Southbank Riverside Caution

Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby landscapecadmonkey » Sat May 05, 2012 3:07 pm

Im usually a strong advocate for cyclists rights in shared locations, but an incident occurred a few weeks ago that really has shaken me.

I was riding along the pathway that runs along Southbank one Thursday afternoon about 5pm on my way to drinks in WestEnd. It was a great day, not too hot, i was dressed in good clothes heading for a night out, so felt no rush whatsoever as i poodled along on the fixed gear enjoying the whole southbank experience. There was the usual mixed crowd of commuters, tourists and the general throng out enjoying themselves. There were also many 'sideways ramblers' amongst the ped population. Given my fame of mind, i was more than happy to wind in and out, wait for gaps to appear etc. I really did default to a ped focus, as it seemed to suit the conditions. If ever there was a place peds should be able to 'amble' not necessarily in a straight line, perhaps this is it.

I started to compare this to many other 'dedicated' trips id made either late for work, or on my way home... the speeds i would normally do through there, and my thoughts were with my latest design classes project which had just finished which was analysing and redesigning a few of the hot conflict spots around the CBD. I also had noticed though that there was still a goodly proportion of cyclists pushing hard in the commutes home.

As i approached the William Jolly Bridge underpass, where it gets a little confusing because the path divides into ped and cycle, i saw two young women walking with a small boy of about 4-5yrs old. I rang the bell with plenty of time as i was still just poodling. They both looked around and moved to the right hand side of the bike path. All cool i thought. At this speed i could account for just about any unlikely circumstances, and ive never been too bent out of shape when people dont do what you may first expect them to do.

As i lazily passed them, out of the corner of my eye, i saw the young chap, who hadnt originally turned around, suddenly dart to his left towards me. No time to slow, or swerve.... i could only hope that our trajectories passed with no impact. But collide he did, at about the crank level, and even though i couldn't have been doing more than say 10-12km/hour, the sound was sickening. He bounced back in direction he was coming from, and let out such a blood curdling scream i thought id killed him. I immediately stopped and dropped the bike onto the grass and ran back the few paces. Thankfully he had only taken skin of his lower leg in a pretty wide shallow graze, so no deeper cuts or impact damage. The two women he was with embarrassingly withdrew him up the hill under the bridge. Despite me saying repeatedly that the water i had would take the sting away, and my apologies, they apologised to me, seemed very embarrassed and just wanted to get away. To be honest, if it had have been an adult, i would have felt bad that they were hurt, but that they were at fault, so tough t1tties.

Several people stopped and said they had seen it, and i was definitely not to blame, but that is no comfort whatsoever when your bike has just sconed a small boy. I have a lad about the same age, and all i could think about on the way home was both of them.

I am really on the look out for places of potential conflict on paths now. I used to ride as quickly as i could to and from work. I would speed by peds, and see them more as chicanes than people. I now see bikes hooting along bike paths in the CBD and it makes me ill, especially some of the ridiculous speeds along the Kangaroo Point stretch, Coronation Drive pat there ( cant remember the name) and most places in and around the city. I guess im not moralising as much as i am wincing when i see it.

That line between ok and not ok is far narrower now, i know, especially after a number of incidents ive had on both my road and fixed gear bikes, and i know its hypocritical of me to say, because i have always pushed it, but i see so many cyclists pushing the same boundaries with speed around peds, that it scares the Showtime out of me.

So, its not a case of being spooked by speed, as i still hook in on the roads, but i dont want a dead-ped on my hands on the paths, and thought i may have chalked up my first on that Thursday evening.

Back to Southbank: Its the place out of all places around the CBD that i detect a sense of entitlement by cyclists, and its probably the silliest place to have that feeling given the ped predominace of this piece of infrastructure.

As a urban design professional, i am involved in not only the analysis and design of urban places, but also in the philosophical discourse that surrounds the 'way' we do things. This discourse centres on environmental design and its relationship to human behavior incessantly, but at some stage infrastructural provision needs to yield to modified behavior via the social contract. The alternative is a deterministic world of regulated behaviors and divided activities that take away peoples basic right to do the wrong thing, and therefore their inherent need to act in the interests of others, which is clearly not a seriously valid way forward either.

