Accident on Eastlink Trail

Hildalgo
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Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby Hildalgo » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:27 pm

I recently had a head on collision on the underpass of Boronia Road on the Eastlink trail where there's a blind corner. There is a clearly painted white line to tell riders to stay to the left. I came around the bend and a rider was coming down the wrong side of the path, & I am off the bike for up to 5 weeks as a result of that riders negligence.

I contacted the local council to see if safety measures could be implemented to prevent any further accidents. This was their response:

"we note that the retaining wall does currently obstruct your vision as you come towards the underpass bend north of Boronia road as you enter Koomba Reserve. As such, the solid centreline marking is there to tell cyclists and pedestrians to maintain their side of the path as they enter, travel through and exit the underpass. You are correct in that if the oncoming cyclists did maintain his lane, then the incident would not have occurred. Council constantly monitors the condition of our shared paths and our underpasses. We have also conducted a road safety audit on this section of underpass and abutting path. The auditor’s report did not consider the visibility of the bend a hazard as there was sufficient line marking to inform users to keep to their side of the path. "


My incident is seen as an isolated incident, and unless more people get hurt they are unlikely to act. If anyone knows of any other people who have experienced an accident at the underpass under Boronia Road can you please let me know. I would like to petition the council to get this dangerous corner fixed. Whilst waiting for the ambulance over 30 riders went through this corner in a 10 minute period, and the way the path has been designed almost forces you to cut the corner into the blind corner. Given the increase in riders using this path its only inevitable till another accident occurs.

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rodneycc
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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby rodneycc » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:22 pm

Interesting. I use this regularly and have had two close calls in that same section. One was actually my fault where I had to cross the white line or run over a jogger and just missed the guy coming the opposite way and the other one was a wet day and a guy took the corner too quick and came off and I just missed him and his bike coming at me ( a second later and I would of been cactus). It is dangerous and maybe some mirrors might help (if they don't get vandalized). Keep at the council and show them your injuries and I think they will do something or be held liable.
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cyclotaur
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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby cyclotaur » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:47 am

rodneycc wrote:Interesting. I use this regularly and have had two close calls in that same section. One was actually my fault where I had to cross the white line or run over a jogger and just missed the guy coming the opposite way and the other one was a wet day and a guy took the corner too quick and came off and I just missed him and his bike coming at me ( a second later and I would of been cactus). It is dangerous and maybe some mirrors might help (if they don't get vandalized). Keep at the council and show them your injuries and I think they will do something or be held liable.

Hey Rod, that sounds a bit flimsy to me, if you don't mind my saying. You can always slow down and wait until coast is clear before passing anyone ahead of you. That's what we'd expect impatient motorists to do with us on the road. :wink:

But yeah, that's a bad spot which I've also learnt to approach with particular caution. I think some larger warning signs might help, but experience tells me there are lots of people who "don't see" or take no notice of signs. :roll:
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rodneycc
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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby rodneycc » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:24 pm

cyclotaur wrote:
rodneycc wrote:Interesting. I use this regularly and have had two close calls in that same section. One was actually my fault where I had to cross the white line or run over a jogger and just missed the guy coming the opposite way and the other one was a wet day and a guy took the corner too quick and came off and I just missed him and his bike coming at me ( a second later and I would of been cactus). It is dangerous and maybe some mirrors might help (if they don't get vandalized). Keep at the council and show them your injuries and I think they will do something or be held liable.

Hey Rod, that sounds a bit flimsy to me, if you don't mind my saying. You can always slow down and wait until coast is clear before passing anyone ahead of you. That's what we'd expect impatient motorists to do with us on the road. :wink:

But yeah, that's a bad spot which I've also learnt to approach with particular caution. I think some larger warning signs might help, but experience tells me there are lots of people who "don't see" or take no notice of signs. :roll:



Look yeah you are exactly right. That's why I said it was my fault. Just going too fast and got it wrong and had to swerve to miss the jogger abd swerve again to miss the guy coming around the corner. Its very hard to be perfect 100% of the time and was lucky on this occasion. Thankfully in the few crashes I have had I have only hurt myself and I would hate to be responsible for the injuries like what happened to the OP.
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rodneycc
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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby rodneycc » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:40 pm

Just something that may interest the OP. Maroondah council fixed up a piece of gravel path I had an accident on recently quite out of nowhere. I had given up on the whole incident but 6 months later they had concreted the hairpin turn which I was really grateful for.

