Adelaide City Council and the State Government today announced the formation of the Bicycle Infrastructure Group (BIG), set up to enable both levels of government to work together to improve cycling infrastructure and encourage more people to get on their bikes.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Patrick Conlon said one of group’s goals is to double the number of people who cycle to, or within the city, by 2020.
“We’ve established this group with Adelaide City Council to align our priorities and plan cycling infrastructure that will make riding into and around the city safer and easier,” he said.
“We’ll work collaboratively with Council to increase the number of people who cycle to work by giving more road space to cyclists and improving cyclists’ safety into and within the city.”
Deputy Lord Mayor David Plumridge said building a city where people take priority is a vital part of the vision for Adelaide.
“It’s part of a long-term strategy to create a CBD that is easy to get into and around, is well-connected and is a place where people want to spend more time,” he said.
“Creating a good quality and safe cycling network will encourage more people to see cycling as the most convenient form of transport for local trips.
“More people on bikes not only leads to a healthier community, it’s more sustainable and creates streets that are calmer, more people-friendly and full of life and vibrancy.”
Today’s announcement coincides with the European Cyclists’ Federation’s (ECF) visit to Adelaide in preparation for the world’s premier international cycling planning conference, Velo-city Global, to be held here in May 2014.
The conference, with support from Council, State Government and Bike SA, will attract cycling experts, politicians, urban planners and transport specialists to share ideas and strategies for creating and sustaining cycling-friendly cities.
Cycling infrastructure to be showcased to the federation includes two recently completed ‘bike boxes’ on the corner of Pulteney Street and South Terrace. Bike boxes are road markings at intersections that provide cyclists with a head start when the traffic signal changes from red to green.
The Federation’s President Mannfred Neun said he was looking forward to seeing what Adelaide was doing to make cycling more appealing.
“Adelaide has all the right ingredients to make it a bicycle friendly city. By hosting a Velo-city conference it is well on its way to becoming the greatest cycling city in the Southern Hemisphere,” he said.
“I’ll be meeting with key stakeholders and the State Government in preparation for 2014 so it will be exciting to see what Adelaide has to offer when it comes to cycling culture and infrastructure.”
During their visit, the ECF will also share their knowledge about international cycling policies and strategies and how these can be applied in Adelaide.
Christian Haag, CEO of Bicycle SA said, “Getting more people on their bikes is about educating them on how riding can become part of their everyday life.
“The Velo-city conference is an opportunity for us to position Adelaide at the forefront of the international conversation on policy development for cycle-friendly communities,” he said.