Traffic Management and Cycling

fat and old
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Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby fat and old » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:02 pm

Completed a biannual refresher today. The trainer was a conundrum.....quite intelligent as far as the subject matter went, kept our attention for 7 hrs, happy to help out. Also rabidly anti cyclist (which is why the course went at least an extra half hour) and the most passive aggressive racist I’ve encountered in years, and coming from my industry that’s saying something. It was an experience trying to get the cyclist POV across.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby Strawburger » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:30 pm

After working with so many diverse groups within the roads industry, traffic controllers are the most narrow minded people I have met.

On one occasion I have had a traffic control company lie to my face in a meeting where they didn't admit liability where every other person in the room gave evidence that proved they were in fact liable.
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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby human909 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:26 pm

When you have spent your entire life living and breathing cars. Most of those around you hate cyclists, it takes quite a broad minded person to think differently.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:41 pm

@fatandold - can you share a bit more about the context, what the training was for and who conducts it.

My own experience was half-day courses to be a traffic controller/warden - the end goal was eligibility to be a race warden for cycling races on open roads. The format has possibly significantly changed and it is of interest to know why you did the course and how it was conducted.

As I have limited experience in the field - I am curious to understand how/why there would be a general resented towards bike riders (do they resent extra work or care required to ensure bike rider safety?)

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby duncanm » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:20 pm

well I guess its not rubbing off on the lolly pop people.

They always seem mindful of cyclists when approaching, often going out of their way to flip you the slow side of the sign so you don't need to stop.

I say thanks and almost always get a rejoinder back, or a nice joke.

Can't say I've ever had any problems.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby fat and old » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:48 pm

Sure.

In a nutshell there were actually two courses: one allows/accredits you to hold a lollipop...the Stop/Slow Bat, and one allows/accredits you to place Traffic Management devices on the road (signs including speed limits, VMS boards, Arrow boards, Portable Traffic Lights etc). You must use an approved TMP (Traffic Management Plan), and are allowed to make only minor changes to that plan, based on an R/A of the site on the day. If works cannot be safely carried out using that plan, you don’t work. It’s a very basic course in most ways hence the standard of Traffic Controllers getting about; the devil is in the detail of things go pear shaped. If major changes to the TMP are required, or if you want to formulate your own plans you are required to undertake a higher level of training and be accredited with Vic Roads to do so if you want to get an RWE (permit to undertake major T/M changes) for any job that involves a V/R road (even if that only means putting a sign advising works on a Council side street). Major changes include speed reductions, lane closures etc.

There are always grey/misunderstood areas due to different organisations (whether V/R, Council, Clients, Police et al) having different ideas on what is “correct”. eg. while some clients/organisations require retraining (essentially a VOC) every two years, some require a three year interval, and there is in fact no rule that mandates a set period. So I just apply the shortest, saves arguing.

Training is provided by an accredited RTO. These range from quite good to criminally useless in my experience. Further, the competency of that RTO can vary from course to course. The provider of our Confined Space training is the best in the business; I used them once for T/M and cut the course short when he tried to carry out a practical excersise on a live road using NSW signage.

Trainers are usually ex machine operators (Grader/Excavator/Scraper) and supervisors. They are typically Alpha males and prefer the easier life of education to site work whilst still having control over a group of people. They quite often are good communicators and educators; the reality is that the subjects they teach invariably have at least 30% content that most students simply don’t understand and they have to maintain the attention of those people who at that point simply lose interest. The students are there because they have to be, not because they want to. The usual method is to continue the course, pay attention to one or two students that are obviously trying and then do the assessment as a group excersise....i.e. give us the answers.

As for this blokes hatred, I’d say it was innate (the constant referring to shaved legs was a giveaway) and has been exacerbated by his interactions with cyclists on site. Make no mistake, cyclists can present the greatest challenge to having a safe worksite; and when they decide to be righteous or ignorant it is a challenge to let it go.

Edit: this is Victoria specific. While there is a National Standard for these courses, Victoria and Western Australia use there own in many cases. Signage and Regs obviously differ from state to state as well.
Last edited by fat and old on Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby NASHIE » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:00 pm

fat and old wrote: Make no mistake, cyclists can present the greatest challenge to having a safe worksite; and when they decide to be righteous or ignorant it is a challenge to let it go.


