Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

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

Postby human909 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:03 am

I'm generally against legal action. But I can see successful legal action about these dangerous things being a wake up call for councils Australia wide.
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by BNA » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:08 am

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

Postby AndrewBurns » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:08 am

il padrone wrote:
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:


Sydney from the inner west to Macquarie park, they're most often used along the centre-line to separate the two opposite direction lanes around corners. I guess the idea is to discourage drivers from cutting the corner but they just drive over them anyway. The most annoying section is an S-shaped curve at the foot of a really savage hill, I'm going quite slowly at this point because of the steep hill (<20kph) and it's a single lane with no shoulder or parking lane. They put those concrete turds along the middle line through the whole S-corner which means that any cars that are behind me at that point either have to sit behind me going really slowly (which I wouldn't expect them to do) or drive over the bumps to get past me. The problem is that people hesitate about driving over the bumps which encourage them to try and pass me without changing lanes and getting dangerously close to me. Puts me in a difficult situation, either I ride wide and anger drivers behind me or I try to hug the left and possibly get clipped by some impatient so and so who doesn't know how wide their vehicle is. Neither situation is a recipe for road safety and I think the lumps themselves just make things more dangerous, not less.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby DentedHead » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:57 am

I remember these (in yellow) from when I grew up in SA. I thought they'd been removed precisely because they were more of a hazard than a safety device...

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

Postby schroeds » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:53 pm

Makes me wonder whether the collective real life experiences of cyclists on the road dealing with unsafe conditions could be aggregated and reported via a website. By which I mean if there was a repository where we could post dangerous road features, by suburb, in a constructive way so that councils or whoever are responsible could check the posts and follow up, ie using the cycling community as their eyes and ears.

I heard there are 80% more cyclists in Sydney than a couple of years ago (think that's the figure, half overheard it on the radio)...that's a lot of people's safety to be jeopardising, a lot of people to provide feedback.

Am I dreaming?
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby hewey » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:45 pm

The idea is to 'encourage' the cars to stay in the main lane and not drive in the cycleway after exiting the roundabout. I think the idea is good, if not well executed. My guess is they want the cyclists to vear to the left of the breadloaves, even though this is not marked. Given the look of the road I would guess it is maintained by the local council of that area.

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?


Find out what Council the area is in, and what ward of the Council the road is in. The council will have the councillors for that ward listed on their website, as well as their contact details. Write a letter explaining the nature of the incident, the photos you posted, the costs involved (bike and healthcare, and prove quotes for repair or receipts to substantiate your claims). Close the letter asking them what they'll do in terms of reimbursing you given the poor design of the road and in terms of fixing the problem. It might help to infer that if you are not satisfied with the outcome you are willing to take further legal action. If you don't get an answer in two weeks ring them directly and ask for a response. My guess is they'll jump to fix the road but will be reluctant to admit liability or pay for bike repairs. Good luck!
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby human909 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:41 pm

hewey wrote:The idea is to 'encourage' the cars to stay in the main lane and not drive in the cycleway after exiting the roundabout. I think the idea is good, if not well executed. My guess is they want the cyclists to vear to the left of the breadloaves, even though this is not marked. Given the look of the road I would guess it is maintained by the local council of that area.

I don't believe the idea is good at all. The entire treatment of cycle paths around roundabouts is generally highly dangerous. It doesn't help that the laws regarding cyclist use of roundabouts are suicidal either. Either encourage cyclists to use the roundabout correctly as a vehicle OR separate cyclists completely as is done in Holland. Personally I've never had problems with roundabouts. I simply take the appropriate lane and ride through.

hewey wrote:Find out what Council the area is in, and what ward of the Council the road is in. The council will have the councillors for that ward listed on their website, as well as their contact details. Write a letter explaining the nature of the incident, the photos you posted, the costs involved (bike and healthcare, and prove quotes for repair or receipts to substantiate your claims). Close the letter asking them what they'll do in terms of reimbursing you given the poor design of the road and in terms of fixing the problem. It might help to infer that if you are not satisfied with the outcome you are willing to take further legal action. If you don't get an answer in two weeks ring them directly and ask for a response. My guess is they'll jump to fix the road but will be reluctant to admit liability or pay for bike repairs. Good luck!

Decent advice.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby schroeds » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:50 pm

Thanks for the feedback and the advice, I guess you might be right about it being a clumsy attempt to force cars away from cyclists, I hadn't thought of that. However, the lumps actually force cyclists into the path of cars! There's no way they intended cyclists to stay inside the feature... as this photo shows, the lumps used to go right to the curb until somebody (a thoughtful cyclist?) or something (a lumbering 4WD?) removed one of them.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby il padrone » Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:47 pm

The Dutch have the best strategies for keeping cars away from cyclists at roundabouts...... and without creating any monstrous road obstructions that cause cyclist loss of control.

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

Postby Biffidus » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:36 pm

Wow, that uses a lot of space... could you imagine that happening here?
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby schroeds » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:13 pm

For anybody who's still interested in this thread, the council has removed the structures!!

