A dog's breakfast?

A dog's breakfast?

Postby Cycotic » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:08 am

Interesting article in the Messenger newspaper: Article here.
On yer bike...and off - Matt Abraham

LIKE so many things, the Mike Turtur Bikeway starts off with the very best of intentions.

Starting at the Greenhill Rd tram stop, it whisks you away from the dangerous traffic and all the fumes and cares of the world, as you pedal gaily along your own dedicated bicycle path running alongside the tram tracks.

This is going to be so good, you think, as your speedo registers 30km/h and bugs slam into your new red helmet. Before you can say Lance Armstrong we will be at The Bay, sniffing the ozone wafting across the gulf.

A tram rumbles by and you smile at the passengers. Good afternoon. Lovely day.

Just as you start to relax, the bikeway vanishes into a row of parked cars at the Goodwood Rd tram crossing. What the ... ?

Dismounting, you cross Goodwood Rd, hop back on the bike and start pedalling down another street lined with parked cars.

Is this still the Mike Turtur Bikeway? At the end of the street you encounter a path that ducks through a medieval archway beneath the overpass that elevates the tram over the top of the railway line.

You ride through this and then are instructed to dismount and walk your bike down the underpass running beneath the railway station. It is an offence to ride down the underpass.

At this stage you might come to the reasonable conclusion that the bikeway planners got bored and started work on another little project, like the Olympic Dam expansion.

Persevere. Emerging blinking in the sunshine on the other side of the tracks, you find yourself going around in slow circles in a carpark, with other puzzled riders.

Is this the Mike Turtur Bikeway? Probably.

Keep going through the carpark, down a street and you will find yourself back on a stretch of dedicated bicycle path, again running along the tram tracks. This brings you to the new South Rd tram bridge, an entertaining cycling challenge.

Brilliantly, the bike path runs up the bridge and at the summit you can look down on the South Rd traffic fuming metres beneath you and into the backyards of all the surrounding houses.

You then get to coast at blinding speed down the other side and then ... the Mike Turtur Bikeway empties into a side street. Again.

In the words of one blogger, the bikeway is a dog’s breakfast. It is particularly confusing for beginners, born-again cyclists and Middle Aged Men in Lycra, or MAMILs, who are seeking out safe cycling routes quarantined from Adelaide’s crazy traffic.

For all that, the Mike Turtur Bikeway is an admirable attempt to retrofit a long stretch of congested suburbia with a dedicated cycle path. It is no easy feat. And once you have nutted out its foibles, it is possible to navigate from the eastern suburbs to Glenelg in relative safety.

But the twists and turns of the bikeway illustrate the haphazard nature of Adelaide’s cycling infrastructure.

The Adelaide CBD has 33km of bike routes, but most of them share the same asphalt space with traffic and parked cars. It is a dangerous medley.

Putting aside the paradise of the Torrens linear park, Adelaide is short-changed for dedicated, sealed, off-road bikeways.

Adelaide Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood dinkeyed into office on the back seat of the cycling lobby, and to his credit is pushing a policy to make the city bike friendly. But the council needs to back him enthusiastically.

And while government ministers drape themselves in Lycra for the annual Lance-fest, they need to do less talking and more doing to make cycling safe right across the metropolitan area. It is not just about money, but clever thinking.

Melbourne has recently turned Swanston St, one of its busiest city thoroughfares, into a car-free zone, giving bike riders, pedestrians and trams a free reign. If the Vics can do it, why can’t we?
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by BNA » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:14 am

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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby Oxford » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:14 am

Substitute Brisbane for Adelaide and any named path and you have the same issue we have here. Probably similarly in other cities across Australia. Such a shame to have a good name of a cyclist sullied with such a poor excuse for a solution.
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby MichaelB » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:40 am

In the same article, he complains that it is a dogs breakfast, yet admits the realities of putting in a bikepath on existing suburbia - so which one is it ?

Surely it is better than nothing ?

Just can't please some people.

So one short street in Melbourne is car free, but still has trams, so how is that SOOOOO fantastic :?:
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby rustychisel » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:46 am

Oxford wrote:Substitute Brisbane for Adelaide and any named path and you have the same issue we have here. Probably similarly in other cities across Australia. Such a shame to have a good name of a cyclist sullied with such a poor excuse for a solution.



