Hi Bicycle Users,

We’ve heard that a new State Bike Plan may soon be coming down the path! It will replace 'Safety in Numbers’ which ran its course in 2010! The Bicycle Institute is now looking for your ideas for potential 'new Greenways' for submission to a renewed State Bike Plan. Can you help? Read on for more information....

You may recall that 'Safety in Numbers’ outlined an Adelaide Greenway Network in a map which - 12 years later - is now starting to take shape.

This initial map included routes that are now familiar to many such as the Mike Turtur and Outer Harbor Greenways. They tend to follow Adelaide’s tram and rail lines, making use of the 'railway boulevards', existing greenspace, local roads and occasionally even bits of rail and tram reserve!

Adelaide’s arterial roads act as major barriers to people dependent on walking, cycling and mobility devices. Greenways aim to overcome these barriers and allow bicycle users in particular to:
• avoid arterial roads and the hazards of heavy traffic
• provide safe crossings at main roads
• provide short-cuts and faster, more efficient and pleasant cycling routes.

The trouble is that in spatial terms, Adelaide is a large city divided up by many busy arterial roads! The Greenway routes mapped out in 2005 didn’t do a lot to assist cyclists in the north and east of the city, nor indeed in most of the outer suburbs. A Greenway Network for a city of Adelaide’s size will require many more major bicycle 'trunk routes' than the six or so identified in the initial 2005 map! And they'll need to connect outer suburbs and not just all point at the Adelaide CBD!

We want to see a vision for a Comprehensive Greenway Network in the new State Bike Plan - one that will facilitate easy and safe bicycle access for everyone – ‘8 to 80 years of age’ - right across the Adelaide Metro Area!

To accomplish this will require cyclists - you and me - to identify every available opportunity we can for potential new Greenways and ’trunk’ bikeway routes. No matter how short or how long. Government can’t do it – we have to!

These new routes do not have to be long - they could include links and pathways:
• using unused drainage or plantation reserves
• along unused sections of railway reserve
alongside major and hazardous arterial roads (including improvement of under-utilised footpaths!)
• use of pipeline reserves or local parks linking local networks and by-passing intersections.

You know your local cycling environment best! You know the unused or underutilised infrastructure. Drainage, rail and pipeline reserves, footpaths, quiet, dead-end streets backing on to parks and reserves. Things that prompt questions like… ’this could be better’ or… ‘why can’t I ride down there’?

Here’s you chance! Please let us know:
• where you think a new stretch of Greenway or bikeway would be useful?
• what existing space or reserve exists that might do the trick?
• where the new Greenway route could start and finish?
• how it would be used & how it would improve your cycling?
and…what youwant to call your 'new Greenway route'?

Email BISA at chair@bisa.asn.auor PortBUG at portadbug@gmail.comor…
…reply below to this ‘New Greenways?’ post or at BISA's facebook page.

Please let us know your hopes and dreams for new Greenways and Bikeways across Adelaide!" There’s no time limit to this ‘8-80 Project’ so… keep riding, looking and thinking!

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> Grant Ave through to Stratenborough St

I don't understand why anyone uses Grant Ave, and I have heard lots of anecdotes of crazy stuff at those round-abouts.

One street North is Alexandrina Ave - nice shady trees in summer, pretty wide and speed bumps to deter the vehicular traffic. Takes one up to Portrush Rd with a press button ped-crossing to get in behind Marryatville High School and on-wards further east.

Just my 2c worth...

Well, Grant Avenue does connect to the path through Victoria Park, with a dedicated bike box at the lights. That's probably why - at least, that's why I use it!

The first problem with this whole question is the presumption that new cycling routes will have to be 'Greenways'.  Whilst much of the first set of Greenways are good, safe, fast and direct, there is a limit to how many potential routes there are that would be up to the standard of what has been built so far.  Looking at the proposals for the Regency Park section of the Gawler Greenway (with on-road bike lane shared with the main truck access to Cooper's brewery), we are already seeing some compromises.  The other issue is that such routes often don't go where people actually want to go.  Some Greenways go close to activity centres, but in many cases they by-pass shops, schools, offices etc.

It seems to me that Adelaide needs to bite the bullet, and actually build some high quality cycling routes ALONG arterial roads, especially where these are also the major commercial precincts.  Parallel routes are all very well, but they don't help much if they don't go to any meaningful destinations.

In addition to this, there need to be better integrated connecting routes that form a fine network across the suburbs.  This will require much better crossings of arterial roads, and a combination of traffic calming and cycle lanes on secondary and local roads. 

Realistically there needs to be a fine grained network, rather than a focus on long routes to the centre - we need to acknowledge that whilst some of us are happy to ride halfway across the city to work, most of the potential for cycling to benefit more people is in replacing short car journeys.  This means that any part of a linear cycle route more than about 10km from the city is not mostly going to be used for trips to and from the city, and needs to accommodate more local trips.

The other significant priority is to make the major trip generators better accessible by bike.  The CBD is at best patchy, and at its worst where the major retail and employment centres are (North Terrace, KW etc).  A Greenway that gets you safely to the parklands and then dumps you on King William Street (e.g. MTB) is not suitable for 8-80 cycling.  Other trip generators are mostly worse - Marion Shopping Centre is in a triangle of arterial roads with horrible junctions and cycle lanes that become parking when the shops are open.

I'm currently planning a cycling trip to the Netherlands, and looking at what they have makes me very conscious that what we aspire to in our wildest dreams is not even close to what is actually possible.  We should ask for the very best, rather than compromise before we've even opened our mouths.

