When you went to the local shops, took the kids to school or visited a nearby café today, did you walk, run, cycle, scoot, wheel, skate or even rollerblade? If so, you were engaging in active transport.
Active transport is beneficial for your health, your wallet and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, compared with driving a car or even taking public transport. Walking is at the top of the transport hierarchy as most trips begin and end with walking. If you don’t think you could ditch your car, read how one family did it.
Inner West Council’s Climate and Renewables Strategy reveals that 31% of residential emissions come from transport. The strategy aims to reduce emissions through mobility solutions further developed in Going Places: An Integrated Transport Strategy for the Inner West. Adopted in March 2020, Going Places aims to improve infrastructure, connectivity to destinations and make active modes of travel favourable, safe and accessible for all residents. Its vision is:
“Growing numbers of Inner West residents, workers and visitors prefer to walk, cycle and use public transport because it is safe, convenient, enjoyable and healthy”.
Whatever active transport method you choose there are many wonderful transport routes in the Inner West. Follow the Cooks River, the Greenway or the Bay Run, or discover some new walking and cycling routes. Council has opened a new cycle way between Petersham and Newtown and is developing plans for Marrickville Road East that include new bike lanes and racks.
Active transport fosters a greater sense of community as you stop to chat to neighbours on your journey or join others for a walk or cycle. Local groups include:
Increasing cycling numbers is part of the transport strategy, and this International Women’s Day (8 March 2020) we’re encouraging women to be like the suffragettes, many of whom took up cycling to spread their message and relished the independence it gave them. The Green Living Centre is running four workshops (with limited availability):
- Women’s Confident City Rider
- Women’s Bike Maintenance (afternoon)
- Women’s Bike Maintenace (evening)
- Women’s Eco-cycling Tour along the Cooks River
All workshops are led by local cycling experts Pedal Set Go. Here’s their top 5 on-road bike safety tips:
- Ensure you can see and be seen, high vis clothes are pointless if you don’t position yourself to be seen
- Take the lane, this is the primary position unless we are allowing someone to pass when it is safe to do so
- For every busy road there is an alternative quiet street
- Make eye contact and smile. Other road users will give you respect and keep out of your personal space on the road
- Never ride faster than walking pace in the car door zone which is wider than you think.
Happy safe cycling, walking or however you want to move around actively.