With the Tour Down Under taking over the City of Adelaide, it is an appropriate time to look at just how many people have caught the cycling bug, particularly for getting to and from work.
The chart below summarises trends in journey to work to the City of Adelaide between 2001 and 2011. Workers travelling to work by bicycle doubled between 2001 and 2011, with cyclists as a percentage of total trips growing from 1.5% in 2001 to 2.5% in 2011. Other methods of travel to work that experienced similarly strong growth were walking, motorbike / scooter and tram (due to the extension to tram services between 2006 and 2011). In terms of total number, the car still dominates, but active forms of travel to work (cycling and walking) are growing faster than total trips.
So what does this mean for those office buildings accommodating sweaty cyclists at the end of their journey?
The most obvious demand is for bicycle storage and other ‘end of trip’ facilities such as lockers and showers. And demand is coming from a range of sources, including walkers and lunch-time joggers.
Whilst it is becoming a given that new office premises will provide these ‘end of trip’ facilities required by prospective tenants and their employees, older accommodation is less likely to cater for this growing need. This should be a high priority in any building upgrades to secondary space.
Landlords are also seeing the increased demand for secure lockers and bicycle parking as a potential income stream, with evidence of some landlords charging a monthly fee in excess of $50 per month for bike storage / lockers.
We note that the Census figures are likely to grossly under-estimate peak demand for these ‘end of trip’ facilities. The Census is undertaken in August, which has more rainy days on average in Adelaide than any other month of the year, not the ideal conditions for cyclists and joggers.
As cycle lanes become more prevalent, traffic congestion increases and more office buildings provide quality ‘end of trip’ facilities, we would expect cycling to work to continue to grow at a faster rate than total work trips. Get used to seeing more lycra in your home town!
David Snoswell is a Local Director for Jones Lang LaSalle, based in Adelaide, Australia.