22 Apr, 2014

Frome Street Bikeway

The new, safer separated bikeway currently under construction in Frome Street has come under fire in Rex Jory’s opinion piece in yesterday’s Advertiser and now from comments from Property Developer Theo Maras.

In response to Rex Jory’s opinion piece from yesterday’s Advertiser about the new Frome St Bikeway, we thought it’d be helpful to put out a few facts about why we think it’s a good idea…

The plain fact is Council isn’t anti car – we’re providing an integrated transport solution for the city that incorporates all modes - cycling, public transport, pedestrians and cars together in a smart way that helps us manage inevitable growth and keep us moving.

We’re not building this bikeway and saying that people from Salisbury or Aberfoyle Park should ride their bike to the city. But what we are suggesting is that people who might now jump in their car from Unley, Hyde Park, Burnside, Prospect, Bowden, Walkerville and the like can make a choice to ride a bike on new, safer infrastructure like in Frome St. This means more room on the roads for those car drivers who don’t have that same choice – everyone wins!

We’re constructing a shared bikeway through the South Park Lands and in local streets and parks to the south and north of the CBD, which will connect with the section of bikeway currently under construction in Frome St – this is not a road to nowhere, but a connected system of bike routes.

We picked Frome St for this safer, new separated bikeway because it has the lowest traffic volumes of the city streets running north south – far lower than streets like King William, Pulteney and Morphett.

There are currently 29 north south traffic lanes for cars in the city – there are zero separated bikeway lanes to safely accommodate bike riders. The changes we have started to make to Frome St will alter this to 27 to 2 – still way in favour of the car and providing a much safer option for riders.

It is true that the bikeway will add some travel time for Frome St motorists, but we also know that cars that are passing through (i.e. not stopping) do redistribute across the city grid and this will help manage and offset this.

The Frome Street Bikeway will be the first dedicated low stress separated bike route for riders and will provide a safer north south corridor connecting inner southern and northern suburbs with the CBD.

We already have about 700 cyclists riding along Frome Street and with the new, safe bikeway we expect this to double by drawing cyclists from less safe north south corridors, along with new riders.

It’s a fact that there are many people not confident enough to ride on the more exposed city bike lanes and so we expect users of the Frome Street Bikeway to grow by 10-20% a year as people discover this new, safer way to move about the city. Patronage growth like that is also good for businesses along the route which will benefit from riders being able to stop and use their services.

This isn’t just about cycling infrastructure – this is about creating a great street for pedestrians too, with extra landscaping, street trees and better lighting.

More information on the Frome Street Bikeway found at http://www.cityofadelaide.com.au/fromestreetbikeway.

For more information

David Hill