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Due to the resignation of Councillor Robert Simms in September 2015, Council will be holding a supplementary election to fill the Area Councillor vacancy. Bicycle SA speaks to potential candidates to canvas their views on cycling. 

For those residents and businesses that live in the Adelaide City Council zone, there is an election currently underway for an Area Councillor to replace the position made vacant following Robert Simms’ move to represent the Greens in the Senate.This is an important election and Bike SA believes that it will have an impact on the level of future investments for cycling infrastructure and programs. We have given the opportunity for all candidates to address a series of questions about their views on cycling in Adelaide.

We will add responses as they come in, so stay tuned to see what candidates believe should be done to make Adelaide a cycle friendly city.

If you live and work in the CBD and have enrolled to vote – or if you anybody that owns and business and/or lives in the CBD,  then make sure they vote before noon on Monday, December 7. More information about how to vote can be found here.


 

Travis Ranson

How will you support communities, schools and your council to make progress in changing the way children get to school by increasing rates of walking and cycling?

I have heard from many community members that street crossings and other infrastructure such as safe cycling support is lacking for some city schools. This would be something council has good control over so delivering these things would be quick wins that create positive change. Upon this you can then build awareness campaigns and other incentives – but until the basics are right they are a bit redundant.

How will you support your council in the provision of high use urban bicycle transport infrastructure through increased funding allocations. Do you support the extension of the Frome St Bikeway and completion of the planned Grote St separated bikeway corridor?

I strongly support investment in cycling infrastructure. I commute around the city on a bicycle constantly – and the inconsistencies and oversights in the way bicycle traffic is catered for astound me sometimes.

On the topic of the separated bikeways, I think they are an excellent start for supporting a cycling culture – but they still have their flaws. I would go further than suggesting support for separated bikeways and investigate best practices from around the world that really change the way roads are used – and be prepared to advocate for their implementation.

How will you support your council in the provision of high use recreational infrastructure through increased funding and better use of existing public space such as the Linear Path?

It should be noted that asking a singular councillor (or candidate) to promise money is always a tricky proposition – council’s budgets are complex and decisions need to be approved by the council as a whole regardless of one person’s passion on a topic. However, it should be clear which side of any debates I will be on if elected. I definitely support investing in recreational paths but would prioritise the urban/commuting paths first as they put people in danger much more.

How will you support your council to leverage State and Commonwealth funding commitments for transport investments to ensure appropriate allocations to high quality cycling infrastructure? Do you support the ‘whole of street’ and Adelaide Design Manual (ADM) principles for the creation of high quality public realm that encourages walking and cycling through high quality dedicated infrastructure eg separated bikeways like Frome St?

As eluded to above, I am a big fan of the ‘whole of street’ ideas and serious implementation of cycling (and walking) infrastructure. ‘Placemaking’ and the principles addressed in the Adelaide Design Manual are things I am also very passionate about realising in our city.

How will you support your council to promote better compliance with road rules through education and encouragement campaigns to improve efficiency and safety on roads and paths for all road users?

New cycling infrastructure in particular will require new awareness and understanding from all road users – so education and public awareness projects will be essential in realising their potential to create change.

 

Luke Giles

Thanks for the opportunity to address BikeSA members, I really hope that whoever is elected will continue to promote and advocate for quality cycling infrastructure in the City of Adelaide.

I’m a cyclist (and BikeSA member) who has commuted to the city for years and continues to ride for pleasure.  

If elected I will continue to advocate for both the extension of the Frome St Bikeway, and the creation of a similar North-South separated bikeway. Indeed, the fact that the bikeway seemed so under-threat a few months ago (despite an independent study largely endorsing the bikeway) was one of the key-issues that motivated me to run. With regard to Frome St, I will be encouraging the lord mayor to continue to lobby the state government to provide funding for long-term, best practice cycling infrastructure and hope to see not just large ticket separated cycleways, but also continual improvement to the existing cycling infrastructure in the city. Painting bike-lanes green may not seem like much, but anything that helps to improve the visibility of cyclists, helps make us safer on the road.

