Super Tuesday – Ten years of collecting cycling and (now) walking data in the City of Adelaide

For a decade now volunteers have counted cyclists at key locations in an around the City of Adelaide for two hours on the first Tuesday in March – known as Super Tuesday.

Adopting the belief that “what is counted counts”, Walking SA is always looking for data on the amount of walking being done, and this year put a call out for volunteers to participate to count pedestrians, undertaking a similar count as that of the cyclists.

At this stage we are only looking to establish trends in the amount of urban walking being done. (We have some pretty good data about walking on the main bush trails.) We are looking for counts wherever we have volunteers willing and able to undertake them.

We are not looking for those locations where there are lots of pedestrians, such as King William Street. There are usually too many to count, and in any case what those very busy locations tell us is the importance of the location rather than the popularity of walking.

Responses to our request for volunteers, as well as some of those counting cyclists also being willing to count pedestrians, resulted in a total of 14 locations being counted.

Count Results

Pedestrians counted 7am to 9am Tuesday 3 March, 2020.

Location Pedestrians counted
Fitzroy Tce / Braund 23
Outer Harbor Greenway / Parklands Trail 30
Port Road / Gaol Road 110
Dequetteville Tce / King William Street (Kent Town) 102
Morphett St / Hindley St 195 (7am to 8am only)
Osmond Tce / William St 34
Fullarton Rd / William St 94
Fullarton Rd / Kensington Rd (Britannia roundabout) 45
Frome St / Wakefield St 303
West Tce / Sir Donald Bradman Dr 202
West Tce / Sturt St 98
East Tce / South Tce / Beaumont Rd 232
West Tce / South Tce 77
Westside Bikeway / South Road 18

Thanks to all those who came out on what was an usually cold Tuesday morning.

Hopefully we can have a similar or bigger effort next year, so that we can start observing trends.

If you would like to help out, please contact Ian Radbone, Walking SA Board member and Super Tuesday manager.

We’re calling on all local governments to prioritise projects that enable walking and cycling

COVID-19 has created a huge increase in walking activity. Walking SA, together with BISA, Bike SA and the Heart Foundation, calls on all local governments to prioritise projects that enable walking and cycling.

During COVID-19, more people have chosen to be active every day in local neighbourhoods. Participation in walking and cycling has significantly increased. The provision of footpaths and safe crossings, open space and access to roads in our neighbourhoods is more important than ever. Walking SA encourages prioritisation of projects that enable active, safe and connected communities.

View statement (PDF)

The call

Letter from Walking SA, Heart Foundation, Bicycle Institute of South Australia and Bike SA.

11 May 2020

Dear Mayor, Councillors and CEO,

In these difficult and unprecedented times, we would like to congratulate you on your continued support of your community.

During COVID-19, more people are choosing to be active every day in local neighbourhoods. Participation in walking and cycling has significantly increased. The provision of footpaths and safe crossings, open space, and access to roads in our neighbourhoods are more important than ever.

We recognise that council budgets have been impacted both by a reduction in some forms of revenue, and by additional expenditure required due to the current situation. As you are re-assessing your budgets for the upcoming cycle, we encourage you to prioritise projects that enable active, safe, and connected communities.

We call on you for your commitment to:

  1. Shovel-ready walking and cycling projects. Increased budgets and commitment to delivering basic, safe and innovative walking infrastructure with construction and maintenance of: footpaths, safe pedestrian crossings and refuges, wider kerb ramps, signalised crossings with a shorter cycle and phasing to suit seniors, vision impaired, people with disabilities and children to safely cross the road
  2. Temporary street closures or shared zones to allow for people to safely walk and ride on local streets during COVID-19
  3. Slower designed streets and speed limit reduction for all people to walk and cycle safely
  4. Wider, connected and safe footpaths (which also allows for essential physical distancing)
  5. Better shading of all paths through tree planting and shading structures
  6. Local mixed used and multi-generational parks, playgrounds, nature play and green space that create community hubs and destinations within walking/cycling distance of homes
  7. Separated walking pathways from bicycles, e-bikes and e- scooters in high traffic or commuter routes
  8. Removal of slip lanes that cause unnecessary risk to walkers and riders, or an addition of zebra crossings until slip lanes have been removed
  9. Commitment to implement your local walking and cycling strategies, preferably integrated into an overall active transport and recreation strategy. Develop strategies if
  10. Liveable and active streets designed for all: children and our more vulnerable walking or wheeling residents
  11. Investment in walking programs (10,000 Steps, Heart Foundation Walking, parkrun and local bushwalking groups) through local funding, resources and supportive

We know how important a safe and healthy community is to you. Walking and cycling facilities are one of the lowest cost services that you can provide to your residents to improve their health and wellbeing, generate better community cohesion and create benefits for local business.

