Force Cyclists to Use Paths

Force Cyclists to Use Paths

Postby Aushiker » Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:32 am

G'day

This is the view of Town of Cambridge Councillor Rod Bradley as reported in the Cambridge Post, August 30, 2008 on page 9.

Councillor Bradley is quoted as saying "it is quite silly for us to be spending money on bicycle networks when cyclists don't use them." It is then reported that Mr Bradley was opposing paying half the $146,000 cost of new paths in Oban Road, Dunston Road, and Powis Street and reviewing Cambridge's five-year old bike plan.

The council has been offered government grants to cover the other half of the cost.

The article closes quoting Councillor Bradley as saying "it is up to the state government to insist cyclists use these paths."

According to the 2008-2009 Town of Cambridge Draft Budget the amount being proposed to be spent on shared paths within the town was $161,000 which is more than the figure quoted in the newspaper article. This proposed spend equates to 0.01% of the Council's 2008-2009 draft infrastructure budget. Does Councillor Bradley have his prorities set right? Is Councillor Bradley informed? Does he understand alternative transport? Does he have an understanding of the cost savings of alternative transport to the council? Frankly I don't think so and I think that Councillor Bradley needs to get informed.

If you wish to express your views to Councillor Bradley he can be contacted via the Town of Cambridge website or via email at [email protected] .

Andrew

Edited to update financials and contact details.
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by BNA » Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:40 pm

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Re: Force Cyclists to Use Paths

Postby barefoot » Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:40 pm

Aushiker wrote:Councillor Bradley is quoted as saying "it is quite silly for us to be spending money on bicycle networks when cyclists don't use them."
...
The article closes quoting Councillor Bradley as saying "it is up to the state government to insist cyclists use these paths."


It's not up to the state government to insist cyclists use the paths - it is up to the council to provide paths that cyclists want to use.

I completely agree with him, that it's silly for council to piss money up against a wall, building dysfunctional "bicycle networks" that are of no use to cyclists.

I disagree with his motivation, but I agree with his stand against building worthless bikepaths.

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Re: Force Cyclists to Use Paths

Postby Aushiker » Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:42 pm

barefoot wrote:
Aushiker wrote:Councillor Bradley is quoted as saying "it is quite silly for us to be spending money on bicycle networks when cyclists don't use them."
...
The article closes quoting Councillor Bradley as saying "it is up to the state government to insist cyclists use these paths."


It's not up to the state government to insist cyclists use the paths - it is up to the council to provide paths that cyclists want to use.

I completely agree with him, that it's silly for council to piss money up against a wall, building dysfunctional "bicycle networks" that are of no use to cyclists.

I disagree with his motivation, but I agree with his stand against building worthless bikepaths.

tim


Well at least two of the paths in the budget are NEEDED. Don't know the other two areas.

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Postby wintal » Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:52 pm

This is a knee-jerk reaction based on no real information. Cycle paths are in general heavily utilised in Perth. Some paths don't get used by the cyclists because they're dangerously designed, or are over-run with pedestrians, or even because they're utilised by slow cyclists. A heavily used cycle path where you have to constantly overtake people with little room doesn't feel appreciably safer than a wide road where cars have to overtake you.

Too many politician positions seem to be based on anecdotal evidence. As soon as they enter office they should be forced to sit down and lectured on statistics until they understand the concept of statistical significance.

Moreover, his statement that "it is up to the state government to insist cyclists use these paths." makes it quite clear to me that he is in favor of legislating cycles off the roads. Why he believes this would be enforced when the police enforce barely any of the other road laws is quite frankly beyond me.

Hmm, actually, perhaps I should make that rant a bit more coherent and email it to him. Shame I don't live in Cambridge any more.
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Postby Aushiker » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:04 pm

wintal wrote:Hmm, actually, perhaps I should make that rant a bit more coherent and email it to him. Shame I don't live in Cambridge any more.


Send it to the paper instead. The paper is good for coherent discussion.

