Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

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Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby Ross » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:23 pm

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/c ... 6537473741

Harold Scruby basically hates anything with wheels. He is head of what appears to be a one-man-band organisation called the Pedestrian Council.

Cyclists ride on wild side

JORDAN BAKER
The Sunday Telegraph
December 16, 2012 12:00AM

CYCLISTS are clocking speeds of up to 47km/h on paths shared with pedestrians, and walkers are terrified.

Licensed speed gun operator Ray Rooke measured cyclists' speed leaving the city on the Anzac Bridge shared path at peak hour for The Sunday Telegraph.

Most were travelling between 30km/h and 40km/h, but more than a dozen clocked more than 40km/h and the fastest flew past at 47km/h.

Pedestrians said they were intimidated by the cyclists' speed.

"They are travelling far too fast. They come too close. It can be frightening. If you wander off-course," Theresa, who did not want to give her surname, said. "They need to be more considerate."

Shared paths are springing up across the city and cyclists are supposed to ride carefully and give way to pedestrians, but often they do not.
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Cyclists in park protest ride The Daily Telegraph, 29 Mar 2012

There are similar problems on Pyrmont Bridge, the Gladesville Bridge and the Westlink M7. In Centennial Park, plans to introduce speed bumps were protested by hundreds of cyclists.

Harold Scruby from the Pedestrian Council said there are no speed limits for cyclists, no registration plate to identify them and no third party insurance to protect victims.

Mr Scruby, who organised the speed detector test, said shared paths should have a limit of 10km/h, and there should be an insurance system to look after anyone who's injured.

"If someone had been hit by a cyclist doing 47km/h, they could be dead or seriously injured," he said. "Politicians are too nervous about upsetting the cycling lobby to do anything about it.

"In Europe, cyclists sit upright, dress in normal clothing and ride slowly. In Australia, it's Tour de France speed and it's in lycra. It's a high-speed transport mode that has no place on the footpath."

A NSW Transport spokesman said the government was investigating the safety of shared bike paths and the draft NSW Road Safety Strategy, pledged to improve it.
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by BNA » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:25 pm

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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby il padrone » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:25 pm

ScrubyDubby wrote:Mr Scruby, who organised the speed detector test, said shared paths should have a limit of 10km/h, and there should be an insurance system to look after anyone who's injured.


Yeah, right! And pedestrians should be required to have registration and insurance, carry and wear approved rear-view mirrors and be subject to routine regular drug tests. Failure on any of these counts should result in a one month in-house detention with an RFID manacle.
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby high_tea » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:13 pm

I assume this is coming off the bridge, so a longish downhill? 47k seems a bit rash for a shared path that isn't deserted, that's for sure. Strangely enough, I believe 10k is the limit on the Goodwill Bridge in Brisbane. It was at one stage, I haven't ridden over it for a while. People might occasionally stick to that going up, but down? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Anyway, I think the basic complaint - that people often ride too fast on shared paths - is a reasonable one. The solutions, not so sure about the solutions.
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby DavidS » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:20 pm

Well, my conclusion from that article is that shared paths are a bloody silly idea. Now we get abused for going too fast on a shared path, or we can choose to be abused for riding on the road even though there is a shared path available. What a joke.

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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby Nobody » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:52 am

DavidS wrote:Well, my conclusion from that article is that shared paths are a bloody silly idea. Now we get abused for going too fast on a shared path, or we can choose to be abused for riding on the road even though there is a shared path available. What a joke.
Agree. Governments in AU generally only want to build shared paths. So we are fairly unwelcome just about everywhere. We travel at speeds that aren't really catered for on any infrastructure but a dedicated cycleway. Since I don't live in the Sydney CBD, that isn't really helpful.
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby DavidI » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:10 am

The Pedestrian Council is basically Harold Scruby's gravy train, in order to qualify for public funding he has to prove he's actually doing something, hence every few months he organises some sort of publicity stunt/complaint to get his name in the media. This week it's speeding cyclists, next time it might be cars with loud exhausts, 'roo bars, 4WDs in suburban areas, skateboarders, roller bladers, etc etc. He even made a complaint once that modern cars were a danger because they were too quiet - and his previous complaint was cars with loud aftermarket exhausts.
Paper prints article because it fills space and generates comment, very few people actually take him seriously.
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:38 am

Nobody wrote:Agree. Governments in AU generally only want to build shared paths. So we are fairly unwelcome just about everywhere. We travel at speeds that aren't really catered for on any infrastructure but a dedicated cycleway. Since I don't live in the Sydney CBD, that isn't really helpful.


