Just thought I'd start a thread on lobbying to road authorities for better thinking on bike facilities. Here is what I wrote today, prompted by the article in todays The Age on the Coroner's findings on James Cross' death. Feel free to share your own and any responses you may receive.
From: <name and email>
Sent: Saturday, 26 November 2011 1:13 PM
Cc: 'email@example.com'; Norman Monshall
Subject: FW: Bicycle Lane in the Door Zone at Aquatic Drive Allambie Heights
Dear Staff and Councillors,
In June this year I wrote to you regarding â€œcar door zoneâ€ bike lanes in Warringah, and the safety concerns I hold in regard to their implementation.
It appears the Victorian Coroner shares my concerns.
In relation to James Crossâ€™ death, The Age today quotes Coroner Heather Spooner who said Cross' death was entirely preventable. ''It has highlighted a very significant public safety hazard, particularly in high-risk areas where car dooring is responsible for many injuries to cyclists,'' she said
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/cycli ... z1elaMb4nI
A similar death occurred in New Zealand earlier this year where Jane Mary Bishop, 27, a British nurse was killed in almost identical circumstances. In her case it was reported she anticipated the door opening at the last second and swerved to avoid it, but was crushed by a following truck:
Read more: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... d=10712712
The staff response to my email below was unsatisfactory. It conveyed an unrealistic expectation of cyclistsâ€™ ability to anticipate and safely respond to vehicle door openings, and a failure to understand that the obligation to avoid the collision rests entirely with the vehicle occupant under NSW and Australian road rules. I found the justification of Aquatic Driveâ€™s lane implementation as being in line with the Bike Plan disappointing. Far from being well-accepted by the cycling community as asserted in the response, there is ample evidence to show they are controversial.
Please find attached updated photos, taken between 12:08 and 12:09 today.
I implore you please to take a more sympathetic view of cyclistsâ€™ valid concerns with the implementation of bicycle lanes adjacent to parked cars, and cease new implementations.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/refle ... 1nzd7.html
There are other, more appropriate cyclist safety measures available that improve safety for pedestrians, residents and the community in general, with little adverse impact on motorists.
(Name, Suburb and Phone Number supplied)