Issue 128, December 1998 - January 1999

25 Years

BISA celebrates 25 years of bicycle advocacy in 1999.

BISA's mission is to promote cycling for transport and to represent all cyclists at the local state and national levels by working collaboratively with other interest groups and governments.

In this issue

  • coalition nose dive?
  • third party insurance payouts
  • council development plans
  • cyclist killed by road train
  • velOZity
  • RAA election results
  • ride to work day '98
  • travel smart
  • ride to win
  • BISA email list
  • RAA speed zone policy
  • traffic control devices
  • electronic hazard report cards
  • for sale
  • speed in the hills
  • 101 bikes for adelaide
  • bicycle facilities
  • Will the Howard-Fischer Coalition nose dive or will VelOZity transport them?

    Tired of driving your car in congested traffic? Frazzled by cycling because you are squeezed to the bumpy margins? I have a perky suggestion! With a nice cup of tea, read the Federal election material you've carefully filed, or read the political parties' web sites.

    Opting out of the pre-election radio and TV flow and hype gives a clearer indication of the differences between the parties. The pre-election transport statement contrasts are particularly clear when comparing the Coalition with Labor.

    Let's begin the post election review with the Coalition - The Government. Their transport policy is about efficiency, about international competitiveness and integration (of big motored units - not integration of people into transport systems). The Government promises lower costs and more efficiency for road freight. The bus and coach section is al long as a sports aviation section (which is to be subject to a minimum of regulatory control).

    The Coalition's 1998 electoral statements are only about economy. They fail to mention society, the environment, health, pedestrians, congestion, cyclists, safety etc. These guys have got their foot flat to the floor. Read this and be inspired to by your ticket for VelOZity tomorrow. We need a change.

    Labor's primary focus in transport policy is also economic. However, this is tempered (up front on the first page of their 15 page statement) by noting that Australians use transport every day to access jobs and educational opportunities. Labor recognises that families use transport, and Labor favours public infrastructure funding.

    Labor emphasises that there is some role for government in planning, regulating, creating safe systems and reducing congestion. Even sustainability gets a mention, although it has neither definition or targets. It seemed to me that being smart and using technology was a strong theme, but the techno faith was tempered by the following paragraph on cycling and a dismal failure on Labor's part to even mention the sports aviators. There's plummeting popularity here for Labor!

    On the other hand Labour will review and reinvigorate the National Bicycle Strategy and establish targets for increased bicycle use over the medium-term timeframe.

    The Democrats during this election campaign became the first represented Commonwealth party to have produced a separate bicycle policy. (But like Labor they've failed to mention the sports aviators anywhere!) This policy relates cycling to the economy, to jobs growth, to the environment, and to health. Among other objectives, it records that the Democrats will use the Netherlands as a model for producing a national cycling infrastructure plan, establish performance indicators and timelines, and seek to place cycling in and integrated transport strategy. Further, Democrats will reduce motor vehicle speeds and make dual mode with trains an attractive option. It's more detailed than Labor's and certainly integrates cycling into transport systems and other aspects of Government's work. In terms of detail and direction about cycling the Democrats have set the standard.

    The Greens' election statements are strongly based in principles. The Greens for example will strive for ecological sustainability and to use material resources in accordance with the Earth's capacity to supply them and to assimilate the wastes arising from their use. The Greens also support the idea that their ought to be equity within and between generations. The Greens in their detailed documents set out goals and short and longer term targets. They seek to work towards establishing a carbon levy, they will work towards strong greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and they'll establish a Sustainable Energy Authority. To date they are loopy enough to have no policy about sports aviation bur they world work to crate a great environment of cyclists, pedestrians and other living entities.

    While may want politics to be about the simple facts and common sense that of course we all agree on, it seldom works like that. Remember, it is a SA Liberal Government which, despite the performance of their commonwealth colleagues, has produced an excellent and integrated cycling policy. In addition the Coalition have initiate a review of the inadequate 1992 National Bicycle Strategy produced originally by the Keating Labor Government. This reviewed strategy will be launched at the VelOZity conference.

    So, while the Coalition's election statements suit the high fliers, there may still be hope. Almost any policy or strategy is better than none - and we look forward to seeing local state and commonwealth politicians getting to grips with sustainable transport and sustainable community options at VelOZity.

    I'm certainly looking forward to being a participant and working to make a change for better cycling and a genuinely sustainable society through VelOZity. This will be a conference dedicated to much needed political changes.

    Peter Lumb


    Changes to third party insurance payouts

    Road safety measures have been introduced to the State's Compulsory Third Party insurance scheme.

