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 rail reserve & via extension of the East-West Connector through Gillman Reserve along an existing informal pathway through what used to be the old marshalling yards & extending eastwards towards Eastern Parade (see above & below).

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

Both the paving of the informal Gillman pathway and creation of a Rosewater rail reserve pathway have been sought by 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 – likely to be of great value in our current uncertain times.

This project will build on informal or ‘made’ pathways established by community walking & cycling preferences – so-called ‘pathways of desire’!

‘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). These pathways represent evidence of people-movement independent of formal walking and cycling facilities – also sometimes called ‘made’ pathways or ‘pathways of desire’.

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

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 rail crossing has now been formalised 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… 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’!