Issue 125, June - July 1998

Bicycles: developing a sustainable future

The Hon Trish Worth Member for Adelaide and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Family Services addressed BISA's Annual General Meeting on behalf of the Minister for the Environment. The speech, prepared by the Minister for the Environment's office, highlighted the benefits of cycling as an "economic, healthy, non-polluting and energy efficient means of transport" as well as recognising some of the barriers to increasing bicycle use.

"The Commonwealth Government supports cycling through a range of programs" Ms Worth said "including the provision of support for the construction of new bicycle paths in conjunction with work under the National Highways Program Road improvement support under the Black Spot Program to improve safety and operation of road user education programs."

Also highlighted were the promotion of the benefits of cycling through, for example, "distribution of Global Warming Cool It! A home guide to reducing energy costs and greenhouse gasses. It promotes cycling as an alternative method of transport, pointing out that a one kilometre walk or ride each day instead of using the car can save 150 kilograms of greenhouse gas each year. More than 150000 copies of this publication have been distributed nationally.

Participation in Active Australia , a collaborative venture between the Department of Health, the Australian Sports Commission, relevant State Departments, local Government and the sport and recreation industry" was also highlighted.

Trish Worth
Trish Worth, guest speaker at the April AGM

Future developments

Ms Worth confirmed that "support for greater cycling is also a key element in developing new cycling responses." Key among these is the revised National Greenhouse Strategy to be released by the Council of Australian Governments in the middle of the year. "The NGS being developed by Commonwealth and State/Territory Governments will outline the existing actions and additional measures to tackle greenhouse issues. It is the primary vehicle by which Australia will undertake domestic greenhouse action to achieve its Kyoto target. In its draft form, this document recognises the need to promote grater use of cycling and other non-motorised forms of transport, including through better integration of transport and land use planning."

"The Government is also considering a non-motorised transport strategy in its response to the recent Inquiry into urban air pollution by the Academy of Technological Sciences"

"The Commonwealth recognises the important role of cycling and cycling organisations. Representatives from Environment Australia and the Department of Transport and Regional Development recently attended a meeting of the National Bicycle Council in March this year to discuss the views of bicycle organisations on specific possibilities for Commonwealth involvement in the promotion of cycling. The meeting was a constructive one and the suggestions put forward by the Council will be taken into account in progressing this issue."

Ms Worth also stated that the South Australian bicycle strategy "in part at least, reflects the fact that action to promote greater reliance on cycling in the transport mix is best coordinated through State and local Governments" who "through their control over transport, planning, education and other policies, State and local Governments have their hands on the practical levers to deliver an increased share of cycling in the transport mix."

"However organisations like BISA play an integral part in that process". Ms Worth concluded "Your commitment is unquestionable and your goals complement ours - to achieve a safe, environmentally friendly, economic, healthy, energy efficient way of getting about and your efforts are very much appreciated."


Adelaide's Sustainable Future

In September 1995, the Adelaide City Council's Strategic bicycle plan was handed to Council. In April 1997 the Adelaide City Council's Environment Management Plan was accepted. This met responsibilities as part of the world wide adoption of the 1992 Rio Summit - Local Agenda 21.

On both counts the ACC looks good. Both documents are thorough, visionary and practical. Processes developing both involved wide consultative processes. BISA members were active in formulating both. Reading these documents now indicates that much has already been achieved. Despite its reputation, ACC is moving in positive directions on both the Bicycle Plan and the Environmental Management Plan. And the latter compliments the former.

But - progress towards making `Adelaide a world recognised environmentally managed city by the year 2005' needs constant support. To `increase the use of bicycles, improve the safety, comfort and convenience of cyclists and ensure their integration into city traffic circulation' needs constant attention to details. Sure enough new parking rails appear around town too frequently to call for comment. Cyclists are better protected with lanes on War Memorial Drive, etc. West Terrace is now negotiable by bicycle, many Parkland paths have been upgraded, and some of Hutt Street is a joy. Rundle Mall and the Festival Centre have stylish parking for bicycles.

