Messenger reporting of Marion council walking and cycling guideline debate

The 2016 census reports 8.6% of households in the council area do not have a car.

Can we conclude Marion is hipster central?

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I thought the proposals sounded pretty reasonable actually, at least if they were applied to designated bike routes like the BikeDirect network!

It's very difficult to take seriously anything that the Messenger newspapers publish these days about cycling. Their reporters and editors to often seem to treat innovation in community bicycle use or Active Transport as an opportunity to sensationalise or engage is dog-whistling journalism. Perhaps it's the only opportunity they get amidst the reporting they have to do of netball results and new businesses! To me this just sounds like the normal dialogue that occurs between Councillors and Council officers - perhaps aired more publicly than is desirable for all concerned! It seems clear to me - from the LGA Metro Group’s own Cycling Strategy - that Councils overall are reasonably focussed on Active Transport. I reckon we need to beware of the distractions of individual councillors airing their own ignorance or grievances.

Yes – it’s worth calling out stupidity, but we all have limited time and energy. Let’s also remember that change happens when innovation and new ideas are actively supported. Innovation at Council level can be risky and we need to make it clear to Councillors and to Council Staff that they have the community’s support to think outside the square. This has been proved again and again as a key principle of successful bicycle advocacy. The community voice really does need to be heard consistently and effectively.

I know this will sound like a lecture, but it never fails to amaze me how slow Adelaide has been to take advantage of the many opportunities it has for a developing a coherent and continuous cycling network across Council boundaries (which is what the LGA’s Cycling Strategy sought to outline). I can’t help thinking that it might come down to a lack of clearly communicated ‘permission’ to make it happen from the community. Let’s ask ourselves honestly – does every Metro Council have a BUG or Bicycle Reference Group to bounce ideas off or to assist in reviewing its policy or promoting its successes? Are we making it clear to every Metro Council that the community is watching what they are doing for Active Transport and has higher expectations of them than simply reading about prejudices concerning bicycle use or ‘hipsters’? Are they clear that the community takes equitable access to transport services or transport health issues seriously? The really surprising aspect of the exchanges the Messenger is reporting is that it hasn't all happened behind closed doors in some workshop. That fact that these sorts of discussions are being aired publicly tells me that Marion Council (and it's leadership) need to get their act together and start talking to each other! The story seems more about Council 'dysfunction' than poorly conceived planning or ideas...

The really surprising aspect of the exchanges the Messenger is reporting is that it hasn't all happened behind closed doors in some workshop.

That wouldn't appeal to Kris Hanna, he's a wannabe autocrat who thrives on being seen to be pulling the levers of power. 

Listen to part two of the audio recording from the 8 May council meeting (particularly the motions regarding the innovation survey, railway station renaming and marketing plan) and you'll see what I mean. The funniest part is when Hanna introduces the third consecutive motion to have been moved by him. 

That fact that these sorts of discussions are being aired publicly tells me that Marion Council (and it's leadership) need to get their act together and start talking to each other! The story seems more about Council 'dysfunction' than poorly conceived planning or ideas.

This was the Council members talking to each other when this problem happened!

The staff of the City of Marion are doing a fairly good job at getting on with the job in most areas (including walking and cycling infrastructure, both of which they worked to ensure were included in current/upcoming major infrastructure projects in their area) and need less interference from the mayor and councillors rather than more.

The dysfunctional Council would suggest to me that the City of Marion would be an ideal candidate location for trialling a new model of local operations where the CEO would be given terms of reference and would meet with an advisory panel selected by sortition from among different demographics rather than having a council of politicians. There could be 24 members of the advisory panel, three each from the following groups: 14-30 age group, 31-60 age group, 61+ age group, people with professional degrees, management of businesses in the district, employees of businesses in the district, people with a disability, and parents of children under 18.

Major decisions would be subject to a vote of approval from the whole City, run online.

Mayors under this system would be honorary positions for ceremonial purposes only, awarded to distinguished citizens of the local area for a one year term. 

Indeed crazy. Thanks for coming last night Jim. It only clicked on the way home - I know that name :) Hope to talk more through BISA. If only Marion councillors were like the City of Charles Sturt hey??

Charles Sturt were very well represented last night Katie !! A very informative presentation.

Point taken about the BUG - it is difficult to know who does what and how to find them

the same  Messenger - a story about the elderly having access to trikes

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Is the "Walking and Cycling Guidelines" document available online? I couldn't find it from a quick Google.

Personally I don't have a problem with proposals being guidelines rather than firm rules; and narrowing every street and widening every footpath would be excessive; but it's hard to know what is proposed without seeing the document.

It is included in the agenda for the meeting which the Messenger was reporting on.

The document is very good, and the consultants who prepared it should be praised for their considered effort. Some of the work already done in Marion is quite good, and features in the document along with reference to practices in other places.

Marion have audio recordings of their council meetings, the discussion is in part one of that meeting and you will find that the quotes attributed to the mayor and councillors in the Messenger piece were all reported accurately. 

