Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Solution to “Scofflaw Cyclists”

By Sgt.Bungers - 21 May 2010 39

The Scofflaw Cyclists of the Inner North post last month stirred up a mass of debate in this forum… as does any discussion regarding cyclists in this city.

My response was simple. Build an intersection that legally requires motor vehicle operators to get out of their vehicle and push it for 5 metres, and you’re likely to get a bunch of motor vehicle operators breaking the law as well. A cycle route cannot suddenly turn into a pedestrian route (pedestrian crossing), just because it intersects a road. That’s bound to create a situation where people are riding their bikes where they shouldn’t be.

Enter the Dutch way of doing things.

In this video we have a bike path intersecting bus lanes and tram lines in Utrecht. Utrecht is a city of 300,000 people, a similar size to Canberra. The intersection serves over 20,000 vehicles (including bicycles) per day. Look how it simply… works. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if all riders were legally required to dismount.

According to the post, 33% of all trips in Utrecht are made by bicycle. Currently in Canberra, 2.5% of trips to work are made by bicycle. Measly by comparison. Imagine how much Northbourne Ave would be freed up in peak times, if there were a proper dedicated bicycle route down the median strip, and even a quarter of motor car users switched to bicycles. Especially when you take this picture into account, which shows the space that 60 push bikes, vs 60 motor vehicles, vs 60 bus seats, take up.

With proper alternative transport, those who hop out of their cars, are likely to save time… if not… they’ll certainly save money, and their health will improve. If 33% of car drivers in Canberra switched to alternative transport (when we finally get a proper alternative transport solution in place)… current road infrastructure will be significantly freed up, speeding up travel time for those who must drive.

So why is it that so many Canberrans are so opposed to bicycle solutions and other alternative transport? Why is it that any post about people who ride bicycles in this forum seems to stir up a hatred so deep, with arguments so illogical, it can almost be compared to race “debates” in Cronulla?

What’re your thoughts?

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments
39 Responses to
Solution to “Scofflaw Cyclists”
16
caf 12:09 pm
21 May 10
#

harvyk1, Could it be that there’s a solid underlying *reason* for the revealed preference for riding on the road rather than on bike paths? Perhaps it’s because the bike paths routes are in most cases significantly longer and winding? Alternatively it could be because the bike path surfaces are of poorer quality and significantly less well maintained than the road surfaces? Could it even be because travelling on a main road gives you right-of-way at large numbers of intersections, each of which requires stopping on the bike path?

Or you know, it could be because they just want to annoy you.

Report this comment

17
Bosworth 1:44 pm
21 May 10
#

lobster:

I have no problems with drivers as long as they stay out of the way of bicycles and don’t hold things up.

What annoys me though is the arrogance that some drivers have that makes them think that they are better than everyone else.

How pathetic.

Report this comment

18
astrojax 2:22 pm
21 May 10
#

bingo, bosworth!

and phototext – it was nice having you on the riot, be sad when you have to go cylce with the fishes… 😉

Report this comment

19
lobster 2:39 pm
21 May 10
#

Bosworth – You have put forward some very good points. Could you elaborate a bit more though?
What is pathetic?
Kind regards,
Lobster

Report this comment

20
canucksfan 3:02 pm
21 May 10
#

I aggree with Trollsniffer, i have a rearview mirror on my bike and now wont ride without one. It not only lets me see drivers racing up behind me but also other cyclists. I think they should be made compulsory like the helmet.

Report this comment

21
Postalgeek 3:27 pm
21 May 10
#

BenjaminL said :

On the other hand if Cyclists agreed to pay rego, then that would would mean extra funds for infrastructure such as these grand ideas. Oh but wait, you guys don’t want to do that, you just think it should be free. ok.

Well, who would’ve thunk this tired old load of tripe still had legs. Prove to me that not a single taxpayer dollar goes towards infrastructure and roads, and I’ll believe your assertion that cyclists don’t contribute towards roads. Pending your indisputable evidence, I’ll say that anyone who pays tax, which is pretty much everyone, has paid for roads. In fact, not only do tax-paying cyclists pay for roads, they also contribute to the Medicare funds that countless lazy slobs drain due to weight-related ailments.

Report this comment

22
Cletus 3 3:34 pm
21 May 10
#

Sgt. your “response” to the discussion is moronic, arrogant, and shows you completely misunderstand the issue. I suggest (from that, and other posts from you on the subject) that you are one of the 1%er cyclists giving the rest of them a bad name.

Report this comment

23
Cletus 3 3:41 pm
21 May 10
#

By the way, the issue is that the law is there for a reasonable reason. Allowing cyclists to go slowly over crossings is reasonable as well, but in practice it is a grey area and is harder to enforce or to judge (how slow must a cyclist go in order to give the motorist sufficient time to react? do you really think that you know the right answer to this? how about all the other cyclists?)

Now I think most people are pragmatic. If you really do take extra care over the crossings (and most do), then not many will care if you don’t dismount. And I’m sure coppers generally turn a blind eye (or might give you a caution). Really the same situation with jaywalking laws. There for a good reason, but if you’re careful and use common sense, it’s usually not a problem.