    "We are trying to tell people that if you ignore the road safety measures, required by law, and you are in an accident, then you may threaten any potential compensation" states Geoff Vogt, CEO of the Motor Accident Commission.

    Changes include a possible compensation reduction of 25% where

    Council Development Plans

    Most councils in the Adelaide metropolitan area have a Local Area Bikeplan. However implementation of the plan appears not to be ensured unless it is incorporated into the council's development plan.

    In 1997 Bikesouth produced a document to assist councils to do this. Port Adelaide Enfield is one of the first councils to complete the process, during which BISA made a submission. This will ensure that future bikeroutes in presently undeveloped land cannot be obliterated by subdivisions and cycle facilities, to the appropriate standard, are incorporated into new developments.

    It is intended that this procedure be followed by all councils. BUGS might want to contact their local council to speed the process.

    Hans Penning


    Cyclist killed by road train

    On Monday, 16 November a cyclist from Belgium was killed when overtaken by a 3 trailer road train, north of Port Augusta. According to media sources, it is unlikely that the driver of the road train will face any charges. Apparently the cyclist was not wearing a helmet and the road train was not speeding.

    A spokesperson for the Road Transport Association said that, while he respected the rights of cyclists to use the roads, truck drivers had great difficulty seeing cyclists. This sounds like the best argument for the carriage of freight via rail and lower speed limits for trucks. Truck drivers of course have better visibility than car drivers due to their elevation.

    Anyone who has overtaken or been overtaken by one of these behemoths know that they generate considerable turbulence, affecting motor cars as well as cyclists. The cyclist and the road train collided at the rear wheels of the second trailer. Discounting the possibility that the cyclist or the road train deliberately side-swiped the other, it is likely that turbulence played a part in this tragedy.

    But what does the law say about the responsibility of road users when overtaking bicycles? Bicycles are classed as vehicles, and are subject to the Road Traffic Act (RTA) the same as any motor vehicle, unless specifically provided otherwise. The RTA states that you may not overtake unless it is safe to do so, and that you must keep your vehicle to the right of the vehicle you are overtaking.

    It is an offence to drive recklessly, and anyone who causes death by reckless driving is subject to criminal law. A judge or jury, when deciding whether or not someone is guilty of reckless driving, will take into account the nature of the vehicle, the presence of other vehicles and road conditions. It is arguable that it is reckless for a driver of a road train to overtake a bicycle narrowly, as they should know the dangers inherent with the turbulence generated by their passing.

    So is this a case of an inexperienced tourist panicking when being overtaken widely by a road train and veering markedly to the right, or a road train overtaking without leaving sufficient clearance to allow for the turbulence? A key bit of information that is not yet available is the position on the road at which the collision took place.

    BISA's concern is that the police may be taking the approach that if the road train, as do most people, overtook the cyclist without wholly changing lanes, and the cyclist veered into the path of the road train then the driver is not at fault. Such an approach would of course be at odds with the provisions of the RTA requiring drivers to overtake safely.

    For safety and to comply with the provisions of the RTA, BISA maintains that heavy vehicles travelling at speed on the open road must change lanes completely so as not to endanger other road users. When there is oncoming traffic trucks must not overtake until they can change lanes. BISA will be following this matter up with the police to ensure that justice is done for this unfortunate guest in our country.

    Avoiding such accidents

    So what can be done to prevent such accidents, other than having truck drivers obey the law when overtaking?

    Skirts on trucks

    Trucks can be fitted with aluminium skirts between the wheels, to the benefit of all road users. The skirts reduce turbulence that can off-balance a cyclist and even suck cyclist under the wheels. This reduction in turbulence reduces fuel consumption by 3% and reduces road noise.

    The skirts also prevent bicycles, motor cycles and cars from going under the wheels of trucks from the side. Many fuel tankers are fitted with skirts primarily for this reason and it is the policy of the Australian Institute of Petroleum that all new heavy vehicles be fitted with skirts. When industry groups start calling for the compulsory fitting of safety devices, you can be assured that the arguments are compelling.

    The cost of skirts can be recovered by the truck owner within 3 years by the fuel saving. When a road safety initiative saves money, there can be no argument about it's benefit to the community.

    Sealing of shoulders

    It has been proposed that the shoulders of highways be sealed. Sealed shoulders improve safety for car drivers, by allowing them to correct their steering when lapses of concentration cause them to veer off the road. They also provide a separate space for cyclists.