Thank you for your interest in supportive active communities. We would be happy to talk to you about how you can support our organisations and the localised active travel and recreation of neighbourhoods for your residents, businesses, and visitors.

For any further queries, contact Helen Donovan, Executive Director helen.donovan@walkingsa.org.au or 0457 006 620 on behalf of Walking SA, the Bicycle Institute of South Australia, Bike SA and the National Heart Foundation of Australia.

On behalf of Walking SA, Heart Foundation, Bicycle Institute of South Australia and Bike SA.

Pedestrian safety in the Adelaide CBD – why are there no 25km/h school zones?

The area of the Adelaide CBD and road network within 200 metres of a school

Across South Australia zones around schools have a 25km/h limit within 200m of a school, marked with zig zag lines. Except in the CBD. Although there are more than 150 educational institutions here, you won’t see any zig zag lines or school zone signs.

The nine major schools in the CBD have been mapped, showing where the 200m zones would be. 20% of the City’s streets would be within school zones if they were anywhere else in the State.

It seems that we as a community have decided that it is so important to move traffic quickly on the City’s streets that normal safety standards protecting our children should not apply. And this is despite the City having by far the highest number of pedestrians being hit in the State. The most common time for pedestrian crashes are on weekdays and between 8-9am and 3-4pm, that is, when children are going to and from school.

If we are not to have 20% of our streets subject to 25km/h speed limits when school children are present, surely a broad 40km/h speed limit seems reasonable?

Walking SA and the Heart Foundation commend the upgrade to automated pedestrian crossings

The City of Adelaide recently automated signalised pedestrian crossings throughout the city in response to COVID-19. Research shows that automated pedestrian crossings lead to a significant reduction in vehicle-pedestrian conflicts and Walking SA and the Heart Foundation have received a lot of positive feedback from members of the public who are enjoying the results of this initiative.

Given the support of this ‘pilot’ implementation of automated signalised pedestrian crossings, the Heart Foundation and Walking SA call for the City of Adelaide to make this change permanent.

View statement (PDF)

The call

Letter from Walking SA and Heart Foundation.

7 April 2020

The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of Adelaide Sandy Verschoor
City of Adelaide GPO Box 2252
ADELAIDE SA 5001

Dear Lord Mayor

Re: Successful implementation of automated pedestrian signalling

The Heart Foundation and Walking SA are the leading organisations in South Australian championing walking and active living for health, transport and recreation.

Our vision is to see more people walking more often.

We would like to commend the City of Adelaide on its recent automation of signalised pedestrian crossings throughout the city. Research shows that automated pedestrian crossings leads to a significant reduction in vehicle-pedestrian conflicts 1.

We have received positive feedback from members of the public who applaud your initiative in taking this action.

Not only does this automation prioritise the immediate community health concerns relating to COVID-19, it also shows a demonstrable priority for public health more generally by improving the experience of pedestrians. As the environment is improved for pedestrians, more people will choose to walk to their destinations.

Given the acceptance of this ‘pilot’ implementation of automated signalised pedestrian crossings, the Heart Foundation and Walking SA call for the City of Adelaide to make this change permanent.

Along with making this initiative permanent, we see an opportunity to alter signal timing to give pedestrians more walk time. For more information please see Walking SA’s position statement on improving pedestrian signal phasing – https://www.walkingsa.org.au/our-work/position- statements/the-green-man/

More people walking contributes to economic vitality, a carbon neutral state, reduces congestion, builds social cohesion, and promotes our state as a great place to visit and live. It also reduces burden on our health system by reducing individuals’ risk of chronic disease and promoting mental wellbeing.

If you would like further information please contact the Walking SA Executive Director at office@walkingsa.org.au.

Yours sincerely

Imelda Lynch
Chief Executive SA/NT
Heart Foundation
Tuesday Udell
Chairperson
Walking SA
  1. Hughes, R., Huang, H., Zegeer, C., & Cynecki, M. (2000). Automated Detection of Pedestrians in Conjunction with Standard Pedestrian Push Buttons at Signalized Intersections. Transportation Research Record, 1705(1), 32–39. https://doi.org/10.3141/1705-06

Slow down on Hindley Street safer for everyone

Here at Walking SA we commend the City of Adelaide for taking action to protect the tens of thousands of residents and visitors that visit Hindley Street each week, by lowering the speed to 30km/h. Average speeds were measured as between 20km/h and 27km/h anyway.