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Postby sittingbison » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:12 pm

its also good for incoherent discussion, and no polly no matter what the ilk likes to have negative press. the local rag likes nothing more that a barney.

However, my personal view is that multi use paths are a committee design (ie ill conceived to be polite). Putting peds and bicycle commuters/racers on the same track is ludicrous and ultimately inherently dangerous for both. Put in BIKE PATHS for goodness sake.
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Postby biftek » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:27 pm

well you just know that the money is going to blown elsewhere on other useless crap, like sculptures or some other crap in the parks
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Postby Kalgrm » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:40 pm

How about a sculpture of a bike for the pedestrians to rest their tired legs by sitting on it?

I agree about non-dedicated bike paths. Maybe he should spend $161,000 on a study to find out why cyclists don't use bike paths? Or maybe he could just ask us and give us some cash ...

Sorry for the flippancy. I can't be bothered taking this on. If he doesn't want the income cyclists bring to his community, stuff him.

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Postby Chops » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:46 pm

Kalgrm wrote:
I agree about non-dedicated bike paths. Maybe he should spend $161,000 on a study to find out why cyclists don't use bike paths? Or maybe he could just ask us and give us some cash ...

There is more feedback than they know what to do with apparently.

One of the biggest complaints from cyclists, and one of the biggest problems is that a lot of the paths and lanes just don't link up properly.

Bike paths mysteriously turn into footpaths often without warning, nor an outlet onto a bike lane or even just the road at the appropriate places.

So cyclists are left to their own devices anyway.

/rant.
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Postby wintal » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:03 pm

Chops wrote:There is more feedback than they know what to do with apparently.


Is this feedback available in a report somewhere?

What this always boils down to is a value calculation. Every cyclist makes a valuation of the impact of their path on their safety, time taken, inconvenience etc. Everyone's value calculation is slightly different - if he's not seeing a path used as much as he likes, it means he's misjudged the value calculation - obviously he doesn't understand his constituents as well as he thinks.

I also don't like the fact that it's controlled by local governments. All of my local commute problem areas are actually in City of Perth, but I reside in City of Stirling - this reduces my leverage to actually get things done, because local councils care most about the people that elect them... and I have no control over that. I do agree with the Councillor in that respect - it should be the state government in control.
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Re: Force Cyclists to Use Paths

Postby Crankitup » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:01 am

Aushiker wrote:G'day
Councillor Bradley is quoted as saying "it is quite silly for us to be spending money on bicycle networks when cyclists don't use them."


How has he determined this?

As to his logic about cycling infrastructure being a waste of money maybe he should read this article in yesterday's Washington Post;

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/30/AR2008083000632.html?sub=AR

While Northern Europe and Japan have figured out how to make bicycle commuting a safe, cheap alternative to driving, the United States, Canada, Australia and Britain have not.



Still, among the world's most developed countries, a reliable recipe has emerged for making cycling a mainstream means of getting to work. Commuters in Northern Europe have been lured out of their cars by bike lanes, secure bike parking and easy access to mass transportation. At the same time, steep automobile taxes, congestion-zone fees and go-slow rules have made inner-city driving a costly pain in the neck. In the Netherlands, where such carrot-and-stick policies have been in place for decades, 27 percent of all trips are by bike.

"It is very clear how to do this," said John Pucher, a professor of urban planning at Rutgers University and lead author of a global study of strategies that promote cycling. "It is not rocket science."


Germans are 10 times more likely than Americans to ride a bike and three times less likely to get hurt while doing so. On any given workday, more commuters park their bikes at train and subway stations in Tokyo (704,000) than cycle to work in the entire United States (535,000), according to the Tokyo government and the U.S. Census.


Britain Makes a Start

When cities do fit the pieces together, they often see an almost instantaneous surge in cycling. In Britain, a country whose nationwide transportation system is nearly as inhospitable to cycling as that of the United States, London has emerged as Exhibit A for the quick infrastructure fix that gets commuters out of cars.

