Issue 132, August-September 1999

BISA's mission: 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.


Here we go round...

Peter Carter

The new, national, Australian Road Rules are to come into force in December. While the fact that they are to be uniform across the country is good, there are some aspects that for cyclists are niggling, and there is one rule with the potential to cause serious problems:

`119 Giving way by the rider of a bicycle or animal to a vehicle leaving a roundabout

`The rider of a bicycle or animal who is riding in the far left marked lane of a roundabout with 2 or more marked lanes, or the far left line of traffic in a roundabout with 2 or more lines of traffic, must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout.

`Offence provision.

`Note 1 Bicycle and marked lane are defined in the dictionary, and vehicle is defined in rule 15.

`Note 2 For this rule, give way means the rider must slow down and, if necessary, stop to avoid a collision - see the definition in the dictionary.'

From the Dictionary we see that...

`bicycle means a vehicle with 1 or more wheels that is built to be propelled by human power through a belt, chain or gears (whether or not it has an auxiliary motor), and:
`(a) includes a pedicab, penny-farthing, scooter, tricycle and unicycle...'

...and Rule 15 defines vehicles:

`15 What is a vehicle

`A vehicle includes:

`(a) a motor vehicle, trailer and tram; and
`(b) a bicycle; and
`(c) an animal-drawn vehicle, and an animal that is being ridden or drawing a vehicle...'

A bicycle is a vehicle - a cyclist is not a pedestrian on wheels - and therefore has the same rights (and responsibilities) as other vehicles. Rule 119 ignores that. Perhaps whoever framed it thought that cyclists ride roundabouts around the extreme left edge. Any cyclist who does that is exposing him or herself to being cut off from the right by other vehicles. To ride a roundabout you take the centre of the lane - a vehicle is entitled to as much lane as necessary, and it is in this case. (Below there's a copy of the Bike-Ed Roundabouts worksheet (students get it A4 size) showing how it's done. For a full-size Acrobat version, visit the Bike Ed pages on the Bicycle SA Web site

As it stands, any cyclist obeying Rule 119 by stopping will hold up a whole lane of traffic: that can hardly be what the legislators intended.

Write to the Minister of Transport and other authorities pointing out the anomaly of this rule, and the potential for holdups, and worse.

Bike Ed Roundabouts worksheet


Pedal Update

Peter Carter, Editor

Lots of good reading, and not enough space for more, but let me attend to some `housekeeping'.

Pedal Update is now a Microsoft-free zone - I use a Mac, with BBEdit and FrameMaker, and not Word. When you're e-mailing me something, or even sending it on disk, please send it as text only: much more compact without all the junk that Word puts into files. Please do not try to format things with tabs and spaces (because I have to strip them all out), and note that nothing is in all caps except acronyms and abbreviations.

You might also give your item a suitable name: several contributions named `Pedal Update' can be confusing...


BISA gets consulted (often)

Peter Lumb

Consulting has long been a part of local area bicycle planning. BISA has been active in these processes for many years. Cyclists have informed planners and engineers about their needs and their preferences. Better targeted plans and well used cycling infrastructure has often resulted. Some plans of course, despite excellent consultation processes, remain on shelves.

With the advent of BikeSouth and the current Minister for Transport and Urban Affairs, Diana Laidlaw, road transport consulting has been pushed to new limits in SA. Under local area bicycle plans, cyclists were the stakeholders who were consulted. Any other road transport or related infrastructure planning was frequently controlled by `the experts'. In many new developments like the Southern Expressway, the redevelopment of a section of Portrush Road, and the Adelaide Parklands Management Strategy cyclists now take their seat at consultations among many other stakeholders. Expert planning is giving way to a more democratic and noisy consulting process.

The expert traffic engineers and urban planners are hearing what the citizens/stakeholders need or prefer. Experts (and academics I know are subject to this process) are getting an education from the stakeholders which takes them beyond the textbooks and rational calculus, and puts them in touch with particular local people's needs. Consulting means rational bureaucratic planning gives way to a messier (in my view) satisfying political process.

With my colleagues in BISA I've learned some lessons about consulting.

1. It can be done badly and it can be done well. Consulting effectively is skilled work - some planners and some engineers are more skilled than others. Some engineering firms would do well to sub-contract their consulting to expert consulting firms (who generally know little about engineering but lots about gathering good intelligence from a range of stakeholders).

2. Consulting is loosely defined. Is it simply about getting information from stakeholders? Is it about interaction so that both experts and stakeholders mutually engage in problem solving? Is consulting about giving the appearance of democracy while getting on with (the experts') business?

From my point of view I'm delighted that there is so much consulting going on. A lot of experts are getting a good applied education and a lot of stakeholders are learning about the complexity of infrastructure planning. At this information sharing level it is good all round.

On the other hand, I would like to have those initiating consulting take two steps at least which would improve much consulting.

