Is it any wonder more and more bikes are hitting the daily commute with Australian cities among the most congested in the world?
Sydney rated equal sixth with LA, Stuttgart, Paris and Rome with a congestion rating of 33% behind Moscow (66%), Istanbul (56%), Warsaw (42%), Marseille (40%) and Palermo (39%).
Satnav company TomTom measured travel times during non-congested periods with travel times in peak hours and expresses the difference as a percentage increase in travel time.
The 2012 Congestion Index lists 161 cities across five continents including Australia and Zealand.
It found Australians are spending up to 92 hours a year caught in peak-hour traffic.
The worst times to travel in Sydney are Tuesday morning and Friday afternoon, with congestion rising to over 78 per cent when compared to non-peak times. Commuters traveling in peak hour traffic have the best run on either a Friday morning or a Monday evening where congestion levels are lower at 65%.
Perth had the biggest increase on 2011 figures, up 4% to 30%, followed by Auckland, Melbourne, Christchurch and Adelaide on 28%, Brisbane 25%, Wellington 24% and Canberra 18%.
So why aren’t governments doing more to encourage motorcycles? They do a lot to encourage cyclists, but bicycles aren’t the answer for many people because the cities are too big, too hilly and too dangerous for cyclists mixing with traffic.
Motorcycles and scooters aren’t for everyone, but if more people are encouraged to use them, it will ease congestion.
It’s not the only answer, but it’s part of the solution and one that is being ignored at our peril.