That part of the Eastlink path is probably Knox council but they aren't a bad council for action either if you put to them some practical solutions maybe like the mirrors (as they can't do much with the creek on one side the overpass like it is).

btw a few posts back from the end of this thread.

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=76060&start=100

Ps and yes my reaction was pretty much exactly like yours at the time!
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cycles gitane
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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby cycles gitane » Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:16 pm

PM sent to OP
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Hildalgo
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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby Hildalgo » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:34 am

rodneycc wrote:That part of the Eastlink path is probably Knox council but they aren't a bad council for action either if you put to them some practical solutions maybe like the mirrors (as they can't do much with the creek on one side the overpass like it is).

Ps and yes my reaction was pretty much exactly like yours at the time!


Thanks for your replies everyone. Rodneycc, suggested mirrors to the council, and they said that normally they would consider this but experience too much vandalism and find that they can become useless when covered in graffiti and/or scratched. This potentially would leave them liable if they do not repair them after each vandalism, and someone claims they had an accident due to the mirrors being faulty.

I also suggested increased signage and the council said that they feel that the signage is adequate. Won't air my opinion on this.....

Especially given that they most likely aren't going to act until more people get hurt.....

They really need to extend the path towards the creek more to improve visibility around the corner. But know the two reasons they would reject this is impact on the environment and $ (more likely $).

Ps, Thanks everyone for your feedback

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rodneycc
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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby rodneycc » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:11 pm

Mate, That is a stupid response by the council. They are afraid to get sued for vandalized mirrors? What The ....? And so they are not worried about the people that sue them for being hurt I'm assuming??? Bizarre.
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cyclotaur
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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby cyclotaur » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:56 pm

rodneycc wrote:Mate, That is a stupid response by the council. They are afraid to get sued for vandalized mirrors? What The ....? And so they are not worried about the people that sue them for being hurt I'm assuming??? Bizarre.

They're not because if you collide rounding a bend it's someone's fault for being wrong side of the line, but not theirs.
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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby chriso_29er » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:27 pm

Considering a much worse underpass under Burwood HWY that has been the same for over 30 yrs, I'm not suprised they've blown this off.

Sorry to hear about your accident, made me think twice about blasting around the corner when I rode it a couple of days ago.
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jules21
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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby jules21 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:10 am

I'm sorry to hear about your collision Hildago, but I don't think it's unreasonable for the council to assess a painted centre line as adequate.

Cycling is an inherently hazardous activity that relies on cyclists to make good judgments about speed and when to proceed, etc. I get very tired of seeing "cyclists dismount" signs for hazards that are easily negotiable with a bit of care, but for which someone has decided it's better to manage the risk on my behalf.

You can't engineer out all cycling hazards. All that I ask is that hazards are readily identifiable. A blind corner with a painted centreline is pretty obvious. The numbnut who hit you on the wrong side deserves a smack in the head. The problem is that once we start accepting that behaviour and transfer responsibility for the associated risk to infrastructure owners, the logical extension of that approach will lead to poor outcomes for cyclists. You can't just view that particular corner in isolation.

Hildalgo
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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby Hildalgo » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:24 pm

jules21 wrote:I'm sorry to hear about your collision Hildago, but I don't think it's unreasonable for the council to assess a painted centre line as adequate.

Hi Jules21. Probably didn't put enough information in before. If you're approaching this blind bend from the Burwood Highway side, there's a technical S bend just before you hit the blind bend. The way the path is designed. The path is narrow and you have to take the S bend at a certain angle. If you're doing anything more than 20kmph out of the S bend. Which is easy to do. The line out of the corner takes you over the painted line, and into the blind side. The majority of riders approach this blind bend on the wrong side of the painted line. If you hit the apex at the same time as another rider, it can get a bit hairy, but usually can be avoided. The potential for a collision is there, especially where riders are either speeding, or in my instance the other rider was inexperienced.

I've been riding that section of trail for 6 years now and had quite a few close shaves before. Its not always the cyclists fault as the path was designed poorly in the first place. There is a high volume of traffic that goes through there and the path continues to become more and more popular increasing the potential for disaster.

