The upcoming election and committment to cycling infrastructure (or lackthereof)

In the 2013 election, the Liberal government in WA promised to spend an additional $30 million on cycling infrastructure.

The WA greens were/are the only political party to actually put together a serious vision towards building cycling infrastructure and moving away from car-dependent transportation system.

I would like to see something similar in SA, even if it is just to push the idea forward and stimulate discussion.

Meanwhile during the upcoming election, we get... No serious commitment at all by either major party.

Recently Bike SA made a modest proposal to lower speed limits on key cycling roads to 40kph, which was met with... crickets. Along with suggestions of other key infrastructure improvements that were also met with evasive language.

PS read the comments to the above article at your own risk.

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Oh, the Labor government has spent a total of about $2 million per year on cycling infrastructure since they came to power.

The modal share of cyclists is somewhere around 1% and the transportation budget over that time has been in the billions - not even 1% of the budget is being spent on cycling infrastructure.

The Greens are the only party that has any cycling policy worth a cent. 

It's a pity that some of their other core policies are so misguided or unrealistic and my local member is a complete Frootloop.  If the Greens really want to be taken seriously they should smarten up their act, dress appropriately, recruit better and stop acting like a bunch of hippies (esp. banning hydraulic fracturing that has been occurring without incident in Australia since the 1950's:- it's the cement quality that's the issue numbskulls and we now use elastic cement in a lot of wells)

I haven't seen anything worthwhile from the other two parties.  It's getting more difficult to chose between the whole lot.

Getting more people riding bicycles for everyday transport should be the goal of any political party. It makes social, environmental and economic sense - an active population has lower health costs and less cars on the road means a better environmental outcome with reduced travel times for those who have to, or want to, drive their private car (eg: reduced congestion - every cyclist can be seen as literally one less car on the roads if that is the conceptual idea we want to take). 

It runs deeper than this though. Adelaide is often touted as a perfect cycling city - climate and terrain are the two most often stated features that make it so. But frankly, this is rubbish. It is NOT the climate and terrain that make a great cycling city - think Portland, Vancouver, Copenhagen as examples. What makes these places such great cycling cites is political will and targeting long term investment. Think of the changes that have happened in the City of Adelaide since Stephen Yarwood was elected Mayor - he has helped create the political will with targeted spending to create really useful infrastructure. 

Imagine what could be achieved if cycling for transport had a concerted investment at the State level, that keenly integrated with local government, backed by political parties who really appreciated the contribution that cycling does and more importantly CAN make to the future transport needs of Adelaide and South Australia. 

It takes more than rhetoric and minimal investment. I am hoping that we can still get some commitments from the major parties prior to the March election.....but hold my breath, I will not. 

"Imagine what could be achieved if cycling for transport had a concerted investment at the State level, that keenly integrated with local government, backed by political parties who really appreciated the contribution that cycling does and more importantly CAN make to the future transport needs of Adelaide and South Australia. "

Oh yes, it is so dead easy.: All new road in residential areas to cater for cyclists (and I am not think mamils here) by either segregation or slowing of traffic (chicanes, bumps).

All road maintenance to include 5-10% of cost ear marked for establishing segregated cycling infrastructure.

Safe school roads with segregation, underpasses etc. within a distance of 2km from schools.

Adoption of 'sustainable safety'/strict liability in legislation and rule enforcement.

It is really not that difficult.

Adelaide does indeed have terrific climate and terrain to an extent where it is unfathomable that roads have been designed with a single mode of transportation for the last 60 years.

Unfortunately, the media will always try to stir up controversy, creating "click bait" to fill their blogs with knee-jerk reactions, and scare the pollies from doing anything sensible or progressive. The only way to progress is to make it a win-win for everyone. We are a long way from having 40 kph accepted by the general populace, and I believe forcing that issue now would be counterproductive. On the other hand, identifying and fixing cycling and pedestrian squeeze-points and black-spots would meet general approval and little opposition. Similarly, modifying traffic signal sequences to give public transport, cyclists and pedestrians a fairer go would be easy and cheap. Compare these costs with the massive amounts of money thrown at road projects in fruitless attempts to ease congestion.

My point is that there is probably little to gain from bargaining with the politicians at this time. We need to ensure that whoever gets in responds to reasoned argument, and isn't held to ransom by powerful self-interested lobby groups.

Plenty of studies that lower speeds are also safer for vehicle occupants. Not that the average Australian driver would admit that and support lower speed limits. Too many Australian drivers act as if their right to speed, even near schools.

Consider Braund Road in Prospect, a residential street and bikedirect route. With a public primary school on that street, a private primary school around the corner, and another private primary school nearby, so often young children around. A 2013 study recorded 24 - 28% of vehicles (depending on direction) exceeding the 40 km/h top speed limit. Alarming when the location outside the public primary school where the actual speed limit can be 25 km/h in a school zone.

Thanks Heather. That's why a targeted speed reduction program is a good idea, when the public is not ready to accept a blanket one. It means that motorists get to practice traveling slower, but it does not impinge on them except where they see a reason for it. As more slower speed zones are introduced people get confused by the variations and start traveling slower anyway. Some of course might react by speeding everywhere, but the fines (and more importantly the demerit points) would soon add up.

Bill, I expect that few speeding fines are being issued in the Braund Road school zone, or drivers would now be driving more slowly in that area.

Prospect Council has organised multiple reports (earliest in 1974), all stating that excess traffic volumes and speeds along Braund Road. A 2002 study found that 25% of vehicles exceeded the 40 km/h speed limit at the southern end of the road. A 2013 study found that 24 - 28% of vehicles exceeded 40 km/h at the northern end, in the school zone.

The state govt elections next month. Liberal Rachel Sanderson MP, Member for Adelaide, has since 2010 supported a bicycle boulevard on Braund Road, plus safe crossing of Fitzroy Terrace at the southern end, for cyclists and pedestrians. However, while her party in Opposition, can hinder putting into action. Now Labor has belatedly backed a bicycle boulevard, but not a safe crossing. The Labor candidate for the Adelaide electorate is the mayor of Prospect Council, which has ignored my pleas for Braund Road improvements. No prizes for guessing how I will be voting.

My own neighborhood has been zoned 40 kph for some years, but it has never been enforced to my knowledge. Though I try to keep to the limit somewhat fastidiously, I can readily understand why other people don't, especially when there is no apparent reason for it. A better idea would be to apply the limit to the vicinity of the retirement villages and the associated nursing homes where elderly pedestrians abound. A law that only some people (like me) obey is a bad one.Having a notice under the 40 kph sign giving some reason(s) for the limit would be a good start and help break down motorist resentment.

What's needed is a paradigm shift. Politicians that lead not follow.

Right now, it's difficult to get money to be spent on decent crossings where there are clear safety issues and then even when money is spent, well...

Many of the crossings that they build now are both too expensive and inconvenient to cyclists e.g. all that unnecessary fencing on crossings on routes like the MT bikeway and the Marino Rocks bikeway. because someone thought it was a good idea to make a 2 stage crossing. Why!?!

May I suggest that for the Legislative Council, vote 1 for cyclist and AC member Mark Parnell MLC (Greens). Then fill in all of the boxes of the ballot form according to your preferences.

On 3-Jul-2013 Mark introduced the Road Traffic (Overtaking Bicycles) Bill to improve cyclist safety on our roads. The bill lapsed due to insufficient support, but Mark intends to re-introduce the bill in a new parliament.

The people of Copenhagen were initially against turning the city into a cycling friendly city but nowadays wouldn't have it any other way because they now see the benefits!


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