Please don't write anything in this box. It's here to trick the robots.
Follow Cycle Traveller on PinterestFollow Cycle Traveller on InstagramFollow Cycle Traveller on LinkedInFollow Cycle Traveller on GoogleFollow Cycle Traveller on FacebookFollow Cycle Traveller on Twitter.

Adelaide Council fires up in defence of Frome Street Bikeway

Alia Parker's picture
Artist's impression of Frome Street Bikeway through Adelaide. Cycle Traveller

Adelaide City Council has come out firing in defence of its Frome Street Bikeway project after a newspaper columnist called them “practical jokers” and accused them of creating congestion.

The city council – which is in the midst of building a separated bicycle lane that runs north to south along Frome Street through the east side of the city – said the lane was crucial to the development of a greater bicycle network that would provide cyclists safe passage in and out of the city. A section of Frome Street between Pirie Street and Flinders Street will be transformed under the plan, which forms part of a planned bicycle route that would run about 6km through the city.

“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,” the council said in a statement. “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.”

Frome Street bikeway development Adelaide. Cycle TravellerThe new development includes two bicycle lanes along the edges of the street that are separated from the traffic by concrete barriers. A parking bay will be added between the bike lane and the road and vehicle lanes will be reduced to one lane in each direction.

The council said about 700 cyclists a day currently used Frome Street and this number is expected to double with the creation of a separated bike lane. It said the lane would give more people confidence to cycle into the city, with usage tipped to grow 10-20% a year.

The council's defensive comments follow a column by Rex Jory in the Adelaide Advertiser, which labelled the countil “pranksters” who were building “concrete islands” down one of the city's busiest roads.

“Actually, as so often happens with silly jokes, the pranksters have gone too far. They have painted parking bays outside the concrete islands so parked cars really choke up the traffic flow. This has exposed their joke because no sensible traffic engineer would even contemplate doing that,” Jory said.

Despite Jory's comments, cities around the world – including Sydney and Melbourne – have successfully developed bicycle lanes that are separated from the traffic by a row of parked cars. The design improves safety for cyclists by preventing instances of car-dooring as the cyclists are not riding up alongside the driver's side of the vehicle.

In response to Jory's accusations, the council admitted that travel times for vehicles would increase along Frome Street, however, this would be the desired affect. It said traffic would redistribute across the city, reducing the impact of the new development.

It said the changes to Frome Street would not only benefit cyclists, but also make the street more pedestrian friendly.
“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,” it said.

It said Frome Street would become much more pedestrian friendly, with extra landscaping, trees and better lighting.

It said the street would become much calmer as a result of reducing the traffic lanes to one lane in each direction, encouraging those who do not intend to stop along the street to drive an alternative route.

It said the calmer street atmosphere, more loading zones, increased bicycle traffic and more pedestrian-friendly street would be good for local businesses. 

Image: Artist's impression of the Frome Street Bikeway through Adelaide. Source: Adelaide City Council.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Please don't write anything in this box. It's here to trick the robots.