A recent report shows the majority of ‘hit pedestrian’ casualty crashes occurs in Adelaide city centre, where for the 5-year monitoring period there were 222 casualty crashes. Around 26% of these casualty crashes were either serious or fatal.

Many of these crashes are completely avoidable or could be reduced in severity by slowing down vehicles to 30 km/h where there is high pedestrian activity.

Hindley Street West has had a trial 30km/h speed limit in place since April 2015 and has resulted in a safer environment for everyone.

Back in 2018 we got in touch with the Lord Mayor of Adelaide calling for lower speed limits in Hindley Street and other areas in the CBD where there is high pedestrian activity, so it’s good to see the new 30km/h limit in place.

Is it pedestrians or drivers who need to give way?

If you are walking across a road that a driver is entering or leaving, do you know who has to give way?  Perhaps it’s a good thing if you don’t and are hesitant, because if you a confident that you do know, you could be wrong.

It probably won’t surprise you that a 2006 study found that in 20% of cases, both the pedestrian and the driver thought that they had the right of way.  We can only hope that they don’t both enter the intersection at the same time.

We are gratified to see that the State Government is removing left turn slip lanes in areas with lots of people walking, because too many drivers think that they have the right of way, when they don’t.

It doesn’t help that on this question, states often go their own way, with different rules in different parts of the country.

The South Australian Road Rules (Rule 353) say that, at an unsignalized intersection, the driver turning to enter into a road that a pedestrian is crossing has to give way to the pedestrian.  But if the driver is leaving the road that the pedestrian is crossing, it is the driver who has right of way.  If you think this is bizarre when the pedestrian is walking across the side street of an arterial road, we agree with you!

A recent article in The Conversation argues that the road rules should be amended to require drivers to give way to pedestrians at all intersections, with those that don’t have signals to be legally treated as if they were marked pedestrian crossings. “We should think of these intersections as spaces where vehicles cross an implicit continuous footpath, rather than as places where people cross a vehicular lane.”

The images below show how the intersection of The Parade and Edward Street looks now, and how it looks in the proposed Masterplan.

The images below show how the intersection of The Parade and Edward Street looks now, and how it looks in the proposed Masterplan

The proposal would embolden a pedestrian crossing Edward Street.  Hopefully a motorist turning left into the Parade wouldn’t try to assert their legal right of way.

One comforting thought is that, no matter where you are in the country, a motorist has a duty of care and must stop for any pedestrians who are already crossing the road.

Tragedy, Sadness and Healing

Tragedy in the North

Climbing the Great Wall at Moonarie Gap

Climbing the Great Wall at Moonarie Gap

The news that two climbers had died at Moonarie Gap, on the escarpments of Wilpena Pound, came out of nowhere. Immediate thoughts were with the families and friends of the two young men. We learnt that the cliff at Moonarie is a renowned climbing destination so thoughts included the local and international climbing communities. But the effect on the traditional custodians of the land was a wake-up call for the climbing and the walking communities alike.

The reaction of the Adnyamathanha, the indigenous nation of the northern Flinders Ranges, was unexpected. It was immediately evident that an impact on climbing and walking in, around and beyond the Wilpena Pound was a distinct possibility. I am a back-packing walker of the northern Flinders Ranges going back to the 1960s and a Heysen Trail end-to-ender but this was new to me. What should I think? What should we think? How should we react, if at all?

Map of where Moonarie Gap is on Wilpena Pound

I wrestled considerably with my thoughts, and the thoughts of others, until I came to three words: Respect, Listen, Learn. This story is about the follow-up of users of this wonderful country, in recent times and over thousands of years.

Continue reading article

Even though October’s WalktoberSA is ending, there’s still plenty of walking opportunities

With October ending we’re wrapping up our WalktoberSA month-long promotion of all things walking.

Even with the warm weather ahead, there’s always plenty of places in South Australia to explore on foot:

• With 600+ walks on our website, it’s easy to find somewhere to walk
• Or grab one of themed “best-walk” lists

Like what you’ve been seeing? We need your support to help us promote walking opportunities throughout the year. October’s #WalktoberSA was possible through a grant from the State Government via the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing.

We are the peak body in SA for walking, but we’re a not-for-profit organisation with only a little help from the government so we rely on supporters, just like you, to promote walking to all South Australians.

If you’re able to, please support our work for as little as $22 per year. Support us.

Week 3 Winners of School Kids “View from my walk” Competition

The winners of our third week of our School Kids “view from my walk” competition are:

Thanks to Scout Outdoor Centre they have won a $50 voucher.

