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:

  • converting the footpath next to the buildings on the northern side of North Terrace into a bike path
  • 30kph speed limit on North Terrace
  • part of the eastern footpath on King WIlliam Road north of North Terrace to be reserve for cyclists riding up hill.  (The tram extension down King William Road to Festival Drive similarly squeezes out cyclists.)

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: (  telling him what you think.  

Some things you could say

  • cyclists need to use North Terrace to reach the railway station, the unis etc.
  • cyclists on the footpath need a dedicated space for the safety of both pedestrians and cyclists
  • if cyclist are to use the traffic lanes, we need a lower speed
  • he should reconsider the wide footpath on the northern side to make room for a bike lane

Views: 2185


Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I thought I'd throw this in to the mix  .

If North Terrace was in Copenhagen it would be a boulevard for humans ie. pedestrians, bicycles and trams/busses. Perhaps 1 lane in each direction for cars doing 40 kph.  40 years ago there would have been a ring road constructed around the CBD with few traffic lights (but still with bike lanes running alongside) to avoid cars having to drive through the city to get between east and west, there would also be regional train lines (like to Port Adelaide and Belair) running above ground crossing road in 10-14 directions from the CBD limiting the need to drive cars into the CBD.

But then again North Terrace is in Adelaide and Adelaide will be Adelaide.

This is my first post here, just signed up to the website yesterday. Just moved to Adelaide, my bicycle arrives Friday. I've also lived & cycled in QLD (north of Brisbane), and mostly in Belgium.

Ken the Dane, comparing cities to one another is always fraught with the danger of "well this is X, that won't work here". However, since I've also worked in the area of improving cities, comparisons are inevitable.

Ken, if North Terrace was in Antwerp, it would be a boulevard for pedestrians, cyclists & public transport, WITHOUT 1 lane for cars (expect for local residents). "De Leien", basically the equivalent of King William Street in Adelaide, will be completely pedestrianised at the Opera Square (i.e. Victoria Square), with Nth-Sth car traffic being moved underground over a distance of approx. 1km. (

In fact, most of Adelaide could be 'pedestrian/cycle-ised' as well. Start with a few major arterials, Hutt Street comes to mind. North Terrace too, and bring in a type of congestion tax that forces people to drive round the city on the ring road, instead of through.

Welcome to Adelaide Wayne.  I hope you enjoy yourself here.

I've worked for the Adelaide City Council.  Their fear is that, in a city where most people get around by car, if they make it too difficult to do drive and park in the city people will work, shop etc in the suburbs.  

I remember once talking to Jan Gehl, the Danish planner.  He said that the city boundaries were such that they could control  development, parking etc. it the suburbs.  No Westfields to worry about.

The city council has to make the city centre somewhere special that people want to come to even if it means doing so in some other way than their usual mode of transport. 

I call it the Shangri La/ Houston dilemma.  The first is a wonderful place that you can't get to; the other is a place that's been made so easy to get to but no one wants to go there because there's nothing but traffic and parking lots.

Obviously getting people to live in the city is a great way to avoid this problem.

Ian, I've worked for a Council, we probably agree it has pro's & con's.

Agree with just about everything you write. Would be interesting to get more detail on the talkings from Jan Gehl, I tend to agree, as far as I can understand the comments.

Good you mention population growth in Adelaide.

Adelaide, similar to cities in Belgium, Netherlands, and Denmark, is a small CBD, with a huge suburban sprawl. There is no justification for the sprawl! Metropolitan Adelaide, with a population of about 1.3M is too spread out.

25k people live in the CBD/Nth Adelaide, compare that to 200k people in the city of Antwerp ("CBD"), which is almost exactly the same geographical size as Adelaide (it was one of the first things that caught my attention so I did the research).

Metro Adelaide (1.3M pop.) has a population density of 400, compared to a density of 2500 for metro Antwerp (500k pop.), or a density of 4900 in Amsterdam, and Copenhagen 8800.

The population of Adelaide is projected to grow by 545k by 2045, and with 'only' 85% of dwellings to be achieved through infill, Adelaide will further sprawl. What's more, with Adelaide City projected to grow 75k at most by 2045, many more private use cars will have to commute into the City.

Terminating further urban sprawl, via 100% infill, would still leave Adelaide with an extremely low population density. And, Adelaide metro is small enough for most people to commute by bicycle.

Further, increasing City population by 2045 to 200k (without the need for high rise, which is also much lower in the cities mentioned compared to Adelaide or other Australian cities), would further increase the viability of a pedestrianised Adelaide.

The solution to your Shangri La / Houston conundrum, overcoming the fear that people will live/work/play in the suburbs, can be (partly) overcome by moving many more people to live in the city. From anywhere in the city, you can walk end to end in about 30 minutes, cycle much faster. Turnbull (Lucy more so than Malcolm) is advocating for the 30-minute city in Sydney. Adelaide is already ahead of Sydney in the livability indexes, so why not get a head start on the 30-minute city by immediately stopping all housing construction in the suburbs until the city population is up to 150k. At a projection of about 350 new residents per week, that's about 7 years.

