A perfect test for determining whether you have safe cycling infrastructure is whether you would allow your children to use it. In Adelaide, the answer to that question is invariably no. That is why so few children cycle to school, to sports practice or to visit their friends. In the Netherlands, the picture is different. There, they seem to treat their children with a little more respect and set up safe cycling routes that allow children to get to school under their own steam, sometimes from outlying villages. This video, which David Hembrow made, illustrates it very well:
David Hembrow's blog is brilliant and he has a number of videos like this one. He also demolishes all of the arguments against proper cycling infrastructure one by one.
The video both amazes me and makes me cranky. Amazing because the people of the Netherlands have achieved this but cranky because it could be done here. It has nothing to do with "culture" or population density or how flat the land is. Adelaide is perfect for this. All it needs is the will.