Anyway, i still dont know what ANY of this really means, but now i just slow r i g h t d o w n ... and hug my son.
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by BNA » Sat May 05, 2012 3:27 pm

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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby Oxford » Sat May 05, 2012 3:27 pm

thee are some awfully stupid cyclists around that area. I don't often ride around there, but when I have its always been slow and cautious, just too many ped's and too much that can go wrong. but the number of cyclists trying to set new PBs etc etc is disturbing. equally though the number of ped's that do themselves no favours with some of the random crap they do and worse ignoring the signs that stipulate the ped path as opposed to the bike only path.
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Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby Max » Sun May 06, 2012 11:28 am

I hate riding through Southbank. There's too many pedestrians, and not enough room for error. It's a place for tourists to go wandering. They shouldn't have to concern themselves with not getting run over. I personally feel it's a terrible place for a cycle route.

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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby PawPaw » Sun May 06, 2012 12:21 pm

Try to avoid riding through there though when I do I appreciate that it is a high tourist area, and tourists are essentially ignorant that the path is a shared ped and bike way. Plus people go to Southbank to zone out. They aren't in high vigilance mode.

At Southbank some years ago, a 20 something twit on a mountain bike went tearing past me on my road bike, and cut the blind corner ahead of me. A few seconds later I heard the same child's blood curdling screams. He had possibly broken the poor lad's arm. If I could have beat that fellow to a pulp, I would have. A total self absorbed ignorant arrogant brain dead jerk. The father really laid into him, and rightly so. If I had been the father, I would have certainly hit the guy....and called the police in addition to the ambulance.

Unfortunately, jerks like that guy give urban cyclists a bad name. In his case, the father and son were doing absolutely nothing wrong.

In your case monkey, the mother was doing what so many people do these days, play it cool and casual, to the point of being indifferent to the safety of others and their sprogs. You see it in supermarkets and shopping centres where parents let their kids run around and risk knocking over produce and old ladies. Some kids nowadays are presumably fed such crap diets and have such poor impulse control because their twit parents don't care how this impacts others, that I think they deserve the shock of their offspring being hurt before they'll change their slack ways.
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Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby RonK » Sun May 06, 2012 1:47 pm

Well, it is the Southbank Promenade - a place for a relaxed family stroll along the river bank. It is not a racetrack for cyclists.
After rendering assistance to pedestrians injured in two seperate incidents on the Bicentennial Bikeway (both caused by idiot cyclists), I no longer use the shared paths - I'd rather take my chances with the traffic than risk a collision with a pedestrian. And if I have to ride anywhere near a pedestrian, I do so at pace that would not cause me alarm if I was on foot.
I find it astonishing that as I walk to work in the morning I'm often passed and even abused by cyclists riding at high speed on the footpath.
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby Crawf » Sun May 06, 2012 3:20 pm

Way to many d**kheads along the river run. Day in, day out these clowns persist in riding 3/4 a breast around corners into me on the oncoming extreme left - all to save a few seconds, I'm so tempted to 'close line' them.
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby jasonc » Mon May 07, 2012 5:06 pm

Crawf wrote: I'm so tempted to 'close line' them.


you mean you don't already? :D

southbank is an area I also avoid. I ride along montague street rather than along the river when I'm around there. You get room and courtesy, most of the time.
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby lethoso » Mon May 07, 2012 9:45 pm

yeah, not a place to go much faster than walking pace. You do see a lot of numpties tearing through there though.
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby ekib » Tue May 08, 2012 12:47 pm

A possible solution would be to construct a dedicated separated cycleway. :D I think that is fairly unlikely to happen. :(

Unfortunately, the alternative is to ride along the road parallel to Southbank, that is Grey St. Here you will find "bike lanes" which are full of parked cars and many pedestrians crossing the road wherever and whenever they feel like it.

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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby marinmomma » Tue May 08, 2012 7:25 pm

I ride through there early in the morning on my commute and it's fairly quite, but avoid it at all costs in the afternoon, I cross over the river using the GBB and use the bikepath arounf=d to the Goodwill Bridge.
Easier to do that and avoid the traffic on Melbourne/Grey Streets and it adds an extra k or so to the ride.
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby elantra » Wed May 09, 2012 12:51 pm

This is a good discussion thread because it reminds us to take care and be wary of so-called bike paths etc.
I learnt a lesson at Southbank a long time ago.

