Thank you to the 3,433 people who signed the petition ‘Keep Bicycle Lanes’. On 11-Aug-2010 cyclists gathered on Parliament House steps, prior to walking to Patrick Conlon’s nearby office and leaving the petition with reception. The Minister for Transport and other invited politicians were unable to attend. Mike Parnell MLC of The Greens sent his colleague Tammy Jennings MLC to represent him. She spoke in favour of cycling, saying that all forms of transport should be catered for.
The catalyst for this petition were the Prospect Masterplans, where Prospect Council expected the State Government to remove a portion of bicycle lanes on arterial Prospect Road. Also Prospect Council wanted arterial roads narrowed. This is a general petition, asking the SA Minister for Transport to retain bicycle lanes on ALL arterial roads. I used Prospect Road as an example and without that, cyclists would not have believed that removal of bicycle lanes was planned. This does not fit with State and Federal Government announcements of money being spent on more cycling facilities, and marking bicycle lanes. This petition also refers to the planned narrowing of Prospect Road. Signatories who asked questions were surprised that buses would overtake cyclists so closely. Remember that 3,433 people signed the petition, so I spoke to many. A common question was how could the capital of Tour Down Under be going backwards?
After cyclists lobbied for eight months, it was decided to retain the bicycle lanes. However, travel lanes will still be narrowed. Distances given depend on the location, vehicle type and width, and if the driver keeps to the extreme right of the travel lane.
-- The Masterplans include narrowing arterial and freight route Churchill Road. Trucks and buses will pass cycle lanes by 0.3 to 0.7 metres, or less.
-- On Prospect Road in the Village Heart, or two street blocks, if buses pass each other in opposite directions, there will be a maximum of 0.4 metres between buses and cyclists.
-- On Prospect Road in St Helens Park Precinct, or four street blocks, when cars parked during off peak, there will be no viable space for cyclists. If a car ‘hugs’ a new concrete median, and distribute space between parked and moving cars, then 0.35 metres. Vans and buses on top of cyclists.
Please discourage cyclist unfriendly plans for ANY arterial road, including removing bicycle lanes and/or narrowing the road until cyclists overtaken by less than one metre.
There are other cyclist unfriendly aspects of the Prospect Masterplans that are outside the scope of this petition.
In the Village Heart the bicycle lanes will be narrowed, with the apparent intrusion of drains and grates into the bicycle lane, uncomfortable on two skinny tyres. A sample grate of 335mm width is to fit into a 300mm wide buffer zone. And what about the potential ridge where a grate meets the bitumen? If not now, in years to come when the road is resurfaced. Just 300mm to the left of the bicycle lanes will be objects of armoured plated glass screens, bollards and flagpoles. The council's contracted planner said that guidelines require a 600mm buffer, but he reduced it to 300mm at council's request.
In St Helens Park Precinct, the ‘bicycle lane’ is within the indented parking bays. When cars are not illegally parked (common on Prospect Road), cyclists will need to weave in and out to use the ‘bicycle lane’.
The bikedirectroute of Kintore Avenue off the Village Heart is to remain ‘no entry’ to cyclists. Prospect Council discussed making bikedirect Myrtle Street also ‘no entry’ to cyclists. With the median strip removed and the road narrowed, thus removing the sheltered right turn lane, it will no longer be safe for cyclists to wait to turn right.
A council document of Nov-2009 acknowledges that previous ‘traffic calming’ of arterial Prospect Road in the year 2000, diverted arterial traffic into residential streets. That further calming of Prospect Road will divert more arterial traffic into residential streets. The most affected streets will be bikedirect routes of Braund Road, Beatrice Street and Myrtle Street. Braund Road is cycled by families, children without adult supervision, and children on their way to three nearby schools.
Two photos posted on 19-Aug-2010 deleted while text retained.
Explaining petition 'Keep Bicycle Lanes' on Parliament House steps on 11-Aug-2010.
Tammy Jennings, MLC, The Greens, holding the petition 'Keep Bicycle Lanes' on Parliament Houses steps on 11-Aug-2010.