Transport & Decongestion

Rachel is a Strategic Transport Planner, Bus+Active Transport Technical Specialist, Congestion Reduction Expert, Author of Decongestion, Keynote Speaker and a TV/radio Social Commentator.

Rachel’s transport career spans 18 years across the public and private sectors in the UK and Australia.

Rachel has two TEDx talks, is the Author of Decongestion, has spoken in London’s Palace of Westminster’s House of Lords, is on the Smart Cities Task Force, is a Sourceable columnist, was part of the BMW Guggenheim Lab in New York, Berlin and Mumbai  (nominated by Enrique Penalosa), created Cycling Super Highways, was retained by the UK Government for 6 years as an expert advisor and was awarded the BP International Road Safety Award.

“Rachel Smith is one of Australia’s brightest thinkers on the perpetual challenge of urban planning” (News Limited)

“an emerging International Talent” (The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York)

“her dedication to the environment is inspiring and her passion for cycling is unmatched” (TED, New York)

Why Cycling Rachel Smith?

  1. Cycling Super Highways – My first dream is to build Cycling Super Highways. My vision is that anyone will be able to safely ride a bicycle regardless of their age, gender, physical abilities, cycling skills and road safety awareness. When the Los Angeles Department of Transport said “for the bike to catch on we need a revolution in our bicycle infrastructure” they were right. If we really want riding a bicycle to be a central part of our lifestyle, our transport system and our cities we need an ‘infrastructure revolution’. That’s why I created Cycling Super Highways, 7 metre wide bicycle ways with six lanes for slow, medium and fast bicyCl e riders, completely separated from all parked and moving cars.
  2. Floating Bikeways made out of waste plastic – My second dream is a floating bikeway on the Sydney Harbour or on the Thames in London, constructed out of recycled waste plastic and used aluminium drink cans. Let’s use our waste. David de Rothchild built his Plastiki boat using used plastic drinks bottles, Vertec build road bridges with waste plastic and in Kuranda, Australia benches in public places are made from old plastic milk bottles. I’d like us to innovate and build floating bicycle paths from waste plastic. Imagine it. Watch my TEDxQUT talk “Who says building the impossible is impossible?”
  3. Lazy Sunday Cycle – I was the co-founder of Lazy Sunday Cycle. LSC was all about normal people, in normal clothes on normal bikes. It’s not about no special clothes or specialized and technical equipment. We encouraged and enabled anyone and everyone who wanted to ride a bicycle for fun; people who were ‘interested but a little bit concerned’ about cycling, people who just wanted to get out there and have a go at cycling, enthusiastic bicycle riders and people who wanted to cycle with other people so that they can chat. It was aimed at young people, old people, families with children, children with stabilizers, people with fancy bikes and people with cargo bikes and people with bikes with baskets!

A few cool successes:

  • Hand-picked by former Queensland Premier Hon Anna Bligh MP and Transport Minister Hon Rachel Nolan MP as a curator of the art+place panel
  • Winner 2015 Key Person of Influence Publish Award
  • Nominated for 2015 Queensland Premier’s Award for leadership in sustainability
  • Finalist 2014 BUPA blog awards
  • Winner 2008 AITPM Janet Brash Memorial Scholarship
  • Winner 2003 CIHT BP International Road Safety Award
  • Finalist for the 2004 International Walk to School Week Award
  • Developed two award winning primary school assemblies. 1) Ready Steady Road Safety – An interactive quiz show primary school assembly based on the TV programme ‘Ready Steady Cook’ which questions the ways in which we travel to school and why and 2) Finding Nemo Outside School – Based on the Disney movie ‘Finding Nemo’ this assembly looks at the dangers on the way to school and at the school gate and allows primary children to identify safer ways to travel to and access school
  • In 2005 worked with Disney Playhouse TV company on a walk to school TV show.
  • Member of Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and the Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management (AITPM).