Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
i'm unsure that's the proposition.
what's being argued is that the need to cultivate a safer road environment for cyclists is being neglected in favour of painting some dodgy white lines on the road. the sleight-of-hand here is to present the painted bike lanes as a "take it or leave it" option. that's unfair. what's being argued is that a better option may be to work harder in addressing the underlying problems which make bike lanes the "least-worst" solution - i.e. poor attitudes by motorists towards cyclists. once you can rectify that, you arguably don't need the bike lanes.
it's a bit of a chicken-and-the-egg debate. some would argue we need the bike lanes first, until the issue of dangerous driving is resolved. but the counter-point is that bike lanes are being used as an excuse to neglect addressing dangerous driving - "look, we gave you painted lines, don't get airs above your station!" i sympathise with that - i believe that is what is happening. in that respect, bike lanes are a symbol of what is wrong with cycling in our country.
One thing I would not mind seeing is a dedicated cycle lane on steep uphill sections of road, simply to account for the high speed differential in those circumstances. They can do it on climbs for trucks, so why not cyclists? There are some roads in my area that are no-go zones at certain times of day as they are steep uphill without even a road shoulder. Even a road shoulder with a "No Parking/Stopping" restriction would be great!
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '09 Electra Townie Original 21D
You nailed it
The short hill on Lilyfield Road used to have a car door lane on both sides. When they re-sprayed the road they abolished the downhill lane & made the uphill lane wider & clear of car doors. Big thumbs up to Leichhardt Council
New lanes going in on Exhibition Street Melbourne.
Up the hill.
Good idea. And welcome back - thought you'd vanished.
Dangerous driving could be improved, but it will never be resolved. There is always some level of risk when you mix 200kw, 2000kg vehicles with bikes and pedestrians. Also, to all evidence, when you mix them with other cars, or with road signs, or light poles, or roadside trees, or safety barriers, etc.
The article complains we shouldn't replace fast point-to-point routes with dooring-zone bike lanes or meandering, Sunday-picnic-in-the-park shared paths. But that's a dumb choice, and a false one.
We want good car-free cycling infrastructure so that cycling becomes a very good transport option. That will mean both fast cycling corridors and slower local routes, much like arterial and local roads. It will likely mean replacing some car lanes or on-street parking lanes with bike lanes. It will also mean some bike-free car lanes, where cars can do 70km/h or faster, but we already have plenty these.
Sure, in too many instances councils slap a bit of green-paint in the dooring zone, or have some token bike lanes that peter out every 200 metres. But that doesn't mean we should stop advocating cycling infrastructure. That means we should advocate better cycling infrastructure, and get the good examples above adopted more widely.
Nobody wants car free cycling infrastructure because a few people think they'll be tossed off the roads. So that's the way it is. Great.
Wide shared use paths are okay - but they aren't so great when they stop/start every 800m-1300m to cross a road. I'm thinking of the T-way going along to Liverpool. Not a bad option and quite smooth as well, with generally considerate pedestrians at night, but if only it were possible to have the traffic lights timed so that if you do a particular speed between them, you'll get the next lights green and not have to stop. That would make those kinds of paths very useful.
Good car free cycling infrastructure will really get cycling to take off in a big way. Look at areas where that kind of thing does exist, bike riding has exploded. Western Sydney around the M7 motorway for instance.
+1 g-boaf. It should be quite simple - the purpose of good infrastructure is to help people get where they are going.
Most cities hit their car saturation point a long time ago - the point where the biggest problem to getting around in a car is all the other cars.
I'd bet most people can name a few roads nearby where the bike lanes go a good sight faster than the traffic jams. And probably some where pedestrians can outpace the traffic jams.
So it's common sense to put the money into what works best to help people get where they want to go.
Agreed. And to that end even rudimentary bike lanes are often useful when the traffic is at a standstill. However the widespread use of them on low speed minor roads can further encourage a segregated view of "road sharing" amongst motorists. The best practice can be seen in counties like Holland. All major thoroughfares have associated segregated infrastructure. Minor roads are low speed and shared.