The problem are the cyclists who speed across the crossings (which does happen), not giving motorists enough time to react, which puts everyone in danger. This would be like jay walkers who expect cars to give way to them when crossing the road — abusing the knowledge that nobody really wants to hit another human being with their car for some slight convenicence to themselves.

Report this comment

24
arescarti42 3:47 pm
21 May 10
#

harvyk1 said :

According to Wikipedia, Canberra’s area is 814.2km2. Utrecht is only 99.32km2. Also the population density in Utrecht is 3068 people per km2, whilst Canberra is only 428 people per km2.

Wikipedia is frequently wrong about areas and population densities. The Canberra urban area is conservatively more like 300-400km^2, and the urban density more like 900-1100 people per Km^2. Still, most parts of Utrecht appear to be less than 4km away from the centre, unlike Canberra where I’d be confident saying more than half of the population live in the vast swaths of suburbia more than 10km from the city. That is the real reason that cycling is not a realistic option for most people here.

I do believe however that with some political will we can make public transport an actual transport option rather than a social service for people who can’t drive.

Report this comment

25
J Dawg 4:15 pm
21 May 10
#

arescarti42 said :

Wikipedia is frequently wrong about areas and population densities. The Canberra urban area is conservatively more like 300-400km^2, and the urban density more like 900-1100 people per Km^2. Still, most parts of Utrecht appear to be less than 4km away from the centre, unlike Canberra where I’d be confident saying more than half of the population live in the vast swaths of suburbia more than 10km from the city.

Oh that’s cool, when it comes down to it I’d rather believe arescarti42 rather than wikipedia because wikipedia must be wrong because arescarti42 said it was. Seriously, if you want to go claiming wikipedia is wrong and then suggest your own figures are more accurate, you had better bring reliable sources with you.

Now, in this, as in any other cycling thread, we have cyclists trying to justify that breaking the law is okay “because the law is stupid and some place in Europe does it better.” By that logic, I should drive 180km/h down the Federal Hwy because they have autobahns in Germany. But I don’t.

Personally, I really don’t care whether you follow the law or break it, but if you are going to break it please don’t try to justify it. The law is the law, it applies to everyone.

Report this comment

26
phototext 5:26 pm
21 May 10
#

“Personally, I really don’t care whether you follow the law or break it, but if you are going to break it please don’t try to justify it. The law is the law, it applies to everyone.”

Which means you always stop at a stop sign and drive at the speed limit?

Report this comment

27
J Dawg 6:52 pm
21 May 10
#

phototext said :

Which means you always stop at a stop sign and drive at the speed limit?

If I did I wouldn’t try to justify it. I never said that you aren’t allowed to break laws or that you shouldn’t, but if you do you should realise that it IS the law and you can’t justify breaking it. I would accept a ticket for running a stop sign or speeding, cyclists (and everyone for that matter) should be prepared to face the consequences for breaking ANY law, despite your personal belief about it!!

(Damn, I really shouldn’t be feeding the trolls…)

Report this comment

28
arescarti42 7:58 pm
21 May 10
#

J Dawg said :

Oh that’s cool, when it comes down to it I’d rather believe arescarti42 rather than wikipedia because wikipedia must be wrong because arescarti42 said it was. Seriously, if you want to go claiming wikipedia is wrong and then suggest your own figures are more accurate, you had better bring reliable sources with you.

…..consider the following. A rectangle 40km long by 20km wide has an area of 800km^2. Now, look at any map of the ACT and it is fairly obvious that Canberra is less than 40km at its longest, and substantially less than 20km at its widest. Thus wikipedia must be wrong.

Also, if you care to take a look at the ACT planning and land authority spreadsheet that the Wikipedia article references, you’ll notice that 471km^2 of the 814.2km^2 total is comprised of rural areas, bushland and plantation forestry, which I would argue is not part of the city and is irrelevant in calculating density.

Reliable enough for you?

Report this comment

29
phototext 9:06 pm
21 May 10
#

“(Damn, I really shouldn’t be feeding the trolls…)”

That’s the pot calling the kettle black.

“despite your personal belief about it!!”

Now you’re just making stuff up.

Report this comment

30
J Dawg 11:44 pm
21 May 10
#

arescarti42 said :

Also, if you care to take a look at the ACT planning and land authority spreadsheet that the Wikipedia article references, you’ll notice that 471km^2 of the 814.2km^2 total is comprised of rural areas, bushland and plantation forestry, which I would argue is not part of the city and is irrelevant in calculating density.

Reliable enough for you?

No.

Within a few mins of searching I found this: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/3218.0~2008-09~Main+Features~Australian+Capital+Territory?OpenDocument#PARALINK1

It says the population density of Canberra (not the ACT) is 440 people per square km. Close to wikipedia’s 428.6. I’d say wiki was pretty much on the money.

phototext said :

That’s the pot calling the kettle black.

“despite your personal belief about it!!”

Now you’re just making stuff up.

Ummmmm last time I checked having an opinion or calling someone out on a ‘fact’ isn’t trolling, directly going after someone for a reaction (such as “you must always obey the law then”) is.

I’m sorry, what did I make up??? My opinion?? My opinion that despite personal beliefs about laws you should accept the consequences? Wow, sorry, I didn’t realise I couldn’t make up my own mind about an issue.

Report this comment

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2016 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

Search across the site