Perfect pathways to good health and less traffic

16 Jul
Rebecca Monger’s children, Nicholas, 8, Charlotte, 4, and Lucinda, 10, at the training wheels to two wheels workshop last Sunday.

Rebecca Monger’s children, Nicholas, 8, Charlotte, 4, and Lucinda, 10, at the training wheels to two wheels workshop last Sunday.

By Isobel Starkey, Bond University Journalism  Student

Getting on your bike is not only good for your fitness, but is a way to reduce traffic congestion, says a city travel officer.

Coordinator of Active Travel Nick Abroms said the city’s Active Travel program was an integral part of the Transport and Traffic Branch.

“The objective for us is to decrease traffic congestion, but the benefits to the wider community include increasing health and wellbeing,” Nick said.

“The city recognised, through Brisbane’s successful Active Travel Program, that behavioural change programs like this do in fact decrease traffic congestion,” he said

“This reduces the need to build more and bigger roads, so it saves the community and the city money.”

The Active Travel Program was a part of the Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031, which aims to change the way Gold Coast residents move around the city.

The city found 88% of all trips on the Gold Coast each day were made by car compared to 2% by cycling.

“One of the big problems on the Gold Coast is the single occupancy of the car,” said Nick.

“It would be fantastic to see more and more people cycling and less dependency on the car.”

Acting Manager of Transport and Traffic for the city Craig Wallace said the public has shown great interest and involvement in the program.

“In 2012 we started with five schools involved in the Active School Travel program and now we have 18,” Craig said.

“During Bike Week in May our Bike and Street Fest, where we closed the road to cars but opened it to the public, had over 4000 attendants,” he said.

To encourage residents to cycle, the Active Travel Program will hold many free cycling workshops focusing on three areas: schools, the community and workplaces.

Workshops will include bike education for children, female riding, road cycling and bike maintenance.

“We’ve found through feedback and surveys that our cycling programs are going really well and they are helping increase cycling,” Nick said

“Phones have been ringing off the hook with people booking in for these workshops and they’re booking out.”

Active School Travel Program Coordinator for Robina State School Rebecca Monger attended the training wheels to two wheels workshop with her four children last Sunday.

She said the free community workshops offered by the Active Travel program were fantastic, especially for single parents.

“As a single parent myself, it’s very hard to look after my children equally,” Rebecca said.

“It’s nice to have someone else give attention to one child, while I can look after another,” she said.

The list of eight workshops is to be expanded with a student specific session in the holidays and one for adults who have never cycled before.

To find out more about the Active Travel Program, current workshops and upcoming events, visit the City of Gold Coast Website.

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