Councillors have voted to alter the Frome Street Bikeway – despite an independent report recommending no changes be made to the current arrangement. 

The Frome Street Bikeway has led to an increase in cycling and reduced traffic congestion, according to the recent independent report published by Adelaide City Council. However, Tuesday’s Economic and Community Development Committee meeting voted to develop options and costings to return the street to four lanes of traffic during peak times, allowing parking in off-peak times. This is despite an expert consultant report (and the Council administration) recommending no change to the current arrangement. The Committee’s proposal will be put to a full Council meeting next Tuesday.

While the separated bike lanes will remain, the proposed changes that Council is seeking will destroy the general amenity and high quality aesthetic of this infrastructure. As Bike SA has argued to Council previously, the evidence is clear: That high quality separated bicycle infrastructure like the current design delivers economic prosperity to the community.

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In large part, this is because road space along such corridors becomes a ‘destination’ as opposed to ‘somewhere everyone drives through’. Shoppers who walk and cycle have been shown to shop more frequently and while they spend less per shopping trip, overall their yield is higher than shoppers who drive – up to a 24% increase in sales per month in some US cities. Bike SA has yet to meet a trader who would prefer lower rates of interaction with their customers. Even Sydney continues to see residential housing prices on separated bikeways sitting above the local medium price. While this decision is disappointing, Bike SA will continue to work with individual councillors over the next month while the administration builds its costings on the redesign work.

Further Reading: 

Read and comment on this week’s news reports at http://indaily.com.au/news/2015/06/24/yarwood-weighs-in-on-bikeway-backdown/ and www.adelaidenow.com.au.

Meanwhile in the Norwood area, additional bikes lanes will be installed along Portrush Road next month – http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/east-hills/new-bike-lanes-on-portrush-rd-between-magill-and-kensington-roads-will-be-marked-out-in-july/story-fni9lkyu-1227412657434.