So I went to the drop in session on the Blackwood roundabout upgrade held by DPTI Transport last night. The project team rep told me that 4 traffic lanes on each of the 4 roads was a non-negotiable starting point for the design. Given this, there is very little room for any changes to the concept design. There can be no concessions to pedestrians except at the church, and no concessions to cyclist safety.

Because the project team is a traffic team at DPTI, their objectives are maximising cars/hour at peak hours, and making the roundabout easier and safer to navigate for car drivers. They are building what they know, and questions about anything else just got shrugs.

Answers I got to questions include: It is not safe to have pedestrians near to roundabouts, so pedestrians will have to go down the road and press the beg-buttons to cross. It is not safe to make provision for cyclists on roundabouts, so there are none. I was advised to ‘take the lane’ if I wanted to cycle through it, i.e. get in the middle of a lane as if I was a car.

When I mentioned overseas roundabout designs that cater for pedestrians and cyclists, I was told that 4 traffic lanes at each exit means there is no room for such things. I mentioned research showing that neighbourhoods which introduce pedestrian and cycling friendly measures see an upturn in business takings. More shrugs.

I asked about the modelling that necessitated 17 car lanes, and I was told that I would not be allowed access to the modelling and wouldn’t understand it in any case. But I was assured that 17 car lanes are definitely needed, the queues would be huge otherwise.

So it's all about car flow rates and making it easier for drivers to not stuff up driving round it. As far as the project team are concerned there is little value in talking about pedestrians or cyclists because the car requirements are non-negotiable and there isn't any space left.

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The problem is, with the poor state of public transport in Adelaide, driving through that roundabout is the only feasible way to get to/from work for many people. Until that is fixed, DPTI is trying to optimise things for that vast majority (motorists), and I can hardly blame them. 

I wonder if it'd be more fruitful to look for / suggest alternatives which allow cyclists to bypass the roundabout.

Traffic lights at Brighton Pde/Sheps (without removing the Woolworths lights)?

I wonder if demand lights like at the Blythewood Rd/Old Belair Rd roundabout would help matters. Currently the pedestrian lights either side of the Belair roundabout, plus the train crossing, do help but in a random manner. Off peak the roundabout works well enough as it is.

A bit of a google on traffic light vs roundabouts, especially , suggested, (1) roundabouts can on average be faster but (2) they're unsafer cyclists (everyone on this board knows that!) and (3) roundabouts are faster when traffic is evenly distributed, but not necessarily if not.

Point (3) could be a big factor in favour of traffic lights in Blackwood. I don't commute that way, but I imagine that in morning peak hour, traffic is mainly coming from the east (Main Road from Coromandel Valley) or the south (Coromandel Parade), meaning that traffic on Coromandel Parade has long waits,  giving way to a stream of traffic on its right coming up Main Road. And in the evening peak hour, I imagine it's mainly traffic from the north (Main Road from Belair) or west (Shepherds Hill Road), meaning the Main Road traffic has long waits giving way to Shepherds Hill Road traffic on its right.

Does anyone who commutes that way know if it's like that? Or is there enough flow on the other roads, that traffic from all directions flows OK?

That's pretty disappointing, and pretty predictable.  It's on my commute too & from work, and also just to go to the shops.  It's unpleasant at the moment - it will be virtually unusable by bike unless you can accelerate to 30kmh+.

The problem is that it's unlikely to be a long term fix - more roads just makes more traffic, and in the meantime there will be more noise and more pollution.  The larger roundabout will mean higher speeds, and quite possibly an even worse safety record.

It's in the middle of a shopping centre for ****'s sake - so obviously we ignore pedestrians in favour of through motor traffic - this is Australia after all...


1. Have two lanes at each road rather than 4.

2. That leaves space for cycle safe lanes and improves pedestrian access.

3. Massive whinge because car flow is not the priority.

4. Improve public transport so people use that or cycle instead.

The alternative is to have everyone drive forever and Blackwood remains a culture-free road intersection.

I'm reading a quite interesting report about the history of Adelaide (city),

For those old enough to remember, during the 60's the streets in the city were widened to accommodate the increasing use of cars. What goes come, can come down too... How about making the entire inner city active transport friendly. Narrow the lanes to a single car lane each direction, increase widths of footpaths (although on the major streets they are already quite wide), eliminate beg buttons, add a lane each way for cycling, heck... eliminate traffic lights.

This would actually require very little real infrastructure works, just some paint (except for wider footpaths), so it could all be done by X-Mas.

Build it and they will come - they built a car metropolis and they got cars.

Build a shared metropolis and we will all come.

I have thrown up links to web-cams looking over busy shared spaces in the Netherlands before. They tend to come and go -  bit of a google and one can usually find... Happy Shared Spaces - you would be amazed at what shares close quarters in harmony.

Here's a bit of old footage:

I'm not that intimate with Amsterdam so I don't recognise it, but I've walked several times from Stationsplein (another one to find a video of!!) to the Van Gogh Museum (love him & the museum) so I've probably been there.

Both my wife & I have said a few times Adelaide car drivers would go crazy in European cities. Of all road users they have the least priviliges, so be mindful of and stop & wait for everything & everyone.

Even the street I lived in Antwerp, a small street near the back of the central station, the legal limit of 30km/h with a car was pushing the limits of safety, in a one-way street where 2-way cycling is permitted, kids run into the street all the time, delivery vans are (double) parked everywhere and pedestrians cross without even looking up for traffic.

You can have your say here (only 600 chars - so no essays):

In 2017 some AC members did not support the design plan, saying it gave priority to vehicles, while not catering for cyclists and pedestrians or their safety.
In 2019 appears that drivers do not like the completed installation.

Bushfire safety concerns remain as new roundabout branded a $3.5m 'non-event'
Published by ABC News on 22-May-2019
Drivers criticise the upgraded Blackwood roundabout.
Another roundabout has been flagged for the intersection of James Rd and Old Belair Rd.

A roundabout at that location would be a very silly idea.

I drove that way to work for 20 years and I know that in peak hour my preferred route was down James road because you could always count on cars letting you in.

So, a dedicated roundabout would prioritise the traffic on James road.


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