Consulting is now a part of road transport and infrastructure planning in SA. Let's hope that both stakeholders and the people in the companies who initiate consulting take responsibility for producing excellent outcomes. To achieve this I suggest greater clarity about the process and the purpose of consulting.

PS: Recently BISA had to forgo an invitation to a day-long consulting process. We could not find a member with the time to contribute. If you would like to nominate yourself as a person who would be prepared to represent BISA in some consulting processes, please send a note (e-mail or hard mail) to Clive Palfrey, BISA Secretary.


BISA 25th Anniversary Dinner

Peter Lumb

Members of the BISA Committee would like to invite all members and friends of BISA (at) to our Twenty Fifth Anniversary Dinner.

The Dinner will be held, most appropriately on 25 August at 7:00 pm at Villa Borghese, 218 Rundle Street (corner Frome), Adelaide. Villa Borghese has a very pleasant upstairs private function room which we have booked for the night.

Villa Borghese will provide a three course meal at $25.00. Drinks may be purchased separately at the bar. The meal consists of a soup or entree, a main course (choice of three), dessert, and tea or coffee. There is a vegetarian option.

Please bring some cycling related memorabilia with you. There will be a small prize for the oldest or most interesting piece of memorabilia. This could be a hand-written letter, a photograph, a published letter or article, newsletter, or anything that we would happily agree is evidence of advocacy in SA over the last 25 years. There will be a brief, celebratory program.

If you would like to join us on the twenty fifth, to celebrate our twenty fifth for twenty five please send cheques or money orders at $25.00 per head, payable to BISA, and addressed to

BISA 25th Anniversary Dinner
Peter Lumb
22 Porter Street
Parkside SA 5063

by Wednesday 18 August

Please join us for a night of cheerful celebration.


Public Transport Forum

Margaret Dingle, People for Public Transport

People for Public Transport is holding a Community Forum: Public Transport in Adelaide: Problems and Visions, on Saturday, 14 August from 10 am to 4 pm at the Unley Citizens' Centre, 18 Arthur Street, Unley, (near Bus Stop 4 Unley Road - 191, 195 or 196 bus from City).

Speakers will be Paul Downton (Urban Ecology), Matthew Loader (STOP), Heather Webster (Passenger Transport Board, Ron White (Electric Traction Association), Max Michell (Rail 2000), George Giannakodakis (Transport SA) and John Kirk (Australasian Railways Association).

The afternoon session will be an open forum, during which visions for public transport in Adelaide will be formulated.

Registration will be $15 ($10 concession), including optional membership of People for Public Transport till February 2000. Lunch will cost $8, or you can bring your own (tea and coffee included in registration). Please register by the end of July if you want lunch, as we need to notify the caterer.

Brochures available Conservation Centre, 120 Wakefield Street, Adelaide. For more information ring Sheila Brown, Conservation Centre, 8223 5155.


Cycle-Friendly Cities: Ferrara and Ravenna

Margaret Day

Those with a long memory or a good filing system will remember BISA's Rob Mealing writing `How to Impress Visitors' PU 107 June '95 p 11, about his visit to Ravenna in northern Italy. And Contessa Hajinikitas wrote `Ferrara City for Cyclists' published in Dec '97 Cyclist pp 46-7. Both expressed excitement at being in these Italian cities where bicycles are normal transport for the majority of the population.

These are cities with great architectural features, classical Roman buildings, cathedrals, theatres, libraries, castles, and mosaics of remarkable beauty. The decision to exclude heavy vehicles from their centres was partly the need to preserve the architecture and ambience of these historic places, partly to return the cities to the people.

We experienced both these delightful historic cities on small wheels recently: places where people walk and cycle freely without the domination of cars. Ravenna has a large covered bicycle hire and storage area in the central square where maps and local information are given with a smile. Mechanics are on hand to repair cycles if needed, a service which saves time for commuters. The central area is compact with many small lanes which are accessible only to pedestrians and cyclists. And as we approached Ravenna, we pedalled for five kilometres along on a road lined with lavender coming into flower. Now that is another idea we could copy.

Ferraran citizens

Ferrara has a population of around 140 000. It also has 100 000 bicycles, with more than 30 per cent of trips being by bicycle. This represents even higher use than in the Netherlands. The cycling and walking network is gradually being increased giving priority over car traffic. Car parking spaces have been reduced to enable this to happen. The result has been increased tourism and leisure activities with improved turnover for city shops. It is a wonderful sight to watch the variety of men and women of all ages in ordinary clothes and suits riding on ordinary bicycles with baskets, parcels, newspapers, or briefcases as they go about their business. Hair and hats but no helmets.

The old city wall is elevated with a nine kilometre cycling track round the top, giving wide views into the city and out to the country. There are clearly identified hiring places, including near the railway station which has literally hundreds of bicycles parked close by.