    Of course there needs to be some device to wake drivers up before they veer onto the shoulder, collect a cyclist, drive off the shoulder and then roll when they overcorrect their steering. In the United States major highways often have rumble strips on the shoulder to wake the driver. Such rumble strips need to be narrow and adjacent to the road so that cyclists can ride safely and comfortably on the remainder of the sealed shoulder.

    Riding defensively

    Until such time as trucks and roads are built and driven safely, cyclists need to be aware of the hazards, and ride to live. Being in the right is cold comfort after an accident, and dead people can't defend their legal rights or provide an alternative set of facts to the police.

    If you are going to ride major highways, fit a rear view mirror, use it constantly, and be prepared to pull off the road when being passed by a heavy vehicle. Also, wear conspicuous clothing, preferably fluorescent colours or safety vests; give the truckies no excuse for not seeing you.


    The above points were made in a radio interview on 5CK, an ABC regional radio station and to the Adelaide Advertiser. The Advertiser journalist undertook to write a story but naturally couldn't guarantee that the editor would publish it.

    Terry Leach



    coming (quickly) to Adelaide

    At the time of writing it is 13 weeks to VelOZity .... and counting!

    Early bird registrations have now closed with an encouraging number from around Australia. Good registration deals can still be had by taking advantage of the group booking rates.

    If you have an idea for a workshop or academic paper, have a look at the website, then contact VelOZity. If you don't have internet access, just contact VelOZity. Proposals are currently being received with space for more. But act now so that program planning is not held up.

    David Case and Belinda White, planning students at the University of South Australia, are using their work experience placements to prepare VelOZity workshops on `The barriers to cycling experienced by young people and people over 55'.

    By making contact with young and older people they will find out what discourages these groups of people from cycling for transport and pleasure. The people they talk to will be invited to take part in preparing and delivering a presentation to planners, engineers and decision makers at VelOZity.

    VelOZity's approach to the SA Tourism Commission to sponsor a pre conference Cycling Tourism Workshop was successful, and has resulted in the Tourism Commission also commencing development of a South Australian Cycling Tourism Strategy. Peter Lumb and Margaret day are both involved as part of the Strategy Development Team. VelOZity aims to bring more changes like this for cycling.

    Don't miss out on your part in the excitement and action. See you at VelOZity.

    Lindsay Holmes


    RAA election results

    Terry Leach narrowly missed out on being elected to the board of the RAA.
    With each person able to cast up to 4 votes, Terry received just over 10% of the total. The candidate who won the fourth and last directorship received 12% of the vote. This result represents 40% support for Terry, compared to 56% last year. However, there was a larger field of candidates this year and voter participation tripled. The fourth placed director received 49% support, compared to 87% last year.

    All four retiring directors were re-elected. After instigating changes to the rules of the RAA that included paying themselves directors' fees, the directors spent a significant portion of these fees on their campaign, including letterboxing many suburbs, and advertisements in Messenger newspapers and the Stock Journal. Against such opposition, Terry was heartened to get so close.

    At the time of writing, the motion to change the voting system has not yet been considered at the RAA's Annual General Meeting but the chances of this motion succeeding are very slim. The issues are complex, and most people will be guided by the current leadership of the RAA.

    Terry will continue his campaign for democratic reforms within the RAA, and for greater consultation with members over issues such as road safety for all road users and sustainable transport policies.


    Ride To Work Day 98

    Ride To Work Day was held on 4 November 1998, part of the Bike Week activities. We were fortunate to have a beautiful morning, warm, no wind, nor any fierce sun.

    Breakfasts for riders were held all over the metropolitan area, from Port Noarlunga to Salisbury, Port Adelaide to Burnside. There was even a breakfast held in Mount Gambier! The major breakfast in Victoria Square was well attended, with riders enjoying live entertainment from a jazz band as they ate and mingled with other riders.

    Alderman Bob Angove, representing the Lord Mayor, addressed participants, congratulating them on their contribution to a sustainable city, and re-affirmed the City of Adelaide's commitment to encourage cycling. Terry Ryan from Transport SA, representing the Minister of Transport, likewise re-affirmed the commitment of the State Government to encourage cycling as an integral method of commuting within Adelaide. This year saw the involvement of Life. Be in it as event managers, which assisted greatly with the staging of the event in a professional manner. Publicity was widespread, including road side signs, radio and newspaper advertisements, and a mail out of a brochure promoting the event.

    Also, interviews promoting the event and cycle commuting were broadcast on 5ADFM, 5DN and 5AN.

    While we were hoping for more than the 392 who registered, it was pleasing to note that this represented a threefold increase from last year. Our aim now is to triple the number again next year.

    Many thanks to the organisations who supported the day.

