A key challenge in creating safe roads for cyclists lies in the governance challenges of road management with state versus local government responsibilities, and within local government. At the local government level, successful implementation requires a mix of informed decision-making, political will, and infrastructure expertise.
The Amy Gillett Foundation’s (AGF) Safe Cycling is a national capability-building program aimed at delivering long-term road safety benefits by tangibly improving cycling safety knowledge, resources, and tools. It provides upskilling and collaboration opportunities for road designers and practitioners, courses for local government councillors and community leaders, as well as data and mapping tools for the public.
Supported by the Australian Federal Government, the Safe Cycling Hub was developed to provide best-practice resources at the local and global level, to improve the decision-making and delivery ecosystem so that safe roads for safe cycling become a default outcome of transport spending throughout Australia.
The program aims to achieve:
- Increased skills and confidence of practitioners in delivering safer roads for riders,
- More connected and collaborative design community with improved knowledge sharing,
- Improved access to best-practice designs and location-specific data,
- More targeted spending across the transport network to maximise safety outcomes.
The SC program has two interconnected areas:
- Upskilling and Collaboration, which aims to upskill road designers and practitioners, as well as councillors and decision-makers, through a series of courses and workshops.
- Mapping and Data, which aims to provide access to important information and data. The different projects in this area focus on improving access to tools and resources, and facilitating data analysis.
Within these two interconnected areas, the projects aim to equip those involved in the planning and design of road infrastructure for better infrastructure outcomes, and offer relevant resources to community leaders and young professionals. Key projects are detailed below:
Engineer upskilling courses
The Safe Cycling Infrastructure for Streets and Roads training provides participants with experiential learning on a variety of cycling infrastructure treatments and how they impact cyclist safety. This training recognises that not all transport engineers have tutelage in the delivery of safe cycling infrastructure and that, as more projects are delivered, there is an opportunity to learn from different delivery models and interventions around the world.
Councillor engagement and upskilling courses
In the three-part webinar series, councillors can have access to information about the benefits of cycling for communities beyond transport and a range of successful interventions in diverse contexts. The training presents the process and benefits of planning for bicycle-friendly cities and towns, with relevant data and information, especially for decision-makers. Videos and accompanying presentations are available free of charge. This resource is particularly useful for local governments where not all councillors or key officers are in support of safer-cycling initiatives, or where they are faced with managing competing views within the community regarding the provision of cycling infrastructure.
Safe Cycling community workshops
The AGF team and its partners in the Safe Cycling program are conducting a national series of workshops and events to engage with communities. The 10 workshops take place in cities and regional areas with the purpose of connecting with local stakeholders and informing communities of the resources available on the Safe Cycling website. These workshops are often co-hosted by local organisations and congregate leaders of community groups, public servants, practitioners, and researchers. These workshops help participants identify how to best take advantage of the projects and resources of the Safe Cycling program.
BikeSpot interactive network mapping
Delivered in partnership with CrowdSpot, BikeSpot is a map that allows every Australian to say where they feel safe or unsafe while riding their bike. By dropping a pin on the interactive map, participants contribute to making cycling safe. The information collected by BikeSpot will be made publicly available to local governments, researchers, and anyone else involved in road design. Interested local governments can encourage their cycling community to add to BikeSpot and share where infrastructure is working well and where there are gaps. This can help emphasise the value of previous investments and identify priority areas for future investment.
The Safe Cycling resource library compiles a variety of publications and material about bicycle use and street infrastructure from around the world – from a selection of books for those who are curious about the topic, to design guides and academic journals for those with advanced knowledge. Additionally, the section ‘cities around the world’ features 360° videos of leading European cities showing the difference good cycling infrastructure can make.
In seeking to inform and upskill all parties involved in the delivery of cycling infrastructure – from councillors to transport engineers through to the community – the resources available on the Safe Cycling website are invaluable for local government and those change makers looking to embed cycling in their communities.
All information, including training and resources, is available on the Safe Cycling website.
For more information on the Safe Cycling Program, contact [email protected]