A copy of the following letter was sent to the North Terrace BUG mailing list today, however I think it would be of interest to many at AC, so I have reposted here with the authors consent.


Dear Stephen,


After one too many hair raising rides south along Pulteney St at dusk, I have decided to hang up my flourescent jacket. I don’t want to be the cyclist who will eventually die on that race track. Negotiating the ride between the the angry cars and buses and the parked cars with their potential to fling open a door is too much.


I am writing to you because I DO have great hopes that your vision for our city could deal with this problem. I have copied it to the North Terrace BUG ( Bicycle User Group) because they know how MANY cyclists use that route. Most of them are younger and faster than I am. That is the heart of the issue. If only fearless and speedy cyclists feel safe on our city streets then all the people who WOULD ride are never seen and never counted.


As a hopeful kind of person I like to think that one day I’ll get back on the bike. I’ve been commuting whenever possible since the age of 9 and want to continue. What plans are there for improving cycle safety in the CBD in general and Pulteney St in particular? Are you aware of the dedicated lanes, separate from traffic and parked cars that have been built  in the hilly, wet, cold city of Vancouver? Surely we can do better?


Yours sincerely,

Nicky Page


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Replies to This Discussion

such a shame that he feels it is no longer safe to ride in our city Would it change parking availability much if we removed car parking in the major steets of the city so there was more room for bikes and buses. Parking is available in car parks and in side streets??
Not only would removing the car parking on the streets make them safer it would encourage more peole to use public transport, and even cycle, to travel to the city and relieve congestion along our major arteries in turn making them safer for us cyclists as well. Apparently, Adelaide has more off street parking than any other capital city so I think we would cope.
David, can you tell Nicky to email all of the elected ACC members, telling them it is time to take bicycle transport seriously, and to improve the conditions and safety of cyclists now. Stress that ACC wants to decrease private cars and traffic congestion in the city. This requires encouraging other forms of transport, like sustainable cycling.

Eight of the twelve current elected members stated at the last local council elections that they supported cycling, the environment and/or sustainability. The Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood is supportive of cycling, although he lives in the city and usually walks. Remind them of their election platforms, and ask them to do something now to improve cycling conditions in the city for safety of vulnerable road users, in particular Pulteney Street.

Invite Nicky to join online AC, NTP BUG and Adelaide BUG, and use this to campaign to improve her routes.

If she felt unsafe riding on Pultney St why was she riding there? She needs to find an alternative route where she feels safer.

I used to regularly ride from Nth Terrace to South Terrace without going on any of the main North-South streets. You may have to travel a bit further and wait to cross some streets but it is possible. 



Agree. If people feel unsafe riding, then rather than expect the general population to fund massively expensive alterations to current infrastructure, they should have a look at their own skill-set in riding, and seek first to build their confidence. Other people ride Pulteney St confidently with no problem. To me, its like asking the government to shave a few hundred feet off the top of Mt Lofty because a few people find it a bit too steep. 

Lowering the speed limit to 40 km/h in the whole CBD and removing parking along various streets is not financially expensive. It might be politically expensive of course but if we want to increase the percentage of cyclists to Danish or Dutch levels politicians are going to have make some decisions that are unpopular with your average lycra hating Advertiser reader.


I agree 100% Michael.

Rather than lowering the speed limit to 40km/h across the CBD, maybe a smarter option may be to have some targeted traffic calming areas such as the Pultney st stretch between North Terrace and Pire St  where the limit is set right down to say 25km/h and no parking allowed.   The idea being to provide a relatively safe corridors for cyclists to get across town while the leaving the higher 50km speed limit on other routes to encourage motorists to use those instead.



Sounds good
That makes sense as long as can get around the "there are some many speed limits its so confusing I don't know what I'm meant to be doing" cry from some of the motorists.
Given the difference in the population and size of Dutch cities and Australian cities I find it hard to believe that we will ever reach the % of cyclist that occur there. I think that we should push for better cycling facilities in Adelaide but its like Belinda said build your confidence first and then tackle streets like Pultney when you are confident rather than expecting the government to make you feel safe.
Cyclists are people from the "general population" who happen to ride bikes.  It is an important environmentally friendly form of transport which the general population should be able to use to get around town safely.  In the case of Pultney st between North Terrace and Pirie St, it is not sufficiently safe for cyclists and if you want to get from North Terrace in the area around Adelaide University (which has many cyclists) to the south of the city (of vice versa), if you feel Pultney St is not safe enough, Frome Rd is worse and to get to any route one must travel along the even more hazardous North Terrace.  While some experienced road warriors like myself may be prepared to take the risk, this letter which sparked this thread, shows that some consider the risk too great and it is preventing people from using the most efficient transport option available.


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