Green Transport Infrastructure: From Motorways to Bikeways

Green Transport Infrastructure: From Motorways to Bikeways

Kristiane Davidson (Queensland University of Technology, Australia), Ned Lukies (Queensland University of Technology, Australia) and Debbie Lehtonen (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-775-6.ch005
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Abstract

In an age when escalating fuel prices, global warming and world resource depletion are of great concern, sustainable transport practices promise to define a new way of mobility into the future. With its comparatively minimal negative environmental impacts, non reliance on fuels and positive health effects, the simple bicycle offers significant benefits to humankind. These benefits are evident worldwide where bicycles are successfully endorsed through improved infrastructure, supporting policies, public education and management. In Australia, the national, state and local governments are introducing measures to improve and support green transport. This is necessary as current bicycle infrastructure is not always sufficient and the longstanding conflict with motorized transport still exists. The aim for the future is to implement sustainable hard and soft bicycle infrastructure globally; the challenges of such a task can be illustrated by the city of Brisbane, Australia.
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Riding To Sustainability

A sustainable technology or process is one which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2008). There are generally three dimensions to sustainability: financial, environmental and social dimensions, also known as the triple bottom line approach, and acknowledging profit, the planet and its people. Bicycle infrastructure is considered financially sustainable as it is inexpensive for individual citizens to operate a bicycle, with no transportation costs related to fuel and registration. It is also cost- effective for governments, as bike paths and facilities are inexpensive for authorities to implement and maintain. In addition, cycling instead of driving can actually stimulate economic development, as indicated by a recent study revealing that ‘automobile expenditures provide far less regional economic activity and employment than most other consumer expenditures, indicating that reducing automobile dependency tends to increase economic development’ (Litman et al. 2008, p. 4).

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