Burnside Council Elections - Kensington Gardens and Magill Ward

For anyone interested I recently emailed 3 of the 4 candidates in my ward (Kensington Gardens and Magill) to get their views on transport as a whole. One Candidate I couldn't find an email address for. I was deliberately trying to come across as open minded or at least not show my hand as an active transport supporter, so that I could hopefully get a more honest response, not something aimed at just winning my vote.

My Original email:

I’m taking a very keen interest in the Council elections this year and have been following a number of issues to help me in my voting decision. One that I have not seen much of in the lead up is to do with transport. From where I stand, it appears that roads and cars is by far the priority with regards to transport. I’m not saying whether this is right or wrong, but I’d be very interested to hear where you stand. Is this the right way to go for our Council area, or should we be considering other options such as lower speed limits and/or lobbying the State Government for better public transport (eg Trams or more bus coverage) and/or providing more options for people to walk or use a bicycle? (Especially school kids).

I’d welcome any feedback you could provide.

Candidate 1 response:

Hi Andrew, (couldn't get my name right? But I do get that a lot because of my last name)

 These are great questions. 

Firstly, public transport as you indicated is the domain of State government. Councils can't do much on DPTI roads or with respect to public transport except 'liaise and lobby'.

 I believe that the Council should be encouraging maximum safe use of walking, cycling and public transport.

 I have been very vocal about the lack of footpaths and proper road edging, particularly in the Eastern a of Burnside City. Footpaths are a key feature to encourage people to walk; as well they're essential for the mobility and safety disabled, elderly, children and parents with prams. I'll be pushing for more footpaths and better road edging for the Ward's streets.

 The Burnside Council has been participating in the cooperative development of bike lane projects with the State government and neighbouring Councils, but little more than this. 

 Over the last four years I have pushed Council to engage with DPTI (State government) to help make the major East-West corridors of Magill and Kensington Roads more streamlined and efficient.

 As far as speed limits and speed management devices are concerned I have found that the Burnside Council is very receptive to any suggestions especially with respect to areas around schools or on problematic roads. I think that the balance is about right. However, I had a long battle with Council Administration to remove an unnecessary chicane they installed on Heatherbank Tce that the community resoundingly did not want or need. Eventually the chicane was removed and better/ more appropriate speed management put in place. 

Candidate 2:

Thanks for your interest in the Council elections.

My view is that, in the near future, management of people’s use of cars is the priority.  Council does encourage cycling & walking but extensive use of cars is inevitable  and growing with increased density of housing.

I am committed to a comprehensive survey of traffic & parking issues in the Magill & Kensington Gardens block between the Parade & Magill Road sin early 2019. I believe implementation of a 40 kph speed limit would provide significant relief to residents.  Specific treatments – permit parking, inset kerbing – would also help.

Candidate 3:

Really good question and quite a complex issue. It is hard to answer your question because it is really a state issue but there are certainly some things council can do.

Buses:

I am currently lobbying the state government to make public transport free within the city square and north Adelaide so as to reduce congestion and increase trade. This has been very successful in Melbourne.

The other big problem I currently see with public transport is the cost. If my wife and I want to catch the bus into the city it would cost us around $22 to get there and back, that is simply cost prohibitive.

I think public transport is far too expensive and the cost should be reduced to maximize usage rather than return. If the State Government put all the money it spent on the underpass into reducing the cost of public transport, the underpass probably wouldn't be necessary.

One thing I would like to see is more park and ride facilities such as the paradise interchange. We don't have anything like that in the Burnside area which is a shame.

Trucks:

I am also volunteer firefighter with Burnside CFS and there are many truck accidents which occur down the freeway. The biggest problem with that is driver training (they come down in too high of a gear) and also that the trucking companies wind out their breaks so they use the trailer's breaks, and the trailer owners wind out their breaks to use the truck's... then they end up with no breaks at all. I understand the liberal party is taking a harder line on truck and trailer inspections to reduce this. I think trucks where possible should be kept off main roads. 

