Bicycle Advocacy for The Port – What we’ve achieved!

PortBUG’s Achievements – Update November 2018.

PortBUG has been around for over 3 decades and in SA at least, is (we feel) a bit of a case-example of what can be achieved through community bike advocacy. Of course, when we talk about ‘achievements’, we are talking about advocacy outcomes – issues, opportunities and solutions we’ve identified and argued for. Credit for actually building new infrastructure or taking new initiatives belongs to the Port Adelaide/Enfield Council and to DPTI! PortBUG has just sought to be a positive ‘community partner’ in the process!

We are currently a bit over half-way through the current PA/E 5 year Bike Plan and have commenced a brief review of what’s been achieved thus far, what still needs to be done and the additional needs and opportunities that have emerged since the Bike Plan was put together. As a first step we have taken a look as what’s been achieved to date over the span of the current 5-year Bike Plan. Here’s a quick summary (items #12-16 being our most recent successes).

But first… Our Own ‘Iconic’ Project – Redevelopment of Semaphore Road (Stage 1): ‘Semi-Road’ is the ‘high street’ and social and economic heart of Semaphore and surrounding suburbs. It was perhaps one of the first major goals tackled by the PortBUG and was initiated by a weekend expedition with tape measures, pencils and paper to figure out what might be possible. Our subsequent written submission sparked the road’s creative redevelopment by Council engineers. We suspect that it may be the only ‘high street’ in Australia with both on-road bike lanes and off-road bike pathways and with a 40/50km/h traffic speed limit. This makes it very bicycle/pedestrian/mobility device/skateboard friendly and has created a ‘benchmark’ for bike and Active Transport facilities across the very extensive area covered by PA/E Council!

1.  PA/E Bike Plan, 2015-20: PortBUG has actively participated in the development of two Port Adelaide/Enfield Bike Plans. Our submission to development of the current Plan included need for a dedicated Bicycle Officer. We have recently submitted a brief for a new Bike Plan to follow the current one (which finishes in 2020). In response the Council has told us that they will be developing an Integrated Transport Plan. More challenges!

2.  Allocation of a Council ‘Bicycle Officer’: The allocation of a dedicated ‘Bicycle Officer’ at Council has been a crucial outcome – it has provided both the BUG and the broader community with an identified person to liaise with and has provided the Council with someone who can maintain focus on the Bike Plan’s implementation. The arrangement has worked very well!

3.  Development of the Outer Harbor Greenway: This has been a long-term project for the PortBUG. We surveyed a possible route for the new Greenway in August, 2005 and developed a written (and illustrated) proposal which we circulated widely within local and state government. It has been developed in stages over the last 13 years and we hope to see it finished within the current financial year…

4.  Completion of the Outer Harbor Greenway – North: The BUG ‘saddle-surveyed’ this route and identified a number of key off-road links and other improvements required on the section between Port Adelaide and Outer Harbor. Most of these have now been completed.

5.  Harbor Loop Bikeway: The BUG has successfully argued for and then supported the building of a Harbor Loop bikeway around the Inner Harbor. This has included separated bikeways overthe Birkenhead Bridge and encircling the western area of the Inner Harbor. Stage 1 of this project has been completed (western basin) with Stage 2 (eastern basin) to be completed in the next stage of the Inner Harbor housing development.

6.  Improved Bike Access and Bicycle Safety – Old Port Rd: The PortBUG identified the need for bike lanes on Old Port Road when it was redeveloped and (eventually) they were installed by DPTI.

7.  Crossing Nelson St, Port Adelaide: The BUG successfully argued for new and improved bike and pedestrian crossings at Nelson St, Port Adelaide, a key component of the Outer Harbor Greenway and Harbor Loop.

8.  Completion – Outer Harbor Greenway East: The PortBUG has had extensive involvement in negotiations and advocacy (jointly with WestsideBUG) with the Torrens2Torrens and Torrens Junction projects to ensure satisfactory completion of the Outer Harbor Greenway between Queen Street, Croydon and the Adelaide Parklands. (likely completion, late 2018).

