Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

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Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby schroeds » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:57 pm

Last Sunday I came a cropper after riding into a 'traffic calming device'. Saw me take a visit to casualty, no bones broken thankfully but a lot of skin down (including nose, cheek, eyebrow ground down considerably) and a damaged AC joint in my shoulder. :cry: Busted helmet but only lightly damaged bike thank god.

Having spent the week in recovery today decided to walk up there and take a look at what the hell happened. I just couldn't figure out how i could have ridden into the thing and wanted to find out what happened.

The device is a series of concrete lumps that stick out into the road; they're installed on the exit from a roundabout which is on a road marked as a bike route (although it doesn't have a bike lane proper, it has a picture of a bike painted on the road). Surprise surprise, as you approach the roundabout you can't see the device because its obscured by the roundabout sign. You see it as you go into the roundabout and its placed so that it forces you out some third of the way into the traffic lane. As I stood there watching every single car drove OVER the device, nobody saw it :shock:

Interestingly the lump closest to the curb is missing and this makes me wonder if it's been removed to allow a gap for bikes to get through there without being forced into the road.

Bottom line, this thing serves no useful purpose that I can see and is a clear danger to cyclists. My questions:

1. who should I report it to...local council or the State Transport authority?
2. do I have any chance recovering my costs from somebody?

cheers guys
PS second crash in 8 weeks, was just getting over the last one :cry: :cry:
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by BNA » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:29 pm

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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby herzog » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:29 pm

Having trouble visualizing this. Got a pic?
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby schroeds » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:44 pm

Yep, I'm going to take some pics tomorrow, didn't take phone with me today. Will post.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby rkelsen » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:29 pm

That sucks. Heal well my friend.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby RobertFrith » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:41 pm

schroeds wrote:who should I report it to...local council or the State Transport authority?

Report it to both, just write one letter and address it to the CEO of your local authority. Under your signature add "cc <Minister for transport's name> and <head of your state authority for roads name>". Print three copies and post 'em off. I you don't hear back from anyone in a couple of weeks send a polite note reminding them you exist and you'd appreciate an answer 'cause after all it your taxes that funded the killer road object AND pays their wages/salaries/bonuses etc

Still nothing? Local councils usually have a question/comment time at the beginning of their monthly meetings. Usually you just have to rock up early, fill in a form that basically assures them that you're not a nutter and you have the full council's attention for a full three minutes.

Good luck and good health
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby g-boaf » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:26 am

That's not nice - hope you mend quickly. And give the Minister for Transport, DG of the transport authority and council a nice letter explaining what happened. Issue, background, current position and recommendation. (or whichever of those you can manage).

Get the media involved too if you are able, I'm sure they'd be interested in something like this. The 6:30pm terrible-twins might be able to do something for you.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby WestcoastPete » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:36 pm

It usually depends on who is responsible for the road. State/Territory governments are often responsible for arterial roads, with councils responsible for smaller roads.

Many councils and government departments will have a "report a fault" facility. Once you work out the responsible department, engage with them about the problem.

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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby birdbrain » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:14 pm

1. who should I report it to...local council or the State Transport authority?
2. do I have any chance recovering my costs from somebody?


Probably depends on the road. The local council will be responsible for the majority of roads but major roads are often the responsibility of the state transport authority.
I would take photos, especially where there is something that restricts the view of the road user. My gut feeling is that you should have an excellent case if the concrete strips are obscured by the roundabout sign. You should contact your local councillor first rather than just send a claim and complaint to the beurocrats in the council.

Would love to see photos.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby tubby74 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:27 pm

I'd start with a call to your council and ask to be put through to the traffic department. They may tell you it's a major road and falls under the state department, or may say that whilst it's under their control the device is something the state department forced them to put in. This is where it can go in circles as the departments blame eachother
If you're still not going anywhere try your councillors and state MP. I found the state MP very receptive and whilst not resolved at least she moved things quickly towards "how can we solve this" instead of the finger pointing that was going on before.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby schroeds » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:33 pm

There are some images and a video here

http://s775.beta.photobucket.com/user/schroeds95/story/1265

Please let me know what you think. I admit I'm surprised I didn't see the thing at all, but when you look at the evidence your honour, you'll see:

- It's not visible on approach.
- It's in line with where the bike signs and infrastructure are sending you.
- It's not logical, or expected. It appears to serve no purpose.
- Going around it forces you into traffic
- I was going to turn left into the street just beyond it.Must have looked beyond it, registered it as white lines not as blobs.

Please pass you judgement :?
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby human909 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:17 pm

schroeds wrote:There are some images and a video here

http://s775.beta.photobucket.com/user/schroeds95/story/1265

Please let me know what you think. I admit I'm surprised I didn't see the thing at all, but when you look at the evidence your honour, you'll see:

- It's not visible on approach.
- It's in line with where the bike signs and infrastructure are sending you.
- It's not logical, or expected. It appears to serve no purpose.
- Going around it forces you into traffic
- I was going to turn left into the street just beyond it.Must have looked beyond it, registered it as white lines not as blobs.

Please pass you judgement :?