For anyone who wants to know the whole of what the mayor (Kris Hanna, former ALP/Green/Independent state MP and SA Best candidate at the 2018 state election) said when he initiated the "discussion" of the Guidelines without trying to find it among all the other stuff from the meeting, I have transcribed it:

  • “There's a little box that has design considerations, and there are a few dot points there.”
  • “Now the one that I completely agree with is 'ensure bike lanes continue at intersections and do not disappear. In principle I like the sound of that but I'm very aware of the practical problem that you often have little islands for pedestrian lights or signs and that's the reason that bike lanes come to an end. There are ways around it but in some places it's difficult so to ensure that that happens is perhaps too strong a language.”
  • ”The advanced bicycle stop lanes where you have maybe the green covering on the road and so on. Look, again I would say they are nice but to have that in your design considerations to say that's what should be provided, I'm building up a bit of a pattern here that this report is giving you virtually world's best practice and I don't believe it's necessary. As someone who cycles probably about eighty k's to a hundred k's per week [CITATION NEEDED] through Marion, I just don't think it's necessary. 
  • ”Provide separated bicycle lanes. Separated bicycle lanes, that's where you have the roadway and a cement barrier, that's how I understand it anyway, and then the bike lane as part of the road but exclusively for bikes. Again through most of Marion, even the slightly busier routes through Marion like along George [Street], Dwyer [Road] or Finniss Street or something, I would say that's not necessary. The degree of traffic apart from peak hour just doesn't justify it and the green surface treatments.”
  • “Avoiding vehicle slip lanes to improve safety. Well, there are, you know slip lanes are there for a reason. So I just find, as a cyclist myself [CITATION REQUIRED] I find this so totally bicycle dominant, even the way it uses the language of car dominant thinking, I don't think it provides an appropriate balance so I want to open this up for discussion, just use that page for a starter, but are other people thinking the same way? I mean all of these things add expense and I'm saying they are not strictly necessary, but what do others think.”

When they did eventually end the discussion and go back to the meeting, they did pass the motion supporting the proposed Tonsley Greenway route from Celtic Ave to Daws Road. 

So as my observance of World Bike Day today, I will be doing three things:

  1. Take one of my bikes out for a good fun ride up and down hills and around some fun corners.
  2. Given one of my bikes a good thorough clean.
  3. Nominating Kris Hanna for Local Cycling Enemy of the Year*. In tribute to Hanna's attempts to railroad democratic meetings, I'm not going to open up actual discussion on this nomination and simply declare him the winner. Congratulations you d**s***, your polished turd (minus the polishing) is on the way.

* yes, I did consider Anne Moran and Alex Antic, but they aren't clever enough to try disguising their stance behind the "I ride a bike" fig leaf.

Marion has a number of very busy intersections. Lots of through traffic going down the major arterials south north, and traffic heading to Flinders Uni and Medical Centre. Many cycling no go zones in busy periods for all but the brave or foolhardy.

The last cycling and walking plan Marion did laid a lot of groundwork (conceptually) and was on the money (figuratively). You have done well Dave finding the new document, I could not find it when I looked.

Marion council area will be infastructure central very soon. The Darlington south road works is in in their area. The Oaklands rail crossing work is just starting. I think the Tonsley rail line extension to FMC/ Flinders Uni has funding allocated (which will have an accompanying path). Renewal Sa are overseeing the Tonsley Mitsubishi site redevelopment. In addition a whole lot of SA housing was cleared along the Sturt River at Morphettville- there are some site works but I don’t know who is doing what.

Before the election Chris Hanna was campaigning that there was a need for a multi story car park to go with the new Oaklands Park train station as part of the station upgrade/train underpass. I assume this area has a transit oriented development status with zoning etc. Parking in the streets is an issue and the cycle greenway, sharrow way runs along the tracks (not sure of its name but further south it is the Marino rocks cycleway)

Does anyone know if there is a Marion BUG? If not was there one?

An experienced ‘cyclist’ who rides 100 km per week might think that marked bicycle lanes, continuous bicycle lanes, green coloured bicycle lanes, and bike boxes at intersections are unnecessary.
However, omits that better infrastructure can encourage bicycle transport, e.g. less confident people who currently ride infrequently or only on shared paths. 

16 BUGs (but not all) listed here. bicycleinstitutesa.com/bugs
There was a Marion BUG in 2005. 20 BUGs listed on page 11. www.bicycleinstitutesa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Pedal-Update-...

That is exactly what Councillor Hull was saying in response to Mayor Hanna in the meeting.

I'd prefer to keep an open mind on whether Kris Hanna ever rides a bike at all until an independent source can verify it at all. He's a classic snout in the trough who would say anything if it would serve his agenda.

The fact that he thinks Dwyer Road is one of the busiest bike routes in the City of Marion says it all.

You have done well Dave finding the new document, I could not find it when I looked.

The fact that it had been discussed in a council meeting was what tipped me off. If nothing else, one thing to learn from this thread is that a report discussed in a council meeting will usually be included in the Agenda for that meeting.

I gather that it has not yet been adopted, and therefore won't be published until that takes place. It may be adopted, edited before adoption or simply scrapped - we don't know yet.

Before the election Chris Hanna was campaigning that there was a need for a multi story car park to go with the new Oaklands Park train station as part of the station upgrade/train underpass.

There wasn't one included in any of the plans. There are a number of off-street car parks at ground level which will create a modest increase in the total number of available parks, but a multi-storey car park was never going to happen. Most of the new parking is further away from the new Oaklands Station than the present car parks (some is on the western side of Morphett Road) which is encouraging.

The station is to include bike racks and a bike cage. 

There isn't I assume this area has a transit oriented development status with zoning etc. Parking in the streets is an issue  …

It is not a TOD, as it is an existing developed area rather than an urban renewal site or greenfield development with a master plan.  Apart from the acquisition of one property, the Oaklands Crossing project will only consist of works within the existing rail corridor.

… and the cycle greenway, sharrow way runs along the tracks (not sure of its name but further south it is the Marino rocks cycleway)

It is the Marino Rocks Greenway, which starts at Wayville (where there are connections to the Adelaide Showgrounds Railway Station underpass and Parklands Trail) and takes its name from the railway station at the 'outer' end of the route. For the sake of brevity it really should have been named the Marino Greenway, which would still have been accurate as Marino is the suburb where it finishes, Marino Rocks is only the name of the second station in Marino.

That Greenway will be gaining grade-separated crossings of both the railway and Diagonal Road as part of the Oaklands Crossing project.

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