London solution for Perth congestion

I have just returned from holidays in Europe and among the many things I noticed was the rows of bicycles available for hire in central London. They were, to me, a noticeably new addition to city.


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Mark Borosh - Malaga
The problem with introducing it here (a GREAT idea) is that Australia is so over regulated because people are unable to take responsibility for themselves, the law forces adults to wear helmets. So you'd have to carry one with you in case on the spur of the moment you decide to hire one.

I believe there are currently similar systems in Brisbane and Melbourne which haven't performed so well. Major issue is mandatory helmet laws in Australia. In Europe, those laws don't exist.

currently in London
I was in Paris recently and there are bikes and docking stations everywhere, even in more outlying suburbs. At London train stations there are also bike racks you can rent so folks can train in, pick up their own bike (and helmet) in the city and bike to/from work from there. Maybe this latter idea could catch on in Perth (or does it exist already?)

What you do is remove the lights and traffic islands and kerbing on the Terrace between Barrack Street and Pier Street, and the same for William Street, Murray Street, King Street, Barrack Street and Hay Street. Then you pave the streets and remove the lane markings. At that point, cars will only drive below 20km/h or so - that's what happens when people have to pay attention to pedestrians. Now you can put the bike rental system in place, and no helmets are necessary - because no-one can drive or ride fast enough to need one. The result is a whole zone between Milligan and Barrack occupied by slow moving cars, buses, pedestrians and cyclists; no more jay walking at the badly located crossing at Brookfield Place for instance. The whole city becomes a dynamic, buzzing al fresco environment. Sound unsafe? It isn't. Think it won't work? It already does. Have a look for yourself...

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