Melbourne Bicycle Share – how about some balance?

No, I don’t agree with Alan Todd of Kyneton that Melbourne Bicycle Share is a winner and I’ve never thought it would be (see my previous posts here, here and here).

His letter to The Age this morning (“Share the smarts”) contends that bike share schemes have taken off in more than 135 cities around the world. “In any city that values public health, combined with a sustainable solution to transport and congestion problems, they would have to be a winner”, he says.

He also wants to see the compulsory helmet laws repealed so that Melbourne Bicycle Share can flourish.

I think the discussion around the Bixis is very confused. Too many people are mistaking policy on Bixis for policy on cycling. They’re very different – one’s a political stunt, the others real life.

Contrary to Mr Todd’s claim, Bixis won’t do anything whatsoever to reduce congestion even if their numbers are expanded. They are a substitute for walking and public transport in the CBD and near-CBD, not for cars. The sort of person who’s going to cycle at lunch time from Spring St to Melbourne Uni is not generally the sort of person who would otherwise drive. Read the rest of this entry »