    Thanks also to the people who organised work place breakfasts and the BISA members who assisted with the breakfast in Victoria Square.

    BISA member, Greg Martin, did a wonderful job designing very attractive signage and the eye catching pamphlets. Thanks Greg!

    Next year, bigger and better?

    Organising an event like this, even with the involvement of an event manager, is a lot of work, unless it is spread around.

    The request for assistance with organising RTWD this year drew very little response. Before committing to organising next year, I need to know that BISA members will support the event by more than riding or assisting on the day.

    If you are able to help, even for just a few hours putting up road signs or delivering breakfast makings, please contact me, soon!

    Ideally, I'd like to hand organising RTWD to someone else, so that I concentrate on the RAA election next year, which occurs at the same time. Other committee members are likewise fully committed, contributing all available spare time to BISA. If you think you may like the challenge of organising this important event, please contact me on telephone 8380 5497.

    Terry Leach


    Travel Smart

    South Perth Travel Smart participants were able to reduce the number of car trips they made by 10% after being made more aware of other transport options: walking, cycling and public transport.

    This was achieved without improvements to infrastructure or services related to the alternative transport modes; simply by giving better information about existing facilities and services.

    In Adelaide a similar scheme called Travel Blending has been trailed. Details will be included in the next PU. A report on the Perth trial and other interesting items are available for loan from the BISA library.

    Hans Penning

    Ride To Win

    Have you registered as a co-ordinator for Ride To Win yet?

    Here is a practical way you can advocate sustainable transport, by encouraging colleagues to ride to work or campus.

    Not only that, but you have the chance to win great prizes in the process.

    To register, or for more information, contact Life. Be in it on 8231 1754.

    BISA email list

    The list is primarily for discussion of BISA campaigns, announcements of events, reminders of meetings and urgent BISA business. However, discussion of other issues relating to cycling in Adelaide and South Australia is also welcome. The list is open to anyone with an interest in cycling in South Australia.

    You can subscribe to the list by sending a message to with the subject subscribe.


    RAA Speed Zone Policy

    In the October/November issue PU published a letter sent by Malcolm Healey to SA Motor Magazine.

    The RAA's General Manager Public Affairs has pointed out that Malcolm's letter was reprinted in PU without the note that appeared when it was published in SA Motor. She has provided a copy of the RAA's policy on residential speed zones which is reproduced, in full, below:

    Several South Australian Councils are considering the introduction of a 40Km/h speed limit across wide areas.

    The RAA understands the pressure on Councils to deduce speed in local streets and we agree that speeds in many cases are too high. Most people would not want their local street used by through traffic. Traffic noise can be an issue and the creation of improved amenity on local street systems is an objective most would agree with.

    The RAA therefore supports the introduction of measures to bring about lower speeds in residential areas, and agree that in some cases 40km/h is the desirable limit.

    However, studies have consistently shown that in many situation the only way to get drivers to actually travel at the 40km/h limit is to physically create a low speed environment where drivers consider it appropriate and reasonable to travel at 40km/h.

    This is done by carefully selecting and installing speed-reducing traffic control devices where speeds are not naturally low. It is these devices that actually reduce drivers' speeds. The accompanying 40km/h limit just reinforces the situation.

    This is why national guidelines restrict the use of 40km/h limits to small areas or "precincts" treated with speed-reducing traffic control devices, or where speeds are naturally low. In larger areas free of such devices, 50km/h is specified.

    All states except South Australia follow these guidelines and RAA considers there should be consistency between States on this matter.

    "Collector" roads, which can run through residential areas, "distribute" and "collect" traffic onto and from smaller local streets. Speed zoning these roads and 60km/h could be appropriate, although each must be looked at individually to determine if a lower speed is desirable. If so, 50km/h should be used, but it may also be necessary to install some physical devices to ensure compliance with that limit.

    The simple application of a 40km/h "area-wide" speed limit will not bring about the improvement in safety and amenity sought by stakeholders. Rather, comprehensive plans need to be devised that incorporate physical traffic control devices in those streets where speeds are not naturally low but 40km/h is desirable. In other streets, a limit of 50km/h or 60km/h would be appropriate, depending on the nature of the street.


    Code of practice for the installation of traffic control devices in SA 1996

    This document contains designs for traffic slowing or diverting devices such as road humps, street closures, slowpoints, driveway entries and driveway links.

    Cyclists are not very well looked after in the 1996 Code. BISA has been working to rectify this unfortunate situation in the next issue of the Code. The choice of the type of device rests largely with residents' groups, an area where cyclists' interest are seldom represented.