As a surveyor i have to work hand in hand with traffic guys and girls on some projects, and while i often have heavy debate with them on there angst against cyclist, I'm all to often just shaking my head in disbelieve at the conduct of probably 20 -30% of cyclists that just can not follow simple instruction.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby human909 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:32 pm

A pretty thorough overview of RTOs that likely applies to much of the 'training' and 'education' regarding work safety. I use training and education liberally here, because 90% of the time it is about ticking boxes rather than training and educating.

fat and old wrote:Make no mistake, cyclists can present the greatest challenge to having a safe worksite;

Um.... I'm sure you didn't mean it quite like that. I would be pretty hard to count the deaths and injuries caused on a worksite by cyclists. Manual lifting, power tools, motorists, ladders, EWPs, heavy machinery you can start counting....

NASHIE wrote:I'm all to often just shaking my head in disbelieve at the conduct of probably 20 -30% of cyclists that just can not follow simple instruction.

99% of the 'instructions' that cyclists received by the general public would reduce their safety if followed. And a very large proportion of signs and directions by various 'authorities' direct cyclist to do unsafe or ridiculous things.

Is it any wonder that it is ingrained in cyclists to ignore instructions no matter how simple? We constantly are training cyclists to ignore signs and directions why do you think they would listen 1% of the time when the directions are sensible?

Image
(I know this is the UK not Australia but similar ludicrous signage is common including on worksites. I've seen cyclists dismount signs placed on major roads which would direct the cyclist to dismount and walk in the roadway. :roll: )
Last edited by human909 on Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby NASHIE » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:41 pm

human909 wrote:
Is it any wonder that it is ingrained in 'SOME' cyclists to ignore instructions no matter how simple?
?

Some work zone signage can be very poor.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby NASHIE » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:59 pm

human909 wrote:(I know this is the UK not Australia but similar ludicrous signage is common including on worksites. I've seen cyclists dismount signs placed on major roads which would direct the cyclist to dismount and walk in the roadway. :roll: )


Yes i have questioned dismount signage in work zones before.

Observations of cyclist in work zones involves removing danger tape to traverse work zone because they can't be arsed going around the diversion (multiple daily occurrence on recent site) obviously the risk of an ankle injury or being backed over by a posi track is worth the 5min inconveniance. Jumping up to footpath and back to road to avoid the lollipop stop, again very common in CBD work sites. Honestly you would be very surprised at the risks some like to take.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby NASHIE » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:15 pm

As far as traffic management in bike races. Again some the hardest to manage are other cyclist not racing. Those of you from Perth may or may not know that its becoming increasingly harder to hold races in Pickering Brook partly due to the increasing angst against some very poor group ride form from local residents.

At the last race i marshalled the riders where given clear instruction to keep left of centre line at ALL times, with exclusion if caught. All riders that i observed managed that, but a non racing group ride of about 10 riders that came around the corner i was on nearly had head on with car, where some hit the gravel and went down the left hand side of the car. And who do reckon the finger got pointed at for that. Yep ALL cyclists. Again its these few riders that are just wrecking it for the rest of us.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby fat and old » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:42 pm

human909 wrote:
fat and old wrote:Make no mistake, cyclists can present the greatest challenge to having a safe worksite;

Um.... I'm sure you didn't mean it quite like that. I would be pretty hard to count the deaths and injuries caused on a worksite by cyclists. Manual lifting, power tools, motorists, ladders, EWPs, heavy machinery you can start counting....



That was quicker than I expected. Are you at work today? :lol:

I mean excactly what I said. The keys words are “can” as in not always and “safety” as in everyone on or passing through my site, not just workers. You misunderstood a bit.

The “dismount” sign goes directly to that when used in some situations. Some TMP’s will spec this when the person who has either devised it OR approved it has deemed it necessary to ensure the cyclists safety. They don’t consider the abilities of Peter Sagan here, more like mine :lol:

Consider this scenario (this actually exists (AT) the Dalton Rd/Childs Rd intersection right now, as well as many other asphalt resheet sites): a street is planed in preparation for a resheet. The job is done in two half’s, first one direction then another. Traffic is allowed on the section not being worked on. After planing the road has grooves, is rough where different layers of asphalt lift off and has some small stones here and there. Safe for a car, disconcerting for a M/C, potentially dangerous for an inexperienced or timid cyclist. Or the road has had a spray seal applied, has not settled and has loose stones about. Same thing. Sure, you, me and Joe CaptainCommuter are fine. The signs are not there for us. They are there for Joe I just got my 10,000 dollar bike today and what’s with these fancy pedals and 22mm tyres are fast!

