With increased levels of riding since COVID-19 pandemic restrictions began, there have been various calls for more support for bike riding. Here is our approach to #BikeThroughCorona: Bicycle NSW is calling for a strategic response from the government that balances competing needs and concerns.
Over a month ago Bicycle NSW began responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. We released a response statement and have followed up with resources and the best answers we could find to the questions riders asked us.
Bicycle NSW receives requests to support different and often conflicting campaigns related to road, path and park use. We have a number of tips here in how to use shared paths appropriately so everyone can enjoy, mainly to keep left unless you are overtaking and pay attention to your surrounding to so you can act accordingly.
Sadly, we also get the reports of injuries and near misses to riders and pedestrians struggling with road sharing and overcrowded shared paths, cycleways and bike lanes.
Further COVID-19 Response
We have called for a planned approach from the NSW Government that supports riders, balances the needs of all road users and aligns with the measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This could include reallocating road space to bike riding and walking, reducing car traffic in and around parks and recreation areas.
Labor’s Shadow Active Transport Minister, the Hon. Jo Haylen MP, and the Greens Active Transport portfolio holder the Hon. Cate Faehrmann MP have called on the Minister for Transport to lead a planned approach that includes:
- road space reallocation to enable health workers to travel safely whilst practicing physical distancing
- reconfiguring roads to provide temporary bike lanes to enable essential travel
- work with local government and others to develop a planned approach to enable safe riding for exercise
Bicycle NSW understands whilst the COVID-19 response is national, controls are being implemented at a state level, and some rules and sanctions are different in NSW. This can be complex and confusing, and this is why we need a planned response from the state government.
“We know riders want swift change, but also that families, learners, confident road riders and commuters need some different support measures,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“This needs to be balanced against the needs of walkers, joggers, health restrictions and the resources Councils Police and others have available at present” said Bastien.
Bicycle NSW continues to encourage riders to avoid group riding, and to share our resources with new or returning riders. We have also produced a range of posters for cafes, GP surgeries, local area health and hospitals to help everyone #BikeThroughCorona.