    At present driveway entries are very popular. These are deep street closures with dense vegetation and a narrow (3m or less) one lane curved and kerbed road.

    A cyclist entering this road could unexpectedly meet a car head-on on a narrow curved road with no chance of escape due to the road design and vegetation. The Code does not mention a cyclist bypass, which is clearly needed.

    Until the Code is upgraded to include cyclist access for all devices BUGs would do well to involve themselves with councils and resident groups whenever a proposal for residential street management is mooted.

    Hans Penning

    Electronic Hazard Report Cards

    The Department of Transport has launched its website which includes an electronic form to report hazards on DoT roads.

    Bicycling for sale

    100 issues ('80s and early '90s) of Bicycling, a US cycling magazine are available for sale.
    20 cents each.
    Proceeds to BISA

    Contact Hans Penning.


    Speed in the Hills

    There is growing discussion in the Hills at the moment regarding appropriate speed limits on Hills roads.

    A speed limit of 80km/h has been proposed by a group of Hills doctors to lower the number of accidents in the area. The RAA shares these concerns, but feel that lower speed limits may not necessarily be the answer. Following on from discussions, the Hills Road Accident Prevention Action Group has called for people to notify its members of problem road conditions, speed limits and driver behaviour. Submissions can be sent to the Hills Road Accident Prevention Action Group, PO Box 312, Hahndorf 5245.

    Now I must admit that in all the articles about this in recent editions of the Mt. Barker Courier that cyclists were not mentioned! However, I consider this a minor oversight as cyclists as road users are included by default.

    I would urge BISA members, and Hills residents in particular, to contribute some positive suggestions to the working party and cheerfully remind them to accommodate cycling in their thinking and future lobbying.

    From research done for the former East Torrens Council and Stirling Council Bike Plans, and more recently the Adelaide Hills Bike Plan, speed was identified as one of the main contributing factors restricting locals from cycling. Of course, it is not the only answer, but any reduction in speed limits is a positive step forward and in conjunction with better policing, community education and cycle friendly engineering solutions it will certainly contribute to safer road conditions.

    Jackie Crampton


    101 bikes for adelaide

    101 bikes is a bicycle recycling project in operation since September this year. With cycling becoming increasingly popular, as well as being recognised as one of the best mediums of transport in modern society, it is important that it is available to the whole community. The aim of 101 bikes' is to provide both cheap alternative transport and reduce unnecessary waste and landfill. Inspired by 101 bikes for Newcastle and the yellow bike projects of America and Holland, 101 bikes for Adelaide is organised by the 101 bikes collective. The collective is a group of young people with a passion for cycling and the environment.

    People donated disused and broken bicycles to the project for recycling. The bikes are either rebuilt or stripped to help rebuild another. Worn parts are replaced with new along the way. Bike shops have donated old bikes as well as general spares. Once finished the bikes are available for sale. A finished adult bike costs between $40 and $60, although most are $50. Mudguards, racks and generators can be added free depending on supply.

    So rather than leaving that bike rusting in the corner of the shed or yard, donate it to a project aimed at putting bikes back on the streets. Contact the 101 bikes collective on 8272 0341.

    repair reuse recycle repair reuse recycle repair reuse recycle repair reuse

    Bicycle Facilities

    The following letter by was published in the Advertiser on 18 November. Stephen Janes is one of BISA's Media Group Writers

    It was with concern that I read the article "we're neck to neck with the fattest" (The Advertiser, 24/10/98).

    For some time now, cycling groups have pushed for serious funding and serious road facilities. This push for funds has recently been argued on a health basis and The Advertiser article confirms the need for Australians to be more active. Recently the Federal Minister for Health announced that physical activity cost Australia about $6.5 million per day. In this light, funds spent on cycling facilities that encourage bicycle use are an investment in the long-term health of Australians and will realise future savings.

    Unfortunately, many road facilities created for cyclists to date have been compromised by the needs of motorised traffic. For example, the cycle lanes that disappear 50m before an intersection so that more motorists can cross per light sequence, or the dubious unsafe lanes in the CBD. Practical no compromise bicycle facilities are needed to reverse our inactive lifestyle, so Australians are encouraged to get "on your bike" rather than "in your car".

    Stephen Janes

    Deadline for the next Pedal Update issue is 15 January.

    Submissions should be sent before the deadline to: Ruth Sims phone 8367 0018 preferably by email Faxes may be sent to 8230 7081, written copy should be sent to Ruth at BISA, GPO Box 792 Adelaide 5000

    The AGM is approaching. Why not consider nominating for the committee?

    A nomination form will appear in the next PU.