And I think where there are bike lanes, parking must be banned on those lanes.
It has to be that way - otherwise they are no longer useful, or they end up with about 40 centimetres of room beside the main traffic lanes. That is perilous and silly. Doors on one side, traffic the other side. Really bad and obviously done by someone who doesn't ride bikes, or just a cheap and nasty shortcut.
Otherwise - I quite like the wide, smooth and well lit shared paths, especially the ones that go somewhere useful. You can get where you want to go in relative peace without worrying about the cars. If you want to go slowly, you can do it without upsetting the car drivers. I don't know about others, I just want to get where I'm going with a minimum of fuss and bother. Where I did ride last night, in some places I can go faster than the cars can - and I can certainly get from point to point quicker than they can thanks to the wide shared use path running alongside dedicated bus transitway. It can be quite quick - with a little bit of extra work on traffic light timing and some speed signs to tell people what speed to go so they reach the next lights when they are about to go green.
Motorist education is important too.
very true. but are you arguing this is why we need bike-specific infrastructure? if so, it's hard to agree - bike lanes will never resolve that risk either.
I'm convinced you can't get away from the need to reduce dangerous driving - the fact it can probably never be eliminated is a red herring.
Agreed, dangerous driving is a huge problem for all road users. I'm also convinced you can't get away from the need to reduce it. We call them "accidents", but it's a euphemism disguising that most car crashes are preventable.
I'm arguing for bike specific infrastructure because the essential point of difference for cyclists is that they are more vulnerable than other road users. Separation is a literal approach to "getting away" from dangerous drivers. If we can reduce car/bike crashes - in which cyclists always come off worse - by reserving sections of roads as bike lanes, we should do so.
It's not a one-or-the-other choice either. We can take the walk-and-chew-gum approach on this one.
Here in Italia, there are precious few bike lanes or facilities. The drivers all ignore many road rues at will. Stop signs are entirely optional. There is a give way to the right rule, but it is more like give way to the first person into the intersection.
But the drivers all 'give a frack'. They will always stop for a cyclist if you are in front of them. Crossing the road, you walk straight out, preferably looking straight ahead, or the opposite direction to the traffic..... the drivers just stop.
Mind you, a Ford Mondeo would be a BIG car. Often speed limits (optional too) may be 40km on what seems to be open road. The bus drivers are just amazing, driving up the narrowest roads around tight hairpin bends on mountain climbs that make the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road look like a freeway.
Cyclists are out there in the town traffic and in big cities, just calmly riding through it. No helmets either (of course) except for some road racers.
Salerno's storico central - cars were driving along these 'streets', yes, through that archway (it's not a doorway)
To be fair though that's Perth Andrew. Perhaps Sydney is worse. It sometimes seems that in Perth we are heading for peak hour averages way WAY down low.
While it is not an average, I do get a little buzz on many mornings when I know that motorists in the pinch points on Kwinana Freeway can see a unicyclist passing them.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
I love the total lack of concern about where people park. Typically, if you park on the path and then are blocked in when you return, you just toot the horn a couple of times. The other driver would not be so inconsiderate as to not be close enough to hear and respond. I don't think I ever saw any road/parking rage in any city.
Looking forward to negotiating Italy's blocked roads and paths again next year. On the unicycle! That should be an adventure.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
On the article taht initiated this thread I would agree far more with his stand than disagree. His descriptions of junk-attracting gutters boxed in by white lines fit what I saw in Adelaide recently to a "T".
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
Which is what drives me up the wall in many debates here. The fundamental assumptions that cars and bikes don't mix and that strict road rules are important.
Poo to that! What matters is that vehicles, bikes and pedestrians do not collide. The most important thing here is that the road users are paying attention and give respect to the other road users. For this reason we need to start treating road accidents the same way we treat most other forms of gross negligence and criminally punish those responsible.
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