+ 1


for such a twerp, who until recently derided everything cycling related and could be guaranteed to come out with the ill informed and fatuous, I find myself in complete agreement with his article. Good for him.
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby Dahondude » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:08 am

What a whinger! Rather than saying, hey what a great job someone has done to squeeze a bike-path/quiet back street route from the city to the bay, the guy instead decides to pick on the only detraction of the MTB - the fact that its been retrofitted to a road network/tram line/existing bike path that forces multiple crossings of the tram line and the use of quiet back streets. OK the signage could be improved but doing a bit of exploring, making a few wrong turns is part of the joy of bike riding isnt it?. Did he check to see if there are any long term plans to provide a bike-specific sealed route for the entire length? Clearly he didn't, as there are plans to join the bike path that ends on Marion Rd with the path that start just west of South Rd, so that will provide a continuous corridor from Morphett Rd to East Avenue. The section between East Ave and Goodwood Rd is always going to be difficult without widening the tram overpass.

I ride the MTB every day and thank whoever designed, paid for and built it every day that I can ride from home to South Terrace with only two traffic lights (Goodwood Rd and Greenhill Rd) and almost zero traffic. I enjoy going through the medieval tunnels, following the weaving track through the park outside Unley Pool. If Mr Abraham wants a straight line drag to Glenelg then he should be riding on Anzac Hwy. Do that at peak hour and he'll be slinking back to the MTB glad to be able to ride in peace and quiet and watch life go by.

He also mentions the lack of off-road bike paths in the city...obviously he hasnt ridden from the cnr of Greenhill/King William all the way to the Wine Centre through the south and east parklands...what a delight that path is. Or then from the Wine Centre through Botanic Park along the Torrens and back down the west parklands bike way, across the south parklands, down past the Showgrounds and back onto the MTB. In fact, if you wanted to you could leave Glenelg ride to the CBD, ride all around the CBD on off-road bike paths and then back to Glenelg, almost all of it on an off road bike path.

No pleasing some people....
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby MichaelB » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:13 am

And whilst it's not Adelaide CBD, it's still Metro (there are plenty of people who don't live at Glenelg), there is the Veloway (a bit bumpy admittedly, but still pretty damned good) all the way down to Willunga, a side route through Retynella, and the newly laid path (the O'Grady one isn't it ?) along the Northern Expressway.

I am sure there are others as well.

I'm grateful for what has been done.

Oh, and it appears that the new Kings Bridge at Glenelg has segregated (by kerbs) bike lanes either side of the road traffic :)
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby Cycotic » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:25 am

I thought the article was quite pro-cycling, which is what we need more of in the media. It helps form a positive image in the public mind, maybe even to the point where some may try the bikeway out of curiosity.

Positive articles like these remind planners and politicians that there is a need for good cycling infrustructure, as Matt says: "It is not just about money, but clever thinking".

As cyclists I think we should encourage these members of the media to keep presenting cycling in a positive light. Apart from Matt Abraham, there are probably quite a few other media people in Adelaide who are cyclists, Tim Noonan and Brenton Ragless spring to mind but I'm sure there are more. Last year Channel 9 general manager Graham Gilbertson spoke publicly to business leaders on the positives of encouraging cycling amongst employees. (I've come across Graham riding up Norton Summit on his Pinarello Prince - what he lacked in speed he made up for in enthusiasm).
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby rustychisel » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:07 am

I'd agree with that, Cycotic.

Abrahams used to mock and deride his colleague David Bevan about cycling, so perhaps he's turned a corner. That can only be a good thing.

The responses to this article are interesting, I'm critical of a job half done, or done with a lack of real support, funds, or nouse so that the path becomes a playground of good intent with cut off roads, missing links etc. Others feel that the intent is good so it's a good start. Both are only opinions, of course, but lip service in cycling facilities can be as dangerous as doing nothing at all to address issues, and it's always a source of wonder to me just how many councils etc have no idea of how their designs actually work in the real world.

