New Position Statements by Walking SA: The Green Man; Walking Safely to School; Quality Footpaths

Our vision here at Walking SA’s is to see more people walking more often. We’ve recently developed three new Position Statements on a range of issues affecting people walking for recreation, health, or transport.

Over coming months we’ll be releasing more.

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.


Enable and encourage children to walk and cycle safely to school

Walking SA encourages the government to develop an integrated active travel strategy that includes boosting of funds for implementing the Way2Go program in every school in SA.


Quality footpaths: Pedestrian infrastructure that encourages people to walk

We need a pedestrian environment that encourages and not discourages people to walk to local destinations. Footpaths are fundamental to people’s ability to walk about in urban areas including to and from public transport. The quality of the pedestrian environment indicates much we value walking in our society. Indeed, it is a key marker on how civilized and sophisticated a society is.

Streets for People strategy to upgrade Hart St, Semaphore

Work began yesterday on converting Hart Street, a four lane arterial road, into a much more pedestrian friendly street, using the Streets for People approach. Hart Street links Semaphore and Port Adelaide. It will be converted from two lanes in each direction to one lane, with additional landscaping and a separated bike lane.

The project will create a walkable environment, with better access to community facilities for everyone. With an enhanced look and feel of Hart Street, a healthy, friendly neighbourhood will be created. The removal of surplus traffic lanes will create an appropriate, balanced road environment for everyone.

As well as having fewer lanes to cross, pedestrians will benefit from a speed limit reduction from 60 to 50km/h, kerb extensions and median refuges.

Read more at infrastructure.sa.gov.au. View a detailed diagram.

The pedestrian traffic rule which is sure to surprise many motorists

A Victoria Walks report suggests that at unsignalised intersections drivers should have given way in 42 per cent of crashes involving older pedestrians.

It’s common knowledge that pedestrians have right of way when using a zebra crossing. But it might come as a surprise to motorists that they must give way to those crossing a side street if they plan to turn into it.

While the same rule applies for drivers across all states in Australia, the rule was not one drivers were fully aware of.

The definition of ‘give way’ means avoiding the chance of collision – the rule doesn’t mean pedestrians can come and go as they please. If you as a driver encounter a situation where someone has stepped onto the road before you turn you have to give way. Good advice to drivers is to be extra cautious when making turns and to check for pedestrians as well as cyclists.

Walktober 2018 Initiative Funded

WalktoberSA 2018, header image

Walking SA has been successful in receiving funding from the Office for Recreation and Sport for its Walktober 2018 initiative. This builds on the promotion and events we conducted throughout October 2017, including the key Trails Less Travelled event. We’ve got some great ideas to expand upon 2017’s initiatives to further meet our vision: to see more people walking more often.

We’re seeking to expand this year’s Walktober promotions by exploring potential opportunities with like-minded partners. We’d love to chat to organisations, walking groups and businesses to explore opportunities to collaborate in the fields of walking for health, leisure and transport, inclusive walking, and engaging with a diverse range of people from the community.

This is a significant opportunity for Walking SA’s members to promote walking in their club or organisation as well as reach out to the community at large to promote the vision of more people walking more often. Some ideas we’d like to explore:-

  • Collaborate to promote walking events in October
  • Events such as “Come and Try Days” and Guided Walks that could encourage walking and potential membership
  • Walking events and initiatives that promote inclusive walking, or engage with a diverse range of people from the community
  • Other opportunities for promoting walking

Please contact Walking SA to discuss opportunities as to how we might collaborate to promote walking in Walktober 2018.

Our focus on improving advocacy for walking

The voice of the people was heard about the sale of a section of Kangaroo Island coastline.

Here at Walking SA we are focussed on improving our advocacy for walking and on behalf of the walking community of South Australia.

Over recent months we’ve been involved with:

  1. Improving pedestrian crossings and crossing times on North Terrace with new RAH, SAHMRI and research precincts. We’ve been meeting with the Department of Transport Planning and Infrastructure to improve this.
  2. Input focussed on walking into the SA Health Public Health Plan Review
  3. Australian Adventure Activity Standards in consultation with Bushwalking Australia. After much discussion Bushwalking Australia will be finalising details shortly.
  4. Kangaroo Island coastline proposed sale to a private developer – Walking SA along with many other individuals and organisations including Friends of the Heysen Trail lodged a formal objection to this consideration. The voice of the people was heard and the Minister has advised that it will not proceed.
  5. Ongoing monitoring of gazetted changes to land use, such as unmade road reserves with review and lodging objections as appropriate when walking trail use or high-value potential walking trail use is compromised.

Of ongoing significant concern is still the issue of shared paths. This is still causing significant alarm to us and our members and the walking community at large. We will continue to make presentation to state and local government to address ways to improve the situation for all trail users. If you have issues of concern and examples of problems please get in touch with us.

