The Council Meeting last week tabled a large report.  You can find it here

under 24th October.  I'ts about 57MB for all the minutes in one file.

The outcome from the minutes is

Bicycle Strategy Review and Recommendations (Strategic) (14.11)

Motion C11462
1. That the Report be received.


2. That Council’s current Bicycle Strategy is discontinued and that cycling goals and targets are instead integrated and absorbed into other suitable strategies and plans, acknowledging that:

  1. 2.1  New plans and strategies which are developed should aim to include cycling objectives, as appropriate; and

  2. 2.2  Existing plans and strategies should, in line with their respective review periods, be amended to incorporate cycling objectives where appropriate. 

I wonder if I can get a discount on my December rates payment ? 

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18 km long but one way perhaps.... Straya

As the news reports indicate, this goes back to 2014, when their first attempt at a "less stress bike route" was opposed by residents. If they couldn't even get this simple proposal up, the plan was doomed from then on anyway.

The details can be found in the council agenda for 25-3-2014, which is online at ("only" 25 MB). The report begins on p.225, the actual proposal sent to residents is on p.264, and residents' responses are on the pages after that.

Basically, there was (and still is) an east-west bike route on Grant Avenue. That's the road which meets Fullarton Road at the traffic lights by the old Queen Victoria Hospital, and links up to the path through the east Parklands. However the bike lane is in the door zone and the road is shared by buses. If I lived there I'd certainly be looking for alternatives - I deliberately avoid a less busy bus route road on my own commute.

The proposal was for a "less stress bike route" for less confident riders. The best alternative (IMO) was simply one block north, on Alexander Ave. (In fact I think I have memories of occasionally using this very route many years ago, back in the 90s when I commuted to Norwood for a short time). The proposal (p.264) was for bike lanes where it's wide, markings (I think they mean sharrows) where it's narrow, and some infrastructure to get around one awkward roundabout.

Even this modest proposal was opposed by residents. A common objection (I suspect this was circulated among residents because the same phrase came up several times) was that a bicycle lane would detract because it was a heritage area (it has a wide median strip with war memorials). So apparently speed bumps and car parking don't detract from a heritage area, but bicycle lanes do. Even with this orchestrated objection, it still got support from 43% of residents (54% against) (p.266).

What council should have done from there, in my opinion, was modify the proposal. Residents don't want a painted bike lane? Then do sharrows instead. There's already speed bumps so traffic's got to go slow anyway. Would residents really object to a little extra paint on the road? Instead, as far as I can see, council just decided their proposal was rejected and that was that.

So I'm not sure what I think. On one hand, I think the whole strategy of a network of "less stress bike routes" might have been a bit ambitious. On the other hand, it still could have worked with a bit of compromise.

That's Alexandra Ave, not Alexander Ave.

Peter, bicycles were invented before cars. So ban cars to make the area more historic?

I was being sarcastic. Of course it's silly to say that a bicycle lane detracts from a heritage area, but that parked cars and speed bumps don't. 

Could have done a Penny Farthing only lane ?   

Alexandra Ave is great - I cycle along it regularly. Especially good in summer with a wide canopy of trees to avoid the searing rays of the Sun!

Sssh, just don't let the natives know that you like to use some of their personal BMW parking strips...

Is there still an Eastern Suburbs BUG? Or one in the Burnside Council area? In my experience, without active local representation Council bike plans will always lack support or fail due to half-hearted commitment - it's 'participatory democracy 101'! Yes - the East of Adelaide is somewhat different geographically and in terms of the built environment than elsewhere in the city, but there are still plenty of opportunities to encourage active travel without competing too much with cars!

Here's a letter to the Eastern Courier - others might also consider writing (

"It’s disappointing to read (Eastern Courier, Nov. 1st) that the Burnside Council has scrapped it’s Bike Plan. It seems to believe that community interest in active-travel is lacking and that ‘cycling is dangerous’ - all quite specious arguments! Bicycle use is quite safe - it’s cars and trucks that present a hazard for vulnerable road users. Perhaps the real problem is how Burnside Council chose to support bicycle use in the first place. The on-road, physically separated bike lanes it apparently wanted were always going to be a challenge simply because they compete with cars for ‘road space’. Other councils have made great progress in supporting more active travel choices (bike use, walking, public transport and use of mobility aids) by using every opportunity to build off-road bikeways and shared-use pathways, to maximize integration of footpath facilities and by integrating local streets into their bike networks as ‘bicycle boulevards’. As a case in point, through a commitment to Active Transport shared by Western suburbs councils and the state government, we will shortly see the opening of the Outer Harbour Greenway. This will provide walkers, bike and scooter riders of all ages (including children) and those using mobility devices with a safe, enjoyable and largely off-road route between Port Adelaide, the Adelaide CBD, and all points in between! Where are the equivalent initiatives in Adelaide’s Eastern Suburbs? Sadly lacking it seems. We often hear of the Eastern suburbs as the ‘leafy greens’ – perhaps not so green in reality! Adelaide is developing an excellent active-travel network based around a framework of secure Greenways and linked local routes. This city-wide network is not the province of any one council – all need to contribute as best they can. It seems that Burnside Council may be failing its residents as well as the rest of our city in our progress towards a healthier transport system!

Sam Powrie, Secretary, Port Adelaide Bicycle User Group."

Mmm - it seems that I may have misunderstood exactly what Burnside Council was seeking to do ('physically separated bike lanes' etc). Apparently all they wanted to do was paint lines on their roads. Nevertheless it still seems pathetic and irresponsible to give up on a no-doubt expensive bike plan and then quite disingenuous to base that decision on specious statements about lack of community support and 'dangerous' cycling! Adelaide's bike routes and bike network do not belong to any specific council or group of residents. A sound active travel network can only stem from a shared commitment across council and community boundaries! Sooner or later the more privileged leafy-green areas of the city will need to join the real world! I look forward to hearing a bit more from a new 'BurnBUG'...

Regarding the question of whether they planned physically separated bike lanes, or white paint: it was some of both.

There was an overall plan which included "low stress bikeways" or "super routes", which would try to make cycling accessible to everyone. They would particularly try to service schools, hoping to get more kids cycling to school. There would be separated bikeways where necessary, as well as more modest changes in other places. This plan was adopted in 2012 and is still online at

But when council tried to implement the first stage of their plan in 2014 (as I detailed in my post on the last page), the NIMBYs objected, even though this particular stage didn't have any separated bike lanes. 

How is it that having cyclists directed to one's street is going to be detrimental?

Quite the opposite I'd suggest and with general traffic directed away a win for those living there. What logic led to the "we don't want it" response?


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