Paul

I agree 100% Paul. But let's not get hung up on terminology. When PortBUG first proposed the route from Port Adelaide into the City we first called it a 'Green Travel Route' (ie; referring to the mode of travel) and then shortened this to 'GreenLink'' (again referring to the linkage outcome). It was DPTI and/or the Minister of the Day (Pat Conlon I think) who decreed that this and other related routes would be called Greenways (basically a 'categorical noun'). We had avoided the noun form simply because we saw the potential to get hung up on what it might and might not mean.

Personally I would like to describe all the larger-scale routes and linkages you've described above as 'Greenways', if only to emphasise their value for building resilience, reduced carbon emissions, reduced consumption etc etc.

But putting that aside, what you've outlined above is a clear definition of a Comprehensive Bicycle Network, designed and built on a rationale, thoughtful and evidential basis. The Greenways we have today (and those still being built) are essentially opportunistic infrastructure - they have not come about via a rationale and considered planning process. Instead they represent the attempts by staff in DPTI to at least get (and keep) their foot in the door in terms of building a 'network backbone' based on the commitments that:

  • Conlon and Rann made between 2006 (when the map was first published) and 2010 (when Rann allocated $12M to 'finish them off'). Y
  • that DPTI has made in ensuring that every major vehicle route or motorway will have an associated bikeway.

These routes have come about in the context of successive Gov'ts which have - despite pro-cycling rhetoric and the TDU - actually shown very little real commitment to building a proper bike network. You'll be aware for instance that since 'Safety in Numbers' expired in 2010 there has been no public strategy (in the form of a new State Bike Plan) to further develop the concept of a Comprehensive Bicycle Network into which the current Greenways could be usefully incorporated!

So - IMHO - although there is a degree of planning involved in the current Greenway routes, in real terms they represent a 'survival strategy' undertaken by key DPTI staff to keep cycling on the transport agenda in what otherwise seems - from my own p.o.v - to be an extremely neglectful if not outright cycling-hostile environment! For this reason - irrespective of whether the current Greenways serve the practical interests of cyclists or not - they are of great value in that they are an opportunity to keep the cycling agenda alive!

We need to recognise that the real problem we face is that successive governments have avoided releasing a new State Bike Plan of Strategy that takes us to the 'next level' or 'next step' that you so clearly outline! The release of such a plan or strategy is what every bicycle user needs to argue for if we are at all interested in progressing on from the currently 'stalled' situation!

Thanyou for outlining what we need to aim for so clearly - I for one appreciate it. Enjoy your holiday in the Netherlands and please - take lots of pictures so you can show us what we're missing out on!

Sam,

My criticism of 'Greenways' is by no means meant to denigrate how useful these routes are.  I've just always seen them as being the politically easy routes, and they have often been promoted as being 'following rail/river corridors, away from main roads'.  I suspect that we are running out of this kind of relatively easy route, and that some other approaches are needed.  A new government is a good time to see if the paradigm can be shifted (I suspect David Pisoni would have been more amenable).

I will take plenty of pictures, and I intend to tweet a fair bit - I can be followed on @paulzmay for anyone who is interested.

Paul

I agree Paul on all points. I've been a supporter of what I've referred to as 'opportunism' on DPTI's part, mainly because I've felt that they are still operating to 'activate' various active transport initiatives in what - when it comes to bicycle use - is essentially still an intensely dismissive and ignorant, if not down right hostile transport environment. What I think the key operators within DPTI are trying to do is to provide the community with the opportunity to cycle across the city securely and conveniently away from main roads so they can start to see and directly experience the advantages and thus build community support for the more challenging task of building secure routes where these rail and other reserves don't exist!

All of these little things do help! It can be scary crossings or poor intersection experiences that turn people off riding.

Another little thing with big impact is wayfinding.  I hadn't realised its importance until Unley council implemented a council-wide wayfinding signage system in the past year. It just makes riding around on safe(r) routes so much less stressful, and the signs are very easy to read. If only this were rolled out across Adelaide so we could navigate along the routes across all councils! Come to think of it, that would be amazing.

"Looking at the proposals for the Regency Park section of the Gawler Greenway (with on-road bike lane shared with the main truck access to Cooper's brewery), we are already seeing some compromises."

Paul, are you referring to the route along Narweena Drive here? If so it's worth noting that this section of roadway with a bike-lane will be accompanied by a stretch of new off-road shared-use pathway to be built and funded by PA/E Council. We are yet to talk details with PA/E but this may resolve issues that cause you concern adjacent to the brewery...

I agree with Paul's sentiments above about a fine grained network. An intiative to create 24 hour bike lanes and connect all the disparate bike infrastructure would go a long way to making a difference in Adelaide. I'd like to see an intiative to phase out Adelaide's infamous 'END Bike Lane' / 7-9am situations which leave cyclists fending for themselves. Clear fit-for-purpose traffic signals and signage and properly designed bike lanes and pathways which recognise the needs of users who actually need to go somewhere etc..  

This is not to diminish the importance of greeways / green routes, but once you roll off a greenway, the secondary network is just as important.

Agreed 100%

Sam,

The problem with this is that the 2-tier provision just ends up with 2 lots of sub-standard provision.  Shared use is very often just a footpath with a fancy name, and the junctions are always rubbish.  Paint on a road shared with trucks is then only necessary because the separated infrastructure is so poor that road bikers and the fitter commuters won't use it.  The Dutch and the Danes don't do 2-tier provision.  They do it once, in a way that at its best accommodates TDF wannabes & small children alike.

Much better to build a proper cycleway along this stretch, and allow pedestrians to use it if there isn't enough volume for a separate path (there isn't - I used to walk to work along there - I was always alone).

Paul

Well put - we'll communicate that sentiment to PA/E and see what they say!

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