Wheels on the Bike make SA go Round and Round: d4d Releases Cycling Policy

Today Dignity for Disability releases a policy designed to make SA a world-leading cycle state.

“South Australia has all the natural advantages needed to be a great cycling state,” said Dignity for Disability Party Leader Kelly Vincent MLC.

“We have beautiful weather, generally flat ground and were gifted wide streets from our original town planners. The upcoming Velo 2014 conference puts Adelaide on the world cycling map, but we’re still lacking in the fundamental infrastructure and safety measures necessary to be make cycling here attractive and available to everyone.”

Dignity for Disability has a four-part plan for a more cycle-friendly state:

– Legislate for safety. “Dignity for Disability supports the Amy Gillett Foundation’s campaign to enshrine a metre clearance between cyclists and other vehicles in legislation,” said Ms Vincent. “This legal commitment must be backed up by other safety measures including advanced bicycle, wheelchair and gopher awareness components in all license testing and a lowering of the speed limit in the CBD to 40km/h to give bike and mobility aid users a chance amongst the taxis, buses and queued-up cars.”

– Infrastructure improvement. “While some work has been done to improve cycling infrastructure, we still see bike lanes that suddenly cease to exist half way down main roads and intersections with no safe stopping place for bicycles,” said Ms Vincent. “Dignity for Disability is calling for an immediate injection of funds across all council areas to widen bike lanes, improve road surfaces, and institute more bike boxes, more bike buttons at intersections and more bike parking to make cycling safer and convenient for people of all abilities.”

– School community engagement. “The best way to create a safer, more engaged cycling population is to start educating students and their school communities,” said Ms Vincent. “The funds for infrastructure mentioned above should be prioritised for use around schools, both for on-road infrastructure and for up-keeping wheel-friendly footpaths for younger cyclists and students using wheelchairs. An education campaign should also be delivered through schools to students and parents that explains the health, environmental and economic benefits of cycling to school. Dignity for Disability also supports funding for a program that supplies safety standard-approved helmets to students – we believe the money expended will be more than repaid through savings in the health budget from having a fitter populace.”

– Support cycle tourism. “Bicycle tourism has proved very popular, particularly in SA’s wine regions,” said Ms Vincent. “Investing in good cycling infrastructure in regional areas makes good sense when locals have less access to public transport and also adds a point of difference to the tourism offering of these areas. Rail trails, touring cycling events and paths that take in local attractions such as the beach are of most benefit.”

– Bicycle mechanics industry. “Sales of new bicycles in Australia have outstripped sales of new cars every year since 2001,” said Ms Vincent. “With government help and support, South Australia could become a world-leader in bicycle and wheelchair mechanics – this would have the dual benefit of keeping our bicycle fleet safely on the road and creating jobs for South Australians.”