Or there may be such limited road space during works that the planner/approver thinks that Cyclist/Motor Vehicle interaction is undesirable from an overall safety POV and specs that sign.

This is just a few thoughts on the whys and maybes....I know that as a persecuted cyclist it’s hard to believe that something has been done in good faith, but it happens.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby fat and old » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:20 pm

Further...

Cyclist can present a challenge in that they are more affected by the road surface than any other vehicle (incidentally one of my greatest challenges on that course was convincing the trainer that cycles were in fact a “vehicle”. Yes, you read that right) and their presence requires greater attention to said surface during and post works. The same standards are not applied to Lygon or Canning St as those applied to the Northern Hwy between Unakabanga West and Outhere East. Or in fact Bell St or the Nepean south of Glenhuntley or Warrigal Rd or you get the picture. We have to provide a safe road during and post work and cycles just add another layer to the equation. No biggie, it is what it is.

On directions. To limit the conversation to Cyclist Dismount signs is disingenuous. Directions could be verbal, through the use of the lollipop, through the use of a lane closure and so on. If I’m working on the side of road and there’s a cycle lane, I will close that lane if required. I have never used a dismount sign; I’ve not been directed to. Cycles can merge with the traffic and continue on as is their right. I can guarantee that during that shift I will have multiple issues with cyclists who see my lane closed and assume it’s for them. :lol: There should be no doubt, after all they are vehicles and subject to the same rules and regs as everyone else on the road. But there’s always a few. Ever swung an excavator bucket into the path of a cyclist who has decided that weaving among a work site after lifting the tape excluding him is a good idea? I have, and it sucks. This was an aberration, most are smart enough to pull back into the open lane when they get to us.

There’s right and wrong on both sides, unfortunately the fewer idiots on both make it harder for the good on either.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby Thoglette » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:21 pm

fat and old wrote: But there’s always a few. Ever swung an excavator bucket into the path of a XXXX who has decided that weaving among a work site after lifting the tape excluding him is a good idea?


You're so right. For me XXXX has included: QA/QC inspectors; Client senior management; off-site organisational representative; Or my favourite: someone else's subcontractor who's been ticked off and is loudly telling us where we can all stick our #%Wing worksite.
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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby fat and old » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:19 pm

Clients OH&S team once :lol: Worksafe inspectors, council inspectors, Police, the list goes on. Was the point of your post to illustrate the very “normalness” of cyclists or to deflect attention from the subject at hand?

Cyclists are not pedestrians. Pedestrian interaction on these sites is a whole different chapter in the Traffic Management novella; one I haven’t touched on deliberately. Yes, they can and do do the same stupid things as vehicles, at considerably more risk to themselves and less to us (drunk women in heels walking through nice, freshly laid and hot asphalt at 2.00am so they can jump onto the machine is a perennial fave, as is the 70 something ex Labourer wandering over, shifting our cage and standing next to my top man suddenly while I’m down 20m in a manhole asking if we’ve found gold yet). And for good measure, Motor Vehicles are a much greater risk to us than a cyclist individual or peloton.

And I have to protect them all from themselves.

Is that better?

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby mikesbytes » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:42 pm

So what does the hair or lack of hair protruding from the cyclist's legs have to do with it? Statements like that are a pretty good indicator that the trainer is out grouping. Should I be convicted by the action of others who use the same form of transpiration as me? No different to judging me on my ethic background
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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:10 pm

Thanks @fatandold for the very detailed answers. Stereotyping is prevalent!

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby trailgumby » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:36 pm

fat and old wrote:Or there may be such limited road space during works that the planner/approver thinks that Cyclist/Motor Vehicle interaction is undesirable from an overall safety POV and specs that sign.

Just throwing this in here.

The "Cyclists Dismount" sign - at least in NSW - is for guidance only, along with the rest of G-series signs. It s not in any way enforceable.

Per BNSW: '"RTA NSW Bicycle Guidelines 2005", p71, section 9.1.2: "Warning Guidance & Advisory Signage". All signs with "G" prefix are for guidance.' Document available here. This "Dismount" sign is G9-58.

Bike riders get used to treating them as inappropriately worded and effectively meaningless warning signs that there may be potential conflict but that dismounting is not actually required.

