Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

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Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

Postby amsterdamned » Thu May 06, 2010 3:12 pm

Apologies if this has already been discussed but what are the chances of getting the timing of the lights changed on King Street to something more sensible? Just in case any Sydney Traffic Controllers are reading this thread LOL.

I use it everyday in both directions and I was excited that Clover is serious about making the city more cycle friendly and its a great first step. But whats the go with the timing of the lights when you cycle uphill from Darling Harbour at Kent str? The light turns to red just before you get to it even when you're sprinting up it. Pedestrians crossing
Kent str parallel to the cycle path still have the green man (or blinking red man) and cross en masse, so the cars turning left are stopped. While the pedestrians are crossing its perfectly safe for the cyclists to continue through the lights on their uphill journey. So many cyclists just run this red light, myself included.

Instead of turning the cycle light red while the pedestrians are still crossing Kent street and the cars are stopped, why not make the cycle light blinking orange (or just plain green) until the cars turning left get the green light. This alone would allow the reasonably speedy cyclists to have a green wave all the way uphill and not have to stop every 50 metres.

Seems ill-conceived.
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by BNA » Thu May 06, 2010 5:16 pm

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Re: Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

Postby wombatK » Thu May 06, 2010 5:16 pm

Welcome to the forum amsterdamned.

Other threads have complained about the King St light phasing, and bicycle groups have lobbied the RTA to try to get changes. Cyclists will agree with you that the light phasing is diabolical. To date, motorists interests have prevailed and the RTA has been unsympathetic.

While you'll get plenty of sympathy here, it won't change much. It would be more effective to write some letters to the relevant politicians (especially Clover). One thing politicians can do is count numbers - and when enough people chip away at them on a topic, good things can happen.

Cheers
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Re: Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

Postby CommuRider » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:19 pm

I take the philosophical approach on this. Cyclists get a lot of flack for not obeying the road rules. Well, it was nice to see pedestrians giving me a puzzled look while they themselves were jaywalking at those lights. Also, nice to see some couriers stopping too. Although at the Pyrmont Bridge lights at peak hour it's getting pretty crowded to the point it could be rather dangerous. Good for cyclists that can ride as a pack of 20+ at Pyrmont...

So there you go Daily Terror for demonising cyclists!
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Re: Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

Postby x8pg2qr » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:52 pm

I don't go that way much. But… I love the lanes; I hate the lights.

One Sunday afternoon, I go downhill on King Street to get to Pyrmont Bridge. There are 2 bicycles and a couple of pedestrians waiting to cross in the other direction. After waiting a few seconds, the lights turn green: for the pedestrians. The bicycle light stays red. Wut?

I felt so surprised, and so conflicted about running the red light that I missed my chance to do so in that phase; I waited until Sussex Street traffic got the green light, and then ran the red light when the coast was clear. Crazy.

Going uphill is worse.
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Re: Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

Postby CommuRider » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:59 pm

x8pg2qr wrote:I felt so surprised, and so conflicted about running the red light that I missed my chance to do so in that phase; I waited until Sussex Street traffic got the green light, and then ran the red light when the coast was clear. Crazy.

Going uphill is worse.


Gears! :) Well it certainly passed the King St. test. I was also about to horn a pedestrian office worker who strayed into the bike path when I was going uphill and he gave a look of suprise as I passed him that someone was using the lane. *grumble, grumble, grumble*

When I'm brave enough I'll cycle all the way to Oxford St. for lunch.

BTW, what a stroke of luck (or lobbying?) for Clarence St. Cyclery to be so close to the King St. bikepath. Convenient for me but just saying.
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Re: Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

Postby petie » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:44 pm

Agree, its !! BAN ME NOW FOR SWEARING !!. Nice lanes, great theory, !! BAN ME NOW FOR SWEARING !! execution.

They should have a fence between the cycleway and footpath the number of peds that just walk out without looking.

I did the right thing at the lights and waited for them for 2 CYCLES then just rode the red. Might as well have not built the lanes and banned bicycles, would be better than building the lanes then mocking us by putting ill thought lanes and lights that never change??? :evil:
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Re: Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

Postby CommuRider » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:54 pm

petie wrote: They should have a fence between the cycleway and footpath the number of peds that just walk out without looking.


