Our regular tracking of cycling activity around Fremantle shows that there's been a massive surge during COVID-19 restrictions. There have also been articles in the media on people that have dusted of the bike as an alternative travel option for a variety of reasons: health and wellbeing, convenience and reduced public transport.
Over June we undertook a survey to keep connecting with the community during uncertain times and to find out if COVID-19 has changed the way people cycle.
76 people took the survey and here’s what we found:
- Most people were riding regularly before the restrictions but did increase their riding (28).
- A close second were people who were previously riding but their riding stayed the same (26).
- Some people started riding for the first time or returned to riding their bike (12).
- The majority of people rode more than 3 times a week (36) with 2-3 a week (21) 1 trip per week (14) and three people not riding during the week.
- The majority of people were riding locally in the suburb of Fremantle.
- Seven people decreased their riding or did not ride at all
We asked people about their experience around riding during restrictions and had a wide variety of responses. The main reason people’s riding declined was due to working from home (reduced commuter riding) and there being nothing open to ride to. People liked the reduction in traffic and felt safer riding on roads and with children, with more families riding together and riding for recreation. People had more free time to ride for differing reasons – not working, reduced work hours, working from home.
People also mentioned issues such as increased use of paths leading to bike congestion, inexperienced riders ‘not knowing the rules’ and the negative effect of the increase in traffic as restrictions were lifted. Interesting comments included “It has kept my son and I sane” and “A bit spooky late at night coming home from work”
This information builds on the input from our Bike Plan community survey and will help us with recovery planning and long-term improvements.
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