Working with ACC to further Active Transport and cycling...

The mailing out of Local Government Election voting forms starts today and you can lodge your votes up until November 9th. Over the last few weeks the Active Transport Adelaide facebook group has sought Active Transport & cycling-related Electoral Statements from those standing for Adelaide City Council.

Despite emailing invitations, only about 8 statements have been received. Most of these can be read in the Candidate's Statements 'announcement' at the top of the f/b page with 1 or 2 more scattered through subsequent posts. Most of those who responded have done so thoughtfully and positively which is encouraging. It suggests that the new cohort of potential ACC Councillors will not be entirely focussed on business activity, new high-rise and parking!

More to the point, ATA f/b Group members have been quite active in identifying issues for the Adelaide City Bike Network and with regard to cycling, walking and mobility-device use within the City boundary. The big question for me is "how might those City residents and workers interested in resolving such issues and further developing provisions for bicycle use and Active Transport now actively liaise and work with Council for the next 4 years?"

From an outsider's p.o.v it seems essential that the ACC now really get its act together with regard to cycling infrastructure and the pivotal role it has in the Metro Bike Network, and in facilitating Adelaide's Active Transport network and culture generally. The great majority of Adelaide's main bicycle 'trunk' routes converge on and pass through the City Centre. AS a consequence there are many associated 'connectivity' issues that the ACC has a responsibility to resolve in ensuring that these radiating routes can be used securely and efficiently to cycle into or out of the City and then onwards to other destinations! And it's also obvious from many comments at ATA that within the City Centre there are a host of network and infrastructure issues that need to be resolved.

I am aware that BISA and BikeSA have played a role in advocating for change within the ACC area (most recently with regard to the Frome St and East-West Bikeways), but these are organisations that necessarily also have a broader focus and therefore limited capacity to represent ACC issues. They are 'peak bodies' - not localised advocacy groups.

I'm also aware that there is an 'Adelaide BUG' conversation happening at the Adelaide Cyclists forum but AFAIK this has not yet extended to ongoing engagement with ACC staff and Councillors, particularly re. implementation of ACC bike plans, development of annual 'bike budget' bids and investment goals or in providing a direct and coordinated 'Active Transport voice' and representation for constituents and residents.

I can't help thinking that it might be time for an Adelaide City Bicycle User Group (or similar) to step up and get behind the many issues faced by those City residents and workers attempting to maintain more active lifestyles and mobility. And as an interested 'outsider' I'd also like to see the pivotal 'connectivity' role of the City Centre further developed! Such a group would only need 3-4 active members - a Convenor, a Secretary and maybe a couple of other activists, liaison people or organisers! The larger membership surely is already in place and growing daily at the ATA facebook group! 

If you are interested in the development of an Adelaide City BUG (or participating therein) but not sure where you might start or how it might work, maybe have a look at the experiences of the (quite successful) Port and WestsideBUGs, documented here. Perhaps also check out the Active Transport Adelaide facebook Group and/or the Adelaide Cyclists 'Adelaide BUG' conversation and see where they might go...

Sam.

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There is an Adelaide City Council BUG for ACC staff, who refer to it as City of Adelaide BUG. Their coordinator distributes the newsletter BUG Enews prepared by Adelaide BUG.

The Bicycle Institute refers to Adelaide BUG as the City of Adelaide BUG, so potential to confuse the two BUGs. www.bicycleinstitutesa.com/bugs

There was an earlier version of Adelaide BUG which held monthly meetings in the Town Hall building. While I was a committee member, I did an analysis of Adelaide City Bicycle Parking & Theft which required liaising with ACC staff and SAPOL. The BUG lapsed for a while.

In 2010 I revived the Adelaide BUG on Adelaide Cyclist forum. “For anyone who cycles in the Adelaide City Council areas of Adelaide and North Adelaide. BUG advocates for better cycling conditions.” 353 members.
You are welcome to join Adelaide BUG and initiate pertinent new projects. adelaidecyclists.com/group/adelaidebug

An alternative is the online Active Transport Adelaide, which Sam knows was started recently. I cannot view the page because I am not on facebook.
There is also the SE City Residents Association (SECRA) which has some cycling members.