I haven't got around to making a claim yet, but since I'm requiring ongoing physio to try to fix a damaged AC joint in my shoulder, I will be ... especially now the removal is as much as an admission of guilt.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby il padrone » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:28 pm

Real traffic calming in action

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 greyhoundtom » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:55 am

schroeds wrote:For anybody who's still interested in this thread, the council has removed the structures!!

I haven't got around to making a claim yet, but since I'm requiring ongoing physio to try to fix a damaged AC joint in my shoulder, I will be ... especially now the removal is as much as an admission of guilt.

That's really good news...... :D ....... I hope the shoulder heals fast and doesn't give you any long term problems.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby greyhoundtom » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:05 am

il padrone wrote:Real traffic calming in action


The same intersection in Australia would have six sets of traffic lights........pedestrian crossings....... bike paths if we were lucky......and traffic banked up for half a kilometre in every direction. :roll:
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:04 am

greyhoundtom wrote:The same intersection in Australia would have six sets of traffic lights........pedestrian crossings....... bike paths if we were lucky......and traffic banked up for half a kilometre in every direction. :roll:


Sounds like the Haymarket roundabout Tom, it USED to be an enjoyable part of the ride :(

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

Postby schroeds » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:29 pm

Watching that roundabout was soporific...I went into a trance, lit some candles, ran a bath, burnt some incense and started chanting :lol:

Why can't our world be like that?

I want to live on that roundabout! :shock:
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby Marto » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:23 pm

il padrone wrote:Real traffic calming in action



Small roundabouts and narrow streets seem to encourage drivers,cyclists and peds to look at each other, rather than look for an empty space to cut in. It makes the process a negotiation rather than a battle. It's really interesting to watch pedestrians in a busy area such as a 4-way intersection in a pedestrian mall. Nearly no collisions or rage.

When we were in Italy, my son commented on a dangerous bit of coast:
"why are there no warning signs or fences? What happens if someone falls in or drowns?"
"Well, everyone will think they are an idiot and they deserve it if they are that stupid in a dangerous area"
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby human909 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:01 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Sounds like the Haymarket roundabout Tom, it USED to be an enjoyable part of the ride :(


I completely agree. What they have done there is absurd. Half the time I am waiting at the lights and there is not a single car travelling in front of me. The great aspect of roundabouts is efficient use of the road!
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby tubby74 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:46 am

Marto wrote:
Small roundabouts and narrow streets seem to encourage drivers,cyclists and peds to look at each other, rather than look for an empty space to cut in. It makes the process a negotiation rather than a battle.


depends on the design of course. My suburb has bike lanes marked on single lane divided roads, but the bike lane marking goes right up to the roundabout give way lines. This gives drivers and some cyclists the impression it's a 2 lane roundabout despite it's size.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby g-boaf » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:23 am

schroeds wrote:Watching that roundabout was soporific...I went into a trance, lit some candles, ran a bath, burnt some incense and started chanting :lol:

Why can't our world be like that?

I want to live on that roundabout! :shock:


24 seconds, the cycling lout nearly knocked over a pedestrian!!!!! It's WAR! That would be what would occur in Australia. :lol:

But over there, everyone seems to just go about their business. Why can't it work like that here? Seriously, it's crazy in NSW the way the traffic behaves. But we also have our fair share of dumb road furniture as well.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby schroeds » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:35 pm

yep, and it's not only your friendly local council that's out to get you...the other day a police car pulled out of a side street right in front of me :roll:
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby schroeds » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:22 pm

Just an update on this for those interested. After three months unsuccessful physio I just had an MRI which shows three separate areas of damage in the shoulder. Cortizone injections, so far three months off kayaking (my other sport) with no return to it in the near future, ongoing (expensive and uninsured) physio and a 30% chance of surgery required. So not great :(

I got in touch with the council about it all, and their response (in summary) was that they would not consider paying my costs because:

- the design of the roundabput was in accordance with Australian Standards and its design was endorsed by the local traffic committee (with representatives of the police, STA, RTA etc)
- they "sought feedback" from a representative of BikEast
- it's a shared roadway
- the the ' painted island' was put there to "assist with traffic calming as it provides horizontal deflection for the flow" and the rumble bars (that caused my accident) were added "to ensure traffic does not cross the painted island and follow the intended traffic path"
- the roundabout's been there for about 5 years without complaint (they didn't say how long the rumble bars had been there)

They then added that since my accident the rumble bars have been removed because of "noise complaints from adjacent properties". Seems they mustn't have been such a critical and useful feature after all :evil:

Aside from that, I could question a few parts of their response but I'm not sure what to do next; so I thought I'd post this in case anybody would care to comment on any of the above - anything might help. Also does anybody have a contact at Bikeeast, there aren't any contacts on their website (please PM me if you know somebody there). I thought I'd see what the background to this crazy story is.

Thanks all.

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

Postby Lukeyboy » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:08 am

Lawyer up I say.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby schroeds » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:35 am

Sounds easy, but wouldn't it involve risking thousands of dollars (that I don't have)? Have I even got a legal leg to stand on?
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby Howzat » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:55 am

Find a no-win no-fee personal injury lawyer. If they take the case, that's your answer.
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Re: Bike-killer road structure - who should know?

Postby herzog » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:04 am

You still get saddled with the defendant's costs if you lose. That's one thing they don't mention in the ambulance chaser ads.
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