Bike lanes

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Bike lanes

Postby androidhaig » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:00 pm

Not sure if anyone knows the path but I was riding home today on the bike path on Bourke Road (in Sydney near the airport) and was hit today. Well technically I hit the car, but he was in the lane, I'll explain.

So the bike lane on Bourke Road I have to say isn't great, there are protected segments, then there are segments where there are exits and entrances all along the path to warehouses and what not. At these sections, there aren't concrete dividers between the road and the bike lane, but rather just a dotted line which I always thought meant 'give way to cyclists'. It always made sense to me because the cyclists would be riding at 30km/h going along and wouldn't be able to see any trucks or cars coming out of the exits, or even turning into the exits because it's somewhat poorly designed and you can't really expect cyclists to be looking over their shoulder every 20 meters. If you've ridden the path before you might know what I'm talking about.

So I was riding in one of these sections today, southbound, when a car (southbound as well so I didn't see it) turned into one of the warehouse entrances (to do so he had to cross the bike lane), at which point I was about 5 meters away. Basically my open bike lane suddenly turned into a giant obstacle 5m away as I was doing 30km/h. So I swerved and braked and did what I could to minimise the damage, ended up just bumping the front wheel onto the driver door. I guess it could have ended worse and I left with just a few scuffs on the bike and a slightly bent front wheel, but was I in the wrong in this situation? Are bikes supposed to give way to cars turning into these entrances or was he at fault from not checking before turning in? I pointed out that it was a bike lane and that there was a dotted line but he told me 'it's also a road mate, watch where you're going' which pissed me off a bit. Whats the normal procedure when you've got a situation like this, police or just take down the rego?
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by BNA » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:22 pm

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Re: Bike lanes

Postby zero » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:22 pm

To drive over a path from or to a road related area (ie a carpark), requires the driver to give way to anyone on the path.

The kind of accident youv'e had reflects the fact that the cyclists are behind parked cars and cannot be seen - and cannot see indicators on cars either, and even if a driver does look (they don't), its likely that you'll be obscured if you are travelling at 30 by the relevent view angles, and there is no method for a motorist to safely estimate your speed, because you will not be visible until very late in the equation.

They are very common incidents on bourke st/rd. I would suggest for your own safety that you don't do 30 on bourke st, the design of it is simply not up to that speed.

If you have another accident with a motorist, I'd also suggest you take photos of any damage, and grab their details so you can report the incident. Even better do what some of us do, and run a cam on your bars or on your helmet.

Note that your legal situation is fairly clear at the driveways, its not very clear at the "shared" zones, ie if you t-bone a motorist in one of the raised platform areas, you may well be considered to have failed to give way as well, as regardless of what the council might have intended, you are probably "entering the roadway" at that point.

They also have scattered giveway warnings on the pavement that may or may not have legal meanings (they aren't correct for symbols as per the road rules), and lack the required giveway line.
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby BigPete » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:43 pm

I don't know the path nor can I picture exactly what you have described here, however a dotted line (like you see at a give way sign and a lot of intersections) means anyone crossing that line must give way to anyone on the other side of that line. I assume in this case the car did not give way and they are at fault, not you.
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby il padrone » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:03 pm

androidhaig wrote: Whats the normal procedure when you've got a situation like this, police or just take down the rego?

Property damage - your 'bent front wheel', and who knows what may show up on a closer inspection. Exchange details and get quotes for repairs, then deal with the driver's insurance company.

Any motorist always must give way to any other vehicles in a lane before entering it..... very basic road rules. To be technical drivers are supposed to indicate and merge into the bike lane, when it is clear, and turn left from a position as close as possible to the left hand road edge.

The driver should be paying for your wheel to be fixed :D . Shame you don't seem to have got his details. His off the cuff comments just reveal a massive ignorance on his part. Bike lane or no bike lane, turning vehicles must keep clear of other traffic before making their turn. Yes, it's a road :roll: , so he needs to follow the damn road rules !!!
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby find_bruce » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:03 pm

That would be road rule 75. The thing to remember when reading the road rules is that a bicycle is a "vehicle" & a separated bicycle path is a "road related area"

Road Rule 75 wrote:(1) A driver entering a road related area or adjacent land from a place on a road without traffic lights or a stop sign, stop line, give way sign or give way line must give way to:
(a) any pedestrian on the road, and
(b) any vehicle or pedestrian on any road related area that the driver crosses or enters, and ...

While the rule is clear, I my experience it is one of the most frequently ignored rules to the clear hazard of pedestrians as well as cyclists.

You will even find "security guards" who think that pedestrians have to stop so that cars & trucks can drive through rather than the other way around.

So the question you have to ask if you want to bet your life on a driver obeying the law ?
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby Percrime » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:44 pm

Yes.
Make no mistake.. the driver is in the wrong. He is entirely in the wrong. He has committed an offence. And you are entitled to have him charged and have him pay for your damage.