With a massive population growth like that, business, the "somewhere special" you mention, and the vibrancy would easily follow. Cars would have to make way for better mobility options.

Now for reality....

Ian, does that mean we need to somehow get authorities, including ACC, to recognise that cyclists aid the economy?
Shop for goods (e.g. Rundle Mall, Central Market)
Pay for services (dental, legal, etc)
Attend workplace, university
Socialise in the city (food, entertainment, conferences)
Decrease traffic congestion, which already impacts on business
Decrease carparking demand

Yes re cyclists being customers, but probably more important to get retailers and service providers to realise this.  

Surveys of customers are usually a good idea.  I know staff have talked about commissioning such surveys, but none done in Adelaide, to my knowledge. 

Re. other arguments, yes, we keeping banging on about how cyclists can decrease congestion.  Even the minister uses this argument himself at times, but I'm not sure if he believes it.  Councillors know that cyclists don't need car parking spaces, but they are not convinced that if you cut car parking spaces people would switch to bicycles.

Yes! Both Belgium & The Netherlands have an annual campaign "met belgerinkel naar de winkel" (translates to "with bells on to the shops").

The 2017 theme for Belgim was 'so close'. Participating shops give points to cyclist that can be redeemed for discounts, giveaways etc.

Some very quick research got me this

a good bicycle policy could benefit €550M (AU$820M) to the city of Brussels.

In English, for Australia...

I didn't read any of them, so they may conclude there is no or even adverse effect.

Thanks for your very wise input Wayne , and welcome to Adelaide “the Tourdownunder” city .

As you've realised , our city planners can only think cars , cars , cars .

On one of the radio stations this morning there was a bit of mention of an East / West bicycle corridor through the city and someone said (shock horror) “they are going to spend 6 to 12 million dollars on it”. Yet they are spending billions and billions of dollars on the South Road extensions from both directions which has already put more, mostly one occupant vehicles on the already congested roads (destination city)

I don't want to be negative but that's the sort of 20 years behind the times mentality the planners seem to have in this city. End of rant !       

Pete, ah yes, the Tour Down Under city... my profile pic isn't very clear, but it's the start of Le Tour, I think 2015. Will have to get a local shot, any good vantage points you recommend?

My Utopian 'wise' words are just that. Despite its reputation along with other European cycle havens, Belgium is still rife with terrible walk-ability, cycle paths that would make Australian ones look like cycle freeways, public transport is overcrowded, not underfunded but certainly funds are mismanaged, and continuously crippled by union strikes. Which leaves most people still using their private vehicles to do even short distances, for over 70% of their mobility, and 8am-4pm traffic means doing 25km/h on a 120k/h freeway for most of the journey. Worse than Australian cities, despite decentralisation to other major cities like Ghent or Antwerp, a lot of the traffic is still towards/from Brussels so 40km in 90 minutes is not uncommon for a morning/afternoon commute by car.

As for cycling safety, check out a recent video that went viral in the country... (it's not me, but I do know the roads, some video editing so multiple takes of same roads, I think the commute was 30ish km one way)

Wayne, interesting video.
In Belgium:
-- Where vehicles parked in bicycle lanes, are the bicycle lanes operational? Adl has peak-hour bike lanes (signposted times) and 24-hr bike lanes (no times stated).
-- Are cyclists permitted to ride on footpaths? Vehicles parked on what might be footpaths, and not permitted in Australia.
-- Are vehicles permitted to park (in bicycle lanes and) on the 'wrong' side of the road? Not permitted in Australia.

My impression of the video is that some Belgian drivers (like Australian drivers) put their own convenience before the road rules and cyclist safety.

"My impression of the video is that some Belgian drivers (like Australian drivers) put their own convenience before the road rules and cyclist safety."

That would be the understatement of the decade!

But it's a global issue, and not limited to bicycles. Also, some cyclists put their own convenience before the road rules and their own safety. Being safe starts with your own responsibility.

Q1) yes bike lanes are always operational, BE does not have 'timed' bicycle lanes.

Q2) No, bikes can't ride on footpaths. In some areas there might be bike/foot next to each other (in AU signed as separate path i.e., and in crowded areas this may cause some crossover, i.e. cyclists/pedestrians getting in each other's way). But generally, no bikes on footpaths. Tiny kids may do it, but go in traffic from an early age.

Q3) No, a bike lane is not for parking, but "some ("many" - own emphasis) Belgian drivers (like Australian drivers) put their own convenience before the road rules and cyclist safety."

here's one from Brussels (lots of talking, Greens politician, the goal was to see if you can cycle from the suburbs into BXL CDB)

I was hit by a car once in Brussels about 20yrs ago (hit my back wheel & no injury), so apart from other reasons to stay away from the city, I didn't go there much anymore, certainly never on the bike. (the roundabout @ 49s is where I got hit)

NO bicycle helmets in Belgium!


Support our Sponsors

© 2019   Created by Gus.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service