A copy of the following letter was sent to the North Terrace BUG mailing list today, however I think it would be of interest to many at AC, so I have reposted here with the authors consent.
After one too many hair raising rides south along Pulteney St at dusk, I have decided to hang up my flourescent jacket. I don’t want to be the cyclist who will eventually die on that race track. Negotiating the ride between the the angry cars and buses and the parked cars with their potential to fling open a door is too much.
I am writing to you because I DO have great hopes that your vision for our city could deal with this problem. I have copied it to the North Terrace BUG ( Bicycle User Group) because they know how MANY cyclists use that route. Most of them are younger and faster than I am. That is the heart of the issue. If only fearless and speedy cyclists feel safe on our city streets then all the people who WOULD ride are never seen and never counted.
As a hopeful kind of person I like to think that one day I’ll get back on the bike. I’ve been commuting whenever possible since the age of 9 and want to continue. What plans are there for improving cycle safety in the CBD in general and Pulteney St in particular? Are you aware of the dedicated lanes, separate from traffic and parked cars that have been built in the hilly, wet, cold city of Vancouver? Surely we can do better?
Replies are closed for this discussion.
To all AC members
Adelaide Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood wants Adelaide to be cyclist friendly and the speed limit in the city reduced to 40km/h. Please support him and cyclists by contacting all ACC elected members. You will find their email addresses at
Remember to explain that although you do not reside in the city, you frequently cycle there for education, employment, entertainment, shopping, business, socialising, meetings, presentations *, etc, so you make a financial contribution to the city.
* For example, world road safety expert Prof Fred Wegman who said that his country The Netherlands (after an oil shortage in the 1970s) changed road design to support sustainable transport like the bicycle.
>8. To always look for cyclists before opening a car door.
Aust Road Rule 269 (3) makes it an offence to open a car door and cause a hazard to an oncoming vehicle - all drivers/riders have a duty to know the law - even when its just common sense. But a law which is not enforced is not much of a law at all, how many times has this law been enforced after a cyclist has been "doored"?
I have met verbally abusive drivers who did not know 3 or 4. How does one get a driver's licence when you cannot recognise bicycle lanes and do not know the road rules?
This year posted on AC that a cyclist doored but police disinterested. I cannot recall the name. I have listed known collisions in group Look For Cyclists. No 35, overseas visitor Konadog was doored but it was another cyclist who found police disinterested.
I was thinking in particular of a woman who was young enough to get her licence when bicycle lanes existed. I was wearing T-shirt of 'keep bicycle lanes'. She had parked despite the yellow line for a Clearway (first installed in Adelaide in 1972), and the signs that indicated when no parking due to bicycle lane. There were also very large signs of a bicycle icon and the hours of bicycle lane operation, plus bicycle lane and bicycle icons painted on the road. She was so annoyed at being ticketed that she crossed a busy arterial road to pick on me on the other footpath. I patiently tried to explain the various signs and indicators, but what she wanted to do was take it out on me, so I eventually gave up and caught up with my friends.
At a recent local council meeting, I learnt that some illegal parkers have objected to receiving an infringement photo, without any human contact first. The inspector will be asked to approach and speak to illegal parkers. Except in bicycle lanes (and around schools) where the inspector will still take discrete photos. Council stated that drivers ticketed in bicycle lanes can be aggressive and staff safety comes first. While at the counter in the council building, I have heard angry drivers. Some do not appreciate when staff explain that it is for cyclist safety.