The council has supported a number of cycling related events, including National ride2work day and the recent Bike2Eat promotion, these are both great examples of the kind of events that can help to encourage more people to try cycling and I am a strong supporter of these.

I also believe the council can play a role in encouraging more small and medium sized businesses in the city to create, or improve end of ride facilities, thereby encouraging more people to try riding to work; More bike commuters makes for a happier, healthier city, with less congestion and better outcomes for all.

Unfortunately the new bike laws, though great for helping to protect vulnerable road users, seem to have steered debate in the wrong direction, provoking way too many ‘us versus them’ conversations. On this front, my position would be that the council has a responsibility to not buy into the debate, but rather, to help educate and continue to spread goodwill and empathy between all road users (and pedestrians).

Sandy Verschoor

Thank you for providing an opportunity to address the cycling community and present your policies that will encourage more South Australians and visitors to cycle safely in the City. 

I am running for council because I love this city and truly believe that if we invest wisely and strategically into authentic and cultural-based tourism and the creative industries, we can become a magnet city that will grow jobs, residents and businesses.

Adelaide needs to be a great place for locals and a capital city.

I most recently served 3 years as a General Manager for City Culture and Community Services at ACC. During this time I had the privilege to be part of the team that brought the Global Velocity Conference to Adelaide. This four-day conference and its almost 500 delegates who converged on South Australia from across the globe, was an incredible platform for debate, research, design and infrastructure. 

How will you support communities, schools and your council to make progress in changing the way children get to school by increasing rates of walking and cycling?

There are great programs in place already and I believe the best way to support this is to make it easy to get to and from school. Make it safe. This means pathways through the city, quiet zones, slowed traffic (I support and will advocate for a 40km speed limit throughout the city), crossings and rewards.

Programs like the Premier’s Reading Challenge. The Lord Mayor’s walking/cycling Challenge with medals and presentations. Rewards for classrooms and schools as a whole and a come and try bike hire scheme just for kids.

How will you support your council in the provision of high use urban bicycle transport infrastructure through increased funding allocations. Do you support the extension of the Frome St Bikeway and completion of the planned Grote St separated bikeway corridor?

I fully support the completion of the Frome Road bike path – to end the path where it currently stops is ludicrous. I cycle around the city and have to get off my bike to traverse the last section. It is dangerous and not friendly or welcoming to locals or tourists. Integrated planning from the get-go. State and Local government combining resources, planning and community consultation – especially with the cycling community – is the key.

How will you support your council in the provision of high use recreational infrastructure through increased funding and better use of existing public space such as the Linear Path?

I will support connected cycling, walking, exercise and play areas throughout the Park Lands and existing public space. This must be done by advocating holistic design practice and connected budgeting in the annual budget allocation cycle.

How will you support your council to leverage State and Commonwealth funding commitments for transport investments to ensure appropriate allocations to high quality cycling infrastructure? Do you support the ‘whole of street’ and Adelaide Design Manual (ADM) principles for the creation of high quality public realm that encourages walking and cycling through high quality dedicated infrastructure eg separated bikeways like Frome St?

I was there at the start of the ADM and contributed from a Sport and Recreation and Community Services perspective. Not only do I totally support it but I believe this is essential to make our city a #1 liveable city! And safe… did I say that already?

How will you support your council to promote better compliance with road rules through education and encouragement campaigns to improve efficiency and safety on roads and paths for all road users?

The ACC has previously supported cycling awareness campaigns and must continue to do so. The city, road and paths are for all comers. Locals and visitors alike.

I dream that our city can one day be as accessible as Vienna or Amsterdam. I am not a very confident cyclist but in those cities I rode everywhere. It is ingrained in the culture of the city and if we persist we can do that here too. The city is perfect to walk, to ride.

I have a unique understanding of the processes, the policies and know the major issues facing our city. I believe I will be an immediately highly effective Capital City Councillor.

