Let's make Adelaide one of the great cycling cities!
With cycling firmly on the agenda, it's now time to get the detail right.
The State Government has released it's response to the Citizens' Jury on cycling, and many of the recommendations are similar to your comments on the Greens' consultation paper as well (here's the final report).
Prior to this I had sought feedback from cyclists and compiled it into a report. I referred to many cyclists’ ideas in my speech to Parliament and also gave a copy to the Transport Minister and other stakeholders.
You can find the link to my full speech here.
On Ride2Work Day in October 2014, I organised and hosted a Cycling Roundtable in Parliament House which gathered 40 cycling advocates and stakeholders to discuss one key question: how do we make Adelaide one of the great cycling cities?
The Government has now taken some of that feedback on board, especially regarding the one-metre-rule for passing bikes, and also riding on footpaths.
Adelaide has perfect weather and terrain for cycling, yet most bikes gather dust in garages because too many of our roads are perceived as unsafe for cycling. Much of the reason for this lies in the state of our roads and the fact that cyclists’ needs have been ignored for decades.
In May 2015 I introduced a motion to the SA Parliament noting that the Cycling Strategy for South Australia expired in 2010 and calling on the State Government to develop a new one.
I also noted that of the over 1 billion dollars allocated to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure in the 2013 – 2014 State Budget, less than one half of one percent of that amount was earmarked for cycling. My motion called on the State Government to at least double the allocation of funds to cycling infrastructure in the next State Budget.
During the Tour Down Under this January, I again called on the State Government to release a new cycling strategy as well as increase funding for cycling infrastructure to at least 1% of the Transport Department budget.
Without a comprehensive long term direction for cycling, there is a risk that scarce funds will not be spent where it’s most needed.
Please feel free to provide your feedback in the comments section below on how you'd like to see cycling in Adelaide. If you provide your details, I'll ensure you're kept up to date with all the latest.
A typical (but no means unusual) example is The Parade, Kensington, heading westbound, about 250 metres east of Portrush Road. One motorised vehicle lane and one bicycle lane, becomes two motorised vehicle lanes, and cyclists are assumed to disappear at that point.
It should be a requirement for ALL major road projects in South Australia to ask and receive Bike SA input at the planning stage and definitely before cabinet signing off on it.
Thus, an increase of spending on cycling infrastructure is vital for South Australia to not only catch up to the rest of the world, but also to share in the myriad of positive outcomes that increased cycling brings to a town, a city and a state. These positives are well documented and spread much further than reducing congestion on our roads.
Cycling into and out of the city, for myself as an Eastern suburbs resident can be both pleasant and stressful. As a 24 year old who is hoping to purchase a home soon my priority is ensuring that I can access my workplace, local markets and amenities by bicycle. I am not a weekend bicycle rider – my mode of transport is the bicycle, not the car. Bicycle’s should not be treated as a recreational pursuit, more so a lifestyle that benefits all members of the community. This, I believe, justifies the motions set forth.
This freedom (and health benefits) that I shared with my family has only been possible because of my knowledge and experience riding in traffic day in and day out. Many of the families at my children’s schools will never enjoy a family ride because of their fear of the road, a fear that could ultimately lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.
The MT Bikeway has opened the door to hundreds of cyclists, the Monday to Friday peak hour is now filled with commuters and walkers, and the weekend is parent time with all ages following close behind.
The new Frome Road segregated path will hopefully dust off a many, many more bikes.
Any budget spent is worth it for a parent to know that ridding into town will be a safe and healthy journey for themselves and their children.
I know every road cannot be a priority bikeway or segregated path but if there could be just 1 for each side of the city you would have opened Adelaide to a much brighter future.
Not sure if this would fall into the plan itself, but I would love to see the inclusion of bicycle infrastructure as a compulsory part of any new road infrastructure.
The second part I would love to see is a far more stringent and comprehensive test for drivers to obtain their drivers license – something along the lines of a semester long theory course that actually studies the Australian road rules. Following this up with extensive practical assessments in order to obtain your license. Ideally I would see this push the attitude of motorists to accept that driving is privilege, not a right.
I know I’m assuming high here, but some food for thought.