Benefits of riding bikes
I refer to the great editorial by deputy editor Ross Tyson in the Bendigo Advertiser “Cyclists cannot stay at bottom of food chain”, June 15).
Let’s be frank – the agro by a small number of motorists and sometimes cyclists is completely silly.
The latter is mostly some cyclists reacting to something a vehicle driver has done putting the vehicle too close to the cyclist (accidentally and, unfortunately, sometimes intentionally).
More people riding bikes for actual commuting and "getting around" has many benefits for everyone – it means less cars on the road, more car parks freed up in built-up urban and central city areas for drivers, more room on buses and trains for more public transport users as our city grows and a much healthier and happier community.
Here I am not talking about cycling for recreation and sport typically wearing lycra. I am talking about just getting around on a bike (to work, school, shopping and socially) where most people will just wear everyday clothes.
Furthermore, greater numbers of people riding significantly reduces the costs to government and community as providing for transport via personal bicycles is much cheaper than continually feeding the never-ending need for more roads and more public transport.
As an added huge bonus, more people on bikes provides massive savings to the health budget as active people (particularly bike riders) have much reduced health needs and costs.
Recent international research has shown that for someone who rides 40 minutes per working weekday (say 20 minutes to and 20 minutes home from work) they on average extend their lifespan by nine years!
Research shows that only 7 per cent of the population is willing to ride on roads mixing with cars, trucks and buses. This makes sense – it is not the most enjoyable experience, even in the car.
Consider that most of our current limited bike infrastructure comprises at best some painted lines on the road. What we desperately need in Bendigo is a comprehensive network of protected and/or separated bike lanes where people can ride in safety and comfort not mixing with cars, trucks and buses.
Research shows than an additional approximately 60 per cent of the population would be willing to ride a bike regularly using such infrastructure.
Providing this infrastructure would be a game changer for Bendigo – it would reinvigorate the city through great urban design implementation and increased people activation of our public spaces, it would provide massive health and happiness benefits and it would bring tourists and new residents to Bendigo.
Unfortunately, the recent state government budget allocated just $3 for each Victorian to dedicated bike infrastructure.
With protected and separated bike lanes and off-road trails everyone will be happy and far more people will ride providing all the benefits mentioned above. More people on bikes!
Chris Corr, Bike Bendigo and Bendigo Sustainability Group
Settlement ‘beggars belief’
The article in yesterday’s Bendigo Advertiser regarding the asylum seekers on Manus Island receiving an Australian government payout of $70 million plus $20 million costs, beggars belief.
Why is being an illegal immigrant a reason for a massive government payout? This for me is the last straw.
I cannot believe the Australia I grew up in, the Australia my father fought for in WW2 has ended up compensating people for illegal actions.
The wonderful country I knew has gone. Australia is now a politically correct joke, bereft of the right to have an opinion in case one upsets the minority.