Does anyone who lives in the Woodville/Cheltenham area want to be in next week's Messenger Press? On their bike of course (with or without kids)! Call Paul, 0414623511.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
What day and when is the photo shoot? And what's the angle?
At a guess, I would venture to say it is about this story.
The railway line might be good for commuters. However, as a utility cyclist wanting to access shops and businesses, I would prefer the Port Road median idea. Why not both?
A well-known cyclist is quoted in Adelaide Now as vetoing the median idea as unsafe. The local mayor says it will be safe with rumble strips to remind drivers. The Westside Bikeway is interrupted by roads and cars, which cyclists must give way to, and no rumble strips to remind drivers. A bicycle lane down the median strip would be safer than the current Port Road with mix of bicycle lanes and nothing.
I repeat, why not both: the railway line and the Port Road median strip.
WARNING: Long rant!
Hi Heather and Bicycle Friends,
I may or may not be the 'well known cyclist' Heather mentions as being quoted in the Messenger on this subject. I'll chime in anyway. The opinions I put to the Messenger were derived from what I have gleaned from the hyper-bike-literate folks in the bicycle transport divisions of our Sate Government and from quite a lot of reading on similar 'central reserve bike path' ideas and the economics of bike-based 'passing trade'.
The Port Adelaide Mayor and Port Council have pointed to a central median cycling pathway that existed decades ago (possibly remembered from their own childhoods) as justification for revisiting such a design in 2012. Some careful thought (and perhaps some first hand experience 'on the bike') would provide the Mayor and his colleagues with a more reasoned understanding as to why such a pathway does not exist today! It may also be instructive for the Mayor and Council to study its own Bicycle Strategy (see:http://www.portenf.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/07-010Y-PAE-Fi...) which actually supports the State Government's Outer Harbour Greenway along the rail line 100 metres to the North of Port Road.
In design terms, the notion of a median reserve bikeway on a major, 6 lane, high volume arterial road with over 30 cross-roads and 100's of items of reserve infrastructure such as Port Road breaks every rule in the traffic planning book! Such a pathway would present major difficulties with:
It is highly likely that such a pathway would require many millions of dollars in infrastructure, control systems and lighting, would not be economically feasible under Australian Design Rules for design of bicycle facilities and would be regarded with a great deal of scepticism by the community. It would end up as another of Adelaide's cycling 'white elephants'!
To remind people of the very attractive alternative - for the last decade the State Government has been developing a system of Greenways to complement and overlay its existing city-wide BikeDirect Network. The Greenways were conceived as direct 'bicycle arterial' links that would give bicycle users of all ages, ability and persuasions the opportunity to travel across the city (and between suburbs and their more localised bicycle networks), without having to travel on main arterial roads and deal with the hazards associated with the high speed traffic encountered thereon. Key features of Greenways are 'continuity' and 'connectivity', established as the major tenets of good bicycle design worldwide.
Greenways have been established and have proved a major success in hundreds of cities from London to Bogota and Perth, WA. More commuters travel by Greenway into Manhattan each day than by car or public transport! Greenways bring significant health and economic benefits to their users and well as major environmental and economic benefits to the communities through which they pass along the way. They generally take up little room and have negligible impact on existing traffic networks, apart from rendering them more efficient and less congested. Like street-level tramways, they bring greatly increased 'passing trade' to shops and services on the routes they follow.
Maybe bear this point in mind Heather - 'passing trade' consists of people walking or riding in front of your shop front - not 20-odd metres away across 3 streams of fast-moving traffic with kerbside crossing points only every 300-400 metres.
Greenways can often be closely integrated with existing road and public transport networks and bring major efficiencies to both. This is the intention with the Outer Harbour Greenway which is only about 100 metres to the North of Port Road. Although it will be on the Northern side of the rail line there will be plenty of opportunities for bike crossings across the rail line and for further development of 'back street' access to the Port Road retail strip as well as opportunities for plenty of signage along the route re. retail and other services to be had via a quick detour.
The proposed Adelaide Greenway network is detailed in a State Government policy (see the Bicycle Institute's web site and elsewhere) and is also a major item documented in the existing Port Adelaide Council Bicycle Strategy. There are already Greenway routes between the CBD and the Showgrounds, down to Glenelg along the tramline and to Seaford along the new rail line. The Outer Harbour/Grange Greenways would mainly follow long established 'railway boulevards' on the Nothern side of the Outerharbour line reserve, requiring minimal new infrastructure on existing roads and pathways, with some new bit relatively short bicycle links required for the few hundred metres where such roads and pathways do not currently exist.
Heather asks 'why not both'? As you can see, I think the notion of a central reserve bike path is fundamentally flawed. But there are also key issues of funding, Council participation and community support which we would be naive to ignore.