Bike lanes which suddenly go missing, pinch points at light controlled intersections, broken or inadequate kerb access and driveways, dog-legged entry points with massive unfilled potholes... we cyclists see it all. And because of how important to our survival it is, we mentally map it and assess the risk in a way that other vehicle drivers cannot, and do not.

I wondered if my reaction was a 'glass half empty' sort of response rather than 'half full', but my honest opinion on things like this is more in line with the maxim 'if the job's worth doing it's worth doing well'. Half done is not good enough. Unmaintained or poorly constructed paths are not good enough. Cycling lanes which are constructed as afterthoughts, to spend some Federal Government funding $$ are not good enough.

If we are serious about wanting a cycling friendly city in Adelaide we should ask for and expect the best we can get.
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A dog's breakfast?

Postby Sir Stinkalot » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:37 pm

The article hits home for me as it is the first ride that I took when I got my new bike in January, Parkside to Glenelg. I took the journey as I had seen a section of bike path crossing Unley Road and being new on the bike again I thought it would be a fairly safe trip.

The signage was very poor. The dedicated path ends and then you are stuck in a residential street with little guidance of where to go next. Occasionally there is a small bike symbol stick to a power pole but that only really tells you that you are still on track, not really where you should be going next.

I too recall having to go under the train lines (I didn't dismount but I got told off by somebody doing some tasteless artwork, even though I was slower than walking pace, and I now walk every time). At the exit of the tunnel I too was lost in the park and carpark looking for the ever elusive signage.

That being said it was an enjoyable adventure. Where the path turns into residential streets they are generally very quiet and safe. Overall it would be safer than Anzac Highway. There is something enjoyable about the pace and safety of the bike path, and being able to access routes and see areas unavailable in the car.

It seems a failure of the system that if you are building a tram line, or train line, that you wouldn't allow an additional buffer of a couple of meters to put down a bike path. The purpose of the tram line is to prove an alliterative link between two places. If you add a bike path you have opened up yet another avenue for transport and improved the return on your initial investment.
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby MichaelB » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:45 pm

Sir Stinkalot wrote: It seems a failure of the system that if you are building a tram line, or train line, that you wouldn't allow an additional buffer of a couple of meters to put down a bike path. The purpose of the tram line is to prove an alliterative link between two places. If you add a bike path you have opened up yet another avenue for transport and improved the return on your initial investment.


As a person that works for a semi-govt org that is one of the states (if not the) largest landowner, it is surprising the extra cost of those "couple of extra metres". I agree it would be nice to have more funding etc etc etc, but in the end, the taxpayers pay for it (rightly or wrongly) and not everybody likes that. Buying land that people don't want to sell, and having to force compulsory acquisition is a VERY expensive and time consuming process.

The article, whilst pro-cycling, was whiny pro-cycling. It could have been written better to make it pro-cycling and "thanks for what is there, but can we please make it better ?", rather than "crikey, what a stuff up, but it's sort of OK, becuase I understand it isn't easy"
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A dog's breakfast?

Postby Sir Stinkalot » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:01 pm

I agree that the extra few meters comes at a considerable cost, however trying to amend something later costs even more.

The southern expressway for example. I haven't been in SA all that long but I would assume that it was built one way due to the costs. I don't think that anybody would accept that a one way freeway is a long term solution and that future duplication would be needed. Now I have driven a few times along the freeway and could't understand why when they have cross road flyovers they didn't extend them the first time to provide enough room for a duplicated road to also pass under. What is the solution now that the duplication is going ahead? Replace all overpasses again or bring the freeway down to one lane so it can get under?
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A dog's breakfast?

Postby Sir Stinkalot » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:11 pm

Funny thing is I just downloaded a PDF from DTEI's website in relation to the duplication.

The first thing I noticed was the name of the PDF file that downloaded ...... SEXy_brochure (very classy school boy humor there). The image on the front page has a big wide dedicated bike lane with cyclists riding in two directions in the same lane of the two lane bike path ..... And then there is a DTEI truck with a big pork pie on the front!
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby MichaelB » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:08 pm

Sir Stinkalot wrote:I agree that the extra few meters comes at a considerable cost, however trying to amend something later costs even more.

