We love busting myths about bike riding with data.
You’ve all heard plenty of claims about bike riding that don’t ring true. We thought we’d crunch the numbers on 3 common myths.
1. There’s no need for cycleways that separate bike riders from motor vehicle traffic.
The latest national walking and cycling survey report found that less than 4% of NSW residents were confident enough to cycle direct routes, regardless of road conditions. Over 40% of people in NSW would like to ride a bike and don’t, or will only ride off-road. The City of Sydney Council has a long history of investment in safe, separated bike infrastructure, and in gathering data. In their 2021 transport survey they found 68% of potential riders said they were more likely to cycle if they could use bike paths separated from traffic.
2. Nobody wants to cycle in NSW, so there is no point building cycleways.
Even though NSW has the lowest participation rates of any Australian State, rates have risen from 12.9% of people riding weekly in 2019, to 15.4% in 2021. In the City of Sydney, 18% of residents ride a bike regularly compared with 7% in 2017. As well as 70% of people reporting in a Transport for NSW survey that they would like to ride more if it was safe, measurable participation increases are occurring as cycleways are being built.
3. The cycleways that get built are never used.
Transport for NSW data, generated by trip counters, in a number of locations in Sydney shows good historical usage. The data dashboard for the City of Parramatta clearly shows an increase in cycling trips in 2019 and 2020, compared with previous years. It is easy to see that in spite of the COVID-19 Delta Outbreak measures, building the pop-up cycleways was worthwhile as they are well used. For example the Pitt Street Cycleway has averaged 629 daily trips since opening, the Moore Park Road cycleway averages 257 each day and Bridge Street Road Westbound 150 daily trips.
“The numbers don’t lie, people want to ride bikes and will do so when safe infrastructure is built that protects them from traffic,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“We encourage members to share this article and tag in your Council, to help support infrastructure development in your area,” said Bastien.
Sharing and tagging your Council, local MP and Transport for NSW helps show how many people support safe cycling.