Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

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antigee
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Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby antigee » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:19 pm

recent article from New York Times that may interest:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/nyre ... attan.html

Cycling has become a crucial part of the city’s transportation infrastructure and officials have committed to building 50 miles of new bike lanes every year, of which at least 10 miles would be protected bike lanes. Last year alone, they built a record 25 miles of protected bike lanes. In all, the city has 1,180 miles of bike lanes, of which 451 miles are protected.


political will that's what it takes

markdem
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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby markdem » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:50 pm

Wish our government was this forward thinking...

g-boaf
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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby g-boaf » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:20 pm

I would love this to happen, but I think there is more of a chance of us building cities and infrastructure on Mars than there is doing this.

And the latest bunch of "red light running cyclists" news (a bunch as well) just sets it back even further, because the general public will say "why should they get this" when they run red lights and don't pay rego. And then they'll read about hundreds of cyclists causing a traffic jam in South Australia and get even more angry:

http://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-lif ... 678acbfd3c

The riders are well within their rights to ride on the road, so the "rogue" cyclists are not doing anything wrong, no more than "rogue" journalists writing sensationalist click-bait articles.

We need more cycleways, no question about it - wide, easy flowing ones that allow decent average speeds. And they have to be linked together so that you have a useful network. In Sydney, we are some way towards that, we just need the missing links to be constructed.

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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby Cyclophiliac » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:39 pm

Australia's problem, apart from our governments not wanting to build many of these lanes, is that they don't build them properly, and motorists don't respect them, and so they tend to be anything but "protected". One such example is the Fitzroy St 2-way separated lane in St Kilda. I was living there when it was built, and cycled on it a few times, and it's a bloody death trap. Motorists just turn across it without giving way to any cyclists, pedestrians frequently walk along it, and I even saw a taxi parked inside it one day. It was stuck there, too, because its driver hadn't considered how he was actually going to get out of it once in there.

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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby trailgumby » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:53 pm

Cyclophiliac wrote:Australia's problem, apart from our governments not wanting to build many of these lanes, is that they don't build them properly, and motorists don't respect them, and so they tend to be anything but "protected". One such example is the Fitzroy St 2-way separated lane in St Kilda. I was living there when it was built, and cycled on it a few times, and it's a bloody death trap. Motorists just turn across it without giving way to any cyclists, pedestrians frequently walk along it, and I even saw a taxi parked inside it one day. It was stuck there, too, because its driver hadn't considered how he was actually going to get out of it once in there.

This is a common problem with the way protected bike lanes are built in Australia. As soon as you get to a street intersection, motor vehicles have priority. Best practice dictates this should be reversed. An elevated speed-hump style crossing similar to that used for pedestrian crossings and the usual green paint in addition to signage sends a signal that cyclists have priority.

But, as the title of this thread suggests, it is a lack of political will.

It's going to be an interesting 2018 on this front. BNSW has nominated me as their rep for the Transport and Travel Strategic Reference Group at Northern Beaches Council.

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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby human909 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:30 pm

Cyclophiliac wrote:One such example is the Fitzroy St 2-way separated lane in St Kilda. I was living there when it was built, and cycled on it a few times, and it's a bloody death trap.


For a while they put up giveaway signs facing the cyclists, which meant it was easier to use the road. The best thing that can be said about this is that it was a lesson on how not to do bidirectional cycle ways. I've certainly seen some learning and improvement in cycle ways in Melbourne.

Unfortunately Sydney/NSW didn't get the memo.

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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby RobertL » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:42 pm

trailgumby wrote:This is a common problem with the way protected bike lanes are built in Australia. As soon as you get to a street intersection, motor vehicles have priority. Best practice dictates this should be reversed. An elevated speed-hump style crossing similar to that used for pedestrian crossings and the usual green paint in addition to signage sends a signal that cyclists have priority.


We have one intersection in Brisbane that I know of that is designed "correctly". It's where the current North Brisbane Bikeway ends at a road crossing. The NBB crosses that road on a raised, speed-bump style path, with right of way. The NBB then ends, because that was the last stage built - so far.

The next stages are meant to be built this year, and they will be interesting. The path will travel north another 2km or so, as a raised, segregated lane beside the road. It will be designed to have priority over all side roads, and one side road will even be blocked and turned into a cul-de-sac to allow all of this.

The website is here: https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Projects/Nam ... keway.aspx. It looks great in design, and even has a lovely video showing what we will get.