And if they DO actually build something bike specific, they do nothing about the crowds of Scrubnut disciples excercising their right to roam wherever they like and eventually alter their status to shared as the cheapest, simplest option.
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:29 am

Nobody wrote:
DavidS wrote:Well, my conclusion from that article is that shared paths are a bloody silly idea. Now we get abused for going too fast on a shared path, or we can choose to be abused for riding on the road even though there is a shared path available. What a joke.
Agree. Governments in AU generally only want to build shared paths. So we are fairly unwelcome just about everywhere.

When these paths were first built (in Melbourne it took off around the early 1980s) they were described by the authorities as bike paths, but no-one was game enough to designate them bike-only. So pretty soon pedestrians wanted to walk along them in preference to the footpaths or the narrower gravel tracks through parks. They became shared use paths suddenly in the early 90s, and now pedestrians regard them as their designated walking tracks and bicyclists are expected to stay off them, or crawl along at 10kmh.

:roll: :x
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby find_bruce » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:36 pm

high_tea wrote:I assume this is coming off the bridge, so a longish downhill? 47k seems a bit rash for a shared path that isn't deserted, that's for sure. Strangely enough, I believe 10k is the limit on the Goodwill Bridge in Brisbane. It was at one stage, I haven't ridden over it for a while. People might occasionally stick to that going up, but down? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Anyway, I think the basic complaint - that people often ride too fast on shared paths - is a reasonable one. The solutions, not so sure about the solutions.

You are pretty much on the money - the only place people do anywhere near that speed is on the downhill heading west. The points the article misses are that it is a wide, straight path, used by a large number of bicycles every day (1,228 in 2011) and that pedestrians are rare - I counted 10 on my comute this morning & almost everyone is heading in the same direction - into the CBD in the morning, home in the afternoon.

There are 3 spots of poor visibility, at the turn onto the brigde, a dog leg from the western approach onto the bridge deck itself, and the turn onto the spiral ramp on the pyrmont end.

When there is anything approaching congestion, eg cyclists or peds coming the other way, in my experience most cyclists are good at slowing down. As always there are a few idiots.

Alternatives ? None as far as I am aware. I am a brave cyclist but there is no way I would ride on the main vehicle deck - too many crossing lanes of traffic & too many car on car accidents. The only path is on the northern side - none at all on the south so they can't do the same trick as the Harbour Bridge - peds one side, cyclists the other.

In theory they could re-open the old Glebe Island bridge, but probably the complaints from boaties and the cost of maintaining & staffing a swing bridge count against it. The other alternative is to ride around blackwattle bay, turning a 1.7 km ride into a 4.1 km ride,25% of which is on heavily congested roads.
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby snortin » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:13 pm

I witnessed the "speed gunning" - in fact, I actually got "speed gunned". Not sure of my speed - probably around 30 or so (would have been faster normally - read below)...

It occurred a couple of weeks ago off the western end of ANZAC Bridge. There were approximately 5 people (other than the "gun" operator) across the shared path. They were basically taking up the whole west bound side of the shared path. I actually slowed down more than I usually do simply because they were taking up half the path. I slowed down enough to tell them that there were better places to be standing. It seemed idiotic to me for the "crowd" to be gathered round obstructing the entire west bound side of the path to check the speed of cyclists coming down the hill. If they wanted to check speeds they could have chosen a better spot to stand to ensure that they didn't cause such a hazard...

This was the day after (it may have been 2 days after) I encountered a gentleman video recording cyclists at the eastern end of ANZAC Bridge. He was at the edge of the viewing area so I decided to stop and have a little chat. This was only after he had call out "slow down". I was a little upset at his comment, as I had slowed for the corner. I doubled back and said that I had slowed and was capable of stopping if required. He then informed me that I was one of the "good ones" who had slowed down. I replied that the others probably didn't slow down because there was no reason to slow any more than they had - visibility was good. He then started getting a little more upset, stating that he was sending the footage to City of Sydney so that they could install speed humps. I replied that I didn't think it was necessary, as from my observations (over the last 6 years of crossing the bridge every day) cyclists slowed as required around pedestrians. He didn't accept this, and said that the speed humps were going in.

I wonder if this indeed might have been Harold? He gave me some choice words as I left, maybe because I had mentioned to him that he could be doing something more useful with his time???

