Attention: Drunks!

We have ‘Koalas next 10km’ road signs in Australia but in Romania they have road signs warning motorists about drunk pedestrians. Perhaps in Melbourne we should erect similar road signs in King St, like ‘Glassing – next 400 metres’. Read the rest of this entry »

Fake shopfronts

At last somebody’s found a way to revitalise ailing strip shopping centres – fake shops! My local high street is all restaurants, boutiques and real estate agents – this could be a way to bring back the hardware store we lost ten years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

What role for commuting by bicycle in Melbourne?

In response to my post last Tuesday, Melbourne will be a car city for a long time yet, a reader asked for my views on the role of cycling in Melbourne.

I have a particular interest in cycling, not least because I’m a keen recreational cyclist and commuted religiously by bike for a number of years. I think cycling has a small but significant role to play in meeting Melbourne’s transport needs but my ideas are a little different to the conventional view.

Despite record sales over the last ten years, bicycles account for just 0.9% of all weekday kilometres travelled in Melbourne, so their present contribution to saving fuel and reducing carbon emissions isn’t large. That figure includes recreational cycling too, so we don’t know how many of these kilometres actually replaced car travel.

Bicycles are more competitive for commuting, where they are used for 2.9% of work trips. The journey to work, however, only accounts for around one fifth of all trips in Melbourne, so again we’re not talking big numbers. Read the rest of this entry »