Unfortunately, the State Govt (who are pretty good about cycling infrastructure design) is at loggerheads with the Brisbane City Council (who are decidedly not) over this design. The final design has been held up, and rumour has it that the BCC do not agree with the proposed design that gives so much priority to bikes.

Personally, I think that they are scared that it will work, and that they will have no reason not to do more of this all over the city.
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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby g-boaf » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:59 pm

trailgumby wrote:
Cyclophiliac wrote:Australia's problem, apart from our governments not wanting to build many of these lanes, is that they don't build them properly, and motorists don't respect them, and so they tend to be anything but "protected". One such example is the Fitzroy St 2-way separated lane in St Kilda. I was living there when it was built, and cycled on it a few times, and it's a bloody death trap. Motorists just turn across it without giving way to any cyclists, pedestrians frequently walk along it, and I even saw a taxi parked inside it one day. It was stuck there, too, because its driver hadn't considered how he was actually going to get out of it once in there.

This is a common problem with the way protected bike lanes are built in Australia. As soon as you get to a street intersection, motor vehicles have priority. Best practice dictates this should be reversed. An elevated speed-hump style crossing similar to that used for pedestrian crossings and the usual green paint in addition to signage sends a signal that cyclists have priority.

But, as the title of this thread suggests, it is a lack of political will.

It's going to be an interesting 2018 on this front. BNSW has nominated me as their rep for the Transport and Travel Strategic Reference Group at Northern Beaches Council.



I have confidence that you'll do a very good job. You know the issues we face, you care about them.

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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby fishwop » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:05 pm

g-boaf wrote: In Sydney, we are some way towards that,

Not in my area we're not. In my suburb, the next piece of bicycle infrastructure will be the first. I'm not kidding. There are a couple of white bikes painted on the main drag and that's it. Those brave cyclists who live here (and we are few indeed) should I suppose be thankful for that.

There's not even a shared path in the entire wretched car-is-king joint. You have to cross the creek into Blacktown council area to get those.

Edit: Oops I lie. They've built a shared path to the Uni of Western Sydney campus along the highway that protrudes into St Marys by a couple of hundred metres at the most, ending abruptly of course.

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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby human909 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:30 pm

Surely the standard for a functional cycling network is to have it so your average 10 year old can SAFELY navigate our road system on their bicycles. We don't have that in many places in Australia, certainly not our big cities.

Things are looking wonderful in Melbourne's inner north with massive improvements in cycling participation. And you do see 10 year olds and mothers with a couple children loaded on their bicycles. However we are still a long way off it being a safe network.

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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby westab » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:25 pm

fishwop wrote:
g-boaf wrote: In Sydney, we are some way towards that,

Not in my area we're not. In my suburb, the next piece of bicycle infrastructure will be the first. I'm not kidding. There are a couple of white bikes painted on the main drag and that's it. Those brave cyclists who live here (and we are few indeed) should I suppose be thankful for that.

There's not even a shared path in the entire wretched car-is-king joint. You have to cross the creek into Blacktown council area to get those.

Edit: Oops I lie. They've built a shared path to the Uni of Western Sydney campus along the highway that protrudes into St Marys by a couple of hundred metres at the most, ending abruptly of course.


Mate I live in the Blacktown city council area - They have done some good things but it has been a struggle and a few of the shared paths leave a bit to be desired. The good news as a rate payer they are trying to improve their methods of implementation and extending the network.

The key is the shared path on the M7 and the shared paths within Western Sydney Parklands. I try to get them to see the merit of joining on to already existing bike paths and quiet roads so you can actually get from as many point "A"'s to Point "B"s as possible for as little money. I wish they would hurry up but at least they do take some action.

Their complaint is as always not enough funding - my answer is often how much do you spend on pedestrian only foot paths? what is the cost differential to construct at least a shared path as an alternative - the answer i'm still waiting on but the message to the town planners is not lost at least some new developments have been forced to include shared paths to travel through the estate - still the challenge remains in getting them joined.
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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby g-boaf » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:08 pm

westab wrote:
fishwop wrote:
g-boaf wrote: In Sydney, we are some way towards that,

Not in my area we're not. In my suburb, the next piece of bicycle infrastructure will be the first. I'm not kidding. There are a couple of white bikes painted on the main drag and that's it. Those brave cyclists who live here (and we are few indeed) should I suppose be thankful for that.

There's not even a shared path in the entire wretched car-is-king joint. You have to cross the creek into Blacktown council area to get those.

