We Ride Australia

Let’s keep moving!

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In 2020 we’re all travelling differently.

We’re seeing the world differently.

To help you walk, ride, scoot or skip and stay safe post-coronavirus, contact your Council and ask them to do more.

Ask your council how they can help with better paths and streets to walk and cycle. Click on the map below to go to the Council-finder website in your state or territory.

Chat with your friends, family, and neighbours, share the video online.

And let’s keep moving!

 

Keep up the healthy habits!

During COVID-19 restrictions many of us have been out on our local paths, shared paths and bikeways. They were vital to us being able to get out and be active with our family or do a bit of focused exercise to clear our minds and return home in a better frame of mind for the next Zoom call.

As individuals and families, we can keep those healthy habits going.  We can keep walking to the shops, walk or ride to school with our children, ride more regularly to work and walk or ride more regularly for exercise and recreation.

You may have become aware of some of the pinch points in local paths, or a difficult crossing that added unnecessary stress to using the paths near you. Councils are usually aware of the problem areas but may not understand how many residents use those paths.

  • Your Council should be able to tell you what its plans are to create a better network for walking and cycling.
  • Get in touch with your Council today to let them know how much you value the local network of paths and bikeways and ask that the missing links and other problems be fixed or upgraded.  To get the contact details for your Council, click on your state below and find your Council on the local government search website that will open.

Healthy and safe communities

During COVID-19, we felt a lot safer walking and cycling locally without the concerns of so much traffic on our streets. Now is a perfect opportunity to build on this momentum – let’s keep people riding and walking.

Measures like better lighting, wider footpaths, additional crossings and priority access for pedestrians will allow people to walk in their community and keep a safe distance from others.

Ensuring that everyone can walk or ride easily and safely, whether they are 8 or 80, or require the use of a mobility aid to get around, requires thought and consideration when building paths or upgrading roads to maintain or enhance local streets and public spaces.

Pop up bike lanes will also help people feel comfortable riding to work, school and the shops, meaning less people on public transport and fewer cars on our roads.

Our Councils are responsible for around 80% of all our local streets and connector roads, and the paths and bikeways we use for short trips locally.

  • Contact your Council if you think there are some specific paths that need to be improved or crossings or pinch points that are not safe enough. Sometimes our Councils simply don’t realise how many of us would like to be able to swap a drive to the shops for a walk or ride instead!
  • To get the contact details for your Council, click on your state below and find your Council on the local government search website that will open.

 

Benefits of walking and riding to school

Having safe, connected paths and bikeways that allow our children to walk, ride or scoot to school each day can be a major reason we love where we live!

Children arrive at school ready to learn and focus better on their studies when they have been active on their way to school.

Traffic safety for children at peak drop off and pick up times is a major concern. When more children are able to walk, bike or scoot to school our school zones become safer with less traffic congestion.

Up to a third or more of the daily peak hour traffic is made up parents driving their children to school. If more children walked or rode to school, the roads in general would be less congested and better for all road users.

Have you thought about committing to walk or ride with your children to school an extra day or two each week? They would love it and you’d all have a great start to the day.

  • Our Councils may be able to plan and build better access to our local schools, focusing on the gaps and links that could provide a continuous route to school for your children.
  • Ask Council what their plans are around your school and for walking and cycling in general! To get the contact details for your Council, click on your state below and find your Council on the local government search website that will open.

Benefits of walking locally and riding to work

A lot of people kept active during the COVID-19 pandemic by walking or they pulled their bikes out of the shed and rode them again. Sometimes, we went out and bought ourselves, our partners or even our whole family bikes so we could all get out for some fresh air and exercise!

Bike shops around the country ran out of stock and there have been long waits at the bike shop to get bikes serviced and roadworthy again.

We were often surprised how much we enjoyed striding out or pedalling in the fresh air!

Have you thought about walking more often to the shops or riding to work on a day or two each week?

Many people find they enjoy riding to work or walking to local destinations if they live within a reasonable distance. We know that a very large number of all our daily trips are between 2 and 5km, which is close enough to ride in 15-20 minutes. We also know that more than 60% of people walk to cafes, bars and restaurants when they are less than 2km away.