Valdis Dunis

How will you support communities, schools and your council to make progress in changing the way children get to school by increasing rates of walking and cycling?

As a first response to any question like this is to admit that I am not an expert on this, even if I do ride my bike and walk around the city often. Others – such as yourself and others in Bike SA – I am sure have debated long and deep on these issues already and have many more well though-out approaches than I could ever come up with. So, my first priority to support increasing rates of walking and cycling is to take the inputs of experts such as you, and then share your findings with others in the community to build up a an understanding and consensus to move forward smoothly. There have been issues I have learned from doorknocking almost 3,000 homes and businesses in the city in how the recent changes to bike rules have been implemented without enough groundwork to educate the community on the need for change, how the new rules will work and let the knowledge ripple through the community before implemented, even though almost everyone I met likes bike riding – and walking – to be expanded in society. People don’t like being uncertain and confused about whether they are breaking a law unwittingly, etc. A matter of better communication. So, from my perspective, a key way to change the way children get to school is to first educate the need fully (more healthy for society, for the children themselves, and more interesting/fun). In parallel, to alleviate the fear that many now have for children to be out alone is to create safer routes specifically to schools (wider bike lanes, more lighting, less traffic lights/intersections), and finally I think is to work on the kids themselves to insist to their parents to allow them to ride and walk to work (like I did when I was a school kid). Setting up education programs and incentives in schools for children to want the change has often been found to be the most effective to change parents’ minds – they listen much more to their kids than anyone else in many a case.

How will you support your council in the provision of high use urban bicycle transport infrastructure through increased funding allocations. Do you support the extension of the Frome St Bikeway and completion of the planned Grote St separated bikeway corridor?

Yes, I do support clearly segregated bikeway corridors on Grote, Frome and a number of other streets. From my doorknocking, I have heard that people want at least two corridors going East-West across the city and similarly two going North-South between North Adelaide and South Tce to make bike riding a much more practical – fast and safe – in more day to day situations. The arguments they give me make a lot of sense and I will advocate for these 4 corridors as a grid of safe and easy bike riding. Extending the Frome Street bike infrastructure makes sense as one of the North-South corridors. However, as per the comments in 1, we have seen the Frome Road bikeway has caused too much emotion where none was ever needed if done in a more communicative way with society. Sometimes pushing too hard and fast can ruffle feathers of those who would normally support an effort simply because it was imposed on them in a perceived forced way without consultation. I emailed many councillors and the Mayor and attended meetings when discussions came up to shrink the capacity of the Frome Rd bikeway to fight for this to be stopped, and happy the move was stopped. I am also happy that the Council now has consensus to expand the network, and this round gather world-best approaches and consult more before expanding next. I think this is a good move to make sure the next phases are very high quality and supported by the vast majority. I would help accelerate this by voting for increased funding, and ensure all key stakeholders feel involved and their local expertise on any issues are listened to and responded to before imposing anything. Bikeways should not become a political football, and the way to do this is to build consensus by ensuring we do a worlds-best expansion of the current bikeway network that looks good, works well, and doesn’t surprise key participants in the expansion.

How will you support your council in the provision of high use recreational infrastructure through increased funding and better use of existing public space such as the Linear Path?

Again, I am not an expert on this, so happy to use the findings of experts who have studied this better than me, and then fight on their behalf inside council. In general, Adelaide is blessed with huge park areas that are very compatible with bike and walk use and generally more recreation in these areas will make our citizens healthier and happier. Only proviso is that there is also a strong view in a big part of the community (from my doorknocking) about adding more buildings in our parklands, so we should balance carefully where we expand recreational infrastructure, and many residents have suggested the expansion could be by reusing buildings/land adjacent to our parklands and parks. Regarding the Linear Path, do you mean what has been done in the Linear Park along the Torrens? If so, I believe that has been an excellent benchmark on how to improve our recreational areas for all, and also make it a perfect bike route. I often bike from Adelaide to the beach along it, and one of the great pleasures of living in Adelaide.

