Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
More education about existing share the road laws is needed to encourage people to ride more often, according to Michael Jones, Principal of the US consultancy firm Alta Planning + Design.

“Educating people about existing laws is more important than creating new ones, especially existing laws about the rights and responsibilities of cyclists and motorists sharing the same roadway,” he says.

Jones is one of the keynote speakers at the 2010 Bike Futures Conference in Melbourne, hosted by Bicycle Victoria. He will deliver his address on Friday 15 October.

Jones is a recognised US expert in bicycle, pedestrian, and trail planning and design, as well as in financial analysis, and transportation and parking management.

He says that in the US the general public still seems unaware that bicyclists have the same legal right to take a travel lane in some cases, and are considered vehicles.

“Bicyclists also seem unaware of the impact they have on public attitude when they ignore stop signs and other devices – a fact which seems to be the same the world over,” he says.

He will tell delegates that surveys consistently show that concerns about safety are the most common reasons people cite for not bicycling or riding more often.

“Although this is largely a perception issue since statistics do not back up this concern, it does highlight the fact that much more education is required to alert all road users to existing laws,” he says.

Part of the problem is that bicycling crashes receive disproportionate attention in the press as opposed to vehicle crashes, he suggests.

“Lack of training and experience riding in traffic is another issue,” says Jones.

Jones will tell 2010 Bike Futures that the best way to address these issues is to create consistent bicycling facilities, provide bicycle and motorist training and education, try and slow traffic as much as possible, and promote bicycling.

“The bottom line is that the more people bicycle in an area, the safer it becomes.”

About Michael G Jones
Michael Jones is a principal of Alta Planning and Design, the leading US consultancy that combines the skills of planning, design, landscape architecture and engineering to create bicycle, pedestrian, greenway and trail projects that improve and empower communities.
Michael has managed more than 200 studies since 1985, ranging from major national, state, and regional plans to corridor studies to plans for small towns. He has developed innovative methodologies and models for topics such as bicycle demand, GIS-linked roadway suitability, and shared-use parking. He has presented to and been published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the American Planning Association, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

Bike Futures 2010 Conference, Melbourne, 14 – 15 October
With the growth of cycling for both transportation and recreation showing no sign of abating the need to cater for this growth has never been greater. The Bike Futures 2010 Conference will unlock the solutions and plan the future of cycling in Australia.

The conference is presented by the Bicycle Network and hosted by Bicycle Victoria. Bike Futures 2010 will bring together world leading experts as well as some of Australia’s leading practitioners on how to best respond to the issues confronting communities as they embrace the bicycle revolution.

Contact Profile

John Myers

P: 03 9818 8540


Roads, education, laws, cycling, bicycles, transport, transportation, public attitude, motorists, rights and responsibilities, share the road



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