60% of kids under the age of 10 and 45% of 10-17 year olds rode a bike at least once in the last week. Yet only 2% of Australian children are riding to school. Parents are driving their children to school out of fear that it’s unsafe for them to ride or walk, adding more traffic to the roads and perpetuating the cycle of car dependency.
There is a great opportunity to increase the number of students riding bikes to school in Perth if facilities and education programs are introduced. A Safe Routes to School infrastructure initiative in California introduced in 2007 improved bicycling and walking by up to 200%.
The Greens support the government’s ‘Connecting Schools’ program announced in the Bike Network Plan 2012- 2021 but this is only a pilot scheme for safe routes to 5 schools in WA. WA kids - our future generation of riders - deserve far more. A city that’s safe for kids to ride is a city that’s safe for everyone to ride.
Our policy initiatives to create a child friendly cycling city
Provide safe and convenient places for children to ride to school and in their local suburbs
• Provide a new network of Safe Routes to Schools for every school in the metropolitan area
• Introduce a Kids Cycle parks initiative – providing more places for young people to ride their bikes safely in their community and improving the resilience and quality of life in our suburbs. Specifically:
• Provide funding to retrofit existing parks to be ‘cycle parks’, with the aim of at least one in each LGA
• Improve design of parks in new suburbs (currently required to be 10% public open space in all new masterplans)
• Provide funding for design guidelines and co-funding for local councils to retrofit existing parks
Total cost: $34.35m pa
SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL
Authorised by Chris Dickinson & Adam Duncan, the Greens (WA), Ground Floor 445 Hay St Perth