An integrated approach to active transport

Thinking

Changing gears: an integrated approach to active transport

Active transport – cycling, walking and micro mobility – is experiencing an unprecedented surge in popularity in Australia and New Zealand brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parks are full of people walking and cycling, while bicycle shops report significant boosts in sales with bikes rolling out of the door daily. E-bikes and e-scooters are also making it easier for a more diverse range of people to travel by active transport. Why the uptake? Walking and cycling has become an enjoyable daily ritual for people, and they’re focused on more individualised modes of travel due to safety and hygiene concerns about public transport.

亚洲免费无女厕所偷拍As physical distancing is mandated by most governments, public transport travel has steeply reduced with transport peaks flattening on major metropolitan arterial routes all over the world. Moreover, people might come to see that perhaps there’s .

Just how much has it changed?亚洲免费无女厕所偷拍 Bicycle Network counts show the number of people on bikes has on some paths. A survey conducted in April of more than 1,000 people revealed that most respondents (39 per cent) said to get their daily exercise. This is in strong contrast to the very slow uptake of active travel over the past 20 years in Australia.

Bicycle Network counts show the number of people on bikes has increased by more than 300 per cent on some paths.

Bicycle Network counts show the number of people on bikes has increased by more than 300 per cent on some paths.

亚洲免费无女厕所偷拍Concerns about COVID-19 spreading on public transport could mean many people seek alternative ways to travel to work. People using public transport may face uncertainty if they cannot board due to lower capacity requirements. However, if every public transport user transitioned into their single-occupant vehicle, traffic would be worse than ever before, and this has serious .

On the positive side, people walking and cycling through their local areas is bringing enjoyment, safety and daily exercise, to the streets and the UN eyes walking and cycling as .

亚洲免费无女厕所偷拍This is the time to seize the moment and shift gears with more consideration for active transport. How can we capitalise on this moment and transform the temporary recreational behavioural change witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic into a lasting shift towards healthier, safer and more sustainable transport choices for commuting?

An integrated approach to active transport

亚洲免费无女厕所偷拍The approaches covered in this paper are a combination of physical mobility solutions to encourage active transport, maximising the potential uptake for commuting by combining physical measures with human behaviour and organisational measures.

Developed for the Australian and New Zealand context, this paper builds on Aurecon’s earlier work, 'Can cycling be the equal transport mode to cars'亚洲免费无女厕所偷拍, which started the conversation on approaches to enhance the uptake of active transport options for commuters.

We can’t turn into Copenhagen or Amsterdam overnight, but our cities can draw many lessons from countries like the Netherlands, .

It is worth noting that these cities were similar to Australian cities in the 1970s and it took a concerted effort to drive the high ridership. This is no coincidence, or a result of ‘walking and cycling being part of their DNA’; it is a result of their integrated approach, an approach that Aurecon defines under the categories of ‘infrastructure’, ‘human behaviour’ and ‘organisational’.

Aurecon's integrated active transport approach: ‘infrastructure’, ‘human behaviour’ and ‘organisational’

Infrastructure

Infrastructure is important, as the lack of safe and connected cycling networks is one of the primary reasons Australians don’t choose cycling as their preferred commuting choice. The City of Melbourne’s Transport Strategy states that many people who want to start riding or want to ride more often would do so . While widening of footpaths and the construction of shared paths and cycleways is an obvious first step (and not as expensive as building roads), they can still be time consuming, and do cost money.

亚洲免费无女厕所偷拍The NSW government announced that of up to A$100,000 for temporary projects like bike lanes or widening footpaths, and up to A$1 million for medium-term pilot projects. In Sydney, more than will be installed in the coming weeks as part of the plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Many international cities are thinking along the same lines, with ambitious projects being considered or implemented to increase the ease and appeal of active transport. Berlin set up temporary bike lanes and Paris banned cars from the famous shopping street of Rue de Rivoli, near the Louvre Museum, to favour pedestrians and cyclists instead. Traditionally car-oriented Italian cities, Milan and Rome, are considering temporary and permanent cycle routes by reallocating space from cars to cycling and walking, and the slow streets programs in San Francisco and Vancouver are being expanded in response to COVID-19.

Cities are taking advantage of this lockdown to usher in some environmentally-friendly mobility changes, aiming to shift people’s forms of transit to work and school. Worldwide, there seems to be a large appetite to (tactical urbanism), making streets more pleasant for people, and achieving results in a short timeframe, at relatively low costs and potentially scalable when successful.

The defining factor in the success of these projects is making active transport inviting, safe and convenient. A 2019 report by Aurecon revealed insights into Australians’ preferences for moving people as cities grow. After surveying more than 1,300 people, the most important overall consideration when it came to which mode of transport to use was convenience亚洲免费无女厕所偷拍. The report suggests that if you build inviting, safe and convenient footpaths and bikeways for people, they’re more likely to use them and increase future uptake.

Depending on the individual city and its strategic objectives, there are a range of infrastructure solutions at the disposal of government organisations to encourage active transport as a preferred mode:

Cities are taking advantage of this lockdown to usher in some environmentally-friendly mobility changes, aiming to shift people’s forms of transit to work and school.