Throughout October take a photo of something you love or find interesting as you walk to or from school. Use the hashtags #walktoberSA and #way2go to enter our competition for a chance to win a weekly prize. Thanks to Scout Outdoor Centre there are two $50 vouchers up for grabs for each school week.

The competition has run for the first 3 weeks of Term 4.

More walking = more fun = less cars = safer children.

Looking for some tips to help you plan your family’s active travel to and from school?
Visit the Way2Go website at dpti.sa.gov.au/Way2Go or Google “Way2Go families”.

View what others have shared.

The competition commences on Monday 14 October and closes on Thursday 31 October. Competition prizes will be announced weekly on Monday 21 October, Monday 28 October and Thursday 31 October. View the full Competition Terms & Conditions.

This October there are two competitions:

  • Competition #1: ANYONE: Share your “view from my walk” photo for a chance to win a weekly prize throughout October
  • Competition #2: SCHOOL KIDS: Take a photo of something you love or find interesting as you walk to or from school. Use the hashtags #walktoberSA and #way2go to enter our competition for a chance to win a weekly prize during Weeks 1, 2 or 3 of Term 4

The competition is part of Walktober – celebrating walking throughout October.

Week 2 Winners of School Kids “View from my walk” Competition

The winner of our second week of our School Kids “view from my walk” competition is Katie Fotheringham, with a photo of her and the kids walking along the road to Watervale Primary School.

Thanks to Scout Outdoor Centre they have won a $50 voucher.

Throughout October take a photo of something you love or find interesting as you walk to or from school. Use the hashtags #walktoberSA and #way2go to enter our competition for a chance to win a weekly prize. Thanks to Scout Outdoor Centre there are two $50 vouchers up for grabs for each school week.

The competition will run for the first 3 weeks of Term 4.

More walking = more fun = less cars = safer children.

Looking for some tips to help you plan your family’s active travel to and from school?
Visit the Way2Go website at dpti.sa.gov.au/Way2Go or Google “Way2Go families”.

View what others have shared.

The competition commences on Monday 14 October and closes on Thursday 31 October. Competition prizes will be announced weekly on Monday 21 October, Monday 28 October and Thursday 31 October. View the full Competition Terms & Conditions.

This October there are two competitions:

  • Competition #1: ANYONE: Share your “view from my walk” photo for a chance to win a weekly prize throughout October
  • Competition #2: SCHOOL KIDS: Take a photo of something you love or find interesting as you walk to or from school. Use the hashtags #walktoberSA and #way2go to enter our competition for a chance to win a weekly prize during Weeks 1, 2 or 3 of Term 4

The competition is part of Walktober – celebrating walking throughout October.

Week 4 Winners of “View from my walk” Competition

The winners for our third week of our “view from my walk” competition are:

  1. Instagram user @scottp180 with a photo of spring flowers found when exploring the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens. There’s plenty of trails in the gardens to walk, including a wheelchair and pram accessible walk around the lake.
  2. Instagram user @melbohall22 with a photo of a Forester moth on a fairy fanflower in Spring Gully Conservation Park near Clare. There are three trails in the park exploring the gullies and ridges.

Thanks to Scout Outdoor Centre they have each won a $50 voucher.

Throughout October share your “view from my walk” photo using the hashtag #walktoberSA to enter our competition for a chance to win a weekly prize. Thanks to Scout Outdoor Centre there are two $50 vouchers up for grabs each week throughout October.

Take a walk in a nearby park, along the beach, along a river, in a national park or on your walk to work – anywhere in South Australia. With over 600 ideas of places to walk around SA there’s always somewhere nearby to explore on foot.

View what others have shared.

View the Competition Terms & Conditions.

Good luck and enjoy a walk! You’re just two feet from some of the best places in South Australia.

This October there are two competitions:

  • Competition #2: SCHOOL KIDS: Take a photo of something you love or find interesting as you walk to or from school. Use the hashtags #walktoberSA and #way2go to enter our competition for a chance to win a weekly prize during Weeks 1, 2 or 3 of Term 4
  • Competition #1: ANYONE: Share your “view from my walk” photo for a chance to win a weekly prize throughout October

The competition is part of Walktober – celebrating walking throughout October.

Conference Presentation: Getting More Green Man Time

Walking SA Board member, Ian Radbone, presented at the 2019 Australian Walking & Cycling Conference which was held in Port Adelaide on 24 & 25 October 2019. The theme of the conference was Active Transport in a Changing Climate.

Presentation: Getting More Green Man Time

Pedestrian phase + cycle time. Flashing src=Australia has developed the most sophisticated traffic light management in the world, designed to minimize the disruption to traffic flow caused by intersections. How does this management apply to Adelaide’s CBD, characterised as it is by:

  1. being a city centre
  2. having a strong orthogonal (grid) street network and
  3. wide roadways?

