I will preface this by saying I didn't ride my bike to the Campbelltown Moonlight Markets. I was out dropping one son to Joeys before taking the other shopping where I saw the flyer.
Campbelltown's Moonlight Markets were held tonight at Thorndon Park. It's a gem of a place in Adelaide's crown of parks, really great. So when I saw the promo for the Moonlight Markets being held there tonight I thought I'd take my 4 yr old and kill the hour before picking up son 7 from Joeys. I I could not believe the scene when I got there. Cars everywhere, car park overflowing, cars parking up and down the approach roads and side streets, parked in the hotel car park and other local businesses. For a Friday night I was quite blown away.
As I wrote on Jeremy's post in the week I am quite into the idea of placemaking - turning under used spaces into community hubs by doing things like hosting markets, arts spaces or pop up cafes so to see the place teeming with families it was great. There is a 'save Thorndon Park' movement. I'm not sure what they need to save, it's not going anywhere. The market stall holders were selling the usual stuff like jewellery, hand made baby items, t-shirts, bags - not the cheap import rubbish. And there was wine tasting and other food. Nice warm evening made it just right but I in the back of my mind I was thinking....
So many people and so many cars, did anyone do something to encourage the community to walk or ride a bike to the markets and leave the car at home?
By the size of the majority of the waistlines walking about most could afford to do some incidental exercise and with many enjoying a glass of wine or beer leaving the car at home would have extended the enjoyment. I'm not sure but I would has it a guess that the population of Campbelltown area is a fairly sedentary one (albeit aging too).
I was also thinking about this article I read today in the Fairfax media - Fitness facination stretches the truth. Which is summary says if you want to get fitter don't try and run marathons, just move more.
So what to do? How can we expect a community to leave the car at home and use a bike for both health and traffic reasons? How can a council provide leadership?. At the gates stood a series of bike locking hoops with no bikes. (The strange thing about Thorndon Park is riding of bikes is banned which I find really strange). To add insult to the scene the council parking inspectors were out noting illegal parking offenders - I hope they were just issuing warnings, not fines, as they are known to do.
Off the top of my head what about promoting leaving the car at home, provide more temporary bike parking such as 'valet' parking like at Womad. I sometimes think it's not the 'H' word that stops people riding, or traffic but just that getting all the stuff together like locks to go out and park a bike at the destination. Then there is the promoting of safe cycling routes and bike lanes (which are on Gorge Rd and others nearby). Maybe known local walking and cycling groups could be invited to ride and walk there to set an example.
But overall this sort of change in car use can't be expected to happen just for one event, it has to come down to greater leadership from government, council and cyclists like us.
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