Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-new ... 1vgxl.html
Canberra's off-road "cycle paths" have become a free-for-all and are the site of more serious bike accidents than roads, new research has revealed.
Researchers from the George Institute interviewed 313 cyclists who presented to the ACT's two hospital emergency departments after accidents.
George Institute research fellow Liz de Rome said she had been surprised to discover the average injury severity was more serious for accidents that occurred on shared pathways than on roads.
Ms de Rome said the recommended speed limit for pathways was 15km/h, but the average estimated speed being travelled by cyclists involved in accidents was more than 20km/h.
She said the regulation of cycling in shared areas should be reviewed.
"They are not regulated by police because they are not part of the road reserve. And so really it's sort of like a free-for-all zone," she said.
"The default speed limit in the ACT, as in most states, is 50 [km/h]. So people are doing 50 and it's not safe."
The study found that full-bodied coverage, including gloves, shoes, long-sleeved tops and full-length pants, was effective at preventing or reducing some injuries.
The study, which was funded by the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust, backed the establishment of more on-road dedicated cycle lanes.
More details in the George Institute press release ...
The George Institute has a second related press release ...
If anyone comes across the full study please do share
Safer on the road in Perth. I couldn't imagine setting foot nor tyre on the PSP up West Coast Hwy, all those pedestrians walking in big groups, chatting away or with iPods blaring much safer on the road just a curb spacing away.
I coped flak for not riding on that lovely regional shared path ....
That bike path hardly looks dangerous. It bears no resemblance to the typical Canberra bike path, which is much narrower, winding, sometimes a little bumpy with tree roots, occasional debris and gravel and multi-user.
I would imagine vehicles should expect cyclists to use such an excellent bike way when provided. Most of Canberra's off road bike ways are suitable for cruising pace only.
That one in the video is wide, safe, straight, with bugger all traffic on it and readily able to be ridden quite quickly I'd say from your video. If that were available next to roads near me, I would definitely be choosing the bike lane. Alas such fine lanes are non-existent near me.
Very interesting, though not too surprising. Agree wholeheartedly that most canberra shared cycle paths are good for cruising only.
I guess its a case of appropriate speed for appropriate conditions. When theres the chance of a pedestrian on the path (likely with ipod or something ensuring they are oblivious) you cannot argue that anything over 15km/h is a safe speed. Pity the drivers on the road are such inconsiderate humans
Last edited by petie on Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
and it is because of this very attitude that the City of Stirling has called in the Police to deal with cyclists who where and continue to ride irresponsibly on this Regional Shared Path and has put in place at one place physical barriers to slow down cyclists. I believe it also has some 60+ egress/ingress points on the path ... yep real smart to ride quickly in those conditions
Not smart to watch a few seconds of a six kilometre + path at one moment in time and jump to conclusions; not smart at all.
Call me cynical, but seeing as the study was bankrolled by a motoring organisation I have my reservations as to the motives behind it.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
Such studies have been conducted in cities with extensive cycle path networks around the world, and generally come up with similar conclusions - segregated bike paths have illusory safety values.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segregated ... facilities
Scroll down to the section on 'Segregated Facilities and Safety'.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
Anecdotal evidence: I've come off my bike twice on shared path style cycleways due to poor quality paths and unpredictable pedestrians and children and had many more close calls. I've fallen off my bike once on the road but that was a clipstack when somebody in the group I was riding with stopped suddenly as we were going around a corner.
These days I try to avoid cycleways on my commute where possible because my average speed is 30kph+ which means I match pace with traffic much better than I do with pedestrians. Every morning I do part of my commute on a cycleway and the number of walking groups of 5+ people covering both sides of the path you see is pretty staggering. Cycle paths are also ruined for nice sunny weekend afternoons, the number of times I've tried to go for a roll around the waterfront and I've encountered two prams being pushed side by side which refuse to move for me...
I'd love to have good, wide bicycle only paths, I could probably average 32+ kph for my whole to and from work trip if we had cycleways of equal quality to the roads (but without the cars). Unfortunately shared infrastructure will never really be an option for commuting if you go any real distance because naturally you want to get where you're going in a reasonable time which involves moving faster than people using the paths for recreation.