In my opinion it is blatant negligence. If you wanted to take civil action (which I don't encourage, as I hate such things) you would have a great case. Our road infrastructure is designed with cars in mind. This is death trap for cyclists.

(Incidentally while riding the other day at night I hit a similar lump which was some sort of road repair. It was insanely dangerous and largely invisible in an otherwise smooth surface. I didn't come off but years a childhood of BMX and MTBing means that such bumps don't throw me.)
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby high_tea » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:36 pm

schroeds wrote:There are some images and a video here

http://s775.beta.photobucket.com/user/schroeds95/story/1265

Please let me know what you think. I admit I'm surprised I didn't see the thing at all, but when you look at the evidence your honour, you'll see:

- It's not visible on approach.
- It's in line with where the bike signs and infrastructure are sending you.
- It's not logical, or expected. It appears to serve no purpose.
- Going around it forces you into traffic
- I was going to turn left into the street just beyond it.Must have looked beyond it, registered it as white lines not as blobs.

Please pass you judgement :?


Wow, that is really wierd and really bad. What were they thinking?

PS Heal well
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby greyhoundtom » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:55 pm

After viewing the photos I can’t believe the stupidity of that setup, and the way it leads a cyclist directly into such danger.

Find out who is responsible for installing it, and see a barrister.

Someone needs to be held accountable for creating such a dangerous hazard, and someone needs to pay for the physical damage and pain you are having to go through, and what about ongoing problems with the shoulder joint later in life? Not to mention the damage to your cycling gear.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby il padrone » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:46 pm

schroeds wrote:There are some images and a video here

http://s775.beta.photobucket.com/user/schroeds95/story/1265

Please let me know what you think. I admit I'm surprised I didn't see the thing at all, but when you look at the evidence your honour, you'll see:

- It's not visible on approach.
- It's in line with where the bike signs and infrastructure are sending you.
- It's not logical, or expected. It appears to serve no purpose.
- Going around it forces you into traffic
- I was going to turn left into the street just beyond it.Must have looked beyond it, registered it as white lines not as blobs.

Please pass you judgement :?

What city is this thing in??


Just so as I can avoid it


It is dog's breakfast of a 'traffic calming device'. Not sure whether it is meant to diverge cars from a bike lane (is that what it is further on), to slow traffic or to prevent bicycle access :roll:
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:19 pm

:shock: :shock: :shock: I call mantrap.

Is there any truth in the rumour that this is indeed a privately funded installation conveniently located outside the residence of one A Jones?

Heal well Schroeds, hunt the mongrels down.

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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby schroeds » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:25 pm

This place is a very supportive environment, thanks guys, really appreciate the support, thought I was going crazy :roll:
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby herzog » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:39 am

Thanks for posting pics. That is really dreadful.

What next, punji pits?
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby birdbrain » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:32 pm

You would seriously wonder about the mental state of somebody who installed that.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby Biffidus » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:06 pm

My father came off his MTB after hitting similar bumps in the middle of a road while turning right. They seem to be quite effective at dismounting cyclists but cars can just roll right over them (and quite often the bumps are destroyed by the number of cars that do just that).

At least in SA they paint them bright yellow so you have a chance of seeing them.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby flow.rider » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:30 pm

Legal action, legal action and legal action.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby BigPete » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:39 pm

I believe you can not sue anyone in this case. My understanding is that bad road design and supporting infracture is part of the enjoyment of driving on our roads. I seem to recall that legal action can be taken when a fault (E.G. a bad pothole) is reported to the authorities but no remedy is performed within a resonable time. But still worth contacting a solicitor to see what you options really are.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby human909 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:00 pm

BigPete wrote:I believe you can not sue anyone in this case. My understanding is that bad road design and supporting infracture is part of the enjoyment of driving on our roads. I seem to recall that legal action can be taken when a fault (E.G. a bad pothole) is reported to the authorities but no remedy is performed within a resonable time. But still worth contacting a solicitor to see what you options really are.


Your understanding is grossly out of whack. In simple terms if negligences causes harm then you can sue. A unreported pothole is not negligence because you cannot expect the authorities to be aware and able to fix every defect the second it occurs. Atrociously designed death trap infrastructure is clearly negligent in my eyes. He can definitely sue if he so chooses. It is up to the courts to decide if he wins.

(Of course there is alot more to the tort of negligence as described here, but I kept it brief and simple.)
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby lump_a_charcoal » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:29 am

As others have said, I would be pursuing legal action, and aside from the financial outcome, push to have the council/RMA perform an audit of all other traffic calming devices/cyclist maimers in the area to ensure this cannot happen again.


Good luck!
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby AndrewBurns » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:46 am

I hate those concrete bread loaves, they're all over the place on my commute route. They're painted white like these too and placed along white lines so they're kinda hard to see but fortunately not in such stupid places as these. As has been noted cars just roll right over them and don't care, especially big SUV's who seem to take all of these road devices as justifications for buying their fatmobiles, but to bikes they're an almost certain crash.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby il padrone » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:00 am

AndrewBurns wrote:I hate those concrete bread loaves, they're all over the place on my commute route.

Really ?!! What part of the country is this?

If I saw such abominations on my commute I reckon I'd soon be out there with a sledgehammer to solve the safety problem :wink:
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