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Any city can become a Cycle City, says AECOM

Lee Baker
03 May 2013
Sprawling cities can become cycling cities: Mike Harris
Sprawling cities can become cycling cities: Mike Harris

 

Any City can become a cycling city but only if action is taken to increase the popularity of the bicycle as a mode of transport, according to AECOM.

Mike Harris, landscape architect at AECOM, told delegates at Cycle City Expo how cities known for being car-dominated across the world were increasing cycling.

“Portland, Oregon, is going gangbusters on building cycleways and has got eight per cent of people cycling. If a sprawling US city can do it, then a city like Birmingham here in the UK can do it. But people have to want to cycle.”

Harris said attitudes to cycling had been turned around in the car-dominated city of Sydney in his native Australia. A ‘no excuses’ zone map showing the areas that were a 20-minute bike ride from the city centre produced by AECOM for the City of Sydney was used to promote cycling as a quicker, cheaper transport mode.

Harris also referred to a ‘no losers’ approach to win residents support for new cycleways by not removing car parking spaces.

Elsewhere at the conference, Carlton Reid, executive editor, Bikebiz, said that the UK could learn from past experience. “World-class cycling infrastruture” in the new town of Stevenage with end-to-end segregation had failed to promote cycling because the city “also made it convenient for motorists to get around”.

Watch the interview with Mike Harris

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