Walking or riding also means we are not affected by delays on the road or on public transport. We can count on the time it will take to get to work.

Workplaces often provide attractive (‘end-of-trip’) facilities to change, shower and lock up your bike securely when you get there. When it’s safe to return to your workplace, ask your employer where your ‘end-of-trip’ facilities are, sometimes the city will also have large parking stations for bikes.

Walking to shops and local destinations and riding to work requires thought and consideration by State and Local Governments to ensure there are convenient, connected paths or bike routes into the CBDs and regional job centres. There is also a lot of information available to help you.

  • Most state governments and bicycle organisations have extensive information on walking and riding to work, see our lists below under ‘More Information’ to find the links for your state or territory.
  •  To get the contact details for your Council, click on your state below and find your Council on the local government search website that will open.

Benefits for local shops and businesses

Better footpaths and bikeways to our local shops and commercial centres mean more of us can combine fresh air and physical activity with some of the everyday trips we all make.

Sometimes it requires a bit of thought by our Councils to ensure older Australians or those who are mobility challenged are able to travel the short distance to their local shops or medical practice.

A bit of planning and consideration helps ensure the paths and bikeway networks are connected for all community members,  those that may not have a car or who cannot drive, those with limited access to public transport, parents with prams or those who walk or ride to the shops.

Paths that link our shopping centres to the local community give us all more options to choose a healthy walk or trip by bicycle to the shops.

Importantly, improved accessibility to local businesses by walking and cycling has also been shown to boost their profitability in city after city across the globe. Less noise, easier access for walking and cycling and a welcoming environment equals more customers!

  • The economics of walking are clear and significant. The majority of people travelling on public transport walk to catch their train, tram or bus. 1 in 6 trips are already entirely on foot and over 60% of people who go to cafes, bars and restaurants do so on foot. See more in this report from VictoriaWalks.
  • The 2020 study of multiple cities across the United States, Economic Impacts Of Bicycle And Pedestrian Street Improvements, found ‘In many cases, improved bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure was shown to have positive impacts on sales and employment in the retail and food service sectors.’
  • The 2014 UK study by Lawler, The Pedestrian Pound, found that main street walking, cycling and public realm improvements can increase retail sales by 30%.
  • Also, retail vacancies were 17% lower and retail rental values rose by 7.5% following town centre and main street improvements in a 2018 study, Street Appeal (Transport for London).

Surveys of small business districts have shown that business owners regularly underestimate the number of their customers who arrive on foot, by public transport or by bike and regularly over-estimate the number of customers arriving by motor vehicle.

  • Ask your Council what their plans are to enhance the local shops for walking and footpath space to make it a more attractive destination for all.  To get the contact details for your Council, click on your state below and find your Council on the local government search website that will open.

Let’s keep our air cleaner and our streets quieter too!

We had significant improvements in air quality during the COVID-19 lockdown. The fine particulate pollution from motor vehicle traffic has a significant impact on our health and with the near 80% drop in vehicle traffic we experienced during COVID-19, our air quality improved a lot.

The more we walk and ride, the better our air and environment is. Did you hear the local bird life more during lockdown? Excessive sound also impacts negatively on our quality of life and less trips by car locally means quieter neighbourhoods.

Changes to local residential streets that encourage walking and cycling also can significantly reduce rat-running and speeding on our streets which is also accompanied by improvements in air quality.

  • Contact your local council to ask what walking and cycling changes are planned for your area. Ask when the planned investment is expected and send them a letter or email telling them how much you would support some of the changes to makes the streets where you live quieter, safer and better for everyone!
  •  To get the contact details for your Council, click on your state below and find your Council on the local government search website that will open.

#letskeepmoving

 

Click on your state or territory to access the ‘Council-finder’ website for your state.

The #letskeepmoving sketch video and campaign is an initiative of We Ride Australia. It is supported by VicHealth, the Heart Foundation and Victoria Walks.