I read that article and thought, oh dear, storm in a tea cup as usual. Expect nothing to come of it.
The Advertiser Facebook
“Cyclists along the River Torrens Linear Park Trail have been recorded riding at 55km/h. Should there be a speed limit? VOTE IN OUR POLL.”
[This sounds like an Advertiser beat-up. Many cyclists cannot do 55 km/h, even on a road.]
Minutes of the Council Meeting of the City of Tea Tree Gully 14-Jul-2020
5. Public Forum
Mr Trevor Klose spoke (via electronic means) in relation to the Management Report entitled “River Torrens Linear Park Shared Use Path – Investigation of traffic calming devices”.
13. Management Reports
Assets & Environment
13.1 River Torrens Linear Park Shared Use Path - Investigation of traffic calming devices (D20/18684)
That having considered the report entitled “River Torrens Linear Park Shared Use Path - Investigation of traffic calming devices” and dated 14 July 2020, that Council;
1. Supports the following work to be undertaken in the financial year 2020-2021 as recommended in Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec’s (WGA’s) report entitled “Gallery Road Shared Use Path” dated 10 June 2020 and provided as Attachment 1 to the abovementioned report, noting it will be funded from an existing budget line for ‘Traffic Management Treatments – General’;
Points 1(a) to 1(g) ... [You might like to download the Minutes to read these points.]
3. That Council writes to Minister Stephan Knoll, as the Minister responsible for Transport and Infrastructure, to request a meeting with representatives of the Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure and other relevant government departments and agencies to discuss applying speed limits or other practical steps to require cyclists to significantly reduce their speed when passing pedestrians along the River Torrens Linear Park Shared Use path, for the amenity and safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
Carried Unanimously (508)
ok so just another Advertiser beat-up..
Although Ive seen cyclists doing 55km/h on the Torrens Path but by the look of those riders and their petrol bikes I dont think they would care if there was a speed limit anyway.
"As from the 15-Dec-2016 internal combustion engines that are fitted to bicycles are not permitted to be used on South Australian roads or road-related areas."
See point 3 above. Council has voted to contact authorities to discuss applying speed limits.
From Council Meeting - Notice, Agenda & Reports - 14-Jul-2020, Item 13.3, pp. 369–508
Council is particularly interested in “the existing shared path at this location is finished in concrete (adjacent to Gallery Rd)”. [Do you know this area?]
See page 388 for cyclist volumes and speeds.
A table of weekday, weekend and average data for cyclist volume and speed. By location and direction of travel (includes a slight gradient).
Average daily volume varied between 45 and 68.
Average speed varied between 23.0 km/h and 34.7 km/h. [Presumably latter on the down-hill gradient.]
Maximum speed 55.6 km/h. [No details provided publicly if odd-one out, time of day, if path busy at the time, or if illegal petrol bicycle.]
The Advertiser Facebook beat-up does not refer to average speeds, but rather an odd 55 km/h [that is inadvisable].
Nice find, Heather. I will add some details.
The survey was done at one of the light poles on the shared path adjacent to Gallery Road, Highbury.
Survey was done using a "detection loop", which I assume is a pair of those black rubber(?) things across the path. There were 2 surveys, on different weeks and 2 slightly different locations. It was 28-Feb to 14-March, so before any COVID lockdown.
Average cyclists/day was 68 for one week and 49 for the other. That sounds quite low for a shared path, to me.
Average speed was 25.3 km/h on a flat section, 34.7 on a slight downhill section, and 24.1 on a slight uphill section (and has been noted, a max of 55.6, on sloped section). Those numbers seemed quite high to me until I saw the photos...
Pages 391 and 392 have photos. The path is concrete, so I am not really surprised that some cyclists get high speeds going downhill. But also, I could not see any signage or safety markings in the photos!
So I suggest that TTG council does what Unley Council (and maybe others) have done: put in some "give way", "go slow" etc signs (either on posts, or like Unley has done, large printed "stickers" on the path). Try the simple things first, instead of a sledgehammer (and buck-passing) approach of requesting the state government to enforce a speed limit.
OK, I now see that council did indeed vote to do various improvements to the path. But they also voted to request a speed limit, and this was the only thing reported on.
Furthermore, they did not only request a speed limit, but also said, as Heather has already quoted: "or other practical steps to require cyclists to significantly reduce their speed when passing pedestrians".
TLDR: Council action seems mostly reasonable, Advertiser latched onto one thing to create a media beatup.
I don't intend to read the article. I have no doubt that on occasion, "cyclists" will have been clocked at 55kmh ( downhill, motor assisted ..?). I have no doubt that this has frightened some people using the Parklands - it frightens me. I also have little faith that anything will be done about it. Lastly, I am not surprised that a perfectly reasonable idea - to introduce a speed limit in a Shared Zone - should be so easily dismissed by cyclists themselves, reminding me that so many elitist cyclists want special dispensation from the usual rules of an inclusive society.
The current rules including "be courteous to other path users" are quite sufficient to control the behaviour of normal cyclists. A speed limit would have to be enforced, leading to entrapment by bored officers. This is a really, really dumb idea and is supported by no-one sensible. How many tens of thousands of dollars do you suggest spending to assuage the angst of a small handful of entitled residents of the swankier bits of Highbury?
Yes, the only point of having a speed limit is getting it enforced by police. And if they are going to enforce a rule, why not enforce the existing rule: that cyclists must always give way to pedestrians on a shared path. All they need to do is occasionally send a pair of police to enforce *that* rule, and I am sure that would be just as effective.