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Safe Roads for Cyclists - Interview with Joel Docker

Joel Docker graduated from from Monash University with degrees in civil engineering and science. In his final year, Joel co-authored a paper "Safe Roads for Cyclists: An Investigation of Australian and Dutch Approaches".

The paper was accepted for presentation at the Australasian Transport Research Forum in Auckland in November 2017.

Through the ITE Worldwide Learning Opportunity Program, with funding from Austraffic, Joel travelled to New Zealand to present the paper at the forum.

A year and more after delivering the paper, Joel was interviewed about the experience and what it has meant to his career as part of his ongoing development, with the help of organisations such as the ITE.

Some of the key take outs from the interview include:

Joel’s paper looked at the overarching principles and difference between the Dutch cycling infrastructure guidelines and the Austroads guides. The Dutch have five main requirements when planning cycling infrastructure:

  • Safety
  • Cohesion
  • Directness
  • Comfort
  • Attractiveness

By comparison, the Cycling Aspects of Austroads Guides have a focus on safety, geometric design and road space, with little consideration for the user experience.

To some extent, the difference can be attributed to the Netherlands’ history of prioritising cycling in contrast with Australia’s affinity for the private motor car.

Joel was particularly fortunate that his co-author was Dr Marilyn Johnson, a Senior Research Fellow with Monash's Institute of Transport Studies, and the Research and Policy Manager at the Amy Gillett Foundation.

Dr Johnson only oversees a few undergraduate projects each year and her influence is clear - the paper the paper reflecting a solid research basis. Another positive is Dr Johnson’s link to the Amy Gillet Foundation - an organisation with a very structured and thoughtful way of approaching and implementing a range of constructive programs for cyclist safety.

Attending the ATRF in Auckland was a valuable experience for Joel’s development. He was fortunate to meet many respected figures in transport planning while at the conference, including Dr Glen Koorey from ViaStrada in Christchurch.

Joel has since joined VicRoads as part of their Graduate Program, and is relishing the opportunities this excellent program provides to develop his career in the transport industry.

You can read more about the World-Wide Learning Opportunities program at including information on how to apply.

Photo credit: Coen van den Broek on Unsplash