The RAA now is encouraging motorists to consider cycling as an alternative to driving

The RAA now is encouraging motorists to consider cycling as an alte...

Most drivers know this already if the watch the bikes overtaking them in peak hour.

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you would get plenty of the young mechanics that wouldn't know where to start with the SU on a mini, even though I know I would fall into that sort of category but I'm lucky enough to work in a place that works on just about anything

No news here, it's just a press release to get some attention.

They've been saying it for years as anyone who's actually read SA Motor would know. 

Great to see the RAA making sensible suggestions :-)

Has it ever not been the case?

They were advocating for fixing the genuinely problematic sections of South Road before fixing a problem that wasn't there with the duplication of the Southern Expressway, a call that was ignored by the ALP who preferred to throw pork at marginal seats.

I've only just become a member again recently.

The RAA often call for measures to improve public transport, which makes sense and is admirable. Now bus lanes have been implemented the RAA want them removed because they have not improved traffic congestion or travel times for private car drivers, which they claim is evidence that they are not effective. A true measure of the effectiveness of bus lanes is whether the bus service is able to run to schedule.

So yes, the RAA sometimes make silly, private driver centric suggestions (which isn't surprising given that that is their membership base and who they represent).

Hi all,

I thought I would introduce myself as I work for RAA and was responsible for writing the report that was featured in the Advertiser on Friday.  A multi-mode travel time experiment is something that we have wanted to do for a while and was prompted by observations of numerous cyclists overtaking us whilst we conducted our regular travel time experiments along Unley Road.  What was originally going to be a car vs bike test grew to include the bus, train and/or tram. 

The experiment and subsequent report was produced really with the type of person in mind who has considered using alternate modes of transport for their commute into work but who has never gotten round to actually doing so.  I appreciate that there is likely to be some scepticism around the results, but I can assure you all that our aim was to be as fair and objective as possible within the experiment.  For instance, the start time for each survey varied to accommodate the departure times for public transport, but were generally between 8-8.15am.  We picked start points according to where public transport infrastructure (train/tram) was in place, but with a distance of no more than 10km away from the city. I appreciate that many people live more than 10kms away, but one of the considerations that we had in the report was for people who may wish to consider driving to a park n ride and then cycling the rest of the way to their destination.  I think that Glenelg, Mitcham and Paradise offer an ideal case in point for this option.  In some cases (Mitcham and Paradise) it is possible to drive/cycle and get to the city quicker than just driving the entire journey.

Unsurprisingly the newspaper article chose to focus on the time it took to get to the CBD, which is very important for people.  But the experiment was designed to go beyond that by taking into account what the experience of each journey was like.  So for instance, were there any near misses whilst travelling on the bike, was the public transport on time, how comfortable was it, how easy was it to get a seat, etc?  For the bike rider (which was myself in all cases), we tested the most direct route which utilised main roads as well as an off road/low traffic alternative as suggested by the Cycle Instead website.

So why is the RAA interested in alternative transport options?  Well, a significant proportion of members don’t just drive, but use public transport and cycle.  It is through our advocacy surveys that we have learnt that members want us to advocate on their behalf on alternative transport options.  Our official position is one that it is all well and good to try to encourage more people to use alternative modes of transport, but those options/infrastructure need to be in place in order to encourage people to use them in the first place.

To date we have just looked at locations where infrastructure exists as the base of our multi-mode survey.  The next steps are to consider those locations that don’t have good alternative transport options, which we will look to test next year (I’d welcome any suggestions).  Also, a significant number of people commute and work outside of the CBD so what options are available to them.

I appreciate that this probably doesn’t address all of the points that have been made within this discussion, but I’d be happy to answer any questions about the survey that people may have. 

Richard.

Welcome aboard Richard

"but those options/infrastructure need to be in place in order to encourage people to use them in the first place"

Is this your opinion/ recommendation, or is this an official RAA policy position? Can we expect to see the RAA getting publically vocal in support of proper cycling infrastructure (eg segregated pathways, not magic green paint) and shooting down some of the myths that seem to get some people so angry?

I took it more to be a reference to public transport infrastructure - I noted that his post seems to completely (correctly) dismiss bus-based public transport other than the O-Bahn as NOT being a viable option.

I would expect the RAA to be more in favour of taking away an unrestricted lane of (for example) Unley Road for a light rail line than for a bike lane. Given the relative proportions of people using public transport compared to cycling even if cycling increased its modal share by an order of magnitude, I would also support this move as a more rational reconfiguring of Unley Road than taking a lane out of unrestricted use for a separated bike lane.

Kristian/Dave,

 

I guess that the comment that you highlighted is in part policy and part my own opinion.  I can say that RAA supports every South Australian having the opportunity to actively choose cycling as a mode of transport and that it encourages the ongoing development of safe accessible routes for members to choose cycling without fear or hesitation.  Regarding infrastructure we support the completion of discontinuous sections of the existing cycling network and major infrastructure that includes facilities for safe cycling participation.

It would be a shame if someone in Mitcham decided to try cycling to the City via Unley Rd (as per the map in the article).

The surface in the bike lane on Unley Rd is an absolute disgrace.

Tom,

Maybe it's because i used a mountain bike, but i thought that Belair/Unley Road was ok.  I did observe that further along Unley Road that the bike lane was made up of part concrete kerb and part bitumen that could have been of a better quality.

The direct survey went straight along Belair/Unley Road, whilst the alternative route took in Rugby Street, Porter Street and the Parklands before joining Pulteney Street. 

Personally i would choose to cycle along Belair/Unley Road during peak hour, purely because when passing through Cross Road and Greenhill Road you go through a controlled intersection; whereas you don't on the alternative route.  It took a significant amount of time in particular to cross Greenhill Road from Porter Street.  Outside of peak hour, when the clearway is not in operation i would choose the alternative route every time.

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