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.
There is an ongoing need for dedicated cycle tracks with a physical barrier; but they are expensive; but so is “life”.
The ability to ride on footpaths is great; but some cyclists abuse this privilege by riding too fast and not acknowledging courtesies of ringing the bell or thanking pedestrians while passing.
To date we have rarely got it right with too many shared paths, the introduction of bikes on footpaths and the sacrifice of vehicle lanes to install bike lanes. This has contributed to significant increases in congestion in particular to the east of the city. We have to acknowledge that we are a geographically spread out city that will always need to cater for cars and other vehicles.
Our state government has failed to take accountability for their flawed bike legislation and the real impact on the safety of pedestrians. This legislation should be reversed.
With such a singular focus on bikes as a means of transport across the state (thank you Jay!), improvements for other means of transport are being sacrificed and overlooked.
Local Government also have Cycling and Walking Strategies for their communities that need to be considered in the State approach, plus there should be more communication between these bodies on where they are directing their focus in the next five to ten years, so that we can get some coordinated approaches. This might even lead to connected bike paths/lanes, instead of bits and pieces everywhere.
Great work City of Adelaide on Frome Street. You’ve practiced now, time to get serious. Time to reduce the lanes on King William and Grote/Wakefield, and provide bike lanes crossing the City. Segregated could prove expensive to fund, so even just painted would be better than what there is now. If Melbourne can do it, why can’t we?
Take the light rail along Port Rd now, and convert the current rail line into a bike path.
Increase the education of kids in cycling, and being safe on the road, which will hopefully stay with them as they grow up, and be more considerate road users in the future.
Let’s get these ‘green corridors’ into fruition. We don’t need to wait till the expensive upgrade of the electric train going north is completed for example.
I applaud the opening of the latest part of Frome bikeway. Let’s get it right by making good connections to it and pushing it through. This is a boon for student and staff attending North Terrace precinct education institutions.
Have we lost good opportunities to integrate good end trip bike facilities at the new NT medical precinct? Watch that space. Are there good connections to Linear Park river path from the medical precinct?
Thanks, David Ladd
In 1996 Transport budgeted for pedestrian – cyclist lights, but still waiting. Traffic and congestion has increased since then, and the appropriate solution is now an overhead pedestrian bridge.
Multi-lanes and 47,500 vpd are made more hazardous for vulnerable road users by the many drivers who breach ARR in this area. Authorities decline to act on the many vehicles that obstruct the bicycle – pedestrian passageways, in breach of ARR s. 198. Authorities decline to act on the many vehicles that turn left into Fitzroy Terrace from Braund Road or the Torrens Road left-slip-lane, with left indicator on while moving one or two lanes to the right. Also there are the drivers who ignore the ‘no left turn’ sign and turn left from Fitzroy Terrace into bikedirect Braund Road.
A cyclist can be stopped by a red light at the War Memorial Drive T-junction, where there is no safe space for cyclists to wait.
At the next intersection, there is a short fake bicycle lane of only 1m width south of War Memorial Drive. A cyclist waits here at another red light, within millimetres of many wide buses that use this route, and fearing what might happen when the light goes green. Austroads states that bicycle operating envelope is 1.2m, and recommended width of bicycle lane for this speed zone is 1.5m.
From War Memorial Drive to Victor Richardson Road there is again no safe space for cyclists, with vehicles overtaking too closely, especially buses and ubiquitous 4WDs. The new angled footpath cuts across a cyclist’s path, i.e. no room at all for cyclists who must rely on drivers to be cyclist-aware and move to the right. Stressful for experienced commuter cyclists. Why did authorities ignore cycling requirements when the kerb and footpath were replaced during the Adelaide Oval revamp?
Get to the northern kerb of Victor Richardson Road, and cyclists squeezed out by a concrete protuberance. Some years ago ACC re-designed this area to be cycling hazard, adding a right-turn lane into Sir Edwin Smith Avenue for motorists, and the concrete protuberance to protect parked cars. In 2011 I had on onsite inspection with ACC staff who agreed that cyclists had insufficient space. See attached email.
