26 October 2006

Dunne votes Green

| Pandy
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Vicki Dunne sucks up to Pedal Power

“Representatives of Pedal Power generously spent over an hour with me today bringing me up to speed with cycling and related transport issues.

“The undoubted health benefits and the rising cost of car transport make cycling increasingly popular part of the Canberra transport scene.

Does that mean we are going to see more bike lanes on suburban roads?

[ED: Just the other week Steve Pratt was voicing the opinion that bike lanes should be scratched.

Also can people please read the FAQ before posting and try and keep to the style of the other stories? Title goes in the TITLE box, story in the POST box. It’s not rocket science.]

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Jube, you need to read things more carefully. I said that the road rules allow cyclists to ride two abreast – no more than two though – as long as they don’t impede the flow of traffic. On a Sunday morning on Northbourne, I don’t think the few cars, will have too much trouble in using one of the other two lanes.

i’ll see your calorific red herring and raise you one

– cyclists would remain healthier longer and be less of a drain on the health system.

I didn’t hear about the cyclists causing a fatality in Melbourne, but I don’t deny the possibility that swerving to miss one might cause a car to crach and kill or injure someone.

About the calories, the drivers are also using calories (less so from sitting on their expanding areses) so it all goes into the mix. I am only now learning to drive (I was born in the seveties, to give you an indication of my age) and cyclists are freaking annoying, but at least I don;t try to run them off the road in a massive four-wheel drive towing a trailer, as happened to me years ago cycling on Northbourne Ave – the bogan hick was clearly annoyed that I had the temerity to pull out into the left lane from a side street some 150m in front of him so he sped up, tried to hit by rear wheel, and when I went onto the footpath to escape him tried to get out and start a punch-up. (Luckily the lights changed and, as he was clearly in such a hurry, he jumped back in and sped off.) He reimded me a bit of the bad guy in Wolf Creek, actually.

Didn’t a guy die in melbourne last month after the lycra legion ran a red light?

And until we have environmentally sustainable agriculture doesn’t the cyclists increased calorie intake also pollute the earth?

More seriously, the cyclist versus driver slanging match has been played out oh-so-many times in oh-so-many forums in cities all over the world. It’s important to recognise that all legal vehicles (lights, method of indication, brakes, reflectors) including both cars/motorcycles and bicycles are allowed to use the roads. Commonly, drivers gripe about how cyclist aren’t paying for the road and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to use it. In fact, funding for the construction and maintenance of roads generally comes from taxation, which most income earners pay. Certainly the taxes on petrol and cars are largely put towards roads, in addition to other taxation revenue, but this is more to offset the additional maintenance costs required when cars use the roads; a tax-paying (but non-petrol-purchasing and therefore non-petrol-excise-paying) cyclist causes less wear and tear to the road surface than a car (by some orders of magnitude). This does not even take into account the environmental costs of locomotion powered by an energy source that creates pollution, and the costs associated with medical treatment and other consequences of pedestrians and other road users injured or killed by cars (when was the last time you heard of a cyclist killing someone by running into them or their car).

Canberran cyclist, however, should not complain – one of the best cycle path networks in the world and tolerance, nay, encouragement, of riding on pedestrian footpaths make Canberra the best place in the world to commutte by cycle or just do it recreationally.

watch wallace and grommits ‘close shave’ and you will see 5 abreast in a single lane.

on a motorbike though…

beer here i come

“So by your logic Stella I can drive 5 CARS abreast on Northbourne on a Sunday, even though the rules specifically say I can’t?” – jube

So, Jube, how do you get 5 cars abreast in a single lane? 5 abreast cyclist in 1 lane on a 3 lane road allows 2 further lanes for cars to go around, whereas 5 cars abreast on a 3 lane road, even permitting for relatively skinny cars, would take up all three lanes.

ahh, but does she know a recumbant from a unicycle ?

LG, I suspect that the posted speed limit is the maximum allowed not the mandatory speed at which vehicles must travel. Whilst you can get a ticket for driving slowly, I believe that it would only be in a situation where you were deliberately malingering or obstructing traffic. I have been told that the test used by police relates to something they call ‘best speed’ for that vehicle in those conditions on that road.

Examples might be a tractor travelling along the highway at 30km/h – travelling at its best speed and therefore not breaking the law. Same would go for a cyclist zipping along at 25 or 30km/h or a laden truck climbing a steep hill.

who on earth proof reads and edits the media releases on that site? They need to be shot, or stop riding a recumbent cycle.

I don’t have a problem with them taking up the whole lane, as long as they are doing the speed limit. If they are doing LESS than the speed limit, however, then, like all motorists who do it, they should be given a ticket. And get the f*&k off the road. Going way under the speed limit is just as dangerous as going way over.

If I am in a 100km zone and the car in front of me is doing 60km, I will beep them until they speed up or move over. Same goes for cyclists. If they want the same rights, they can have them, along with the responsibilities.

which rules are you referring to exactly jube?

So by your logic Stella I can drive 5 CARS abreast on Northbourne on a Sunday, even though the rules specifically say I can’t?

Hey Jube, I agree with you in so far that cyclists must follow the road rules if they choose to ride on the road but I think that you need to brush up on your road rules. Cyclists can use the road like other vehicles, so long as they don’t create an unreasonable obstruction (hook-turns are allowed, although not mandatory and two abreast is allowed so long as it doesn’t impede the flow of traffic).
As a cyclist, I have come to realise that sometimes it is necessary to use more than the foot of road next to the curb in order to make myself more visible to cars or just to avoid all the broken glass from car accidents.

In relation to bunch riding, it usually occurs in the early hours of the morning or on weekends, when there is very little traffic (Northbourne Ave has 3 lanes – ample room to go around a bunch)

The Melbourne “Hell Riders”. Riding as a pack, disregarding the road rules, casuing a death.

Also pack riding on bike lanes is never wise or allowed on places like Nthbourne Ave.

You’re right about the big pack thing – I wonder if they do that because of some percieved safety advantage?

OK, Al, but the point was no pack riding as in 5 abreast in traffic. And IMHO no vehicle that uses publicly funded roads for free is entitled to the whole lane.

“…plus the law of single file.”

I think you mean … plus the law of two abreast, that and the fact that a bicycle like any road user travelling in the left hand lane is legally entitled to the whole lane – many of course stay to the far left politely letting people pass, but if they want to use the lot then that’s waht they’re entitled to.

Pedak Power will only get my respect when – and only when – they advocate and participate in education for cyclists on the road rules. eg: how to use an intersection (stay in left hand lane and go around outside of intersection – and of course that red lights apply to all traffic); roundabouts (stay in left hand lane and give way at each entry); plus the law of single file.

I have full respect for any cyclists who follow these rules, and I thank both of them for making the effort.

This is all a bit of a wank really.

On-road cycle lanes having never been implicated in a fatality since their introduction in the ACT yet we’ve managed to bury about 50 drivers, passengers and pedestrians in that time. The ongoing carry on simply acts as a diversion from the fact that policy makers and motoring groups are clueless on the issues associated with the real causes of death on our roads – driver skill, alcohol, fatigue, road quality and inappropriate speed.

As long as everyone’s pointing the finger at those selfish cyclists and wanking on about cycle lanes the real issues can be swept under the mat.

They’ll be back up soon, and they’ll stay up.

Rising cost of car transport?

Petrol prices are going *down*, Vicki. Get with the program ($1.05/L by years end is looking more and more likely.)

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