It seems to me the planner/approver needs to adjust their expectations of cyclist behaviour and use a different strategy.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby fat and old » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:23 am

mikesbytes wrote: No different to judging me on my ethic background


The same trainer warned us that Asian drivers should be watched carefully as they have less spatial and depth perception than Westerners. So yeah, you’re right! :lol:

I #~^t you not, he said that.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby Thoglette » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:40 pm

fat and old wrote:Was the point of your post to illustrate the very “normalness” of cyclists or to deflect attention from the subject at hand?

No,just that there's always "the few" idiots who believe the barriers and rules are for "other people" and that whatever risk you've got doesn't apply to them.

Sometimes they're on foot, sometimes using a vehicle. But, wait long enough, and there'll be one.

My pet peeve is teams who leave 80kph signs in 100kph zones over the (long) weekend when no-one's working and there's no hazard because they can't be bothered tearing down/setting up. It just results in chaos and further disrespect for signage.
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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby trailgumby » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:05 pm

Thoglette wrote:My pet peeve is teams who leave 80kph signs in 100kph zones over the (long) weekend when no-one's working and there's no hazard because they can't be bothered tearing down/setting up. It just results in chaos and further disrespect for signage.

That's definitely not going to help compliance. Very disrespectful of the public-at-large.

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby dmwill » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:45 pm

Thoglette wrote:My pet peeve is teams who leave 80kph signs in 100kph zones over the (long) weekend when no-one's working and there's no hazard because they can't be bothered tearing down/setting up. It just results in chaos and further disrespect for signage.


I can do better...

At least half a dozen times I have seen traffic management vehicles sporting 'E' plates.

For those of you who don't know what an 'E' plate is. It's when you've lost your license due to speeding, or the likes. You can apply to the court to get an extraordinary license if you can prove you still need to drive for some reason (they usually set conditions such as only being able to drive at a specific time, or to/from a specific location only if I recall).

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby NASHIE » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:19 pm

dmwill wrote:
Thoglette wrote:My pet peeve is teams who leave 80kph signs in 100kph zones over the (long) weekend when no-one's working and there's no hazard because they can't be bothered tearing down/setting up. It just results in chaos and further disrespect for signage.


I can do better...

At least half a dozen times I have seen traffic management vehicles sporting 'E' plates.

For those of you who don't know what an 'E' plate is. It's when you've lost your license due to speeding, or the likes. You can apply to the court to get an extraordinary license if you can prove you still need to drive for some reason (they usually set conditions such as only being able to drive at a specific time, or to/from a specific location only if I recall).


Maybe not the best look, but they are traffic management not law enforcers. All walks of life cop traffic fines....some unluckier than others. Im sure there have been a few traffic cops assigned to 3 month desk jobs over the years :wink:

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby fat and old » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:48 pm

trailgumby wrote:
Thoglette wrote:My pet peeve is teams who leave 80kph signs in 100kph zones over the (long) weekend when no-one's working and there's no hazard because they can't be bothered tearing down/setting up. It just results in chaos and further disrespect for signage.

That's definitely not going to help compliance. Very disrespectful of the public-at-large.


Again, just for understandings sake...

Traffic Management will encompass the entire road reserve usually. In the case of highways, freeways and rural roads that could mean the limit (edge) is 100m or more outside the actual “road”. That may include gullies, clear space behind trees, embankments etc that can’t be seen from the road. There may be works in those areas. We had one off the Peninsula Fwy before Dromana....for 6 months there were signs out but you couldn’t see the works. That doesn’t mean the crew doing the works was not responsible for safety however. Agree so far? What if a car/M/C or whatever decides to pull off the road for some reason and drives into a trench or excavation? Who’d be responsible? By slowing people down we give them more reaction time when site is unattended. Or more time to react if site is live beyond the vehicle site lines.

Sometimes there’s good reason, sometimes not. If people did not look for the “responsible” person every time they stubbed their toe we wouldn’t have to, aye?

Actually, it can be sort of frustrating to have to explain these things on a cycling forum. A minority group who insists on their rights and demands action to suit their chosen mode of transport/sport/fitness activity on all things road. Fair enough. So why question actions that we are forced to take to try and satisfy every possible scenario including minority users without applying some rational forethought? Do they not understand what that entails? Why do cyclists become so offended by being stereotyped by comments on Lycra and shaved legs only to turn around and stereotype T/M with the usual Cyclist dismount sign example as if that’s the only sign in existence?

Anyway, I just thought that trainer made a good story :lol:

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Re: Traffic Management and Cycling

Postby find_bruce » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:55 pm

I take it personally every time traffic management hold up a sign that says "slow" - what's next a sign that says "old" :wink:

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