European Bike Paths Travel South to the Antipodes

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According to figures released by Bicycle Victoria about 16% of Melbourne's central business district (CBD) is devoted to car use. Soon an inchy-winchy portion of that will be given over to bicycles, as the southern Australian city gets it own Euro-style bike lanes. The ones that "separate cyclists and car traffic by putting a parking lane between them." As the pic from Copenhagen indicates. These new-style lanes, which'll cost more than $500,000 AUD, will be two metres (6.5 ft) wide and 50 centimetres (20 inches) lower that the footpath. It is hoped the extra width will help eliminate the 'door prize' of a car passenger opened their door just as a cyclist happens by. Bike Vic also reckon that "Melbourne CBD has some of the most popular cycling streets and shared paths in Australia. There are about 12,000 cycle trips into and out of Melbourne's CBD each weekday, despite the [current] lack of any marked bicycle facilities into and through the CBD itself." They go on to cite that the "European experience shows that a bike lane can carry 12,000 people an hour — in this time a car lane can only carry 4,000 vehicles. Using bicycles for trips in congested parts of the city is like switching from dial up to broadband." The newspaper article that brought us the news suggests that "on average, 1000 cyclists a year are admitted to hospital after accidents. Some 200 end up in hospital after a collision with a car," but neglects to say whether these are national, state or city figuresl. If the bike path trial is successful, the state's road utility, VicRoads, may consider making more of them. And who said pigs couldn't fly? Via ::The Age.

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