I'd prefer more trees. Fences are so unsightly.

petie wrote:

I did the right thing at the lights and waited for them for 2 CYCLES then just rode the red. Might as well have not built the lanes and banned bicycles, would be better than building the lanes then mocking us by putting ill thought lanes and lights that never change??? :evil:


Petie - have a beer. Think about it this way, you're giving pedestrians a 30sec-2 minute headstart...kinda like racing against them. That's what I do when I get off the ferry. Give them all a head start and then catch up with the first person who leaves the ferry in less than a minute. People walk so slow these days....or my bike is too fast :D
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Re: Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

Postby zero » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:22 am

petie wrote:Agree, its b*****t. Nice lanes, great theory, !!! spammer !!! execution.

They should have a fence between the cycleway and footpath the number of peds that just walk out without looking.

I did the right thing at the lights and waited for them for 2 CYCLES then just rode the red. Might as well have not built the lanes and banned bicycles, would be better than building the lanes then mocking us by putting ill thought lanes and lights that never change??? :evil:


Yes the loops don't work if you don't know where they are. RTA have been told a million times, but you could alway send them a complaint from another person. Its an increasingly pointless exercise trying to detect carbon bikes with what are essentially metal detectors anyway. I'd roll my spokes repeatedly over the loops as I do on the road, but the RTA in their wisdom have installed the only set of entirely subterreanean loops on the entire road system into the bike lane, so you can only guess at the possible location.
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Re: Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

Postby x8pg2qr » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:58 pm

Just my opinion that the best way to get people to stop walking onto the cycleway, is for more people to use them, more of the time. I’m not referring to those who prefer to claim the lane going uphill, or avoid the route all together because another route is faster, but more bicycle riders in general. The cycleways may be well used at peak times, but when I go at “off peak” times--e.g. weekends, or 2-3 pm, there are still a lot of cars on the road, and some pedestrians on the foot path. But the cycleway is conspicuously empty—1 or 2 riders maybe.

If the cycleway looks that way much of the time, it’s no surprise (even if it’s irritating) that pedestrians wander all over it.

Although signs could help—like the ones at the entrances of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Although IMO that signs or fences or trees “protecting” a little-used cycleway can potentially piss people off.

So, do your civic duty, take some time off, and encourage new bicycle riders.

And the lights suck. (But more riders using the lanes might create more voices asking for the lights to be changed, rather than the same old few).
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Re: Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

Postby zero » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:52 pm

I wouldn't take a new rider to it personally - its a straight up advertisment for not cycle commuting. I literally do not have the time to commute at 5km/hr, and nor does anyone else. The alignment is the steepest part of the ridge, and that is actually difficult for unfit riders to climb. Whilst yes its good that people exercise occasionally, its not solving any problems its supposed to if they can immediately see why they aren't going to use it on a monday morning.
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Re: Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

Postby CommuRider » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:20 pm

One word: Gears. How many bikes these days don't have them?

Also, the fact is, Sydney IS hilly. So at least this is one experiment in steep cycling. Or they could put in a bike elevator like in Norway.
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Re: Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

Postby alchemist » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:19 am

CommuRider wrote:One word: Gears. How many bikes these days don't have them?


Not many, all of my bikes have a least 1 :lol:
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Re: Whats with the lights on King Street Syd?

Postby grimbo » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:50 am

I agree that the light phasing sucks, but until Sydney has a bike culture like Amsterdam and bikers are first class citizens, they will not disadvantage the almighty car. The only solution is more people biking regularly.

I have had a few people walk right out in front of me on the King St cycleway without even looking, and I think the problem is partly how the lanes look. Subconsciously, I think people see them as another footpath, they know there are no cars there, and if they check at all, it is the direction a car would be coming from. The two times I nearly pranged someone was when I was going down King St against the traffic, and as King St is one way, bikes coming the other way can be a surprise for the unwary.

And we have to share these roads with cars and pedestrians. All it requires is to slow down a little and take it easy for a few hundred metres and be friendly. And the more people we keep onside means the more people will hopefully be on our side in the future.
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