Walking faster may lead to a longer, healthier life

For people aged over 60, the benefits of walking at a fast pace increased

For people aged over 60, the benefits of walking at a fast pace increased

Walking at an average pace was associated with a 20 per cent risk reduction for all-cause mortality compared with walking at a slow pace, and walking at a fast pace was associated with a 24 per cent risk reduction.

For people aged over 60, the benefits increased: an average walking pace was associated with a 45 per cent reduction in cardiovascular disease risk, and fast or brisk walking, a 55 per cent reduction.

The study by Sydney University analysed more than 50,200 walkers. Their most valuable message is that you’ve got to huff and puff and step up the pace until you’re out of breath, because that will lead to improvements.

And another study in Canada has confirmed what many people already believed: Walking for older people, even less than the recommended guidelines and only at moderate speed, can add years to your life. The 13-year study followed 140,000 people with an average age of 70.

Experts have calculated some best practice guidelines for time spent walking weekly. It’s about 150 minutes of moderately intense activity, or about 30 minutes five times a week, with about half that — 75 minutes a week — as a minimum.

But the study has found that even if you’re not meeting the minimum, the act of walking is still extremely valuable.

“Even a little walking might help you live longer. It’s been called a perfect exercise, it’s easy, cheap, doesn’t require special equipment and it doesn’t even have to be fast walking. Most of the participants said they walked about four kilometres an hour.”

‘One million steps’ campaign to get Aussies off the couch

On Sunday 25 March the Heart Foundation and the Prime Minister announced a new walking initiative – the Prime Minister’s One million steps. Between now and 11 August, Australians across the country are encouraged to start walking and clock up their steps. The more they walk, the more they’ll be rewarded – with app badges and entries to prize draws. Reach 1 million steps, and they’ll enter the prize draw for an Auswalk holiday!

The Prime Minister’s One million steps is open to individuals via the Heart Foundation Walking app, and Heart Foundation Walking groups.

Sign up before 31 March and you’ll be in the draw to win a $100 rebel voucher – just download the app or tick the sign-up box in your Heart Foundation Walking profile.

Individual walkers can join by:

  • downloading the Heart Foundation Walking app
  • syncing the app to their fitness tracker (Apple Health, Google Fit or Fitbit)
  • as they walk they’ll automatically enter prize draws for 100,000 steps, 250,000 steps, 500,000 steps, 750,000 steps and 1 million steps

Heart Foundation Walking group members can join by:

  • ticking the ‘yes’ box on their online profile to join the Prime Minister’s One million steps (or their Walk Organiser can tick the box for them)
  • joining their regular walks
  • as they walk, they’ll automatically enter prize draws for 10, 25, 50, 75 and 100 group walks.

Entry is open to everyone, it’s free and you can sign up all the way to 11 August and still enter the prize draws.

Counting Walking to Make Walking Count

To cross from the parklands to the nRAH took 5 minutes over three sets of lights, and to cross from the nRAH over to the Newmarket we waited 3 minutes and 30 seconds for the green man, which did not stay green long enough for us to get across all of the 6 car lanes.

It is generally taken for granted that we measure current motor vehicle travel and predict future vehicle travel through transport models. But the measurement of walking is often piecemeal and reactive. There are few serious attempts to systematically estimate future walking. In addition the things that we value the most in our streets, such as the quality of the public realm, places to sit, and space for pedestrians are rarely given a quantified value, and hence are often value engineered out when budgets get tight.

That’s according to Darren Davis, Transport and Land Use Integration Programme Manager from Auckland City Council when he was hosted by the Heart Foundation for a 3 day visit to Adelaide. Darren presented to the South Australian Active Living Coalition on his work boosting the number of people using public transport and, walking and cycling in Auckland.

Darren commissioned the research report Measuring Pedestrian Delay into how much walking is done in Auckland’s city centre, how much delay pedestrians experience due to traffic lights and crowded footpaths, and how much this costs both them and the economy.

The research has calculated that the benefits of a planned conversion of Auckland’s main shopping street to a transit mall will be over $700,000 benefits per block per year. The annual cost of pedestrian delay at just one of the intersections measured was $2.2M.

While he was in Adelaide Walking SA board members Tuesday Udell (Heart Foundation) and Ian Radbone (BISA) took Darren for a walk down North Terrace to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital. There are a number of issues for those walking and cycling in the west end of North Tce, including the need for safe crossing points, and improving the pedestrian priority at existing signalised crossings. To cross from the parklands to the nRAH took 5 minutes over three sets of lights, and to cross from the nRAH over to the Newmarket we waited 3 minutes and 30 seconds for the green man, which did not stay green long enough for us to get across all of the 6 car lanes.

