Citizens’ jury inspires South Australia to become more bike friendly

A bike box in action
A bike box in action

The South Australian government has made a number of new commitments to encourage active transport with a set of cycle-friendly policy initiatives announced in response to a citizens’ jury held late last year.

The jury met over five weeks late last year to consider the question: “Cyclists and motorists will continue to share our roads. What ideas can we pilot to make sure they do it safely?”

The move towards citizens’ juries seems to be growing. See our related articles:

In Adelaide, one of the bodies that made submissions was Adelaide City Council, which has made cycling a key element in its Smart Move Transport and Movement Strategy 2012-22. The council is aiming for cycling to become the most convenient means for short trips, and ensure that cycling to and from the suburbs is safe for people of all levels of cycling ability.

Key jury recommendations the government has expressed support for include legislating to allow cycling on footpaths for people of all ages, making cycle paths continuous and maintaining them regularly, planning for cycle lanes and paths in future road projects, connecting established greenways and bike paths and establishing new ones, constructing bike cages at public transport interchanges and investigating the feasibility of bike racks on the front of buses.

The government has said it will immediately provide $250,000 seed funding for the establishment of a Greenways and Bicycle Boulevard program. This funding will be allocated in the 2015/16 financial year and will include addressing disappearing bike lanes and bicycle black spots. It will also partner with Bike SA and the Bicycle Institute to improve cycling facilities. Grant funds will also be provided to local councils to improve the safety of the cycle network.

There are already a number of greenways projects underway, with $1.6 million allocated for the Norwood and Prospect bikeways.

The South Australian Planning Policy Library will also have policies around cycling revised by June 2015, with cycling and walking networks including end-of-trip facilities such as bike parking becoming mandatory as part of all new developments.

State roads will have more “green boxes” or “bike boxes” installed at major intersections. These are lane-wide areas of green-coloured road that give cyclists separation from motorists and enable them to get a head start on motor vehicles when the lights change. These are being funded under the state’s Black Spots – Bicycle Projects program, which councils can also access for funding green box installation on council roads. Adelaide City Council has already installed 32 bike boxes as part of its Smart Move strategy.

A new state-wide minimum overtaking width between cars and cyclists of one metre is to be mandated, and education on cycling and cyclist safety integrated into the road user’s handbook for motorist licence tests, and into school-based education programs.

With so many parts of both Adelaide city and regional areas lacking adequate cycling infrastructure, the jury recommended that cyclists of all ages be legally allowed to ride on the footpaths where there is no safer alternative. The state government has agreed to put this into legislation.

A number of organisations made presentations to the jury and contributed to the information gathering process including the Trauma Service at the Royal Adelaide Hospital; the University of Adelaide; the Motor Accident Commission; the Amy Gillett Foundation; Bike SA; the Local Government Association of South Australia; SA Police; the South Australian Road Transport Association; Adelaide City Council; the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure; the Department for Education and Child Development; SA Health; and the Australian Centre for Social Innovation.


2 Responses to “Citizens’ jury inspires South Australia to become more bike friendly”

  • Stuart Hilborn says:

    “[Adelaide] council is aiming for cycling to become the most convenient means for short trips, and ensure that cycling to and from the suburbs is safe for people of all levels of cycling ability.”

    Firstly cycling should never have been allowed to become something that is unsafe!

    I live in Brisbane. I have spoken to our council on multiple occasions – I’ve clearly identified roads that are dangerous to cyclists. No changes. I have read their “customer charter”. Safety of road users is not mentioned once! A 22yo female student cyclist was killed at an intersection 5 months ago in Brisbane, waiting to turn right. Hit and killed by a truck. Brisbane City Council are wholeheartedly negligent in their response – which is to do nothing. 5 months and no a single modification to the intersection.

    Cycling is the most efficient means of human transport. It is space efficient, energy efficient, weight efficient, healthy, effective. Yet maligned with unbridled hatred in Australia.

    Investing in safe protected cycling infrastructure in Australia should be a priority, well above roads for motor vehicles only. I hope this is the beginning of some serious change in our transport landscape.

  • Margaret Warner says:

    There is currently a bike lane inside the Glenside Hospital grounds alongside Fullarton Road. There is a new housing estate with 1000 new homes planned. Could we make extra sure that the existing bike infrastructure is not compromised and it could be enhanced? The roads will never accommodate the extra cars but because it is so close to the city it is great for cycling commuting.

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