Monday, 20 September 2010

Joining the dots

The State Government is slowly filling the gaps in its world-class cycling infrastructure. The latest street to benefit is Victoria Drive next to Adelaide University. As you approach Frome Road, and after you have passed all of the diagonally parked cars, each of which can pull out half a car length before they finally see you, you are greeted with this:

Some lines painted on the road. As we all know they have magical qualities and act like invisible forcefields to stop cars and trucks driving into them. No wonder so many people, young and old, use them. Drive along Anzac Highway or Marion Road to see whole families travelling together or have a look at the "bike lanes" under the Gallipoli Underpass on South Road to see all of the children riding their bikes to school.

Another fine example of a lengthy piece of quality infrastructure.

But hello, what's this?

This is unusual for Adelaide. A bike lane suddenly coming to an end for no apparent reason?

You might think that this is only half finished and that soon the kerb will be altered to make a proper separated junction there. I bet you a puncture repair kit it doesn't happen though. As usual, the bike rider is directed into the gutter while cars will continue to turn left and ignore them. Watch how nobody uses it and, quite understandably, will move to the centre of the road as they do now before turning left.

I sometimes understand exactly how the guy from Waltham Forest feels.


  1. The other piece of 'champagne comedy' around this area is the 'bike lane' which is 'integrated' (sorry for all the quotes) with the pedestrian walkway on Frome Rd heading up the hill (i.e. if you turned right from this intersection).

    Perhaps its lack of familiarity by Adelaide pedestrians to combined pedestrian/cycle paths, but after trying to use it for a while I've resigned myself to using the road on account of the odd rude Adelaide driver being far easier to deal with than the multitude of lemming-like pedestrians ambling across this bike lane between Uni buildings.

    I don't know how to fix it, or why it is as bad as it is, but in my experiences commuting through it a couple of times a week it sucks.

  2. I have that experience too. You'd hope that with more similar lanes across the city people would get used to them.

  3. Having said that, notwithstanding a few people ambling across the path, if you take it slow on that stretch, you're generally ok. It is still the only proper bike lane in the whole CBD. It's just a shame it comes to such an abrupt end in the way it does.

  4. I ride through the Botanic gardens rather than use the Frome Rd shared use path. I can't come at calling it a bike lane (proper or otherwise) so by my thinking there's actually none..

  5. A nitpick, Victoria Drive (the first photo) is under the care, control and management of Adelaide City Council. I'm not saying DTEI does better on arterial roads but this isn't one of theirs.

    Where is the second photo from? That just looks terrible and ugly to the eye. Obviously the line marker is not a cyclist, let alone an aesthete, as they wouldn't have left that there if they were either.