martes, 19 de mayo de 2015

Bike use in Europe

Bikes are more widely used in Europe than in Australia, as this ABC video proves.

Bike use in Europe is streets from on Vimeo.

In the university town of Leipzig, everyone rides a bike.Leipzig street with bicycles and cars.
Because of the fresh air, and a good something for the environment and for my own body.
Because it's cheap, and faster than taking the train.
With this weather, it's just fun.
It's also the home of public bike sharing company NextBike, where customers can rent a bike for a few minutes or hours.
We started nine years ago with 20 bicycles only in Leipzig, as a very small start-up, and in the meantime, we have developed an international network of about 15,000 bicycles spread out in 12 different countries.
And technology has made it easier to rent a bike. Customers use an app to get a code, unlock the bike and go. NextBike is now working on technology to integrate bike sharing with public transport.
You can integrate your e-ticketing, your smart cards. You can use the same card, so this kind of data integration is very important.
The German Government spends 80 million euros a year promoting cycling. They say it helps with road congestion, the environment, and is good for you.
That is why, for many years now, politicians have tried to improve the conditions for cyclists. The better the conditions are for cyclists, the more people use bicycles.
The German culture is really geared towards cycling, with many city centres closed to cars, and traffic lights just for cyclists. In Australia, we've still got our training wheels on. Melbourne-based lobby group Bicycle Network says the cycling culture is in its infancy.
How do we get motorists and bike riders to work better together? It's really the numbers. As the numbers of bike riders increase, which they are, which is fantastic, motorists are more used to bike riders, and as a result of that, they're used to interacting with them and it doesn't become something unusual.
Bike sharing services have been introduced in Melbourne and Brisbane, but with limited success. Just 12,000 trips were taken in May in Melbourne's CBD, up from the year before, but compares to 15,000 a day in the Polish capital. Many blame Australia's helmet laws for the poor take-up. Mexico and Israel recently repealed their helmet laws to encourage bike sharing.
This is something the government needs to consider if they want to bring these schemes to a successful end.
Craig Richards disagrees. He says it's infrastructure that has the most impact on increasing the number of cyclists.
They need separation from cars, and they also need quiet streets that are speed reduced. So, that's our biggest issue, is, unless the infrastructure's right, there's a big group of people who aren't prepared to ride.
So, until governments here are prepared to spend to get people on their bikes, Europe will continue to be streets ahead.