Pedalling long relatively slowly a child in nappies launched himself perpendicular across my path.
I managed to pull up in time and did not connect with child, but i went over the bars.

My bike landed approximately on top of me and suffered a slightly bent derailleur hanger.
Was later able to cautiously bend it back into alignment.
Still riding it, but careful of Southbank shared bikepaths.
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Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby Comedian » Wed May 09, 2012 4:22 pm

Interesting stuff. I ride along there fairly often and will continue to do so.

I ride very slowly and cautiously when
It's busy. If something like that happened I'd be devastated but also realize that sometimes stuff just happens.

I'm not sure if there are strava segments along there but I'd like to think they have been disallowed if there are on safety grounds.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby Lewdannie » Wed May 16, 2012 9:09 pm

I just use Grey St....the cars are more predictable
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby landscapecadmonkey » Wed May 16, 2012 10:17 pm

marinmomma wrote: but avoid it at all costs in the afternoon,

i think your spot on Lisa. i thought at even a very slow speed id be fine, but it has me spooked now, and i dont spook easy on the bike with traffic normally.

im seeing so many close calls now ... this morning on my way to work at QUT, along the bike path adjacent to the freeway, a mini TDF peleton went flying past me and only just cut back to the left before oncoming traffic at a dangerous pinch point. Two bikes doing 30k each coming together head on wont be pretty.
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby marinmomma » Thu May 17, 2012 8:29 pm

Getting rid of the Strava segment leaderboards for some sections on the bikepath from QUT to out near Toowong might go some way to reducing the chance of high speed accidents occurring.
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby dipp3rman » Mon May 21, 2012 7:31 pm

I'm of two minds on this...I rode through South Bank on Sunday at 0600ish and again at 0720ish so the traffic was very light, pedestrian or otherwise. I do however daily commute along the Bicentennial Bikeway at 0600ish and back again from 1500-1800 with heavily varied traffic. I do agree that Southbank is a potential death trap during mid-heavy pedestrians, however not so much for the Bicentennial. I try and average 30km/h each way, however I do realise that I give way to everything, because at that speed it won't end well...

On the other-side, I've had more close calls with cars/traffic than people. Beside from the horns [right next to me], bottles thrown and cars cutting me off, a dog/toddler/person walking in front of me is low on my list of daily cycling dangers...

I will try Grey street instead of along the river next time, however I really hate traffic lights :wink:
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby landscapecadmonkey » Wed May 23, 2012 1:15 pm

dipp3rman wrote:I'm of two minds on this.......On the other-side, I've had more close calls with cars/traffic than people. Beside from the horns [right next to me], bottles thrown and cars cutting me off, a dog/toddler/person walking in front of me is low on my list of daily cycling dangers...

I guess until i had the bingle with that child, my main focus as a daily commuter cyclist was the damage that could be done to me. I of course knew and had a sense of the damage i could do to peds, but to feel a small human bounce off my bike....well.... i now KNOW (not just intellectually) the damage we (I) can do, even at what i thought was a benign speed.
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby beauyboy » Thu May 24, 2012 3:00 pm

I dispise Southbank for the way everyone Browns Cows wanders around. I would pefer to see some paint put down with this Bike path this pedestrian path.

I stear clear of it unless I really need to go anywhere near it.

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Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby argon_18 » Thu May 24, 2012 3:34 pm

used to run a few laps of the Southbank promenade in the afternoons. Start at the library over the goodwill and back a few times. Rode it for the first time in ages this morning, and whilst it’s not nearly as busy as the afternoons, I don’t dare to go at any speed other than just rolling along. The place is certainly the pedestrians domain first, and cyclist should avoid it if they don’t just want to trundle along. I don’t think I’ll ride there again on a commute, too many wandering peds to dodge.

And in the case of children... they’re so unpredictable I always give them a slow wide berth, as you never know which way they’ll go (I take the same attitude in the car too with kids playing in front yards) best to take your time rather than take a life
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby Ajhajhajh » Sat May 26, 2012 9:49 pm

marinmomma wrote:Getting rid of the Strava segment leaderboards for some sections on the bikepath from QUT to out near Toowong might go some way to reducing the chance of high speed accidents occurring.