My Strava records show that I usually hit 40km/h at the western end of Anzac Bridge - however I always slow down if pedestrians are around. It is very easy to go faster than 40km/h at the western end as you descend the little slope.

I think the most dangerous bit is the tight turn as you head right towards Victoria Road (west bound). It is very narrow here and sight distance is terrible, plus there is the junction to the overpass to the Crescent. I always slow right down for this corner as if there is an east bound cyclist plus pedestrians there is not enough room....

Will be interesting to see what comes of the push for speed reduction. I really hope they don't try to get speed humps installed.
I think it is illegal to be on the main deck of Anzac Bridge - although I have seen it done. I agree that the current arrangement is perfectly acceptable - as long as both pedestrians and cyclists do the right thing (ie stay left for pedestrians and slow down when passing people for cyclists).
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby zero » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:16 pm

There would reliably be 50 pedestrians on the bridge and western approaches at 6pm on wednesday nights, and an hourly flow of hundreds, and I can't say that other evenings have ever been much different. The flow of bikes is a little slower on thursday nights maybe, but is some 350 outbound an hour during peak.

I am doubtful that travelling against the flow (I do this once or twice a week), that I have gotten over the bridge in the evenings without a couple of extreme close pass with a fast rider overtaking a pedestrian whilst I am oncoming. I've been jammed into the fence to avoid an accident with such who was overtaking 2 abreast pedestrians (who fit entirely into their lane - so is hardly unreasonable or unexpected). Also have to say that offline (wrong side of the path) riders in the dogleg and particularly in the 90 deg corner at White bay, are not uncommon.

Travelling outbound at night (the problem time), you'll probably only have to interact with half a dozen other riders, where as inbound, I have to interact with 30 or so.
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby jules21 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:45 pm

Scruball has a point here - cyclists have an obligation to protect pedestrians the same as motorists do to cyclists. we can't have it both ways. i see too many cyclists who blow past pedestrians at high speed, with little regard for theirs or the pedestrians' safety.

interestingly, they're often not the lycra brigade.. (who aren't prevalent on shared paths around here in general)
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby Percrime » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:00 pm

il padrone wrote:
ScrubyDubby wrote:Mr Scruby, who organised the speed detector test, said shared paths should have a limit of 10km/h, and there should be an insurance system to look after anyone who's injured.


Yeah, right! And pedestrians should be required to have registration and insurance, carry and wear approved rear-view mirrors and be subject to routine regular drug tests. Failure on any of these counts should result in a one month in-house detention with an RFID manacle.


Yep get stuck into those 50 yo endurance joggers. Serves em right. Bloody runners.. need to be insured.
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby g-boaf » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:39 am

This is where better, BIKE ONLY paths are needed.

Motorists don't like cyclists on the road, and Scruby doesn't want shared paths. And what a load of BS - how a cyclist sits and what they wear means nothing. Pull your head in Scruby!

But he is right cyclists going across the bridge should slow down - I've seen them myself doing 40km/h across there. Too fast. Put a 10km/h speed limit on there and speed bumps to go with it!Though I have a feeling they should just make it a pedestrian only path. :mrgreen:
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby Ross » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:47 am

DavidS wrote:Well, my conclusion from that article is that shared paths are a bloody silly idea. Now we get abused for going too fast on a shared path, or we can choose to be abused for riding on the road even though there is a shared path available. What a joke.

DS


Yes and no. You realistically can't expect to have a seperate bike path, a seperate pedestrian path, a seperate roller blade path, a seperate wheelchair path, a seperate scooter path and a seperate jogger path. Even if there were dedicated cycle paths there are big differences in speed travelled by various cyclists. Some are tootling around at little more than walking pace and others are doing 40km/h+.
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby g-boaf » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:54 am

People don't want to share in Australia - it's the right of runners to run two or three across and go on wrong side on the shared path. It's the exclusive right of the mums with prams to wheel them side by side and to stop suddenly. It's the right of young mums to set up their picnic blanket on the shared use path on a beautiful sunny afternoon. It's the right of cyclists to want to have nobody else near them.

