The Adelaide Hills Council is preparing a bike plan and I’m helping out. (I've come out of retirement to do this. I'm a cycling and I used to be a transport planner.)

So far we’ve been talking to lots of residents about what they think and what they want to see.  This has mainly been in 'listening posts' held in community libraries during the day, as well as sessions with Council staff.

We hear a lot of comments by parents wishing that there were more safe places for them to cycle with their kids. We also get a lot of comments about 'arrogant cyclists' refusing to move over on narrow roads. Sometimes this comes from residents who are also keen cyclists themselves. (One of these drives trucks for the council. He cycles up from Belair to Stirling every day.)

There are two more 'listening posts'; this Thursday, 16 July: Woodside library, 12-2pm and Norton Summit Community Centre, 6-8pm. If you live up that way we’d love to see you there.

But the main way that we want to get cyclist input is through an online survey. The survey also links to a map where you can draw routes you use and identify locations that might be hazardous or present opportunities.

We’d love to know of any quiet routes that have good cycling and not much traffic. 

The survey doesn’t take long – unless you really want to go to town with comments and routes. You can find it with this link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AHC_bike_plan_survey

I’d also welcome any comments you have here too, they'll all go into the report. You can also send me an message.

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Sounds good! I'm completing the survey for now. Unfortunately I can't make the listening posts but I'd love to be involved some more when I get some spare time. My family and I will be moving to the hills next year. So much potential for cycling and infrastructure improvements in the Adelaide Hills. It's an incredible place to cycle and could be made so much better I think as well. But it all costs money of course!

Survey done.  Relevant for me, as I often ride between home (City) and Upper Sturt, and (separately) between Upper Sturt and Stirling.

survey done.

Unfortunately the map/route maker at the end is too much of a  pain the a**e to work out so have given up. Will eat some chocolate instead.

Yeah, I found it difficult at first.  You have to click each time you want the route to change direction (if its a long route, then that's a lot of clicks) and then double click to finish it.  It doesn't have to follow the road very carefully, as long as the guy entering it can see what route you are talking about.

There was a route builder at the end? I must've missed it.

My opinion of the hills is that the speed limits on certain roads are far too high. No way should Greenhill road (below the top of Yarrabee), for example, be any more than 60 as it's too narrow and there are too many corners. Having a higher speed limit encourages people to go that fast though and actually validates dangerous driving. This is me speaking as a driver by the way - my sister lives in Greenhill and I visit her regularly enough to know how people treat that road. As a cyclist I tend to avoid it.

The route builder opened up a new tab but came up with some error so i thought the link was buggered.

I left the computer (probably to get chocolate) and there it was loaded up.

Yes , I've just done the survey . 

We were up in Woodside yesterday talking to residents.  One was telling us how when he's approaching cyclists from behind he likes to give a short warning beep about 100 metres back to tell them here's there.  He said that he occasionally gets the finger as a result. He thought it would be good if cars had two horns: a friendly-sounding one for warning and then the usual one for abuse.

I don't know if an additional horn would be need in other countries.  It seems a sad feature of our culture.  I often wonder what migrants from Asia - where the horn is only used for warning - think when they come here and find it practically only used for abuse.

I've appreciated it when people do that for me, but I'd say I've only had people do that two or three times ever so it's not common behaviour which might be why some people take it the wrong way. Still, it's not that hard to tell the difference between an angry beep and a "thank you" beep when someone passes. Some pedestrians complain that bikes don't ding their bells on shared paths, others say we aggressively ding "out of my way" ...

Yeah I get the problem. Its not a concept limited to cars either. Some pedestrians seem to interpret bike bells as abuse too (read Harold Scruby's presentation to the Senate Enquiry on Road Safety for a messed up policy attitude derived from that interpreation). Though it should always be said that the actual threat indicated by a bike bell is MUCH less than the threat indicated by a car horn.

Regarding car horns - what about those musical ones they use in the Tour de France and other racing events?

Hi Ian,

I am not a hills resident, this is just a suggestion. I have been contemplating doing this for a while. The Strava heatmap does reflect a reasonable statistical record of the bike usage within the Hills area. This could be used to declare the most used roads as "Cycle Friendly" or whatever phrase you like, and then these roads get lower speed limits, better maintained verges, extra signage etc. These roads also signal to cyclists that they can be in a potentially safer environment while travelling along them.

The use of the Strava data will help focus the effort ($$$) of the Hills Council on roads that cyclists do actually use, and will give usage frequency data as well.

Thanks Andrew, Strava's a cheap way to find out where most of the cyclists are on the road.  You could add the idea of making sure that these roads have sealed (and clean) shoulders, so cyclists have somewhere to go when traffic banks up.

PS sorry to take so long to reply.  For some reason the comments haven't been fed into my email account.

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