I have marked a few segments in this area as hazardous, but the clowns just make up new segments that overlap the hazardous ones and Strava is unable (or unwilling) to mark areas as permanent hazardous areas.
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby dipp3rman » Sun May 27, 2012 8:42 am

landscapecadmonkey wrote:I guess until i had the bingle with that child, my main focus as a daily commuter cyclist was the damage that could be done to me. I of course knew and had a sense of the damage i could do to peds, but to feel a small human bounce off my bike....well.... i now KNOW (not just intellectually) the damage we (I) can do, even at what i thought was a benign speed.


I see your point, and I believe I would be mortified if it happened to me...

On a side note, tried Grey Street this morning...much nicer ride, with the exception of the lights just before the Victoria Bridge - the bike lane is very misleading, do people just stay on the road [when you want to go straight]? Either way, its now my new route.
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby Comedian » Sun May 27, 2012 11:36 am

Ajhajhajh wrote:
marinmomma wrote:Getting rid of the Strava segment leaderboards for some sections on the bikepath from QUT to out near Toowong might go some way to reducing the chance of high speed accidents occurring.



I have marked a few segments in this area as hazardous, but the clowns just make up new segments that overlap the hazardous ones and Strava is unable (or unwilling) to mark areas as permanent hazardous areas.
I'm unsure about doing this. Well maybe this is ok in locations like south bank but the practice of reporting any segment that has any potential risk I think is pointless and futile.

The reason is if someone is crazy enough to want to do a hi speed run they are probably going to do it anyway. Apart from criterion tracks there are very few or no places in this world that one can ride a bicycle without risk. Fortunately... it can virtually always be managed.

Just yesterday I was going to have a go at a segment on the brook... so I wound it up. :) As I came around a corner within my sight range there were little kids with trainer wheels going everywhere... runners... people in wheel chairs. I just backed off and turned around.. it will be perfectly safe at 5:30 one morning... and then it will be mine. :)

In my experience the people who are capable of the highest speeds are the ones who ride a lot. They recognise risk and behave accordingly because if they didn't they would crash. The riders who I've seen do the most risky things tend to be more commuters and I'd bet you that most of them aren't on strava.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby Ajhajhajh » Sun May 27, 2012 2:05 pm

Comedian, would have to disagree with you on some of your statements, any rider is capable of riding at an unacceptable time and as Strava is geared towards beating your own time and hopefully moving up the sheep station leader board you will see people taking unacceptable risks seeking their own self glory.

I think a few commuters are using it as a way of making the ride to work more of a game. take the clown who made the goodwill bridge a segment, anyone can smash the downhill on the goodwill at an unacceptable speed, and they do regardless of the amount of people using it at the time. I think there is merit with marking any dual use pathway as hazardous, but at the end of the day idiots will be idiots and also strong riders still have to control their egos.

there is no kudos being KOM of a bike path
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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby Comedian » Mon May 28, 2012 6:42 am

Ajhajhajh wrote:Comedian, would have to disagree with you on some of your statements, any rider is capable of riding at an unacceptable time and as Strava is geared towards beating your own time and hopefully moving up the sheep station leader board you will see people taking unacceptable risks seeking their own self glory.

I think a few commuters are using it as a way of making the ride to work more of a game. take the clown who made the goodwill bridge a segment, anyone can smash the downhill on the goodwill at an unacceptable speed, and they do regardless of the amount of people using it at the time. I think there is merit with marking any dual use pathway as hazardous, but at the end of the day idiots will be idiots and also strong riders still have to control their egos.

there is no kudos being KOM of a bike path


But it just doesn't make sense? Any traffic at all will interfere with your KOM attempt.. so why not just wait till later?

Strava is only really a very very recent innovation and I've seen people trying to beat their average on their bike computer long before Strava. I'm really unconvinced that Strava makes any difference. Knobs will be knobs and safe riders will be safe riders.

I really don't mind if you flag Southbank and the good will bridge as hazardous because I won't be trying for any KOM's there. However I had one of my segments canned because someone thought it was hazardous and it was up a 15% hill on the road where the top speed was like 22. The only dangerous thing is cars overtaking you. That's the problem with strava's hazard reporting.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Southbank Riverside Caution

Postby jasonc » Mon May 28, 2012 10:10 am

Comedian wrote:That's the problem with strava's hazard reporting.


+1

bicentennial bikeway is separated and hence not an issue with anything but yourself. Can't wait til the separate the oxley's on the river path.
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