Detail is everywhere apparent. Yet, the big picture for cycling in the City of Adelaide languishes. Where are the arterials north-south and east-west? Mitcham and Unley got their joint acts together with a comfortable secure arterial that dies at Pulteney. King William Street cycle lanes gives way to nothing on King William Road. North Terrace remains an elongated black spot for cyclists despite extra cyclists using the City West Campus of the University of South Australia. The poorly planned Franklin Street `trial' seems to have eliminated the resolve of the traffic engineers for the cycling big picture.

Adelaide City has to have a buoyant sustainable economy. Its Environmental Management Plan argues that. Adelaide City can only have enterprise and bustle if space in the city is allocated to people and their comfort. Adelaide City needs to be filled with residents, with tourists, with shoppers, with pedestrians, with cyclists - with people, but not filled with cars. The Environmental Management Plan recognises this in many places and it includes a major section aiming `to reduce the deleterious impact of car parking' (1997: p80)

Two and a half years after accepting the award winning ACC Strategic Bicycle Plan, is long enough. A year after supporting those directions through the Environment Management Plan is long enough. Get people into the City. Move towards a sustainable City with a people friendly environment. Let's have a north south and an east west cycle arterial for Christmas. And while we're at it, let's have a 40km/h city, the Glenelg tram connecting with the Railway Station and more pedestrian space at the core.


A Note for Mr Howard

If you insist, Mr Howard, on selling the family Telstra, then get serious about the environment. So far it seems that environment projects are not about city environments, where most of us live. What about using the Telstra funds to invest in a national cycling strategy and an urban motor vehicle reduction strategy, as is now being pursued in the UK? How about using the Telstra sell off to fund public transport infrastructure, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in our City's?

And Mr Howard, wouldn't it be crazy to be investing in the environment on the one hand through the sell off of the family Telstra, while at the same time reducing the 22 percent tax on private motor vehicles? Wouldn't it be crazy in environmental terms to reduce petrol tax, down to between 10 and 15 percent? Wouldn't demand for private motoring increase? Let's see what a GST does to urban congestion (and thus the cost of doing business), to urban air quality, to road injury and death (and thus to the cost of health, and to the road toll), to water quality, and to noise pollution along arterial roads.

The GST will make private motor vehicle purchase and use more attractive. Demand for motoring will increase. Private pleasure though will be offset by these public and environmental pains. Mr Howard, reducing fuel and motor vehicle tax is not rational public economics. It isn't rational environmental and health policy either.

It is time to introduce a carbon tax. It is time to spend the proceeds, along with some of the Telstra sell off, on urban environments.

Peter Lumb


Change of Venue

From June, BISA's general meetings will be held at the Royal Hotel, Kent Town (corner of North Terrace and Dequettevile Terrace).

Parking is available for cars (outside) and bicycles (inside) the building. Or catch the Obahn.

A meal plus a drink is available for $7. We'll eat from 6.00pm. On June 25 Geoff Findlay will give an illustrated talk on Japan and the ordinary cyclist.


Liveable Neighbourhoods

community design codes

Sustainable Cities, a Western Australian Government initiative provide an alternative approach to the design of neighbourhoods and towns to achieve compact and more sustainable urban communities.

Street layouts seem to be back to the old grid system, one difference being that speeds and volumes of traffic are being controlled.

This contrasts with the "spaghetti" layout of the 70s and 80s where there was no permeability and connectivity (for example no cyclist/pedestrian access at the ends of cu-de-sacs). Routes such as BikeDirect are difficult or impossible to achieve in such layouts.

One aim of the community design is for daily needs to be within 5minutes walk of the majority of residences. Straight through routes for bicycles on residential streets, as an alternative to travel on arterial roads, are also recommended.

I suggest that the BFA and its members would do well to support the philosophy of this Code.

Hans Penning


25 years

In 1999 BISA celebrates 25 years of bicycle advocacy.

We're looking for ways to celebrate perhaps a 25km ride, events on the 25th of each month, a $25 dinner...

Contact Margaret Day with your ideas and suggestions.


The RAA Campaign

The RAA Council has proposed some changes to their constitution, following feedback from their last election. Terry Leach, now Vice President of BISA, stood for election to the Council of the RAA, arguing for more equity, environmental consciousness, and concern for all road users in RAA policy. While attracting 56% of the vote, this was not enough to win a seat, as members were required to cast 5 votes.