Sent: Thursday, 21 July 2011 10:59 AM
Subject: RE: intersection King William Rd and War Memorial Drive
It is anticipated that consideration will be given to upgrade the entire intersection in concert with the redevelopment of the Adelaide Oval, over and above the right turn control installation referred to by ___.
Any upgrade would have the intention of improving the level of safety and amenity for all road users and pedestrians.
However, it must be appreciated that no commitment has yet been made about an overall upgrade of the intersection.
please do not design them with an artistic flair on the path routing.
If you want cycling commuters to use the bike paths …ie: path running from city west (near bunnings mile end) to north plympton… then design it straight as possible. We love riding but the meandering nature ( from one side of the parkway to the other ) of the cycling/walking path does not endear itself to the users..it would be better suited to have 2 straight paths if needed…1 for pedestrians and 1 for commuting cycling. Otherwise cyclists tend to just use the adjacent road for a quick commute.
Commuting is generally not about slow rides looking at nature, its more about getting from point A > point B and keeping your eyes open for pedestrians / cars / hazards..
I’m pleased you are encouraging the State government to go through the process of developing a new cycling strategy for South Australia. Like you I think it is timely.
Long term demise of car use while increased funding for car infrastructure
Like some others I would encourage you to argue for a higher than 1% proportion of the state infrastructure spend going to cycling. I would support 4% as reasonable, but I’d like to see higher allocations talked up in an effort to begin a shift in thinking about funding cycling infrastructure.
This is particularly important given the Liberal National Australian government’s budget announcements this week which appear to favour motor vehicle infrastructure to the exclusion of all other mobility. It is left to the poorer states and local governments to fund cycling infrastructure and my view is that simply doubling the current proportion to 1% will achieve too little. It’s a doubling of very little, and separated cycle lanes, for example, need specific allocations. The Australian government has abrogated all responsibility for cycling.
Increasing the cycling infrastructure spend makes good sense on a range of levels, not the least is because cycling is on the rise Australia wide. Significantly lifting funding for the mobility form which is in decline (private motor vehicles) is not an effective use of taxpayer funds when compared with increasing funding for cycling infrastructure because cycling is on the rise. The Australian government it seems is intent on propping up a declining mobility form while ignoring rapidly growing mobility forms.
Newman and Kenworthy in a recent paper titled ‘Peak Car Use’: Understanding the Demise of Automobile Dependence show the decline in car use in a range of countries, including Australia since 2006.
They conclude their article with
The phenomenon of peak car use appears to have set in to the cities of the developed world. It seems to be due to a combination of: technological limits set by the inability of cars to continue causing urban sprawl within travel time budgets; the rapid growth in transit and re-urbanization which combine to cause exponential declines in car use; the reduction of car use by older people in cities and amongst younger people due to the emerging culture of urbanism; and the growth in the price of fuel which underlies all of the above factors. The implications for traffic engineers, planners, financiers and economists is a paradigm shift in their professional understanding of what makes a good city in the twenty first century. It does however point to the demise of automobile dependence.
Internet searching ‘peak car use’ provides more information.
As one example of the growth in cycling, Super Tuesday counts of cyclists entering the Adelaide CBD show a percentage increase in 2011 of 17%, 2012 of 8% 2013 of 9%, and the total count for the hours between 7.00 am and 9.00pm in 2014 was 5,529. These cyclist are presumably a part of the decline in car use and are leaving their motor vehicles at home more often. If funding were to follow modal share, as seems reasonable, we’d see the funding graphs for cars and cycles heading in different directions.
Now that South Australians can no longer be so emotionally attached to cars, due to changed political economy related to the demise of car manufacturing here, there is a further political opportunity to change the politics of funding away from cars and towards more sustainable mobility.
In a new SA Cycling Strategy, I would like to see, some analysis of the benefits of cycling and the dis-benefits of motoring in particular in relation to CO2 emissions. The environmental benefits of cycling seem now to be neglected, and the dis-benefits of cars simply accepted. Public discussion about CO2 and mobility seem to have disappeared. Diminishing CO2 emissions is a necessity and in my view should be a core motivation for governments in increasing funding for cycling infrastructure relative to motor ways. I suggest that when funding new infrastructure of various kinds, estimates of the CO2 impacts should be part of the costing along with social and health benefits, which are often discussed.