Edit: Oops I lie. They've built a shared path to the Uni of Western Sydney campus along the highway that protrudes into St Marys by a couple of hundred metres at the most, ending abruptly of course.


Mate I live in the Blacktown city council area - They have done some good things but it has been a struggle and a few of the shared paths leave a bit to be desired. The good news as a rate payer they are trying to improve their methods of implementation and extending the network.

The key is the shared path on the M7 and the shared paths within Western Sydney Parklands. I try to get them to see the merit of joining on to already existing bike paths and quiet roads so you can actually get from as many point "A"'s to Point "B"s as possible for as little money. I wish they would hurry up but at least they do take some action.

Their complaint is as always not enough funding - my answer is often how much do you spend on pedestrian only foot paths? what is the cost differential to construct at least a shared path as an alternative - the answer i'm still waiting on but the message to the town planners is not lost at least some new developments have been forced to include shared paths to travel through the estate - still the challenge remains in getting them joined.


Western Sydney is probably one of the best examples. Blacktown did a great job, my area in South Western Sydney did well with the Western Sydney Regional park and all of the associated shared pathways. I can get from my place to Richmond with no bother, or to Sydney Olympic Park easily, Parramatta no problem, even Camden with no great drama.

But try go out to Botany and there are whole sections where you have no other option but to use roads. And then in to the CBD. I've pretty much given up on that now - the route I used to use is jammed up with people avoiding M4 tolls. :roll:

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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby fat and old » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:51 pm

Melbourne is currently building the last section of seperate lanes along Albert St. 8 years after we built the first stage. Proper too.

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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby Philistine » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:30 pm

If you look at a cycleway map of my bit of south west Sydney, you could hardly fail to be impressed by the network of interconnected bike paths. Unfortunately, the map does not tell the full story. Almost all of the bike paths were laid down during the time of the last state Labor government, which fell in 2011, and they were constructed on the cheap to fulfill some sort of quota. They have not been touched for years and they are falling apart through a combination of original jerry-building and total lack of subsequent maintenance.

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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:00 pm

Philistine wrote:They have not been touched for years and they are falling apart through a combination of original jerry-building and total lack of subsequent maintenance.

But no doubt get proudly mentioned whenever the question of active transport infrastructure come up... :roll:
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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby queequeg » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:16 pm

Philistine wrote:If you look at a cycleway map of my bit of south west Sydney, you could hardly fail to be impressed by the network of interconnected bike paths. Unfortunately, the map does not tell the full story. Almost all of the bike paths were laid down during the time of the last state Labor government, which fell in 2011, and they were constructed on the cheap to fulfill some sort of quota. They have not been touched for years and they are falling apart through a combination of original jerry-building and total lack of subsequent maintenance.


I actually wrote to the roads minister at the time (2008) when Labor made the claim that since 1999 they had rolled out "234km per year of cycling infrastructure" in NSW. I called BS and asked the minister to provide evidence of where this 234km per year was so that I could go and ride on some of it.
When he wrote back 6 months later, I was provided with an overall Audit of the facilities by type, but sadly not location. In any case, of the 4000km or so of "cycling infrastructure" rolled out, 80% of it was what they termed "left of white line" (aka they spray painted some bike logos in the road shoulder, and that qualified it as infrastructure). I should still have the letter somewhere, but as I remember, the actual total km of on-road bicycle specific infrastructure was 75km (for the entire state). After that was off-road bicycle only facilities, followed by shared paths (or converted footpaths), then a lot of cans of white paint for the rest.
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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby g-boaf » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:01 am

Mulger bill wrote:
Philistine wrote:They have not been touched for years and they are falling apart through a combination of original jerry-building and total lack of subsequent maintenance.

But no doubt get proudly mentioned whenever the question of active transport infrastructure come up... :roll:


If they are the same ones I use, then they are better than nothing. Shame they won't maintain them better and or link them up with others.

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Re: Political will - what it takes to build protected cycle lanes

Postby Philistine » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:10 am

g-boaf wrote:
If they are the same ones I use, then they are better than nothing. Shame they won't maintain them better and or link them up with others.


I think your epicentre is a bit to the north west of mine but I have no doubt our respective "hot zones" (I've been watching the Big Bash) overlap.

I could be completely wrong but I get the impression that the various local councils look after (or fail to look after) most of the bike paths. Fairfield council do a reasonable job, Liverpool not so much, and Bankstown are hopeless. I ride the paths on offer because, as you say, they are better than nothing. But, "better than nothing" is hardly a ringing endorsement.

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