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Replacing curbside carparking with bike lanes: A 'Robin Hood planning' idea

Replacing kerbside carparking with bike lanes: a Robin Hood planning idea
Research showed most most visitors to Boundary Street travelled less than 10 kilometres. Credit: University of Queensland

Turning curbside carparks into cycling lanes could improve city accessibility and livability without affecting business revenue, University of Queensland research has found.

The research team used Boundary Street in Brisbane's West End as a to investigate if the "Robin Hood planning" tactic of reassigning curbside parking for bike riders would hurt local business. The research was published in Australian Planner.

Associate Professor Dorina Pojani, from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, said surveys and observations showed it would be beneficial to turn at least one on-street parking lane into a cycling lane on Boundary Street.

"This is one of very few studies in Brisbane to examine the impact of parking and cycling options on ," Dr. Pojani said.

"Contrary to popular perceptions, we found the parking occupancy rate on Boundary Street was mostly under 60% during the week, mainly because 42% of visitors walked to the destination.

"Forty percent of the 214 people surveyed said they drove or were driven to the area, while only 16% said they cycled or used public transport.

"We also found most visitors to Boundary Street traveled less than 10 kilometers—within the maximum accepted cycling range."

Previous studies have shown prioritizing cycling and walking usually boosts both and , and more people would choose those options over driving if there was a safe and direct cycling infrastructure network.

"Businesses benefit from foot, bike, and bus traffic more than car traffic because of the higher and more frequent flow of customers, Dr. Pojani said.

"This is why reassigning parking from one side of the road to a cyclist lane would make better use of that space."

While the study focused on one street in Brisbane, Dr. Pojani said it was relevant to other cities in Australia and globally.

"It helps us understand the relationship between on-street parking and the needs of the local residents and economies," she said.

"The ideal solution is to not have on-street parking at all, but instead have multi-story and underground parking lots, and repurpose curbside parking space for walking, , scooters and trees.

"Not only is this better visually, but it also improves accessibility and keeps the streets cooler.

"This is something local planning consultants and governments need to consider, and it is particularly relevant for South East Queensland as we head into the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Dr. Pojani said the study was the last piece in a major four-year research project into the transition of mobility and parking.

"In that larger study in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, we found that a 'predict and provide' approach to policy was failing and outdated, and that we need more innovative approaches," she said.

More information: Yuzhen Lin et al, Reassigning kerbside parking to cycling lanes: Is Robin Hood planning good for business?, Australian Planner (2024). DOI: 10.1080/07293682.2024.2329187

Citation: Replacing curbside carparking with bike lanes: A 'Robin Hood planning' idea (2024, May 7) retrieved 23 July 2024 from
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