The Walking SA board members will be meeting with DPTI executive later this month to discuss how to make things better and safer for pedestrians at the western end of North Terrace.

For more information view the report Measuring Pedestrian Delay.

Churchill Scholarship SA

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust has undertaken to recognize and perpetuate the work of some of our outstanding Fellows.  As such the Churchill Fellows Association of South Australia would like to build on the work of Terry Lavender by raising funds to create a one-off fellowship titled The Terry Lavender Churchill Fellowship – To investigate ways to develop, improve, manage and promote outdoor recreational trails and pursuits to be awarded in 2018.

For more information contact annie.wcf@gmail.com

Walktober 2017 a success

Walktober 2017 built upon the success of Walktober 2016 and worked across many activities:

  • The themed “best walk” lists encouraged people to explore more walking opportunities, proving once again to be popular and engaging. The lists are an effective way to reach people through the State, regardless of where they live. The lists of Accessible walks, prams walks and kid-friendly walks were popular.
  • The “view from my walk” social media promotion was a success, building upon previous years and Walking SA’s rising profile to receive more entries. It saw significantly increased engagement compared to previous year. Over 600 public entries were made on social media. There was a broad range of walking experiences, including walking for transport (suburban) and walking for leisure and health (hiking, evening walks, park walks).
  • Overall the major event “Trails Less Travelled” was a success, connecting people with walking resources and promoting the many walking opportunities that are alternatives to the popular Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty walking trail. The event encouraged more people to walk more often. The event helped to position Walking SA as a knowledge leader and conduit to discover walking destinations in SA.
  • The Walking SA 2017 Walking Awards promoted and recognized the role and contribution of walking in our community. The program was more successful than last year which raised the profile and awareness of walking. This places the program in a good position for further reach in future years.
  • The events calendar and supported events connected people with more and new walking opportunities.

Email subscriptions grew by 34% (700 subscribers), and individual financial membership grew by 18 people, which are both generally consistent with marketing funnels

Find out more about the promotion at walkingsa.org.au/walktober

Share your “view from my walk” for a chance to win a weekly prize throughout October

Share your “view from my walk” photo using #walktoberSA for a chance to win a weekly prize 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 #SouthAustralia. October is ideal for walking – the temperatures are mild and the evenings are getting longer.

The weekly prizes for the fourth week, thanks to Rays, is a chance to win a $250 voucher. With Rays you can find gear to go for a hike, a paddle, or camp, and outdoor clothing and footwear for men, women and kids.

This week’s prizes will be drawn Monday 30/10/17.

Last week’s winners were announced just now on Facebook and Instagram, and the winning photos are displayed below.

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

Enter via Instagram or Twitter. Facebook users can post direct to our page to share their photo.

View T&C.

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

Week 3’s Winners

The winners for the third week of October, thanks to National Parks SA, have one of 6 National Parks Passes or one of two 2 Family Passes for Cleland Wildlife Park. Walk, cycle, holiday, hike, camp, 4WD, swim and more in inspiring natural places. From seemingly endless red sand dunes to rugged mountain scenery, sandy beaches, diverse bushland and cherished picnic and camping grounds, South Australia boasts an extensive and comprehensive parks system.

Share your “view from my walk” for a chance to win a weekly prize throughout October

Share your “view from my walk” photo using #walktoberSA for a chance to win a weekly prize 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. October is ideal for walking – the temperatures are mild and the evenings are getting longer.

The weekly prizes for the third week, thanks to National Parks SA, is a chance to win one of 6 National Parks Passes or 2 Family Passes for Cleland Wildlife Park. Walk, cycle, holiday, hike, camp, 4WD, swim and more in inspiring natural places. From seemingly endless red sand dunes to rugged mountain scenery, sandy beaches, diverse bushland and cherished picnic and camping grounds, South Australia boasts an extensive and comprehensive parks system.

This week’s prizes will be drawn Sunday 23/10/17.

Last week’s winners were announced yesterday on Facebook and Instagram.

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

Enter via Instagram or Twitter. Facebook users can post direct to the Walking SA Facebook page to share their photo.

View T&C.

The competition is part of #walktoberSA – celebrating walking throughout October.

Take a walk – the perfect way to clear your mind and balance life

We chatted with Chris “Savvy” Savill, from the Hills Hikers Walking Group, and he told us of his experience of walking and how it helped him to think things through and clear his mind during hard times, which is timely given that this week is Mental Health Week.

He shared this video and writes:

Sitting comfortably there? Are you snug in your home? Look out the window. Out there you will see one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, and it’s right on your doorstep. I don’t know about you, but just the thought of that alone excites me, and fills me with the urge to get out there to explore. There are many ways to navigate the amazing landscape of South Australia and beyond, but the best way by far is on foot. When walking or hiking, one is in constant contact with their surroundings, which stimulates every single one of the senses.