 

Pedestrian Crossings:

In terms of school kids, I think where possible they should be walking to school and to allow that to happen safely council should be installing crossing along major routes.

I was the driving force behind getting the Dulwich crossing over the line in the last term of council which you can read about here online if you search for "Dulwich Crossing Burnside News".

That crossing was quite contentious as is the proposed crossing for Linden Park Primary School. It always seems to be a battle between residents who don't want the crossing and parents who do.

Cycling Paths:

Burnside was also planning to build designated cycling paths to enable bikes to get off the main roads. That was a plan introduced before my time in 2012 but the number of people ridding to work has actually plummeted which is a real shame.

It didn't make sense to invest so heavily when participation rates in cycling were dropping. If that picks up though and I hope it does, I would certainly support designated cycle routes into the city.

Trams:

Personally I don't see the benefit of trams at all. They are essentially very expensive, infrastructure heavy buses that can't turn left or right.

Trackless trams are just buses in my view. But I am prepared to be convinced.

This also came with an offer to meet up for coffee tomorrow morning, which I've taken him up on. Going to see if I can find out where he got the data on "number of people ridding to work has actually plummeted" information from and see if I can get him to understand that transport is supply driven not demand.

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TL DR version:

Candidate 1 (Lance Bagster) seems open to active transport as a whole

Candidate 2 (Grant Piggott) appears to be cars only

Candidate 3 (Henry David) seems to be the most open to a bigger picture of transport. Might be open to convincing of better bicycle infrastructure

Candidate 3 seems to be the best but his quote.. 

"It didn't make sense to invest so heavily when participation rates in cycling were dropping. If that picks up though and I hope it does, I would certainly support designated cycle routes into the city."

Hasnt he heard Build it and they will come.

That's what I'm planning to try and push with him tomorrow. Not just cycling, but all transport is supply driven, not demand driven. I think examples like London might be good for him to look at, but closer to home, compare the rates of people coming into the city from Unley as opposed to Burnside

There are three candidates I would be happy not to vote for.  Pity you have such a poor choice in Burnside!

I met with Henry Davis on Saturday, I actually believe he might be alright, potentially an ally. Time will tell.

We had a very long talk where I mentioned about transport being supply driven and gave him some examples of how terrible the "infrastructure" is and why it actually puts people off riding. He said he would look into what places like London and New York have done and what the results have been there. I also asked him to compare what NPSP council have done and are doing. He said that the main issue they had with the cycling plan for Burnside was there was no resident support for it, only opposition. I don't know whether this is true or not, but can't find anything to the contrary. He has indicated that he would be willing to support initiatives, provided we can get some resident support, both in terms of current riders as well as people who would ride if it was much safer. He also believes there are a number of others on council who would also been open to being convinced. We also discussed a fair bit about lower speed limits for motor vehicles, better facilities for pedestrians (especially kids walking to school).

So the next step is that we need to get organised and get some like minded people within Burnside together. Especially a few people who are more organised and better negotiators than me.

Is there a BUG that covers Burnside Council? Unless there's an active BUG (it only has to me a few people and a facebook group) you will find it difficult to generate a community voice in support of cycling measures...!

That's "it only has to be" of course!

lol, I knew what you meant.

I've been reading some of your work with regards to setting up and running a BUG. Glad you put that together, that will be a big help. Thanks

I'd be interested to know what the residents of Cuthero Terrace (Kensington Gardens) think of the changes made.  It was part of the bike plan, and the changes were designed to make it better for cycling.  I suspect that the residents like it.

I live just off Cuthero at the eastern end, that's my route into work. What changes were made? There's a speed hump/chicane between Coolibah and Mahar Streets, but that's all as far as I can see. 

Yes, the chicane / hump is the main thing, but they did a few kerb protuberances to slow down the traffic as well, e.g. at Briant Road.  It's more bendy than it used to be. I think it's also narrower in places. 

On the other hand the changes weren't so dramatic as to frighten the locals.

If you have google earth you can see changes by looking at how it used to be in 2010.

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