Greater Shepparton City Council have released the results of the 2021 Super Tuesday Bike Count.
Statistics for the Super Tuesday Bike Count were taken between 7am and 9am on 2 March 2021. The count was undertaken by local volunteers, engaged by the Bicycle Network, at 20 sites across Greater Shepparton. The count recorded volumes, gender and movement flow of people on bicycles.
Overall, the survey counted a total of 365 movements during the two-hour survey – a decrease of 25 per cent compared to the results of the 2020 survey. Of the riders counted, 75 per cent were male, 22 per cent were female, while 3 per cent were unidentified.
“The decline in the number of cyclists observed from 2020 can be attributed to the impacts of COVID-19, which affected normal bike riding activity,” Mayor, Cr Kim O’Keeffe said.
“This includes an increased preference of working from home, an increase in car travel and the gradual return of employees to offices. Environmental issues such as the weather may also have contributed.”
The results indicated an increase in the number of cyclists within parts of Shepparton’s CBD and surrounds, with an increase of cyclists surveyed along Corio Street, Maude Street, Nixon Street and Vaughan Street compared to the 2020 survey.
The busiest site was the shared path between Shepparton and Mooroopna, where 37 riders were recorded. The Goulburn Valley Highway/Sobraon Street intersection, and the Yanha Gurtji shared path at Balaclava Road and the Boulevard, were equally as popular with 36 riders recorded at each site.
Cr O’Keeffe said Council is committed to supporting the option of cycling as an alternative mode of transport, by continuing to invest in projects that improve the cycling network.
“Greater Shepparton’s flat land makes cycling a popular option for commuters and recreational riders,” she said.
“The Super Tuesday Bike Count provides Council with data that is critical to informing many cycling-related projects included in Council’s Cycling Strategy in the 10-year capital works program.”
As part of this commitment, Council is currently progressing a number of cycling projects. Construction is currently underway for Stage One of the Echuca Road shared path in Mooroopna, which will see a new 2.5 metre shared path between McLennan Street and Alexandra Street. Construction is also ongoing for the RiverConnect Route Five Bridge over the Broken River, which will provide a new shared path link between the Botanic Gardens and the existing Yanha Gurtji shared path.
Research has found that the majority of people are interested in cycling, however they are uncomfortable due to safety considerations. As a result, Council is also investigating ways of making our roads safer for cyclists of all ages, including the use of line-marking, dedicated cycling lanes and lower speed limits. Council is partnering with Regional Roads Victoria to implement the state-identified Strategic Cycling Corridors along Hawdon Street, which will provide safer cycling facilities for riders and students accessing the new Greater Shepparton Secondary College.
“Council’s 2021/2022 Budget allocates $2.24 million for new works to maintain and expand Greater Shepparton’s footpath and shared path network,” Cr O’Keeffe said.
“This will provide new opportunities for cycling and leisure throughout Greater Shepparton.”