The southern expressway for example. I haven't been in SA all that long but I would assume that it was built one way due to the costs. I don't think that anybody would accept that a one way freeway is a long term solution and that future duplication would be needed. Now I have driven a few times along the freeway and could't understand why when they have cross road flyovers they didn't extend them the first time to provide enough room for a duplicated road to also pass under. What is the solution now that the duplication is going ahead? Replace all overpasses again or bring the freeway down to one lane so it can get under?


It's called politics.
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby eeksll » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:35 pm

my understanding of the southern expressway is that at the tine of building it, the one way infrastructure was sufficient for the needs at the time. The veloway along the southern expressway would be an extremely good commuting bike lane.

I likewise got confused along the "Mike Turtur Bikeway" and personally I do not think its an overly good commuting path.

My main issue with bike lanes in Adelaide is the sudden termination of them, when cyclist need it the most ie when the road narrows !!! I deal with it because I commute along the same roads mostly and know they are coming up. However, last year, when I was trying to do all traveling (where possible) by bike these bike lane terminations could get bloody dangerous because I did not know they terminated.

Ultimately I stopped commute everywhere by bike because it took way too much time (I moved). But will still try to if I have the time.
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby gdt » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:17 pm

MichaelB wrote:Buying land that people don't want to sell, and having to force compulsory acquisition is a VERY expensive and time consuming process.

I'd note that for rail there is often a maintenance roadway alongside the tracks, so it's not so much a matter of acquisition as of imagination. The recent upgrade of the city-Mawson Lakes rail line is a classic, since there is really no safe cycling route north of the city towards Salisbury and the opportunity to create one wasn't even recognised.

whiny pro-cycling

+1
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby MichaelB » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:21 pm

gdt wrote:
MichaelB wrote:Buying land that people don't want to sell, and having to force compulsory acquisition is a VERY expensive and time consuming process.

I'd note that for rail there is often a maintenance roadway alongside the tracks, so it's not so much a matter of acquisition as of imagination. The recent upgrade of the city-Mawson Lakes rail line is a classic, since there is really no safe cycling route north of the city towards Salisbury and the opportunity to create one wasn't even recognised.


Being able to browse the entire state cadastral map is very interesting at times with who owns what. Most rail corridors were established eons ago, and even in some country towns you can see the thoughts at the time where even though a roadway is only two lanes wide (one each direction), the width of the land strip owned by DTEI is up to 60m.

Again, money is an issue when the Govt holds the purse strings. To see our proposed capital budget get slashed each year several times and necessary projects get pushed out to satisfy funding constraints is a PITA, but that's the way it is.

If I had my way, things like art galleries, dance companies wouldn't anywhere near as much money, but that ain't fair either. Even though it is generally attended by the wealthy who can well afford exxy tickets. Yes Minister had a great episode on this very issue. It's amazing the more I understand about our company, the truer it all becomes ...

A classic WASTE of $$ and stupid traffic design can be seen on the bike path that follows the railway line near the Daws Rd and Marion Rd intersection. A pedestrian/cycle crossing with lights less than 100m from a major 4 way intersection, and there is plenty of room for a pedestrian kerb and bike lane to reach those lights.

http://www.nearmap.com/?ll=-34.992334,138.557328&z=17&t=k&nmd=20110822

Hopefully the link works ...
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby BRLVR.v2 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:35 pm

Dahondude wrote:What a whinger!No pleasing some people....


LOLz, that's what I thought when I read your rant about C2C
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:08 pm



Clicking on the link resulted in nearmap opened up somewhere else (probably my last spot) after I clicked the mandatory freebies button. But I then pasted the link in the browser url and it came up as it should.

I was using Firefox, I imagine that it is the site that determined the bahaviour so it is probably the same with Internet Explorer.

FYI.
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Re: A dog's breakfast?

Postby monbeg » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:52 pm

Get rid of parking on main roads, all main roads should have a permanent 24 hour bike lane, they are roads after all, not car parks.
Alternatively redesign the footpaths to accommodate car parking, it works on Cross Road.
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