Pathways of Desire: The ‘Rosewater Loop’.

Proposed Rosewater Loop Shared-Use Pathways.

In April 2020 the Port Adelaide/Enfield Council announced plans to build a new shared-use path & bikeway – the Rosewater Loop – on an existing (now-disused) Rosewater Loop rail reserve & via extension of an existing pathway through what used to be the Gillman (Kingston) Marshalling Yards, extending eastwards towards Eastern Parade (see above & below).

Components of the proposed ‘Rosewater Loop’ shared-use pathway.

Both projects had been sought by the PortBUG for nearly two decades. The Rosewater Loop Shared-Use Path brings these two projects together to form one continuous pathway through Rosewater & Ottoway. This pathway will provide thousands of ‘transport-isolated’ residents with much-needed walking, cycling & disability access to local shopping & service centres, to the Port CBD & to the Outer Harbor Greenway and will likely be a great value in our current uncertain times.

It’s worth noting that this project will build on informal pathways established through long-held community walking and cycling preferences & informal ‘access initiatives’!

‘Made’ pathways in the Gillman rail yard reserve.

For many years there have been clear signs that local residents have made regular use of informal pathways and access points on both of these routes (see above). In planning circles these signs are referred to as ‘lines (or pathways) of desire’ – that is, evidence of people-movement without relying on formal walking and cycling facilities – also sometimes called ‘made’ pathways.

It is to PA/E Council’s credit that they have noted & responded to these obvious signs of need, informal use and local preference!

2014: Dave Case creates his pdf survey of ‘made’ pathways in the Gillman shunting yards.

Dave Case.

In 2014 BUG Committee member (and town planner) Dave Case created an excellent photographic survey of the ‘made’ pathway extending from McNicol Trc towards Eastern Parade through the Gillman Shunting Yards (the northern section of the proposed Rosewater Loop) – check it out here.

Dave also documented a number of key ‘community-initiated’ access points on the old Rosewater rail loop fence line, notably at:

‘Informal’, community-made rail crossing at May Trc, Rosewater.

  • an informal ‘fence access’ crossing between Florence and May Terraces, giving convenient access to the pedestrian crossing across Grand Junction Road adjacent to the local Foodland & shopping & community centre (this crossing is currently being rebuilt & ‘formalised’ by Council.)

Rail corridor fence-line ‘access’, Edward Street, Rosewater.

  • a similar ‘fence access point’ at the end of Edward Street, giving walking access to the rail route down to May Trc

‘Community-opened’ gateway at Railway Trc – Gillman Shunting Yards beyond…

  • an ‘opened’ gate at the corner of Railway & Cleveland Trc giving Ottoway residents access to the Gillman Rail Reserve’s ‘made’ pathway through to the Port CBD.

As Dave said at the time…

“these images taken October 2014 clearly show ‘lines of desire’ where the unused rail corridor thwarts active travel between needed shopping destinations & homes within a community.

It is all the more important that in vulnerable areas subjected to economic uncertainty caused by extreme levels of underemployment that active travel is enabled.”

The take-away for Councils & Planners?

Check out where people are walking & cycling already!

Look for ‘signs (& lines) of desire’!