How is the imperative to minimize traffic disruption reconciled with the professed political priority for walking over other transport modes? This paper explores the options to gain more green man time.

View Walking SA’s Position Statement on The Green Man: Improving pedestrian signal phasing at intersections and other signalised crossing points. Walking SA calls for the development of state-wide pedestrian traffic signal guidelines. Walking SA calls for councils to review pedestrian signal phasing at intersections and crossing points in busy pedestrian areas, in order to reduce pedestrian wait times.

About Ian Radbone

Ian Radbone, member of Walking SA BoardIan has a passion for active transport, particularly in urban areas. Ian is a former chair of the Bicycle Institute of SA but has also been recruited to the Board of Walking SA to promote walking as a transport activity.

With a background in transport research, town planning and public policy at the UniSA, he has a wealth of experience in transport planning, advocacy and policy development.

Conference Presentation: Measuring walking and walkability

Walking SA Board member, Bill Gehling, presented at the 2019 Australian Walking & Cycling Conference which was held in Port Adelaide on 24 & 25 October 2019. The theme of the conference was Active Transport in a Changing Climate.

Presentation: Measuring walking and walkability

Along with breathing clean air and drinking clean water, walking is so much a given in our lives that people rarely think about it. Until they can’t. Bill will discuss why measuring walking is important, and the challenges in doing so. We will explore some practical methods to measure walking and how they differ from the ways we measure car and bicycle traffic. We will also discuss walkability, which are the causal factors that encourage or discourage walking in the community. We’ll look at the new technologies becoming available to measure walking and walkability.

View the supporting Technical Notes.

About Bill Gehling

Bill has a lifetime’s love of walking and cycling, as well as a career in science, information technology and policy, measuring and counting things that matter. He is on the Board of Walking SA.

To walk, or to run?

To walk, or to run? Turns out it doesn't matter, as long as your activity is aerobic - in that it raises your heart rate and gets you moving and sweating for a sustained period.

To walk, or to run?
In other words, if you’re looking to improve your health, is it better to commit to an occasional all-out sweat fest, or incorporate more walking and moving into your day?

A study suggests there’s an answer to this years-old conundrum: It doesn’t matter.

Research from the American Heart Association suggests that it doesn’t matter as long as your workouts fall into one category: aerobic exercise – defined as any movement that raises your heart rate and gets you moving and sweating for a sustained period.

An easy, regular walk or run to get involved in is parkrun. With 35 locations around South Australia each Saturday morning, Parkrun welcomes walkers as well as runners. Parkruns are free, socially-focussed 5km community events. Everyone in the community is invited to get involved – as walkers, runners and volunteers. It’s a great community, you’ll meet new people, and enjoy the coffee afterwards at a local cafe or meeting place.

Source:
Moderate‐to‐Vigorous Physical Activity and All‐Cause Mortality: Do Bouts Matter?
Published 22 Mar 2018, Journal of the American Heart Association. 2018;7:e007678

Week 3 Winners of “View from my walk” Competition

The winners for our third week of our “view from my walk” competition are:

  1. Instagram user @amyallman with a photo of a fun family day out exploring Mount Lofty Botanic Garden. With plenty of trails its a great place to explore on foot. View photo.
  2. Instagram user @lambfarmer with a photo walking the trails up to Mt Magnificent. View photo. The trail is a 3.5km loop up to the summit.

Thanks to Scout Outdoor Centre they have each won a $50 voucher.

Throughout October share your “view from my walk” photo using the hashtag #walktoberSA to enter our competition for a chance to win a weekly prize. Thanks to Scout Outdoor Centre there are two $50 vouchers up for grabs each week throughout October.

Take a walk in a nearby park, along the beach, along a river, in a national park or on your walk to work – anywhere in South Australia. With over 600 ideas of places to walk around SA there’s always somewhere nearby to explore on foot.

View what others have shared.

View the Competition Terms & Conditions.

Good luck and enjoy a walk! You’re just two feet from some of the best places in South Australia.

This October there are two competitions:

  • Competition #2: SCHOOL KIDS: Take a photo of something you love or find interesting as you walk to or from school. Use the hashtags #walktoberSA and #way2go to enter our competition for a chance to win a weekly prize during Weeks 1, 2 or 3 of Term 4
  • Competition #1: ANYONE: Share your “view from my walk” photo for a chance to win a weekly prize throughout October

The competition is part of Walktober – celebrating walking throughout October.