As others said perhaps you could have done more to dodge it. But thats not actually the point.
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby jules21 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:31 pm

it's my sad duty to inform you that you've both committed an offence.

Australian Road Rule 148 - Giving way when moving from one marked lane or line of traffic to another marked lane or line of traffic
(1) A driver who is moving from one marked lane (whether or not the lane is ending) to another marked lane must give way to any vehicle travelling in the same direction as the driver in the marked lane to which the driver is moving.
Offence provision.

(driver in the wrong)

141 No overtaking etc to the left of a vehicle
(2) The rider of a bicycle must not ride past, or overtake, to the left of a vehicle that is turning left and is giving a left change of direction signal.
Offence provision.

(rider in the wrong)
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby il padrone » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:39 pm

jules21 wrote:141 No overtaking etc to the left of a vehicle
(2) The rider of a bicycle must not ride past, or overtake, to the left of a vehicle that is turning left and is giving a left change of direction signal.
Offence provision.

(rider in the wrong)

Not at all the case, if as I read it, the driver was overtakng the cyclist then did the ol' left hook.

Victorian Road Rules wrote:144 Keeping a safe distance when overtaking
A driver overtaking a vehicle—
(a) must pass the vehicle at a sufficient distance to avoid a collision with the vehicle or obstructing the path of the vehicle; and
(b) must not return to the marked lane or line of traffic where the vehicle is travelling until the driver is a sufficient distance past the vehicle to avoid a collision with the vehicle or obstructing the path of the vehicle.


If the OP was 5m behind at the time, but travelling at 30kmh was unable to stop in time, then the motorist has not allowed "sufficient distance... ..to avoid a collision".
Last edited by il padrone on Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby find_bruce » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:41 pm

Jules, as I understand the situation, the op was on a separated path, ie footpath, bike path, then road & not an on-road bike lane going in the same direction. If this is correct then he is not overtaking

Also he ran into the drivers door which suggests the car turned right, not left.

Edit: just read il padrones post, 3 people 3 different thoughts on the facts. I hope one of us is right :D
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby il padrone » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:48 pm

No, you are correct. It seems like that Bourke St seperated lane must be a dual-directional lane. The car has turned right causing the OP to crash into his driver's door. I hope he left some nice scratches on it :twisted:
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby jules21 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:57 pm

thanks guys. i retract my statement - motorist at fault. good outcome :)
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby skull » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:05 pm

did the driver stop and provide assistance.
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby androidhaig » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:28 pm

thought i might clear some things up, the driver turned right so crossed the northbound lane and got a honk from the oncoming traffic as he did so. I think he was trying to make a small gap in the traffic to turn into a driveway, and yes I hit the driver door and left a nice dent :p he stopped for a second and asked if I was alright but after that started arguing that it was a road and that I was supposed to stop, before driving off as I was checking my bike for damage. Shoulda taken down a number plate before I looked down to my bike I guess
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby il padrone » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:19 pm

androidhaig wrote:and yes I hit the driver door and left a nice dent :p

Ahhh! Bet he wishes he'd stopped to exchange details now, eh? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby george-bob » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:08 pm

the bourke street path is a death trap. it is much safer to ride in the lane. i have had several trucks pull out without looking and almost hit me, since then i gave up riding in the bike lane for my own safety!
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby wombatK » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:08 pm

george-bob wrote:the bourke street path is a death trap. it is much safer to ride in the lane. i have had several trucks pull out without looking and almost hit me, since then i gave up riding in the bike lane for my own safety!

As this incident shows, southbound it's an accident waiting to happen - and clear proof how unsatisfactory bi-directional bike paths are. Southbound moron drivers don't look for southbound cyclists on the other side of the road, because they pretty much never find it anywhere else. Worse still, moron drivers exiting from premises on the western side of the road don't look for southbound cyclists approaching on their left, because again it's not an everyday situation for them.

I've mainly used the route on weekends, and take the road when southbound because of these risks (and the give-way bias at intersections).

Some of the above comments on the legal situation have used rules relating to bike lanes. The City of Sydney Council describe is as a separated cycleway, and I don't recall seeing the "bike lane" signs required by the road rules to define it as a bicycle lane (just google for images of bourke st cycleway, and you'll find no signs - they're required at every intersection). In the absence of the lane signage, the bicycle pathway is a road-related area (per Rule 13c)), and the motorist has obligations (per Rule 75) to give way when leaving the road and crossing the cycleway.

Shame the OP didn't get driver's license plate and other particulars.
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Re: Bike lanes

Postby KonaCommuter » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:32 pm

wombatK wrote:
Shame the OP didn't get driver's license plate and other particulars.




Caveat - I'm a noob.


That being said. I honestly don't know why people whom cycle regularly (commute / recreation) don't pony up for a video camera. They are dirt cheap now. And to be quite frank. Knowing what I know now I'd buy a decent camera at the expense of a higher spec bike and I value a higher spec bike
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