Friday, 30 April 2010

A million dollars

Adelaide City Council has done a bit of work on its paths in the parklands near the Aquatic Centre. Here's a view along one of them. You could almost be in another country:

It soon comes to an end though and you suddenly turn into a pedestrian:

What is interesting is that the council has spent a bit of cash on what appear to be lane markings. You can see them in the picture above. There is a picture of a bike and a person indicating that this is a shared path. And just in case anyone using them is too stupid to realise that you generally pass on the left, there is a big white line painted down the middle to let them know.

Here is another view:

This is actually a footpath that goes along the back of the Aquatic Centre next to the customer car park. It is used almost exclusively by people arriving by car. But the council has cleverly turned it into a shared path by painting lines on it. To put it in perspective, each side of the path is about as wide as your handlebars. There has been no other change at all other than the painted lines. Here is a picture of the other end:

Just around the corner in the distance is the footpath leading to the entrance. It is not a cycle facility despite the little lines and pictures painted on the ground.

I point this out because it is fairly indicative of the cycling infrastructure here. In the main, it consists of painted lines on what is already there. Other than about two exceptions I can think of, there is never any substantial change to the road layout, for example to move cars to one side or back a bit to make way for people on bikes or give them more room. At most, a bike lane will be painted on the road but if the road narrows or there is a junction or some other thing in the way, the lane will disappear. In other words, you'll get some "infrastructure" as long as nothing else has to change.

Some time ago, the Federal member for Adelaide, Kate Ellis, announced that the Federal Government was investing nearly $1m on expanding cycling infrastructure in the parklands. If this is what you get for a million bucks, there must be a consultant chuckling to himself on a tropical island somewhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment