Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
Green painted lanes like this are getting more common in Melbourne. The only complaint I hear from some is that the surface has fine glass (?) that causes punctures. I've not encountered this happening.
You have to admit the appearance is much clearer in delineating a cyclist space
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
Actually what those pictures say more clearly than anything is that the best way to show that something is a bicycle lane is to have it filled with bicycles!
Haven't come across that comment before and we have had them for some time; long enough for the paint at some places to be fading. Never experienced any punctures that I can attribute to the one lane I rode regularly for a few years.
Yep. Which is why I like them and have noticed the change in driver behaviour at a particular intersection where I had trouble in the past.
Keeping left and overtaking (s129, s131, s141, s151)
•ride as near as is safely possible to the far left side of the road — on a multi-lane road or a road with two or more lines of traffic travelling in the same direction as you, you can occupy a lane and travel in the right hand lane when necessary (for example, to make a right turn)
•ride to the left of any oncoming vehicle
•not overtake another vehicle on the left if that vehicle is turning left and giving a left change of direction signal
•not ride more than two abreast unless overtaking
•ride within 1.5 m of the other rider if riding two abreast.
Bicycles can overtake to the left of a vehicle unless:
•the vehicle is signalling to turn left
•it is unsafe to do so.
A cyclist must give way to a vehicle that is signalling to turn left and driving in front of the cyclist.
There is no mention of a moving vehicle- just that if it is signalling you can't overtake on the left.
A stationary vehicle is not turning left.
Doesn't the blue highlighted word indicate that both conditions need to be met before the prohibition applies?
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
Now that we've worked out what to do if there's a cycle lane, what should car drivers do when turning left over a shoulder?
Most of Perth's so-called 'cycle lanes' are not actually cycle lanes; not having the requisite signs required by law to make them cycle lanes. They are instead just shoulders which are used by cyclists.
Seeing as the shoulder isn't a lane:
1. Does a car need to enter it before turning left to comply with the road rule requirement of turning left from the left-most lane?
2. Can a cyclist legally pass a car driver who is signalling left (which is illegal in WA), given that it isn't a lane?
3. Given the grey areas, is it best if car drivers just 'claim the lane' (haw haw) on approach to the junction anyway and treat it as a legit cycle lane?
Intersections won't have shoulders. The shoulder line will either be open ended, in which case cars have to give way to you (ie see the law about a line of traffic), or it will close off to the edge of the roadway, in which case you'll have to give way to traffic in the widening regular lane when you cross the shoulder line.
The general intent of the turning law is stop you moving from clearly behind the car to alongside it as it makes the turn, and it does not relieve the driver of their obligations to overtake with sufficient distance, or for them to give way to traffic on a different line or lane.
To your last sentence - most definitely.
Here's a good example of an 'open ended' shoulder, not a cycle lane:
In a moving traffic situation it is easy enough resolved, I am thinking there is some ambiguity though for the situation where a car reaches the stop line on a red, waiting to turn left. A cyclist comes up the shoulder and waits at the stop line to go straight.
Has the cyclist broken the law by passing a vehicle on the left who is signalling to turn left (in WA, as the example is WA)? Yes, as it is not a separate lane.
Should the car straddle the shoulder while waiting to turn left, to clearly signal their intention and prevent the cyclist from passing on the left and creating that conflict?
In this sort of situation, I prefer the TMR diagram posted in this thread, or for the cyclists to ride (and queue) in primary position in the lane. Having cyclists creep up the left of left turning vehicles is just asking for conflict and trouble.
In other states, where it is legal to pass a vehicle on the left that is not actually turning left (i.e. a stationary vehicle) then even more grey areas come up in terms of legal behaviour vs appropriate/safe behaviour.
To reignite this discussion, take a look at what the City of Fremantle have proposed, here. Specifically the section where northbound (i.e. to the left) vehicle traffic is shunted into the car park, left hooking the cyclists.
To me, this design just encourages the left hook. The cyclist is made to feel like he/she has a clear run through due to the green paint. On the other hand, the driver will feel like the cyclist must wait for the car to clear.
Regardless of road rule technicalities about crossing a bicycle lane, I think a much better outcome would have been to omit the northbound cycle lane on the two-way traffic section and instead encourage cyclists to claim the lane through here. It is only a short length of road, relatively low traffic volume (limited to the capacity of the car park) and would eliminate the left hook issue. This is one case where providing a dedicated facility actually makes things less safe for cyclists.
I think what you say is on the mark. Even from a pov that mostly denies the right of cyclists to claim the Lane.
Aside from the outcome you predict the significant aspect being the ridiculous brevity of the segment. Even a rabid cycle hater would hardly have a problem waiting behind a cyclist for that distance.
I am an Occasional user of that car park and I can say that often I will be looking at the nearest parking lane to determine my immediate move once in there. Not to be giving due attention to a cyclist in my blind door. mea culpa but not much help to an innocent rider.
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Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
I'm not sure what the issue is here, with one qualification which I'll come to.
The road rules in Qld are fairly simple. A cyclist must not pass a vehicle to the left if the vehicle is turning left and indicating left. Turning left does not necessarily imply movement.
If the lights are green then the motorist may indicate left and turn left, so long as there is no cyclist alongside. If there is a cyclist alongside then the motorist must wait until the cyclist is out of the way. The motorist need not wait for any cyclists behind to come past - a cyclist would, in any case, be breaking the rules if they pass to the left while the motorist is indicating and turning left (even if the motorist was momentarily stationary while waiting for the first cyclist to move on). That seems fairly straightforward.
