Last week we posted an article which referred to some experiences of former Olympic host cities on cycling for transportation during the big event.
As an addendum, there were some thoughtful responses from Sydney, Australia on local cycling during the Olympics. Thanks to Elaena Gardner from the cycling advocacy organization, Bike Sydney and cycling folks there for their feedback!
Some key points include:
- State of receptivity by transportation authorities and the general public, was not there for cycling as transportation during the Summer Olympics
a decade ago cycling was considered purely a sporting-and-recreational activity, and cycling-for-transport was just not on the radar of public officials
- Lack of planning experience for adequate bike valet parking facilities at mass events and large scale public venues.
The problem with cycling-for-transport to mass events is that bicycles are still personaltransport devices, and thus present major parking problems. At peak times there were about 300,000 people attending the Homebush site each day. If 5% of them cycled, then that’s 15,000 bikes that need to be parked, secured and retrieved, with very large peaks in demand as events end. Event organisers or authorities in Australia had or have absolutely no experience in providing such large-scale bike parking facilties.
Check out their discussion thread on more experiences, some information links and on legacies from the Olympics.
Note: In Nov. 2009, Elaena had a keen audience when she provided a slide presentation on the latest cycling developments in Sydney to the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition on a very rainy evening. We are glad to hear that cycling in Sydney has improved in spades since 2000!