Enrique Penalosa’s profound statement suggests that the symbolism inherent in creation of a bikeway will make a powerful statement about a government’s support for the bicycle’s practical role in a community’s transport system. Experience around the world has shown that the creation of major urban bikeway networks also makes an enormous contribution to a community’s bicycle culture, acting as a framework for all aspects of a community’s bicycle use, especially for those unable or unwilling to compete for space on the main roads.
Ever since Patrick Conlon announced the development of an urban Greenway Network across Adelaide in 2006, the PortBUG has called for more effective publicity for the planned system of bikeways and bike paths. Without this, it has seemed impossible to develop the public support and interest required to ensure the Network is fully developed.
Adelaide’s proposed Greenway Network was first outlined in Safety in Numbers, the State Government’s bicycle strategy 2006-2010. (http://www.transport.sa.gov.au/pdfs/personal_transport/bike_direct/cycling_strategy.pdf). Some years later a similar map was shown on the back page of the SA Labour Party’s 2010 Greenways and Bikepaths Policy and also highlighted in the 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide.
However at no point was there any real attempt to show Adelaide’s residents exactly what the Department of Transport had in mind – on which roads the various Greenway routes would run, what new infrastructure would be required to ensure it’s continuity and how it might articulate with both local bicycle networks and Adelaide’s public transport systems.
Under Minister Koutsantonis there now seems to be a new willingness to share the Government’s vision with the public. DPTI has now established a new Greenway Network web page, going live unannounced over the last week. It can be found here: http://www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/major_projects/greenways_project
The web page is still very short on detail with no specific maps or photographs of individual Greenway routes – unfortunate given that several of the proposed routes are substantially complete and open for use (Goodwood Showgrounds, the Glenelg Mike Turtur Bikeway, the Seaford/Marino Bikeway, the Sea and Vines and the Torrens Linear Park). However it’s a great start that hopefully will be further developed. DPTI’s cycling pages have also received a facelift, with a friendlier and more informative approach to layout and content. See: http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/cycling Not everything works yet but it’s looking promising!
Penalosa interview: http://www.modeldmedia.com/features/penalosa112.aspx