construct overpasses and paths over and around such places as the Tasman Highway and around the foreshore between Castray Esplanade and Marieville Esplanade
- Place adequate bicycle parking facilities at key points around the city
- Repair road surfaces. This includes repair of potholes, the longitudinal interface between concrete slabs, replacing unsafe drainage grates, and the removal of debris on the roads
- Adjust selected traffic signals to improve cyclist safety
- Adjust some parking, traffic lanes, No Standing and Clearway zones to provide a safer road space for cyclists
- Reduce the general urban speed limit from 60 km/hr to 40km/hr or 50km/hr
- Provide a cycle lane through chicanes and kerb buildings to decrease exposure to traffic at these squeeze points
- Students make up an uncharacteristically low percentage of users according to the surveys conducted and it is recommended that further surveys and detailed studies into school routes, on a school by school basis, should be undertaken to ascertain how best to increase the number of school students regularly undertaking cycle trips to school
- Implement a free bicycle hire facility for the CBD called CityBike. Initially 15 bicycles would be purchased with parking facilities with the bicycles released by inserting a $2 coin and the coin refundable on return of bike. Bikes would have inbuilt transmitters to ensure retrieval if stolen
- Investigate a trial of bicycle racks on Metro buses to improve connectivity between cycling and public transport
- Investigate improved carriage of bicycles on ferries to improve connectivity between cycling and public transport