In 2003, the city imposed a steep "congestion charge" of about $16 for cars driving into the city center. Within a year, inner-city cycling had increased by about 25 percent. In the past eight years, there has been a 10-fold increase in city spending on bike lanes, bike parking and education programs. The effort has nearly doubled cycling throughout London.


There also seems to have been a fundamental change in the way Londoners think about cycling. It's become cool.


And so on & so forth for 2 &1/2 more pages.
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Postby grantos » Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:43 pm

ever noticed how its always the fat lazy people who complain about cyclists?
the same gets me going when I hear people say condescendingly to joggers and runners the words ....'why bother?' with that tone in their voice like they are better than them for not exercising.

save us all the hassle you immobile jerks and just drop dead early so we can get on with our training
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Postby DaveW » Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:59 am

grantos wrote:ever noticed how its always the fat lazy people who complain about cyclists?
the same gets me going when I hear people say condescendingly to joggers and runners the words ....'why bother?' with that tone in their voice like they are better than them for not exercising.

save us all the hassle you immobile jerks and just drop dead early so we can get on with our training


Anger management not working for you huh? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I know some people who are not "fat and lazy" but have the same attitude.
I don't think it is about them thinking they are "better" but pure jealousy - most people I feel would like to exercise but can't motivate themselves to do it. :wink:

As to the paths - if they bothered to clean them occasionally people would be more likely to use them.
I don't like to ride on glass!

And if they took out some of the lumps and bumps that would help too.

And the odd blind corner makes it all a bit - um well - you know.

yep - cleaning, maintenance, and decent design.

I can ride around people, but some education to not take the whole lane would be good. You can't stop people from walking on them. :wink:
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Postby wintal » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:12 am

Well, the 'general wisdom' from the guys I talked to when I started riding was that is was generally considered to be irresponsible and dangerous to ride >30km/hr on shared paths. I'd have to say I agree with them, the combination of bad path design and unpredicatble objects (dogs, children, sunday riders, etc) makes it a bad idea to go fast on lots of them.

For fast commuter style riders, bike lanes on the roads are a far better solution than shared paths.

I don't know if the planners 'don't get' this or if they just feel that the paths are being put in primarily for the less capable (and slower) riders. I suspect the latter, to be honest. There's obviously a pretty big disconnect to what Joe Public thinks the paths are for though. The councillor in question obviously thinks it's to get bikes off the road :P


Cheers,
Leighton...

ps: there's a form on the dpi website for reporting hazards like broken glass on paths. They work out who should deal with it and forward it appropriately.
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Postby Aushiker » Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:01 pm

DaveW wrote:As to the paths - if they bothered to clean them occasionally people would be more likely to use them.
I don't like to ride on glass!


Agree, so please do, if you don't currently, report hazards such as glass via the DPI reporting service. The sooner hazards such as glass are reported the sooner they get cleared up.

BTW I have reported about six lots of glass this week ... all on roads :wink:

And if they took out some of the lumps and bumps that would help too.

And the odd blind corner makes it all a bit - um well - you know.


I agree with you there and again the opportunity is there to report the hazards. May not be instance response, but feedback does help.

Andrew
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Postby DaveW » Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:32 pm

Well, being a relative newbie I wasn't aware of that site, but I was close to sending letter to the council.
Will log on there soon! :wink:
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Postby Aushiker » Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:38 pm

DaveW wrote:Well, being a relative newbie I wasn't aware of that site, but I was close to sending letter to the council.
Will log on there soon! :wink:

Good on you .... The more often folks report hazards the more often they get cleaned up and hopefully sometimes at least someone gets to the glass before us :)

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Postby ajh_ausnzcf » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:49 pm

Cyclists belong on residential streets along with other vehicles. It's a matter of road use education and laws to protect the vulnerable road users. Bicycle only paths belong where no bicycles are permitted. An example are Freeways. Unfortunately it's also a matter of social civility, this is far more difficult to address.
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