Cities are taking advantage of this lockdown to usher in some environmentally-friendly mobility changes, aiming to shift people’s forms of transit to work and school.

Infrastructure is just one element of the integrated approach.

Human behaviour

The challenge that cities now have is how they capture the enthusiasm of recreational walkers and cyclists to become avid active commuters. Bicycle Queensland reports that bike-riding may if they ditched their cars. Is this how we encourage long-term commuting by cycle?

As we transition out of COVID-19, there are long-term educational opportunities as well, such as including a pedestrian and cycling awareness module in the driver’s licence qualification, and offering cycling courses and campaigns at schools. The to promote active travel to school for a healthy heart. The incentive is derived from a that suggests streets with walking and cycling opportunities can decrease the incidence of heart disease, obesity and diabetes, contributing to the wellness benefits of active transport.

Behaviour change can take a long time; however, during times of disruption, there are immediate actions that can be undertaken, including:

As we transition out of COVID-19, there are long-term educational opportunities as well, such as including a pedestrian and cycling awareness module in the driver’s licence qualification, and offering cycling courses and campaigns at schools.

As we transition out of COVID-19, there are long-term educational opportunities as well, such as including a pedestrian and cycling awareness module in the driver’s licence qualification, and offering cycling courses and campaigns at schools.

The selection of the most appropriate measures depends on the specific needs of potential users and their current (perceived) barriers to active transport. It is therefore also imperative to understand the attraction to active transport modes.

Organisational

It takes governments, planners, engineers, communities, businesses, schools and individual people to work collaboratively to create a more pleasant environment for active transport and make it easier for people to choose these forms of transport.

In Brisbane, a joint committee has been established between to target ‘missing links’ in the city's transport networks. Could this include engagement with building owners and major employers around end of trip facilities? 

Organisational aspects refer to the resources, funding, and planning and decision-making structures. For example, Infrastructure Australia’s currently includes more than 150 projects of which only two cover active transport, and these are in the lowest priority category. Should the assessment framework of infrastructure projects be revised?

亚洲免费无女厕所偷拍This aspect is about establishing alliances, working together on shared goals, for example alliances between transport authorities and health authorities (positive health impacts of active transport), businesses and schools (improved access and health benefits for workers and children). These alliances should also work together on overcoming common barriers, for example the provision and cleanliness of end-of-trip facilities, sufficient bicycle parking and share vehicles.

Authorities in France are and electric bike purchases, and in the UK, have seen a 200 per cent increase in bicycle orders from people working in emergency services. Possible organisational changes are:

It takes governments, planners, engineers, communities, businesses, schools and individual people to work collaboratively to create a more pleasant environment for active transport and make it easier for people to choose these forms of transport.

It takes governments, planners, engineers, communities, businesses, schools and individual people to work collaboratively to create a more pleasant environment for active transport and make it easier for people to choose these forms of transport.

Changing gears

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact across the world. But it has also presented opportunities to explore radical changes to behaviours and habits, which can have long-term positive effects. Proactive planning and decision making are needed to make active transport safe, efficient and convenient options for people commuting to work and school.

亚洲免费无女厕所偷拍There are a variety of solutions available across the abovementioned categories of ‘infrastructure’, ‘human behaviour’ and ‘organisational’. The solutions could be trialled on a temporary, and scalable basis, depending on measured success. More permanent options usually require more planning time and funding.

The most appropriate combination of options will differ according to the characteristics, priorities and resources of each individual city.

This thinking paper is part of a collection of insights and expertise from Aurecon as it explores leading through and beyond the COVID-19 disruption. Explore our insights here.


Tailoring the integrated active transport approach to your organisation

Aurecon’s Active Transport team is passionate about tailoring the ‘Integrated Approach to Active Transport’ to your organisation and objectives, to maximise permanent behaviour change. These actions serve to stimulate the local economy and allow people to travel more safely and with appropriate distancing, which is what we need to manage transport demand as we come out of COVID-19.

A renewed focus on active transport must form part of the recovery as economic activity increases in cities. It is an opportunity to keep people healthy and active, lower congestion on our roads, reduce carbon emissions and speed up economic recovery.

About Aurecon

亚洲免费无女厕所偷拍Aurecon is an engineering, design and advisory company with experience in active transport planning across Australia and New Zealand. Recent projects include:


About our authors

is a Senior Transport Planner who recently moved from the Netherlands to Australia. Growing up in Holland, cycling was a part of his life from an early age and he’s encouraged to see that cities globally are embracing walking and cycling as urban transport solutions and evolving their cycling infrastructure for social, economic and environmental benefits.

is the Global Capability Leader for Integrated Transport & Mobility at Aurecon. He works closely with clients to improve the operational performance of their transport infrastructure and active transport networks. By introducing new techniques, he enables clients to squeeze more out of their existing infrastructure assets through measures that reduce travel times, improve safety, and benefit the community. 

Co-authors

, , , ,

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