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Rau's city bike park proposal "absurd": Haese


Planning Minister John Rau’s proposal to allow fewer bicycle parking spaces in new city buildings is “absurd”, Lord Mayor Martin Haese says.

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The current development plan for the CBD says that new city buildings should contain one bicycle parking space for each apartment or dwelling with a floor space of less than 150sqm – or two bike parks for each larger dwelling.

But Rau’s city development plan amendment (DPA), on which the minister is currently considering submissions, suggests reducing that ratio to one bike parking space for every four dwellings within new city buildings along key public transport routes.

His DPA argues that that “given city residents’ proximity and access to key public services and facilities it could be argued that the city should able to accommodate a (bike park to apartment) rate lower compared to any other location” – while cautioning that “this DPA does not propose to lower the rate, but intends to provide circumstances where a lower rate can be considered”.

Haese told InDaily this strikes me as an absurd proposal”.

“The DPA has not provided any evidence to support that the existing on-site bicycle parking rate … represents an oversupply with respect to city apartments,” Haese said in a statement.

“In the period between 2006 and 2011, cycling in the City of Adelaide (was) over double the rate of the rest of greater Adelaide.”

He said that the State Government and city council’s Carbon Neutral Action Plan (revealed by InDaily last week) “seeks to double the cycling rates (and) in order to do so, adequate support in the form on on-site bicycle storage is required”.

Rau told InDaily in a statement this afternoon that “the DPA – which is only in the consultation phase – proposes a reduced bicycle parking ratio could be considered in a very limited area”.

“No decision has been made.

“I welcome responses. This is why we are consulting.”

Haese added that the bike parking requirements in the current development plan were not mandatory, but evidence from a traffic engineer was generally required to convince the council or the Development Assessment Commission to authorise developments that do not conform with the plan.

A submission to the DPA written by Adelaide City Council staff – to be debated by the council tonight – argues that Rau’s proposal contradicts the State Government’s own strategic plan, which also aims to double the number of people cycling in SA.

“The DPA’s proposed reduction from the current one bicycle park per dwelling to one per every four dwellings … would be at significant odds with the State Strategic Plan,” the submission says, adding that it “lacks a policy basis to justify that people who live in areas with high levels of walking and public transport accessibility are less inclined to cycle”.

“Significant increases (in cycling) were seen in the 2011 census and increases are expected in the 2016 census,” the submission continues.

“Cycling journeys in and through the city have doubled since 2003.”

But Property Council Executive Director Daniel Gannon told InDaily the on-site bicycle parking guidelines in the development plan represented “stringent red tape” that may constrain development opportunities.

“This would absolutely fall in the ‘red tape’ column,” he said, although “we absolutely advocate for better connectivity by foot or by bike”.

Earlier this year, the State Government and the city council agreed to a $12 million deal intended to make Adelaide the “cycling capital of Australia” by upgrading bike lanes along Frome Street and Frome Road, with a complimentary east-west bikeway through the city and an extended point-to-point bike share scheme.

The council will consider whether to endorse the submission at a meeting tonight.

Councillors will also debate a proposal to invite Rau on a tour of the city, escorted by Haese, “in order to take a first hand look at developments approved under the current Adelaide (City) Development Plan”.

Several councillors argued at a committee meeting last week that the current plan had led to an abundance of poorly-designed developments.

InDaily has contacted Rau’s office for comment.

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