9.  Greenway Lighting: The PortBUG has been actively involved in the resolution of essential lighting upgrades (jointly with WestsideBUG) on the Outer Harbor Greenway, including through the Gillman Rail Yards and at St Clair (involved approx. 300metres of new pathway lighting).

10.  Palais ‘Bypass’ on the Coast Park Bikeway: After over 2 years of ‘closure’ to bicycle use and extensive negotiations by the PortBUG, a new ‘bypass’ pathway has been constructed on the Coast Park Bikeway around the Palais business premises at Semaphore.

11.  Improved Main-Road ‘Bike Space’, Port Adelaide: Successful negotiation for major improvements to bike lanes, ‘bike space’ and traffic calming in Dale Street, Port Adelaide and along St Vincent Street and the Jervois Bridge, Port Adelaide.

12.  Hart Street Redevelopment: The BUG nominated the redevelopment of Hart Street as a major priority for the Bike Plan in 2017-18. Hart Street is the major link between the Port CBD & Inner Harbor and the coastal suburbs and the Coast Park Bikeway. It is currently under redevelopment as an Active Transport route by DPTI & PA/E Council and the project should be finished very soon.

13.  Off-Road Bike Facilities – Causeway Road: Causeway Road is a main road spanning Semaphore, Glanville and Ethelton and linking Semaphore and Bower Roads. The BUG has successfully sought improvement and completion of off-road shared pathway facilities and a new crossing to make the route much more secure and ‘active transport-friendly’.

14.  Port Dock Station Planning: The PortBUG is currently engaged in negotiations with the Port Dock Rail Station Project, principally for maintenance of Greenway access through the Project’s construction and creation of a much improved ‘active’ rail crossing across the new spur line to the station.

15.  Successful Negotiation of Future Projects: PortBUG has successfully negotiated for the following future projects in forward planning – implementation of the PA/E Bike Plan (2018-19 & 2019-20):

  • Improved ‘surface signage’ on the Coastal Way, Semaphore (2018-19)
  • improvements to the Elder Rd/Mersey Rd Bike Route (principally improved local pathway linkages
  • advocacy and negotiations for a new ‘Coopers Link’ off-road bikeway connecting the Gawler Greenway and the East-West Connector along Regency Road
  • successful advocacy and negotiation for a new OHG roadway crossing, Lady Ruthven Drive, Outer Harbor.
  • successful advocacy and negotiation for various route improvements for the Rosewater LATM
  • negotiations for resurfacing improvements – Levels Bikeway & Gawler Greenway.

16.  Major Mobility Review – Port CBD:For many years the PortBUG has sought a detailed review of ‘people movement’ issues within and around the Port CBD with a view to identifying ways in which Active Transport can be afforded a central role in the area’s transport future. The Government’s announcement of the Port Dock Rail Station project now appears to have brought matters to a head with release of the initial draft of a ‘way finding and access improvement’ study. The BUG was afforded opportunity to provide feedback. The emphasis has been on major improvements for Active Transport use and the review’s recommendations appear very encouraging! We hope to see it released by the New Year!

PortBUG & the The Future…       We believe that PortBUG and PA/E Council will need to pursue a ‘next steps’ or ‘next level’ agenda in any new bicycle planning after 2020. These ‘next levels’ will need to consider ‘active mobility’ with much greater ‘resolution’ across the PA/E Council Area, and a wide range of continuity and connectivity, community engagement and traffic management initiatives including:

  • a systematic approach to ‘routes to schools’/school bicycle access networks
  • a ‘finer-grained’ destination-based review of the PA/E Bike Network that extends its accessibility as an ‘Active Transport Network’ for all
  • ensuring key linkages across Council boundaries
  • major new bikeway projects to Ottoway, along GJ Road and at Northgate
  • upgrading existing ‘trunk’ bicycle routes
  • improving bike parking at allrail stations on the Outer Harbour rail line
  • lowering speed limits in key precincts throughout the Council area.

Most important – we will be working with Council to ensure that a truly ‘Shared Vision’ for Active Transport be developed across the PA/E Community with commitment across all areas of Council responsibility. Council will also need to go in to bat (perhaps with the LGA) for restoration and improvement of the currently greatly reduced State Bicycle Fund!