If the motorist passed a cyclist and then immediately indicated and turned left, then the motorist would have a problem. That would be failing to take due care. It depends on how fast, how immediate and so on, but again it seems straightforward.
If the lights are on red and the motorist is stopped, then the motorist would have to give way to any cyclists alongside once the lights change. However, if thge motorist indicated and moves forward off the line (while allowing those cyclists to carry on across the junction) then any cyclist behind may not pass to the left. The motorist need not give way except to those cyclists who were already alongside. Again, seems fairly straightforward.
Any cyclist who starts behind the motorist and attempts to pass on the left-turning motorist's left is (a) taking liberties and (b) endangering him- or herself.
Note that the cycle lane ends at the same point (approximately) as the normal vehicle lane - it does not continue through the junction.
I cannot see any other way to interpret the rules. I also cannot see any other practical way to handle the problem, given that it would be unreasonable to expect any motorist to wait for an indeterminate period for an indeterminate number of cyclists to come past from behind that motorist.
The one qualification I mentioned is, for me, where a motorist is legally correct, but nevertheless collects a cyclist and the cyclist is hurt as a result. The motorist is in the clear from the perspective of any legal liability, but may nevertheless suffer some degree of shock and emotional trauma.
That makes a lot of sense Lukey Boy.
Unfortunately cyclists at this point rarely do the right thing. It also gets messy when cars indicating left are stopped at the lights and you are passing on the left of the stopped cars and then the light goes green - you slow to give way to whichever car is in front but its too scared to turn left in front of you given what they usually experience there
Or, to clarify, if a car is not the first car in the queue to turn left, but the lights are green, do you still overtake it on the left? ie. is it "turning left" if its 3 cars back from the intersection?
I just picked up a perfect illustration of this issue yesterday.
What were those drivers thinking? Need a whack to their heads!
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
I would agree pretty much fully with all your comments London Boy, about the legal rules and obligations with left turns, however this"
.....is not a universal truth.
Dutch and Danish cycle lanes continue through the intersection. Some lanes are marked though minor intersections in Melbourne, as dashed continuation lines. A motorist may turn through/across the cycle lane, all of course subject to the same rules you have stated.
In Denmark and the Netherlands (maybe?), motorists are legally required to give way to cyclists in the parallel lane before turning, and they do. Also if you look at a few of the many videos on Youtube of these European lanes, there are often many more cyclists than on any Australian bike lane........ but the drivers simply sit and wait
Note the behavior of the white van driver.
Copenhagen's rush hour shows the very different driver response to cyclists. LOVE this video .
Australian drivers are terribly bad at the old game of 'Patience', especially where a bicycle is concerned
I agree with you that this would not old in Belgium or the Netherlands. Theuy do things differently there. But hey, we're in Australia. As you say, Australian drivers are not known for their tolerance and care around cyclists.
Ultimately, it comes down to a bit of pragmatism and common sense. I sometimes find drivers giving way to me when I'm on the road, and I generally signal my thanks and carry on as invited. The only time I don't is when it isn't clear what the driver is doing. I then either wait (but not too long) until I'm sure, or else wave the driver on. It comes down to everyone being clear on what we're all doing and where we're going.
Can you imagine the congestion if all those cyclists were in single occupancy motor vehicles?
Makes you think.
Yes, makes me think how different Melbourne's roads would be if even 10% of commuters rode their bikes instead.... to work or to the station or bus 'park & ride'
That is not at all how I would interpret the relevant rules! But I recognised that this is an area that is unclear regarding the road rules.
The fact is that you need to give way to traffic when you are changing or crossing lanes. A bike lane has no exception given.
Either give way, OR, move into the lane PRIOR to the intersection.
Seems pretty clear it's easy how to get people on bicycles in Melbourne then - a) paint the bike lanes blue (green is so last century) and b) snow-making machines.
More seriously though, it is very difficult to ignore all those years of parochial brainwashing (plus the sped-up video - think I'd prefer to watch it in real time actually) and stop myself thinking "can't believe none of them are wearing helmets".
Who's had the "parochial brain-washing" - Copenhageners or Austrailians ?
Re. the sped-up video, I chose it specifically to illustrate Danish intersection behaviour and how the right-turning motor vehicles (equivalent to our left-turners) simply wait and let cyclists go by. If you want a better, real-time video of what cycling conditions are like in Copenhagen there is one here.
You really consider your comment serious? You see hundreds of cyclists going about their normal lives, doing more for the environment just by not being in cars, and you say brainwashing is a factor in this activity?
And then the only thing you can see to annoy you is "no Helmets"? The Video speed is the problem?
The only problem I see is that this activity could not haver been filmed in Melbourne.
Didn't think I was being ambiguous but if two of you found it similarly confusing - it's *us* that have been brainwashed into thinking that bicycling without a helmet is somehow risky or unusual.
Agree entirely. The lack of helmets annoyed me because it makes it all too clear that it's Australia with the problem re perceptions of bicycle safety and normalcy.
No, I just didn't understand what your intent was. Plenty of pro-MHL medico-safety types would argue that the Europeans (and everyone else I guess) are misguided to think that it is safe to ride without a foam lid........ "all it takes is one fall"
I have heard plenty of people - Australian cyclists - say this.
I can understand that. Liability, which turns on provable cause. The minister who got rid of MHL would cop the blame for the first rider who died of a head injury.
Whereas it is difficult to show whether putting fatties on bikes would make them less prone to heart disease, diabetes, strokes and so on. So no minister to blame when some great bloated lump's heart stops beating because their coronary arteries are clogged up with fatty deposits.
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