The engineers of canberras offroad paths did not have the performance envelope of the average cyclist in mind, let alone a fast commuter.
It is common to find them wound amongst trees offering 25m sight lines, whilst travelling within a 30m wide reserve, ranging from 1m to 25m away from the roadway. The number of cycle-cycle incidents does not suprise me, as there are no intersection controls, and because the radius on corners can be extremely sharp, the sight lines short and the path so narrow, the radius difference between the inside and outside of corners is considerable, and its common for children to ride wherever they please.
Usually you will be fiddle-arsing about amongst the trees alongside a perfectly straight road with no trees within 5m of the shoulder, and 2km sight lines, and you will come out on each side road with no intersection priority, and people hooking around super-wide-radius road corners at 60. ie its not your turn to cross when the lights are red, and its not your turn to cross when the lights are green on the main intersection either. Its your turn to cross when there are no cars left.
Some of the later paths are much better - but on a journey you generally have to deal with some terrible bits.
it is possible to build cycle infrastructure that is almost perfectly safe. The simplest method is to take a road, and barrier the entrances against motor traffic. Presto, vehicle scale sight lines, vehicle scale maneuvouring space and intersections designed for vehicles.
+1 here too. Looks are deceiving. The coastal dune system calls for accelerating downhill in preparation for the next uphill, but there are usually far too many peds on that path for anything greater than 20 kph (and that's on a good day). The number of dogs both on and off leads doesn't make it any easier either.
Today's effort = Tomorrows reward.
2010 Oppy C6
I agree on the newer paths around the burbs of Canberra being quite good, some almost like bike freeways. The one out to Queanbeyan is pretty good as is the Hall path. I wonder if town planners ever design roads to sepentine around trees like the inner Canberra paths do. Its' the lunch time runners with the earphones is the main hazzard.
the average walking speed is around 5km/h making shared pathways ridiculous.
it's like a driver travelling on a road at 15km/h in a 90 km/h speed zone. cyclists and pedestrians just don't mix
# Malvern Star 1952 Five Star Semi Racer # Harvey 1930's Club Racer
Careful there. The argument can then be applied to cyclists on the road.
Unicyclist's don't need a training wheel
+3 That path is dangerous as its shared as stated. The police presence doesn't help either and yes anything over 20kph is nuts. I rider that stretch most days.
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The majority of pedestrians don't know how to share a shared path. Dogs and children are not encouraged to stay to one side, adults walk 3 abreast or change direction as suddenly as their errant dogs and children, but even noob cyclists cycle 2 abreast with no will to single up when cyclists are coming in the opposite direction (on narrow paths). And why should a bike bell be compulsory when pedestrians wear ipods?
FWIW, within a week of walking the dog on busy KBB, I learned to always hold the leash in my left hand with the dog on my left. That kept her away from people with dogs heading the other way, and cyclists passing either way. I am stunned that people who've walked dogs for years don't do the same. But they are probably the same deadheads who don't pick up their dog's turds.
Definitely agree with everything that has been said about shared bike/pedestrian paths. I think they have been designed by engineers who do not ride bicycles and design them for pedestrians.
Most shared paths are;
- way too narrow
- way to bumpy
- curves of small radius which means
- insufficient (read dangerous) lines of sight for cyclists
Best option is to separate pedestrians (children, dogs, wheelchairs, prams etc) from cyclists.
Second best option is to design and install much wider paths. After all, we don't construct traffic lanes that are 2 metres wide and then get vehicles that are 3 metres wide to drive on them.
obviously if ur doing 50 kmh on the thing, thats grossly unsafe..I cant even imagine that speed on a shared pathway , what that would actually look and feel like..
the Harold Scruby freak talked about shared pathways running ankle-deep in blood, didnt he, but I think he meant that all the peds and dog walkers were going to be mowed down like ears of wheat...not that it was going to look like the first day of the Somme for the actual cyclists..
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