Similarly, it's the right of some internet forum users to play devils advocate. :wink:

I share the shared use paths and ride appropriate to the conditions. I also try to avoid getting upset with pedestrians, but sometimes they do some pretty silly things that can injure us. I propose multiple alternative solutions to that:

- Cyclists shall be required by law to dismount from their bicycle and walk past pedestrians.
- Cyclists banned from shared use paths
- Carbon fibre road-bikes banned from any kind of riding in any occasion other than a officially permitted race
- Cyclists banned from wearing lycra when riding any bike in any occasion other than a officially permitted race

Who agrees with me here? I'm sure I'll have support from pedestrians and Harold Scruby for that and it'll prevent cyclists from having accidents with pedestrians.

But you'll also agree that those solutions are all about as silly as things get. I mentioned the last two specifically as a retort to Mr Scruby's silly comment on lycra and upright bicycles. Of course a powerful rider will have no trouble doing 30km/h on a fairly upright bicycle. And I road behind someone wearing normal clothes yesterday who was averaging 32km/h on his new bike, so never mind the facts getting in the way of a good whinge.

What's so wrong about people being a bit more sharing, and a bit more considerate in the way they use the paths? Most pedestrians around my area are pretty considerate, although to be honest, the majority of them are out for recreational purposes themselves rather than walking for commuting purposes. Apart from the odd runner wearing headphones and the occasional pair of mums with prams, the rest are quite courteous.

Ross wrote:Some are tootling around at little more than walking pace and others are doing 40km/h+.


30km/h advisory speed limit. 40km/h is probably a bit fast for a smaller shared path. Even the M7 has signs indicating a 30km/h advisory speed limit, which is interesting given how wide and well surfaced it is.
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby Sydguy » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:14 am

Just looked at my Strava, and I am 49th on Anzac Bridge West, yeah I know hooray for me. Top speed is 43.5 km/p with average for the bridge westbound being 30.5 km/h.

When the path is clear I don't use a lot of brakes, but most days you need to slow right down especially westbound when you hit the mini speed bumps and then again for the right hand corner around to Victoria Road.

I have seen cyclists hit peds on the Pyrmont Footbridge a few times, once on purpose. Not seen anyone hit on Anzac Bridge - but if it happened at speed it could be nasty.

The whole thing is beat up and will fade away like a lot of what that muppet Harold goes on about. This was my case in point with that 5 yeard old kid being killed the other day. No outcry over it - but we get an outcry over a few bikes doing 40km/h on a shared path? No perspective.

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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby Puffy » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:48 pm

Nobody wrote:Agree. Governments in AU generally only want to build shared paths. So we are fairly unwelcome just about everywhere. We travel at speeds that aren't really catered for on any infrastructure but a dedicated cycleway. Since I don't live in the Sydney CBD, that isn't really helpful.


I remember my commute took in a bike only paths in Brisbane (live in elsewhere now) and getting abused by pedestrians. Most times there was a sign close enough (bikes only) I could point to but I doubt they ever got it.
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby DavidS » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:55 pm

Ross wrote:
DavidS wrote:Well, my conclusion from that article is that shared paths are a bloody silly idea. Now we get abused for going too fast on a shared path, or we can choose to be abused for riding on the road even though there is a shared path available. What a joke.

DS


Yes and no. You realistically can't expect to have a seperate bike path, a seperate pedestrian path, a seperate roller blade path, a seperate wheelchair path, a seperate scooter path and a seperate jogger path. Even if there were dedicated cycle paths there are big differences in speed travelled by various cyclists. Some are tootling around at little more than walking pace and others are doing 40km/h+.


Not what I was suggesting at all. Bicycles are road vehicles and we shouldn't be abused for using the roads. Joggers are pedestrians and should use the footpath (not the bloody road). Simple, 2 paths, one for vehicles (the road) and one for pedestrians (the footpath).

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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:12 pm

So, just as a matter of interest, what sort of numbers can you reach on the Anzac descent doing a roll down?
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby find_bruce » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:24 pm

Mulger bill wrote:So, just as a matter of interest, what sort of numbers can you reach on the Anzac descent doing a roll down?

I imagine that a short fat slow bloke, doing say 14 km/h at the top of the bridge would hit 30 km/h before braking at the dogleg down to 20 km/h and then easily exceed 40 kph at the bottom of the hill, just rolling, no pedaling.

This purely hypothetical example suggests that the majority of cyclists that screw loose measured were applying the brakes to keep their speed to what they felt was appropriate.
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Re: Daily Smellograph and Harold Scruby anti-cycling article

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:41 pm

Thanks Bruce. One question tho'. When did we meet for you to know what I look like? :wink:

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