Slowing traffic speeds in the city and giving parking discounts to city residents are two key planks of Martin Haese’s platform in his surprise bid to unseat Adelaide Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood at this year’s council elections.
Haese is now the fourth contender for Lord Mayor at the elections to be finalised in November.
Councillor Michael Henningsen also put his hand up for the job today, joining Yarwood and fellow councillor Mark Hamilton in the race.
Haese was general manager of the Rundle Mall Management Authority between 2008 and 2009 and is managing director of retail advisory firm RetailIQ.
He told InDaily this morning that city residents and businesses should be given financial incentives to spend money in the CBD.
“If I was elected as Lord Mayor, I would look squarely at a range of incentives for citizens – the people of the city of Adelaide – incentives to use our facilities,” he said.
“In fact, I’d give them discounts to do it.
“One thing that alarms me [is] when you talk to folks in the city of Adelaide and they’re shopping elsewhere.
“If you’re not even looking after your own people you’ve got a problem. They are the people who are ultimately paying for the infrastructure.”
Haese said if he won office, he would improve safety for cyclists and others by lowering speed limits in the city.
The businessman said he would consult experts about which roads could do with lower speeds, and how low those speeds should be.
He objected to what he called the “nonsensical” programming of traffic lights and the eradication of some of the city’s slip lanes, saying more drivers would come to the city if there weren’t so much “stop and start” on the roads.
“We need an environment where we’re slowing our traffic, not reducing it,” he said.
“If we’ve got traffic that’s moving … at a reasonable and a safe speed, then we get a better coexistence between cyclists, between drivers, between pedestrians and between commuters on public transport.”
Haese also warned there was a danger Adelaide would develop a reputation for night-time violence following a series of assaults in the CBD over the past six months, flagging an increase security measures in city.
He said negotiations between Adelaide City Council, the state government and SA Police could see more officer patrols, and, “we can certainly expect more lighting … across the entire city,” he said.
“Of late … there have been too many incidents in the city,” he said.
“We’ve got to ensure that we’re providing visitors, residents, businesspeople … with a safe and secure environment.
“I very much took this philosophy into Rundle Mall [during his tenure as General Manager] that you’ve got to have a safe and secure environment before you can literally do anything.”
Haese said both the Rundle Mall and Victoria Square upgrades were positive for the state, but warned against “overcapitalising” on the latter.
He labelled the controversial separated bikeway on Frome Street “excessive” and said he would not roll out similar infrastructure across the CBD.
He also said the debate between over transport in the city had become too vitriolic, and that he would restore balance to that debate.
He flagged his support for green-coloured, non-separated bike lanes in the city and joined each of his opponents in claiming he was neither “anti-car” nor “anti-bike”.
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