How will you support your council to leverage State and Commonwealth funding commitments for transport investments to ensure appropriate allocations to high quality cycling infrastructure. Do you support the ‘whole of street’ and Adelaide Design Manual (ADM) principles for the creation of high quality public realm that encourages walking and cycling through high quality dedicated infrastructure eg separated bikeways like Frome St?

 I can not claim yet to be an expert on the ADM, but the principle of encouraging a greater use of walking and cycling I support fully. All three private forms of transport can be made to co-exist well as other cities around the world have shown us, and it does not have to be a case of needing to choose one over another as some want to insist in a divisive manner. We have enough roads in our easy grid structure in the city to dedicate some streets more to cycling (in some cases 100% possibly) and other streets more for car use and/or bus use. Treating all streets the same and having buses, pedestrians, cars and bikes mixing haphazardly as is often the case now on many streets is not good or safe for anyone. Re leveraging state and commonwealth funding, I do support that and again it should not fundamentally be contentious, since all three levels of government are on the same page in creating a cleaner and healthier environment for us all, and more use of public transport and moving ourselves (walking, cycling) is a key way to achieve this. Again, communicating well between different levels of government is something I would attempt to do to make sure there are no miscommunications, surprises and sudden changes of approach that can slow down progress.

How will you support your council to promote better compliance with road rules through education and encouragement campaigns to improve efficiency and safety on roads and paths for all road users?

This can be answered in almost one word: communication. The audiences are many though: pedestrians, car and other vehicle drivers, cyclists, and finally the police and council on the practicalities of ensuring and enforcing safety and efficiency. I have heard often through doorknocking that many currently simply just don’t know the (new) rules fully although the rules are already in action, so creates discomfort for all and potentially danger, especially to pedestrians and cyclists. I have also been given quite a few cases by citizens of where people feel the new rules can be adjusted for a better outcome for all and would like to bounce these off those more expert on this than I, and finally there should be an education of culture of being practical and safe and self-regulating. People should be encouraged not so much to try to memorize all the cases of right and wrong of road use between different users and then be fined often, but to practice real-life conservative instinctive care of each other on our streets and footpaths. For example, even if there is a rule that you can go up to x km/h in one location, people should be reminded often to go less if there are obstructions in the area making the upper limit there unsafe. Having very low speed limits all across the city say to just cater for a few locations needing this lower limit would be an overkill. I would like the thinking of all users to become the limit is “up to x km/h, but only if it is safe to do so” and let people take more initiative via trust and using common sense.

 

 

 

Mark Hamilton

How will you support communities, schools and your council to make progress in changing the way children get to school by increasing rates of walking and cycling?

It would be necessary for ACC to get or access some information about how this could be done maximizing safety for children. I have not seen any such information. Special corridors might be possible in certain areas if we are talking of unaccompanied children.

How will you support your council in the provision of high use urban bicycle transport infrastructure through increased funding allocations?

By firstly completing the east west and north south bikeways below.

Do you support the extension of the Frome St Bikeway and completion of the planned Grote St separated bikeway corridor?

Yes. Done at a high level of design.

How will you support your council in the provision of high use recreational infrastructure through increased funding and better use of existing public space such as the Linear Path?

As the Adelaide Park Lands are progressively upgraded we cater for mutli- use by walkers, runners, cyclists etc. with good quality well designed infrastructure.

How will you support your council to leverage State and Commonwealth funding commitments for transport investments to ensure appropriate allocations to high quality cycling infrastructure?

ACC is already doing this. I support its attempts to get funding.

Do you support the ‘whole of street’ and Adelaide Design Manual (ADM) principles for the creation of high quality public realm that encourages walking and cycling through high quality dedicated infrastructure eg separated bikeways like Frome St?

Yes.

How will you support your council to promote better compliance with road rules through education and encouragement campaigns to improve efficiency and safety on roads and paths for all road users?

Signage in council promoting good behaviours.


 

You can see a list of candidates by going to this page