1. FREE ‘Be Safe Be Seen’ Presentation: PortBUG and the Port Adelaide/Enfield Council are hosting a free Be Seen Be Safe cycling-safety presentation on Wednesday 16th March at the PA/E Town Hall in Nile Street, Port Adelaide. The presentation is just 30 mins and registered participants will receive a free cycling safety ‘gift pack’ of high-vis items & equipment. To register just email our BUG Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, no registration, no safety pack!
2. Birkenhead Bridge Closure: Observant readers may have noticed that for the past 2 weeks circumstances for pedestrians, bicycle users, kids on scooters and those using wheel chairs & mobility devices on the Bridge’s western shared use path have changed radically and become chaotic!
The west-side pathway has been fenced off at each end 24/7, to facilitate removal, repainting and repair of the decaying fencing, rails and lighting and other fixtures on the western side. This closure has had a major impact on residents on both sides of the river who depend on Active Transport facilities to travel to and from school and work or into the Port CBD’s shopping and service precinct.
The BUG has already seen bike riders, children on scooters and wheelchair and mobility device users either turn back when they encounter the barriers, or take their lives in their hands by attempting to cross to or from the narrow eastern-side footpath, across the northern Bridge ramp to the Harbour Loop route at Jenkins St!
This unannounced closure of the Harbour Loop bikeway over the Bridge (also part of the Outer Harbour Greenway) has significantly raised the levels of hazard & difficulty for vulnerable road users needing to cross the Port River. Many bicycle users, including those with children have turned back at this point. Wheelchair & mobility device users have been crossing the road behind the fence & proceeding over the bridge’s roadway!
DPTI & the contractors have erected signs suggesting that pedestrians cross to the east-side footpath and bicycle users take to the roadway.
Unfortunately there appears to have been no thought given to ensuring continuity with the Harbour Loop pathway or the Greenway for those Bridge users who cannot reasonably use the roadway or the narrow eastern footpath.
While the Harbour Loop pathway on the western side of the Bridge connects directly to Jenkin’s Street, the eastern pathway is almost completely disconnected from the rest of the Harbour Loop and Greenway.
For users of this eastern footpath to rejoin the Loop path or Greenway (see the green route below), they are forced to continue on along (see red below) some 150 metres of footpath to the cross roads at Semaphore Road and Elder Street. They then have to cross at the light-controlled pedestrian crossing and then travel an additional 300 or so metres along an almost completely unmade dirt kerbside reserve to the corner of Fletcher and Semaphore Roads where they can then rejoin the Loop Path and Greenway.
To refer to this as a reasonable alternative provision is just plain silly, a point of view we have put to DPTI and for which there seems to be general agreement! We understand that DPTI are looking at possible interim solutions for pathway users, including maybe installing gateways on the western side that might be left open when work finishes each day or a temporary pedestrian crossing across the Bridge’s northern ramp to connect Jenkin’s Street to the eastern pathway (?). We have expressed our concerns & are are currently awaiting DPTI’s response.