Hi Bicycle Users,
We’ve heard that a new State Bike Plan may soon be coming down the path! It will replace 'Safety in Numbers’ which ran its course in 2010! The Bicycle Institute is now looking for your ideas for potential 'new Greenways' for submission to a renewed State Bike Plan. Can you help? Read on for more information....
This initial map included routes that are now familiar to many such as the Mike Turtur and Outer Harbor Greenways. They tend to follow Adelaide’s tram and rail lines, making use of the 'railway boulevards', existing greenspace, local roads and occasionally even bits of rail and tram reserve!
Adelaide’s arterial roads act as major barriers to people dependent on walking, cycling and mobility devices. Greenways aim to overcome these barriers and allow bicycle users in particular to:
• avoid arterial roads and the hazards of heavy traffic
• provide safe crossings at main roads
• provide short-cuts and faster, more efficient and pleasant cycling routes.
The trouble is that in spatial terms, Adelaide is a large city divided up by many busy arterial roads! The Greenway routes mapped out in 2005 didn’t do a lot to assist cyclists in the north and east of the city, nor indeed in most of the outer suburbs. A Greenway Network for a city of Adelaide’s size will require many more major bicycle 'trunk routes' than the six or so identified in the initial 2005 map! And they'll need to connect outer suburbs and not just all point at the Adelaide CBD!
We want to see a vision for a Comprehensive Greenway Network in the new State Bike Plan - one that will facilitate easy and safe bicycle access for everyone – ‘8 to 80 years of age’ - right across the Adelaide Metro Area!
To accomplish this will require cyclists - you and me - to identify every available opportunity we can for potential new Greenways and ’trunk’ bikeway routes. No matter how short or how long. Government can’t do it – we have to!
These new routes do not have to be long - they could include links and pathways:
• using unused drainage or plantation reserves
• along unused sections of railway reserve
• alongside major and hazardous arterial roads (including improvement of under-utilised footpaths!)
• use of pipeline reserves or local parks linking local networks and by-passing intersections.
You know your local cycling environment best! You know the unused or underutilised infrastructure. Drainage, rail and pipeline reserves, footpaths, quiet, dead-end streets backing on to parks and reserves. Things that prompt questions like… ’this could be better’ or… ‘why can’t I ride down there’?
Here’s you chance! Please let us know:
• where you think a new stretch of Greenway or bikeway would be useful?
• what existing space or reserve exists that might do the trick?
• where the new Greenway route could start and finish?
• how it would be used & how it would improve your cycling?
• and…what youwant to call your 'new Greenway route'?
Please let us know your hopes and dreams for new Greenways and Bikeways across Adelaide!" There’s no time limit to this ‘8-80 Project’ so… keep riding, looking and thinking!
Some sort of alternative to Old Belair Road - most likely through Randell Park to Burnell Drive (or possibly up from Weemala Drive, though that looks steeper). I know this has come up before and Mitcham Council has rejected it, but that doesn't mean to not keep asking. I suspect it's too much money for a council and will need State or Federal money, but it'd still be a fraction of the cost of widening Old Belair Road.
Access to Burnell from the existing MTB trail network in Randell is the first step. I contacted the council to find out when they will present the options for southern access to the trail network (currently only access via Northern Torrens park side and Old Belair rd) and they indicated they hoped to present it to elected members this month. While I don't know what the recommendations will be for certain, I suspect it will be access via Burnell which is currently walking only. I suspect if this is proposed there will be a big resident backlash so the cycling community will need to be ready to fight and throw our support behind it.
For me, the simplest rebuttal to residents' objections would be to point to the top of the Lynton Path, at High Street, Belair. Are noisy cyclists disrupting the lives of the residents of High Street? Somehow I doubt it.
The issue on Burnell has a bit of history, for years there were confrontations with downhill riders and using that entrance to access the then illegal downhill trails. I believe the basis for their argument is the narrow steep section of road towards the bottom is dangerous for both up and downhill riders. My initial response would be its no less (and I suspect much more so) safe than old Belair or James rd, and that riding up Burnell at this crest is no different than me walking my dog up this crest. In each scenario I need to walk on the road and the car needs to wait to pass safely. Yet one is deemed acceptable, the other is not. Its possible this may never eventuate, (ie the recommendation could be elsewhere or the residents may not object) but I suspect its the most likely course of action. The other scenario is council hears the recommendation and immediately rejects it when told the cost to upgrade that section of path between the Randell X-over track and Burnell.
Does Mitcham Council have a Bike Plan and is this sort of bike access covered by it? All I could find at their site was a draft Integrated Transport Plan... A Bike Plan confers considerable legitimacy to such projects and can also deal with many of the questions that tend to congeal as 'opposition'...
Yes I made some enquiries to Sam Duluk (state mp) awhile back, he passed them on to Glen Spear (mayor) and he directed me to the "Integrated Transport Plan" being developed. Have to assume that's it.
Savvas I've had trouble tracking down a plan with regard to cycling in Mitcham. When I was asking about Winston Ave they suggested I read it but like you I could only find reference to the draft transport plan on the website. It also looks like in 2014 they had, or were planning to have, an Integrated Bicycle Plan but it must've got shelved - I'm presuming they want to throw it under one plan similar to other Councils. But right now they effectively have nothing.
Slightly off topic - For Mitcham area cyclists I'm hoping to get a BUG started so we can throw some light cycling issues for Council going forward.
A BUG is great but to be honest I have never had any issues contacting and discussing these issues with Councillors and the biggest issue going forward is numbers. We really need to be looking for or supplying candidates to push these things through. If the numbers were there in this cycle there is a strong chance the urban trail would have been more formerly investigated as this was voted down by one. I would very much endorse Karen Hockley Lindy Taeubuer and Tim Hein (a member of AC). Jane Bange was also very happy to discuss issues and I genuinely believe she wants better outcomes for cyclists but her decisions and votes confuse me at times. If anyone is half considering it I would encourage them to step up in the upcoming election.
Hi Rob and Burley, The more I think about it, the more I suspect that the role of a BUG is less about working with individual Councillors and more about demonstrating underlying representation. Here's the theory: because bicycle use is 'active transport', cyclists tend to see the world in terms of their own intense personal experiences. Hence, when engaging in advocacy activities they naturally tend towards individual representation efforts, on their own part and directed at individuals in Local and State Government.
There is indeed an essential role for this, but it's not all that is required. If it was, we would have seen much more change in Adelaide over the last 2-3 decades! There is the challenge of Council as a whole - not just all councillors (they all get to vote after all) - but the unelected body of Council employees who draft and implement policy, engineering plans and investment submissions etc. Half the time it's these individuals who are the real challenge.
It's become my own view that Councils need to feel the heat of organised community representation. They need to see and hear evidence that the interests of bicycle use and active transport in the community have made the effort to 'get organised'. They need to understand that they are dealing with a broad-based ground-swell of interest in AT in their local communities and not just a 'bunch of cranks'.
I think that it's this level or representation that is the role of a BUG. Peak organisations like BISA and BikeSA find it difficult to undertake this representation at council level simply because the issues are a bit too fine-grained and require both local knowledge and ongoing and sustained engagement. Hence the role of BUGs. In any case, this has been the experience of the PortBUG with Port Adelaide Council. I don't want to beat our own drum too much, but I do think we've been remarkably successful in many ways. Perhaps we face different challenges from the Mitcham context (lots of big trucks, no hills!), but I can only speak from our own experience and point to the impact that some degree of consistent organisation can have...