The Sydney Harbour Bridge was built in eight years. With luck, the Frome Street Bikeway will be completed in six. Bike SA CEO Christian Haag fills us in on the latest “Frome Street” developments.
The Adelaide City Council has released its Further Evaluation Report on the Frome St Bikeway and it is a very comprehensive document that presents a powerful and evidenced based argument promoting the positive economic benefits of separated cycling infrastructure.
Bike SA has commented before on the benefit to small businesses in US cities like Portland and San Francisco, where construction of high quality separated bike lanes delivers increased sale volumes. Even the Bourke St Bikeway in Sydney has seen an increase in residential property prices as a direct result.
This will be great news for the existing businesses along Frome and Rundle Streets and even better news for the new businesses that will spring up on Frome St as a result of its completion.
Council’s Infrastructure and Public Space Committee recommends that Council accept a number of key findings and recommendations.
In terms of the existing Bikeway from Carrington to Pirie Streets, the recommendation is to implement the minor works option, which involves the safety improvements’ identified in the Independent Evaluation report.
It is pleasing that the veracity of the original independent report has stood up to this second review and that a sensible measure of minor treatments to improve safety should be passed by Council at next Tuesday’s meeting.
The estimated cost of these works will be in the vicinity of $90,000.
Let’s get the bikeway built.
More importantly is the way forward to complete the Bikeway through to the Torrens River and Linear Park.
A half finished road bridge doesn’t take traffic and equally a half finished bikeway doesn’t effectively take cyclists. It is not acceptable and it’s an unsafe option.
Council administration has put forward a number of costed design options for the northern completion, some of which are upwards of $10 million.
Complicating this project are the O-Bahn extension, the substantial redevelopments of the Royal Adelaide Hospital site and proposed new schools developments. These developments will guarantee major disruption to commuters, to those who ride their bikes to work, motorists and transit commuters.
Lord Mayor Martin Haese has said that he is keen to deliver the highest quality bicycle infrastructure through this corridor and the city more generally. He sees this investment driving economic benefit to local business precincts and the city more generally.
Bike infrastructure is good for property prices.
Getting back to our earlier comment on how separated bike infrastructure actually drives up the value of residential property prices (Bourke St Bikeway in Sydney) as well as improving the bottom line of small business, the Lord Mayor’s view is in line with Bike SA’s wish to see more than a painted white line on a road.
High quality separated bicycle infrastructure delivers riders, it encourages more pedestrians through high quality public space development, which in turn delivers more people.
The small business operators within the Frome/Rundle precinct need more people coming into the city. Research shows that those people will spend more when they don’t have to spend money on car parking.
Bike SA sees high quality separated infrastructure as a priority. The trade-off for Frome St is time. Completion of the Frome Street corridor will ultimately be intertwined within the O-Bahn development, meaning a delay in any speedy completion of the project.
While disappointing, it is a practical reality.
Someone once said that ‘patience is a virtue and virtue is a grace’. The Sydney Harbor Bridge was built in eight years. Community consultation on the Frome St Bikeway commenced in April 2012 and with luck it will likely be completed within six years. Ponder that…
The ‘best outcome’ is the ‘best outcome’ and we encourage our members to express their views to the Adelaide City Council on what design option they think is most appropriate. There are a few to choose from.
Bike SA’s focus is what is in the best interests of our children and grand children. A high quality Frome St infrastructure framework will serve our community and drive economic benefit for the next 30 years.
- Indaily – Frome St Bikeway extension to reap “millions”: analysis
- The Advertiser- Fixing controversial Frome St bikeway and extending it could cost city ratepayers more than $10m
Bike SA works for a brighter future for cycling for all South Australians. Become a member and make a difference today.