There are many benefits to walking. Of course, everyone knows that it’s good for you physically as it keeps you fit and gets your heart pumping, but walking is also very good for your mental health as well. Many entrepreneurs and successful business people such as Sir Richard Branson go walking when they need to make important decisions. Sir Richard often skips having business meetings in a boardroom like most people, and instead opts for a “walking meeting” – as walking helps stimulate the brain which in turn leads to a clearer thought process.

Walking is amazing for your mental wellbeing. If you have depression or are going through a rough spot in your life, try spending some time outside and taking a walk, surrounding yourself with nature. This helps to get away from the distractions of everyday things and to clear your mind. Walking soothes the soul, and is very therapeutic.

I recently myself went though some hard times, and walking was my “go to” thing. It helped me think things through and it really cleared my head of all the problems that were fogging my mind. I literally walked my way out of depression.

I also use walking to “unwind” from my busy lifestyle. I work in mainstream media as part of a TV crew, which can be a high pressure job at times, and extremely stressful, so just getting outside and going for a walk – if its just a couple of kilometres, or a long day hike- is a great way for me to relax.

I mentioned before how diverse the Australian landscape can be, and what I love about hiking in South Australia is how easy it is to experience this diversity in one’s local area. You can experience walking through the serenity of Kuipto Forest and surround yourself with the towering trees, or you can visit the rugged bushland of Morialta Conservation Park and clamber over the rocks. Alternatively, you can head a little further north and experience the untouched landscape of the outback that’s just begging to be explored. There’s an added bonus to walking as well, which is that you get to see and experience an array of different wildlife that also calls South Australia home. A lot of people take the wildlife for granted, but take a moment to ponder that… most of the animals here are unique to Australia – it’s the only place you can see them in the world. Experience them with your eyes though, not your hands.

Walking has totally improved me as a person in many ways. I am naturally the “outdoors type” and have been trained in survival, navigation, first aid and have an expedition qualification thanks to my ex-military days. Walking and hiking has kept my skills up to scratch, and over the years with thanks to technological advancements, it easy to use technology to also enhance your outdoor experience by following guided walks on your smart device, and using it as a navigational tool, and power these devices by using small portable solar panels when they need a recharge. However, it’s easy to forget that we shouldn’t be 100% reliant on that smart device as there may be poor signal reception, or none at all down that beaten track. Pack the old school map as well.

I have made many friends from walking, as it’s a great way to socialise. I had more and more people ask to come along for walks with me, which led me to creating my own walking group that I have lovingly called “the Hills Hikers” (You can find us on Facebook).

Walking is even better when you can share the experience with friends! So grab your walking buddy and hit those trails. Use Walking SA’s WalktoberSA as a launching pad to experience the exciting. See you out on the trails. Maybe our paths will cross, who knows… but if they do, I will give you a high five as we pass!

Chris “Savvy” Savill
Hills Hikers Walking Group | Savill Sound

Throughout October we’re celebrating walking with WalktoberSA. Looking for somewhere to walk or hike? Check out our lists of best walks and hikes.

Share your “view from my walk” for a chance to win a weekly prize throughout October

Share your “view from my walk” for a chance to win a weekly prize throughout OctoberShare your “view from my walk” photo using #walktoberSA for a chance to win a weekly prize 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. October is ideal for walking – the temperatures are mild and the evenings are getting longer.

The weekly prizes for the first week, thanks to ioMerino are two $50 vouchers. ioMerino not only make natural, lightweight, breathable, all-weather layers that will keep you comfortable for longer, they also happen to be a local South Australian company!

This week’s prizes will be drawn Sunday 15/10/17.

Last week’s winners were announced yesterday on Facebook and Instagram.

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

Enter via Instagram or Twitter. Facebook users can post direct to the Walking SA Facebook page to share their photo.

View T&C.

The competition is part of #walktoberSA – celebrating walking throughout October.

Share your “view from my walk” for a chance to win a weekly prize throughout October

Share your “view from my walk” photo using #walktoberSA for a chance to win a weekly prize 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. October is ideal for walking – the temperatures are mild and the evenings are getting longer.

The weekly prizes for the first week, thanks to Scout Outdoor Centre are:

  • Stay hydrated with this in your pack! Camelbak 2L Crux Reservoir RRP$69.95
  • Black Diamond head torch RRP$79.95

This week’s prizes will be drawn Sunday 8/10/17.

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

Enter via Instagram or Twitter. Facebook users can post direct to the Walking SA Facebook page to share their photo.

View T&C.

The competition is part of #walktoberSA – celebrating walking throughout October.