Many members complained about the discriminatory layout of the ballot paper. While the order of candidates will be determined by lot in future, retiring members seeking re-election will still be highlighted by asterisks. Also, members need only vote for one or more candidates, up to a maximum of 4, the number of vacancies at each election.

While recognising that the RAA's electoral system will be improved by these proposed changes, they don't go far enough, according to Terry. "In the SA Motor magazine, the RAA claimed that the changes to the ballot paper made their election consistent with State and Federal elections. This is untrue, but it is the standard to which they should aspire. I'll be moving a motion at the next AGM, that future elections be on a one person, one vote, optional preferential basis. Once that change is made, we have a very good chance of getting members elected who will actually listen to the views of the community."

Terry will be once again standing for election to the RAA council this year, and will be looking forward to the support of BISA members. "I need members to help in two ways: If they are members by voting for me and for the motion regarding the voting system, and for all BISA members to encourage family, friends and colleagues to vote."

Terry Leach


members' competition
Taking BISA's message to the streets.

We want to increase BISA's profile in the community, and are considering launching new slogans for use on Tshirts and stickers.

The message needs to be consistent with BISA's approach of encouragement and be non-confrontational or offensive. For example: "Cycling is less exhausting". Anything more risqué than "Cyclists can sustain it longer" is definitely out. But please, no "My other car is a bicycle".

Feel free to suggest artwork to accompany your suggestion.

Prizes to the value of $75 are on offer, probably the first Tshirt with your slogan on it. So send your suggestions to BISA Slogan Competition, GPO Box 792, Adelaide 5001.


Books and Bikes

New publications in the BISA library include

And a reminder

Although borrowing time is officially one month, considerable latitude is allowed as the library is not used intensively. However some items have been out on loan for a very long time. Shortly notices will be sent out for items that have been on loan for more than a year. So please, search your homes and offices to save unnecessary work.

Hans Penning


Ride to Win

Ride To Win concluded its 1997/1998 season with an awards ceremony on 8 May 1998. Ride To Win is a BISA program, managed by Life. Be In It. Participants are encouraged to ride to work or education one week each month. As well as contributing to their own health and a sustainable transport system, riders were in the running for some great prizes.

The program was a great success, with participation up 50% to over 700 riders. Over 100 riders won prizes, ranging from bike accessories, BISA Tshirts and memberships, and $400 vouchers to be spent at Trak Cycles.

Awards at the end of the program were on the basis of participation rates.

Many thanks to the generous sponsors and supporters: BikeSouth, Mutual Community, Trak Cycles, 5AD-FM, Messenger Newspapers, Adelaide, Campbelltown, Salisbury and Marion city councils.

Planning for the 1998/1999 season of Ride To Win is already underway, which commences during Bike Week, the first week of November 1998. As well as being bigger, we will be improving the program by reviewing the categories to make it easier to be consistent between organisations. Also, the main aim of the program is to encourage non-riders to ride, not just to reward regular riders. Accordingly, we may be awarding prizes to the workplace co-ordinators who convert the most motorists.

Watch future editions for more details.

Terry Leach

And the winners were:

Organisation or Business
1 - 20 employees Primary Industries, Kingscote
21 - 100 employees The Jam Factory
101 - 500. employees Telstra - Network Operations
500+ employees Mitsubishi Motors - Lonsdale
Educational Campus
1 - 100 students University of South Australia, Magill Campus
(Oops, I'm sure Magill has more than 100 students ed)
101 - 500 students University of Adelaide Waite Campus, Dept of Plant Services
500+ students O'Halloran Hill TAFE College


Rosalie Day launches bike parking study
Rosalie Day launched her study of bicycle parking at the AGM.


Media Coordination

Media Coordination was one of the initiatives raised during the March Strategic Planning Seminar.