I would normally agree that a painted line should be sufficient, but in this instance, a painted line is ineffective if its difficult to keep to the left hand side of the painted line due to the design of the track. You can blame cyclists for riding too fast, but you're welcome to go ride that section yourself to see if its a design flaw or rider flaw.

When I had the accident I was riding quite slow, and at impact was only doing about 10kmph thankfully, otherwise would have done more damage than keeping me off the bike for over 8 weeks. The other rider wasn't riding all that fast as well and can attest that speed was not the factor in my crash.

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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby antigee » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:29 pm

if its the underpass I'm thinking of when coming from the Burwood rd direction then think the existing "slow bend" sign is not in an ideal position - it is some distance before the actual bend and you think it is all over and then you hit the tighter blind bit too fast - if I'm right on this possibly the sign needs moving or distance adding and some extra words of caution

of course signposting should be last option and again if thinking correctly other than disturbing habitat there isn't that much space limitation at the location?

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Hildalgo
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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby Hildalgo » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:07 pm

Haven't seen this on any bike paths, but they should consider putting solar powered flashing warning lights on dangerous corners. Signs can be ineffective. And a painted center line is useless if the paths designed poorly and riders are forced across the medium line.

Given some of the speeds riders fly through there I'm surprised there aren't more incidents.

https://www.strava.com/segments/8856468

One of my mates is a keen advocate of removing Strava segments on shared bike paths. Given the potential for serious injury I agree with him, but no way could it be done sadly.

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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby BJL » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:19 pm

I don't really think signs or line markings, etc are the real solution at this location. On many occasions when approaching this underpass from the south, I have noted that the left hand lane has been partially covered in mud or debris that has been trapped by the concrete barrier. This forces you towards the centre of the path as to hit mud or debris on a tight corner is dangerous, even at very low speed. The creek at this location doesn't force the path to make the tight bend and there is no reason (other than $$$$) why the path shouldn't be realigned properly, especially given the increased usage since Eastlink was built.

I had a fall a while ago a bit further along this path at the Wellington Rd underpass approaching from the north around the tight right hand hairpin. The back wheel found a bit of mud and the rest is history. At the speed I was going, it was more like a clip stack than anything so speeding wasn't the issue.

Sharp corners like this shouldn't be designed into these paths in the first place but engineers sometimes seem to think that they should represent more of an obstacle course than a useful piece of infrastructure, or they a taking the cheap option instead of doing it properly first time around. Many of the underpasses along the shared paths in the outer east of Melbourne suffer from having dangerous bends combined with mud/debris from regular flooding as many are simply half arsed 'upgrades' of existing paths.

Hildalgo
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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby Hildalgo » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:06 am

BJL wrote:I had a fall a while ago a bit further along this path at the Wellington Rd underpass approaching from the north around the tight right hand hairpin. The back wheel found a bit of mud and the rest is history. At the speed I was going, it was more like a clip stack than anything so speeding wasn't the issue.

Sharp corners like this shouldn't be designed into these paths in the first place but engineers sometimes seem to think that they should represent more of an obstacle course than a useful piece of infrastructure, or they a taking the cheap option instead of doing it properly first time around. Many of the underpasses along the shared paths in the outer east of Melbourne suffer from having dangerous bends combined with mud/debris from regular flooding as many are simply half arsed 'upgrades' of existing paths.


I feel for you. The underpass under Wellington Road is the most shocking section of the Eastlink Trail and had a couple of near misses there myself. Both entrances are dangerous and not designed with the level of traffic the Eastlink sees today, and we can only expect the traffic to increase. You wonder whether they design these with the assumption that cyclists travel at walking pace.

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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby Calvin27 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:44 am

Hildalgo wrote:I feel for you. The underpass under Wellington Road is the most shocking section of the Eastlink Trail and had a couple of near misses there myself. Both entrances are dangerous and not designed with the level of traffic the Eastlink sees today, and we can only expect the traffic to increase. You wonder whether they design these with the assumption that cyclists travel at walking pace.


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Re: Accident on Eastlink Trail

Postby Mike Ayling » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:59 pm

I used to ride through there regularly before my knee injury and I always rang my bell continuously before going under the bridge in both directions.

A bell can be useful at times!

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