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Fremantle sets sights on becoming 'Copenhagen of the South'

Jim Fischer's picture
Fremantle in Western Australia aims to become the Copenhagen of the South with cycling friendly infrastructure. Cycle Traveller

The funky city of Fremantle in Western Australia just got uber cool as it motions to become one of the most cycling friendly cities, not just in Australia, but in the world.

Fremantle Council has passed its 2013-14 budget which includes spending $2 million over the next four years on bicycle infrastructure that would double existing bike lanes by adding 44km of path. This would allow cyclists to ride in and out of the city from all directions without leaving the safety of a separated bike path.

Furthermore, in its bid to become the 'Copenhagen of the South', it aims to make sure everyone has access to a bike as well as bike related services. The city already has a free bike hire service from 9am-5pm Wednesday to Sunday located at Victoria Quay.

“The City will ensure that its cycling network is safe, enjoyable and a well connected with completed network of separated bike lanes, clearly marked cycle route and clear signage of a safe and legible cycling environment,” the council meeting agenda said.

“The City will also plan for and provide improved 'end of trip' facilities such as bicycle lockers, secure bike parking areas that are a requirement of many bicycle trips in addition to convenient bike parking.”

Fremantle currently has a cycling participation rate of 2.8%, which is almost double the rate of Perth and three times that of Sydney, based on the 2011 census. While it already has one of the highest cycling rates in the country, Fremantle is targeting a participation rate of 5.8% by 2017 – which would make it the most cycling friendly city in Australia by a clear mile.

But while Fremantle is already a trail blazer when it comes to cycle-friendly infrastructure, council meeting notes recognised that it currently falls below the participation rates of cities in Europe and North America. This is expected to change as the new bicycle infrastructure is rolled out.

Image: Aerial view of Fremantle, Western Australia.

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