As Lord Mayor Martin Haese is preparing to complete the Frome Street bikeway he hosted a Town Hall summit earlier this week, where stakeholders from across South Australia came together to listen to to expert opinion on how Adelaide should design its cycling infrastructure. 

Here are 4 bold ideas that Bicycle SA thought are worth mentioning.

  1. People hate change

When things change, people get angry. And vocal. The world will end.

“When you push the status quo be prepared for it to push back hard,” said Janette Sadik Khan who was in charge of making New York bike & pedestrian friendly.

A prime example in Adelaide is Rundle Mall, one of Adelaide’s busiest retail precincts. In the 1970s the area was pedestrianised, and everyone was against and according to its architect Ian Hannaford, there was “a great amount of discord amongst stakeholders.”

Nowadays, it would be hard to imagine the space otherwise.

2. Countries that are bike-friendly also happen to be the best places to drive as well. (Please keep this a secret).

The media love pitching arguments of « Bikes vs. Cars » when in actual fact bikes actually make life easier for their four wheeled friends.

Believe it or not, countries which have the highest levels of cycling also tend to be the best places to drive. A study in The Netherlands found that it was the most satisfying country in the world to drive a because with all those bicycles on the road it’s like it’s school holiday traffic every day of the year.

Note to the car industry, Dutch have one of the highest levels of car ownership per capita in Europe. (Because it’s so goddamn pleasant to drive there!!)

3. There are 3 ingredients you need to get more people cycling 

According to Mark Ames from consultancy, Strategic Cities, there are 3 things you need in Adelaide if you want to get the masses cycling. These include :

  1. Separated cycleways
  2. Routes away from cars (parks)
  3. Quiet, slow streets

This may seem like a monumental change in Adelaide but a clever way to build consensus can be to use pilot projects and test schemes before fully implementing them.

4. We can no longer use our streets just to move and store vehicles

Lord Mayor Martin Haese made it pretty clear that cities of the future need to be focussed on people and business. Adelaide currently sees 70% of its urban space handed over to motor vehicles, so this may seem like a challenge, however the Lord Mayor stressed he sees this as an “opportunity.”

“Are we ‘closing a space to traffic’ or are we ‘opening a space for people?” he reiterated at the end of the summit.

Become a Bike SA member and help us push create a safer, brighter for future for all people that cycle.