Prior to the 2012 state budget - which saw the suspension of electrification and tramway development on the Outer Harbour rail line - the City-to-Outer Harbour & Grange Greenways appeared to be 'next off the block' on the DPTE's project schedule with the Greenway to be built as part of the rail line redevelopment. The Port Adelaide BUG (of which I am a member) understands that joint funding and planning discussion has already occurred with the three Councils involved (Adelaide, Charles Sturt and Port Adelaide/Enfield) and DPTE officers, with land reserves identified and set aside in the Cheltenham and St Clair housing redevelopments. Significant infrastructure development has already been built along the route by Charles Sturt Council in anticipation of further development of this Greenway.
The City-Outer Harbour r& Grange Greenway project now appears uncertain. Given existing State and Local Government 'on paper' commitment to the project and infrastructure already in place I'm confident that it can and will go ahead. However key funding and planning issues still need to be addressed, requiring a concerted focus and effort by all involved. I cannot imagine the State Government supporting a brand new proposal from the Port Council that might cost 5 times more than the proposed Greenway and would inevitably end up as a dud! It's simply neither realistic nor good politics! If we are to succeed in bicycle advocacy as a joint community enterprise the bicycle fraternity needs to be aware of such matters and play the game with care and attention.
The Port BUG is writing to the Premier and Minister for Transport seeking assurances that the Greenway remains on the State Government's agenda. We regard the Port Adelaide Council's interest in and promotion of a Central Median bikeway on Port Road as a strategic error and misguided. I am personally dismayed that the Port Adelaide Council has apparently chosen more or less enmasse to ignore the priority it has previously placed on construction of the City-Outer Harbour Greenway and instead focus on an entirely unrealistic, outdated and impractical proposal from the Mayor.
It is inevitable that his proposal will represent a distraction for the Council and its Officers at a time when established priorities such as the redeveloped Outer Harbour rail line and the associated tram and Greenway proposals require their support and community leadership. We are continuously told that State Government and Council funds are limited. We are also told that 'windows of opportunity' are likewise limited and must be utilised when available. The City-to-Outer Harbour/Grange Greenway is a major, visionary and timely undertaking that is urgently needed by Western communities who find themselves under increasing economic, environmental and transport pressures. Mayor Johanson and the Port Council need to show more effective leadership on this key transport issue and re-engage in the negotiations with State Government required for completion of the new Greenway. And it seems to me that the 'bicycle community' (if there is one) has a major role to play in actively supporting such outcomes!
Sorry - forgot to say in the above diatribe that one of the major points in favour of building Greenways is to link together local-area bicycle networks. To a large extent, and especially for 'less able' (and often more vulnerable) bicycle users, local bicycle networks in Adelaide remain exactly that - local! For many people, the main arterial roads surrounding these local area networks represent barriers which they feel unable to cross or venture onto. Greenways obliterate these barriers and allow bicycle users of all persuasions to get out of their cars and onto their bikes (or trikes, skates, unicycles etc).
For those who still feel some attraction to a bikeway on Port Road's central reserve, maybe have a think about how practical it's going to be to try to link such a 14km long facility to the hundreds of points along Port Road which effectively represent access to the local bike networks. It can't be done (not withing bicycle budgets anyway). The great strength of a bicycle is that it's flexibility - that's why Ivan Illich referred to it as the 'equity vehicle'. Not equitable just because most people can afford one. but also because a bike will take you just about anywhere and by just about any route. It affords transport access to all, defeating the omnipresent constraints that we have come to accept for motor vehicle transport.
Putting bikes down Port Road with 3 lanes of traffic on each side and access points only at major road crossings (where pedestrian crossings already exist) effectively puts cycling in a cage. Maybe that's what the Mayor wants? Not an agenda I'd support!
Off topic (although I am just around the corner from Woodville) I read the aritcle on the proposed Port Road cycleway and think its a shocking idea... I would rather chance it in the bike lane.
Having to cross a seemingly endless number of the roadways that cut through the median strip, where cars will obviously have right of way over bike traffic just seems pointless and probably dangerous. I would much rather see them use the space for shops/cafes etc than be in a position where I have to stop , give way, sprint for 100m, then stop give way again...
The councillor's comment that it will reinvigorate the port and allow families to safely travel between Port Adelaide and the City - LOL - thats like what - 15-20km... how many 5-10yr olds are going to be riding 20km regardless of the safety factor.
The whole thing reeks of someone trying to appear cyclist friendly, without actually thinking or knowing what cyclists may want.
I agree about the median strip idea. the Port Rd and ANZAC Hwy median strip ideas keep popping up from time to time and both are hugely impractical IMO.