It was peaceful with no cars on cobbles nor tyres on tar. The air was fresh with no fumes in faces. The coffee was pungent and the gelati delicious.

Adelaide city has the same potential to increase daily short trips by bicycle. When town centres are remodelled for pedestrians, cyclists generally find their place in them quite naturally. Vehicle traffic reduction must be part of the process.


South - A movement in the right direction

Darran Hampstead

Road re-sealing program reviews bicycle lane installation,
Bicycle lanes used as a method to calm traffic movements
New traffic control devices reviewed to consider cyclists
Construction staff site visit projects on bicycles
Parking Rails installed free
Cycling being promoted for Tourism
Physical Activity Projects promote cycling
Behavioural Programs for Primary Schools at no charge
Sixteen kilometres of shared trails constructed, and many kilometres of bicycle lanes installed over the last 12 months

What's going on, has Local Government gone mad?

You could be right in thinking that this is 2010, but it's not, it is happening right now.

Should work be this rewarding... every day? It's almost too good to be true.

The City of Onkaparinga is having a go, and they're getting it right. When I first started as bicycle plan coordinator I was forever being told to `get on ya bike', so 12 months and 8000 km later, it has all began to pay off.

More often than not I'm now consulted to review the design for cyclists in projects outside the bike plan budget. An example of this is the re-sealing of roads. Previously I'm sure cyclists weren't considered when reinstating the line marking on re-seals and weren't always being considered when determining the road widths during kerb installations, or even a thought was given to use bicycle lanes to narrow the traffic lane. Unfortunately it's not always possible to implement, but the good news is I'm not having to jump up and down to see this review process happen.

All this hasn't happened because of one person. I'd like to think it was my good looks or shaved legs but the foundations were laid a long time ago by the infamous Peter Good and with the continued support of Transport SA (BikeSouth) the City of Onkaparinga is now harvesting the benefits. Cycling has now become a discussion amongst many sections: Transport, Heath, Tourism, Environment, and as cyclists we contribute to them all positively, so once everyone began to relish this, it's now becoming a `tail wind ride.'

Many other occurrences have contributed also: Tour Down Under, VelOZity, BikeDirect Maps, National Strategies, support from BISA and Bicycle SA, and not to forget the vast number of opportunities the City offers to provide such facilities.

How do you measure the success? Sometimes it is by the number of complaints we don't get.

But when construction staff are continually been told by passing residents while on site, `great job'; `this is great, can't wait until it's finished'; when you get asked to nominate bicycle projects for Local Government Awards, and especially when you get asked to write something for Pedal Update, you know you're on the right track.

So get amongst it, and `get on ya bike'


Coastal Way Update

Dave Hemmings

A recent public meeting of Port Adelaide Enfield Council residents unanimously supported the proposed construction of a new section of Coastal Way shared use recreational path, between Largs Jetty and Taperoo.

The proposed section of path will link the two previously constructed sections to the north and south, with the end result being a continuous path, about 6 km long, all the way from Semaphore to Outer Harbour.

The new section of path is likely to be placed through the rear of the sand dunes, giving users a full `dune experience', away from the road traffic. A detailed design will now be carried out and, if approved by the local council, construction will commence next year.

A fair bit of preliminary planning was carried out for this section of path. This included a detailed flora and fauna survey, and several meetings of a specialist panel that included local residents, potential path users, Council members and staff, BikeSouth staff, consultants, and several other interested individuals and organisations.

The Coastal Way is a long-term BikeSouth project to provide a coastal shared use recreational path, designed for bicycles, foot traffic, wheelchairs, prams, skaters, etc. all the way from Marino to Outer Harbour. The concept was initially proposed by BISA in 1994.

If anyone wants to know more about this project you can phone me on 82424129 or send a message to .


West Torrens BUG Achievements

Stephen Janes and Manfred Meidert

Formed under the West Torrens Bicycle Plan, this local Bicycle User Group (BUG) allows a direct link between the Council and local bicycle riders. Members of this group are given the opportunity to contribute to the objectives and strategies of the West Torrens Bicycle Plan. Since its formation, the BUG has instigated and been consulted on a number of bicycle related issues, including:

Just as important are the minor maintenance and modifications that add to the general functionality of the West Torrens bicycle facilities. Some examples include inappropriately placed bollards, surface hazards and signage problems. The BUG has instigated many improvements in this area.

Group rides are also arranged to give the BUG an opportunity to check on facilities both locally and in adjoining councils.

The BUG meets every six weeks. Local bicycle riders are encouraged to join and to take the opportunity to suggest improvements to their local facilities. Further information regarding the BUG can be obtained by contacting the Council's Bicycle Co-ordinator, Frank Siow, 8416 6284.

WT BUG group

West Torrens BUG members at the new Breakout Creek Wetlands during a recent ride. In the group are some Bike Ed students from Lockleys Primary School.