Cycling and walking
Much of the policy motivation for cycling applies to walking. It is common for conditions for pedestrians in urban forms to improve when cycling infrastructure is built and vice versa. Shared paths are currently the norm. Would you consider a SA Strategic Plan for Walking and Cycling?
The Australian Cycling Conference, held annually in Adelaide (but not in 2014 due to Velo-City), has just made the transition to become the Australian Walking and Cycling Conference.
Electric cycles and cycles for people with disabilities
A strategy should include anticipating future interest and demand and understand the needs of e bikes users and a greater diversity of bikes which can be used by people with disabilities (like those manufactured in the Netherlands by www.vanraam.com/) Such bikes are popular in Europe but have not arrived here yet.
Separate cyclists from motor vehicles. Think of a concept like “bike freeways” and that will get you closer to what we need.
PS: I can be contacted on this topic as I have done some prelim work on mapping out possible options. Cheap and effective
The fear of collisions with motor vehicles is the greatest inhibitor of the uptake of cycling as a mode of transport. More people would travel by bicycle if they felt safe doing so, away from the danger of motorised traffic. More bicycles on the road means fewer cars on the road.
However, I do object to increase of cyclist penalties to same rate of driver penalties. I believe that a person in charge of a more dangerous vehicle (mass and speed) should accept more responsibility (larger fine) when breaching road rules (risking safety of other road users).
I particularly want for cyclist safety:
1. Minimum overtaking distance
2. Strict Liability legislation (which Qld backed-down on)
3. Cyclists permitted to turn left on red lights. Safer for cyclists to clear an intersection early, rather than waiting to mix it with vehicles.
4. Cyclists permitted to travel through red lights when on bar of T-junction. Safer to clear intersections, without waiting to mix it with vehicles.
5. Cyclists permitted to ride across all-types of pedestrian crossings. Safer for cyclists to clear an intersection early, rather than waiting to mix it with vehicles.
6. Cyclists permitted to treat stop signs as give-way signs
7. Re ‘dooring’ offences – increase penalties, demerit points, and provisions for ‘on-the-spot’ fines
8. Review best practice design options for roundabouts, and ensure that authorities adopt best practice design standards for all new and upgraded roundabout projects
9. Introduction of specific provisions and tougher penalties relating to Menacing and Predatory Road Behaviour within the Criminal Code and/or other relevant instruments
10. Speed limit on residential streets reduced to 30 km/h. Lower speed limits on urban arterial roads.
11. Eventually on all urban arterial roads, bicycle lanes that are physically separated from car / travel lanes
The ideal solution is to separate cyclist and vehicles totally but we simply cant afford to do that everywhere.
Additional bike lanes on already busy arterial roads are not the answer. They only add to the problem
To encourage more people to use their bike we need to provide safe alternative routes to main roads ie Bike Direct plus protect cyclists legally.
On the other hand motorists using major arterial roads need to be given a “fair go” free of cyclists.
These “big picture” issues need to be addressed before we spend more money on infrastructure that does not achieve its goal
I commute into Adelaide once a week and would love to park my car the top of the SE freeway and cycle into the CBD but once I get to the bottom of the freeway there is no way I am going to put myself amongst peak hour traffic like I see some do. Why have such great cycling infrastructure if it does not provide a continuous safe and direct route into the CBD. I would like to see a plan that provides cyclists with safe options throughout the suburbs, city and regional areas. Please can we get rid of cycle lanes that just fade away and become part of the road.
I have been an active user of bicycle transport as my main mode of transport for over twenty years, to improve my own health and wellbeing, and to contribute to general societal and environmental wellbeing. Unfortunately in that time I have been hospitalised twice as a result of traffic accidents that would have been avoided by better cycling infrastructure and a more generally positive attitude to cycling in the broader community.
I would like to see the introduction of some kind of strict liability legislation protecting vulnerable (pedestrian, cycling and increasingly gopher) road users.