Adelaide BUG:
— Regularly reports cycling hazards and similar
— Contacts ACC on installing more bike parking, unfortunate removal of bike parking, and blocking of bike parking
— Distributes a monthly newsletter to its members, several cycling organisations, and selected people in local and state government 

Adelaide BUG written submissions to ACC include:
— 40 km/h Trial Consultation in Adelaide
— Bicycle Action Plan
— Business Plan and Budget
— Frome St Bikeway
— Future Adelaide Strategic Plan
— Gawler Place plan

Attended City forums and provided input, e.g.:
— ACC multiple sessions of the Integrated Movement Strategy Review
— Organised by ACC
— Organised by Mark Parnell MLC
— Organised by Rachel Sanderson MP, Member for Adelaide

Adelaide BUG has advocated on SA cycling issues, e.g.:
— Communicated and met with Adelaide Airport Ltd to improve Adelaide Airport bicycle facilities
— Asked Standards Australia if possible to modify AS 1428.2-1992, 27.3 Drinking fountains and water coolers, so that all new fountains enable refilling of water bottles
— Attended DPTI’s forum SA Road Safety Strategy 2020 - Towards Zero, and made verbal and written submissions
— Attended presentations of international road safety expert Prof Fred Wegman, 'Driving Down the Road Toll: Building a safer system', and publicly asked cycling safety questions
— Submission to DPTI re the inner ring route that skirts the City of Adelaide, i.e. upgrade of Fitzroy Tce and Park Tce
— Submission to National Transport Commission on its review of the Australian Road Rules and Vehicle Standards Rules
— Submission to SA Govt on its review of Compulsory Third Party scheme
— Wrote to ANCAP asking if its car safety rating system could be made easier to find info on pedestrian (and cyclist) safety

Heather, Coordinator of Adelaide BUG since 2010

Heather,

Thanks for all of this detail - it sounds like a lot of work and input, and I'm not setting out to criticise what you (or any other members of Adelaide BUG) may have achieved, nor am I asking for any justification of your use of the 'BUG' reference. However I'm afraid that reading the 'Adelaide BUG' page at the AC site, it seems more like a news service or mailing list than an action group.

I couldn't find anything about committee members, office holders, regular meetings, annual setting of BUG goals, participation in ACC planning processes and goal setting, BUG strategies, how people can join, get involved in BUG actions and effectively represent a cycling and Active Transport 'voice'.

I guess I'm interested in seeing such opportunities available and activities occur because I have been suggesting (at the ATA forum) a need for some key post-election community-driven strategies to address key outcomes and goals. There are obviously some major projects at stake and (I think) a need for the community generally to have more opportunities to participate in bicycle planning. This is why the question of an 'Adelaide BUG' has been raised. 

If I was an Adelaide City community member interested in working with a BUG I'd want to know about arrangements for:

  • ongoing engagement with ACC staff and Councillors (especially those who have indicated an interest in Active Transport at ATA and who may end up being elected!)
  • a regular program for implementation of ACC bike plans (opportunity for members to participate in the annual development of 'bike budget' bids and investment goals)
  • providing a direct and coordinated 'Active Transport voice' in ACC's annual planning processes.

Without having a firm hold on big levers such as these, I don't understand how a community can actively work with the Council to achieve change! Without these a community of interest (such as 'cyclists') will end up - in my experience - just constantly playing 'catch-up', reacting constantly (and usually in a chaotic and adversarial framework) after Council takes some action, rather than actually participating in the planning and goal setting processes. From an outsider's p.o.v this in fact seems to have been the pattern of recent 'progress' in the ACC - I don't think anyone wants to see this repeated with other major projects such as the proposed east-west route!

The key questions I would ask are - When can those interested attend BUG meetings or BUG planning activities? Are there key roles that they can take on? Is there an annual BUG goal-setting process and subsequent budget/investment program dialogue with Council officers that the community can participate in?   

These are some of the components that I've found make a BUG effective. They are also what I think those interested in working for progress for Active Transport within the Adelaide City boundaries are likely to find effective. 

Sam.

I plan to push for similar things in the Campbelltown Council!

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