The seminar considered that BISA was not taking enough advantage of media exposure, particularly newsprint and magazines. Too often articles and letters are published which criticise cycling as a viable means of transport and recreation. In recent years there have been many improvements made for cyclists, but these only represent a fraction of the facilities that are needed. It is only by constant lobbying that the attitudes of the community can be persuaded to change to embrace cycling as a desirable and healthy activity for all people.

BISA needs to be more pro-active in responding to these articles and letters in a positive way. Often articles are printed which assume car dominance, and as cyclists we can challenge these. This is an activity which the membership at large can become involved in.

I have been given the role of Media Coordinator. I aim to recruit a nucleus of BISA members who are prepared to write letters up to 200 words to the editors of newspapers and magazines in response to articles about and affecting cyclists. When articles about cycling appear in newspapers and magazines the I will ask one or more of these members to respond by writing a short letter.

There is also a need for members to scan newspapers and magazines for letters and articles on cycling and then to forward copies of the item to me. This will enable me to forward them out to potential respondents. To enable this campaign to start I would encourage all of those BISA members who are willing to participate to contact me by email at or to speak to me by telephone on 8276 9469.

Malcolm Healey


Also at the AGM

BISA President Peter Lumb delivered a report highlighting the ways in which BISA has met it's mission over the past 12 months. Terry Ryan, Manager of BikeSouth attended as did Mark Parnell.
Peter's report highlighted the breadth of issues and activities for BISA: health, safety, urban planning, environmental, equity and amenity issues, all of which related directly to cycling as transport. Thanks as always to Peter Carter for taking the photographs at the AGM.


Don't meet your fate outside the cemetery

I recently contacted the West Terrace Cemetery regarding their hedge protruding onto the West Tce biketrack. Their response in trimming the culprit hedge was excellent. While on the phone the lady advised me to be cautious where the bike track crosses the cemetery entrance, apparently there have been a number of near collisions between cyclists on the track and drivers leaving the cemetery.

From my observations it would appear that the stop line for motorists is to close to the track, plus motorists creep forward hoping this will speed up the traffic lights. I referred her onto Peter Good to have the matter looked at. In the meantime all cyclists using the West Terrace track should approach this area with caution.

Stephen Janes


Big NSW Bike Ride 1998

17 BISA members contributed to the approximately 1,700 cyclists who rode the 530km route along the Murray Valley from Barham to Albury on the recent Big NSW Bike Ride. For the first time Bicycle NSW advertised a price reduction for all BFA (including BISA) members and organised bus travel from Adelaide. Most SA participants took this opportunity, and the bus was supplied by BISA member Tony Hansen of Rolling on Cycle Tours. A large number of parents brought children of various ages, the youngest using child seats, trailers, 'hitch bikes', and tandems. The 'Active Australia' program provided support for locals to participate in the ride on a daily basis, as the route passed through their locality. The ride was accompanied by a low key police escort on motorbikes and in cars, who occasionally pulled up cyclists or motorists who were exhibiting behaviour antagonistic to the 'share the road campaign' (eg speeding motorists, or cyclists riding in the middle of the road or too many abreast). The continuous association of police with the cycle tour enabled the police to see road use from the cyclists' point of view and built up good police-cyclist relations. The participating police have specifically requested to be involved next year.

Apart from the pleasure aspects of cycling every day, meeting interesting and like-minded people, seeing interesting bikes and scenery, the ride provided a great opportunity to raise the profile of cycling. Remember that getting out on your bike and being seen cycling on the roads is a valuable contribution to bicycle advocacy.

Next year's Big NSW Ride is the last week of April from Canowindra to Bega.

Kath Cooper

Deadline for the next Pedal Update issue is 15 July.

Submissions should be sent before the deadline to: Ruth Sims phone 8367 0018 preferably by E-mail or as text files on 3.5" IBM discs.
Faxes may be sent to 8230 7081 written copy should be sent to Ruth at BISA, GPO Box 792 Adelaide 5000

[Top Kath Cooper

Deadline for the next Pedal Update issue is 15 July.

Submissions should be sent before the deadline to: Ruth Sims phone 8367 0018 preferably by E-mail or as text files on 3.5" IBM discs.
Faxes may be sent to 8230 7081 written copy should be sent to Ruth at BISA, GPO Box 792 Adelaide 5000