Two Perth city planners have a plan to greatly increase cycling and cut back on car trips that are under 5km, which they say make up about half of car journeys in Perth.
One of the key elements is an education and training program to promote "tolerant behaviour" between cyclists and other road users.
In a paper presented to an engineering conference last week, planners Emmerson Richardson and Kevan Weaver said despite more people turning to bike riding recently, the rate of cycling trips in Perth was still less than before helmets became compulsory in 1992.
They said a co-ordinated and funded plan could increase daily trips to more than 500,000 by 2031 and more than a million by 2051.
In their paper, they pointed out that historically in Perth a vast amount of the transport budget had gone into improving roads, which encouraged more cars and car dependency, and lowered the use of public transport and bikes.
"A large increase in cycling is necessary to replace some of the almost 50 per cent of car journeys in Perth that are under 5km," the paper said.
"Cycling has the potential to make a major contribution to lowering congestion, particularly in centres and inner areas where congestion is worst."
Mr Emmerson has been a transport consultant for 10 years, having worked in State and local government authorities. Mr Weaver worked on the London cycle network for 25 years before moving to Perth.
Their report promotes a plan based on best-practice planning for bikes in other cities where barriers to cycling have been overcome and cycling rates have increased.
The plan, which would need an annual investment of $60 million, includes a network of cycling paths that connect major activity centres and major corridors of population, a secondary network for safe and convenient access to schools and community facilities and the promotion of the benefits of cycling.
"Fear of injury and stress resulting from riding on the road network is a major reason why many people do not cycle," the report said."The cities that have achieved a major increase in cycling have all implemented a connected network of safe cycling routes."
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