As soon as BISA heard that the State government was going to extend the tram down North Terrace to East Terrace we asked to speak to Transport Minister Mullighan about taking the opportunity to improve cycling on North Terrace. (Bike facilities on North Terrace is number 2 in our top 10 wish list.)
We never got the meeting, and now that the plans are out, we can see why. Not only will we not get bike lanes, but things will be worse, with the existing wide kerbside lane narrowed so much that cyclists will have to occupy the lane with buses and cars.
Despite making it worse on the road - impossible for all but the brave and fearless - they are doing nothing for cyclists for cyclists off the road either. One of our committee members wrote to DPTI about it and was told that cyclists will just have to take to the footpath.
Have a look at the promotional video. Not a cyclist to be seen. And this from a government that hopes to double the amount of cycling, and for a street that is the state's main cycling attractor. What a joke!
Instead of providing bike lanes, or at least keeping the existing wide kerbside lane, they've decided to have tram platforms on the outside of the tram tracks, instead of in the centre, as on King William and the rest of North Terrace. That means 2 platforms instead of one. Also, it looks like they are going to widen the footpath on the southern side - as if it isn't wide enough already - rather than provide a bike lane.
ie cyclists are being literally and completely ignored.
BISA has put it's stance on our website. Assuming its too late the change the configuration, we're calling for:
If you want to do something about it you can register your interest on the project website, explain your interest as a cyclist. Better still, you can write to Mullighan: (firstname.lastname@example.org) telling him what you think.
Some things you could say
With all the buses and trams on North Terrace, I don't think it's realistic - or safe - to want on bike lanes on that road. Much like the northern end of King William Street.
I think family-friendly footpath cycling is a much better goal. But the north side of North Terrace serves two purposes: huge numbers of commuter pedestrians during peak hour, and much more leisurely at other times. I think the latter is when we'd especially want to encourage family friendly cycling.
So my proposal would be a shared path on approximately the northern third of the wide path immediately north of north terrace, between KW St and Frome St (and eventually as far east as East Tce, after the RAH moves; and as far west as Adelaide train station to encourage people to put their bikes on trains). That way pedestrians can fill the whole width of the footpath during peak hour; while at other times, it's earmarked as the best place to cycle (and the worst place to walk).
I'm not keen on wanting to take over that northern footpath. I think it's too close to the entrances to buildings; especially the Art Gallery, and the Uni SA building on the Frome St. corner. Plus it's very handy for pedestrians.
But how (if at all) would you cater for cyclists who currently ride on the road along North Terrace, often at 20-40kph?
My advice? Go slow on the footpath (it's only for two blocks, and at peak hour probably still faster than a car), or take a different route.
As I see it, an on-road bicycle lane isn't feasible with all the buses (much like northern end of KW street); while there are so many pedestrians that it won't be possible to cycle at any great speed on the footpath, even with a dedicated bicycle lane.
"Plus, no extra encouragement to take bikes on the train is needed in the peaks, as every peak train departing the city is full and standing. If anything, I won't be surprised if we soon see bikes banned on certain services or the peak hour bike ticket changed from a concession fare to an adult fare."
It depends what you call "peak hour". I can't speak for the other lines, but not all peak hour Seaford trains are full (though some are VERY full), and the Tonsley line trains never are. Bike + train is a very efficient mix - I do it myself regularly - and it'd be a shame to see it banned in peak hours, as some states have done.
But anyway, my comment was actually about encouraging families to put their bikes on trains on weekends or holidays, and having a safe and scenic route where North Terrace links up with Frome Road (and one day, Frome Street).
It is backward to exclude cyclists. In Melbourne (larger and busier than Adelaide), the main Swanston Street is open to public transport, pedestrians and cyclists, but closed to private vehicles. Even includes a physically separated bicycle lane.
A better approach would be to give priority to public transport, pedestrians and cyclists. While keeping open to private vehicles but with fewer lanes.
I sympathise with people with disabilities who require car transport, either as a passenger or driver.
Introduce a congestion tax like London, and see unnecessary private transport reduce in the CBD. Still caters for the person who occasionally window shops for a large item via Active Transport, and collects later by vehicle.
Adl Metro could promote mixed-mode transport by adding in peak hours a carriage identified for bicycles and their riders.
Some years ago one could organise for a goods carriage to be added when a large group ride. I heard about this from Bicycle SA, and requested it myself. Admittedly not straight forward, because some transport officers were unaware of this service.
I remember those carriages being on "Red Hen" trains occasionally in either the 70s or 80s. According to the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redhen_railcar (and the pages it links to), they were in use up to 1987.
The year was 1993.
Successive governments talk of doubling cycling. To truly support bicycle transport, public transport would encourage cycling. Like trains and buses that easily cater for mixed-mode transport. Like new tramlines allowing for cyclists rather than making cycling unsafe.
We can dream of it being closed, but with 3 large car parks accessible only from that stretch of North Terrace (KW Street to Pulteney Street), I can't see it happening.
I can't see it happening either, but the car parks don't have to be accessible from both ends of the street. The volume of traffic could potentially be reduced to what would comfortably fit in one lane each way.
Yes, to a bicycle path on North Terrace, and a shared path on King William Road.
I am an experienced commuter cyclist, but not a road warrior and slow. Now I often ride on the North Terrace footpath, even more slowly. When even less road space for cyclists as the tramlines are installed, more cyclists will consider riding on the footpath.
Pedestrians favour the kerbside footpath, so it is possible to change the northern-most footpath to a bicycle path. It will be safer to separate cyclists and pedestrians.
Rather disgusting that the plans (state govt push for trams?) have not catered for safe cycling. There will be space for public transport, vehicles and pedestrians, but not cyclists. It will reflect on authorities when annoyed drivers are slowed to 20 km/h behind cyclists, and when a cyclist is killed by an impatient driver.