Both Sydney and London are making a push to become friendlier cities for biking. London’s instituted a big new bike-share program, and Sydney is building a giant network of bike lanes. Let’s check in on these two charming-accented metropolises and see what we can learn from them, shall we?
London: London is going great guns with its bike hire program. (Literally. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his great guns dropped in to help promote it.) Users have traveled over 6 million miles in total six months. This Big City details what London got right: The bike hire system is cheap, huge, flexible, and treated as an extension of the public transportation system instead of a novelty. Here’s what they don’t like: The bikes are aggressively branded, south London is something of a bike wasteland, and the bikes have “no Oyster integration” which is meaningless to non-Londoners but sounds funny.
Sydney: Sydney is setting up a 125-mile network of bikeable roads, including 30 miles of separated bike lanes. It’s too early to say yet whether they’ll achieve their goals, but the predictions are impressive: Sydney could cut out 300,000 car trips a day and save $147.3 million in health costs over the next 30 years. They’re coming from pretty low down, though — only 0.7 percent of Sydney residents bike to work, and 2 percent of all trips in the city are by bike. The city’s hoping to up that to 10 percent by 2016 with the new development.