22 December 2008

Airport Open For Bikes

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In another coup for the Pedal Power Mafia of Canberra they’ve achieved one for thier goals for the year in getting the cycle paths to the Canberra Airport open. According to the Chief Minister it comes 4 months early (how he gets 4 months early when it was due to finish in February?) but it still provides good cycle access to all the government offices that have been moved out to the cheap rent of Brindabella Business Park and Fairbairn.

With all the road congestion around the airport and few/no buses a bike is sounding like a good way to get to work.

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la mente torbida12:57 pm 23 Dec 08

Felix, we’re on the same wavelength, however, even two abreast causes me to move over to the opposite side of the road.

One of my dogs is a recalcitrant wheel attacker….i appreciate the call of ‘bike’ when coming from behind so I can get her off the path before she takes out the cyclist

I know this is off topic…but willows can actually increase rates of erosion by diverting the water away from the main watercourse. Also, short term erosion is quite common & expected when you remove willows before the area returns to more normal/natural conditions.

Real ecologists know: first you establish desirable trees THEN you kill the weed species

And you leave the roots of existing exotics in the ground to help bind the soil together, ie, decrease the rate of erosion.

Felix the Cat12:43 pm 23 Dec 08

la mente torbida said :

Felix, interesting post. As a commuter along Alexandrina Dr each morning, I am used to sharing the narrow, winding road with cyclists (even those that insist on riding three abreast).

I also use bike paths to walk my dogs and happily share these paths with cyclists…matbe you should learn to share as well, these facilities are for the community.

I don’t mind sharing the bike paths, but as I said, it can be quite dangerous for all parties concerned if a cyclist travelling at 40km/h+ runs into pedestrians (and/or dogs) that are walking 3 or 4 or more abreast. No doubt these are the same people (the pedestrians) that behave exactly the same in the shopping malls (see thread about Canberra shopping hours). Calling out or ringing a bell gets little or no reaction most times and sometimes can even compound the problem as the few people that don’t have iPod earpieces glued in their ears turn around to see what the noise/shouting is about and step in front of you.

I never travel 3 abreast while riding my bike with others, only 2 which I believe is legal.

la mente torbida8:54 am 23 Dec 08

Felix, interesting post. As a commuter along Alexandrina Dr each morning, I am used to sharing the narrow, winding road with cyclists (even those that insist on riding three abreast).

I also use bike paths to walk my dogs and happily share these paths with cyclists…matbe you should learn to share as well, these facilities are for the community.

tylersmayhem8:52 am 23 Dec 08

Canberra must be one of the few cities in the world where the bus drivers are more dangerous than the cabbies.

Haha, true. But if I were to take your comment literally, I could start a lengthy list of cities for you 😉

justbands said :

> I noticed a new bike path going along that spot where they’ve wrecked all the river-side trees.

You mean “removed all the weed/pest trees”? Nothing gone but poplars & willows…which are rightfully being eradicated.

And now the naked banks are being eroded by the wash from the speed boats, and the platypus find it harder to dig a friendly burrow.

Real ecologists know: first you establish desirable trees THEN you kill the weed species.

Felix the Cat8:08 pm 22 Dec 08

The problem with so called ‘bike paths’ is that they need to be [i]shared[/i] with pedestrians, joggers, dogs and cyclists of varying (sometimes questionable) abilities doing a variety of speeds and often occupying the complete path or going against the traffic.

The on-road cycle lanes are generally only occupied by cyclists that are going with the flow of traffic and are on the left. Granted the cyclists generally travel slower than the cars but that shouldn’t be of any concern to drivers because the cyclists are in their own dedicated lane and their should be plenty of room for the motorists to pass without slowing down (though it would be a nice gesture if the motorist – in particular buses – slowed slightly when passing as the wind gust from a vehicle passing can be unsettling for the cyclist (knock them off their bike in some cases).

On a bike path it is not uncommon for cyclists/joggers/pedestrians/other to be coming towards you in your lane or taking up both lanes of the path. Then there is the speed difference between Mum, Dad and little Johnny/Jenny quietly walking along the path at say 3 or 4km/h and a cyclist whizzing along at anything up to 60km/h. If there is a coming together it can be nasty for all parties involved. That is why it is more practical to ride on the road in some instances.

The roads out to the airport really weren’t/aren’t suited to ‘sharing the road’.

Here, it makes quite a bit of sense considering the new developments.

I wouldn’t purposely hit a car driver with my semi, but if it happened because a motorist wasn’t using a perfectly bus good service, then I can’t say I’d feel too sorry for them.

justbands said :

I have some relatives that are bus drivers…they’d be really offended by those comments! As if they need bike racks to swipe pedestrians and cyclists! 😉

Ahh but the point is are they an ACTION bus driver? If not, then that is ok. Canberra must be one of the few cities in the world where the bus drivers are more dangerous than the cabbies.

I have some relatives that are bus drivers…they’d be really offended by those comments! As if they need bike racks to swipe pedestrians and cyclists! 😉

H1NG0 said :

Aren’t those bars of the front for impaling people?

Ah, so that’s what those little numbers are on the front – kill count.

Hang on, Action bus drivers? I thought it was their job to try and take out pedestrians and cyclists. Aren’t those bars of the front for impaling people?

> Phew, I am relieved justbands! I was having nightmares of you blocking my garage 😉

Hehe…& here I was having nightmares about you swerving to hit me with your mirror!

Seriously though, I drive my car on the roads & I ride my bike on the roads. As a driver, I’ve seldom had any issues with cyclists. The only times they annoy me is when they pick & choose when to follow the road rules or not. As a cyclist, I’ve seldom had any issues with cars…only the odd idiot who decides it’s his (always a he) job to give you a fright by sverving at you & laughing, often with a passenger yelling something stupid out the window (oddly enough they’re usually not so tough when you ride up next to them at the next set of lights). So really, I don’t get what all the fuss is about.

…a perfectly good bike lane path?

There’s the rub – there’s no such thing. Very few if any cycle paths that are of as high quality as the (on-road) cycle lanes. Nor are the cycle paths as direct as the roads.

Put yourself in this situation – you have a choice of two roads to get to work in the morning:
– One is a bumpy, pot-holed, glass-covered, meandering minor road with several intersections, complete with iPod-wearing-idiots and unpredictable dogs wandering aimlessly all over it.
– The other is a smooth, regularly maintained, comparatively clean, direct major road with priority at traffic lights and designated car-only traffic lanes.

Anyone who takes cycle commuting seriously, or takes the time to properly inform themselves of the real issues knows why some cyclists choose the on-road lanes over the bike paths – even if they are adjacent to each other.

That being said, I’m also a driver and I don’t dispute that there are some nut-bag cyclists out there who will happily take on a full Action bus in a bus lane, or dart through an intersection while the lights are changing, and they piss me off as much as any other road user could.

Just don’t tar ALL cyclists with the same brush.

Phew, I am relieved justbands! I was having nightmares of you blocking my garage 😉

> I used to live in Sydney, and believe me, they don’t have the luxury of bike lanes there.

I know that, the point I was making is that there’s numerous narrow road lanes that make Northbourne Ave (bike lanes & all) look like an autobahn.

& I’m not angry, not even slightly worked up! 🙂

I used to live in Sydney, and believe me, they don’t have the luxury of bike lanes there. You should be thankful, but then again I would be angry too if I was still riding a bike.

tylersmayhem3:30 pm 22 Dec 08

if you are using the same lane as motorists, there is not a lot of room.

Funny that H1NG0, the majority of drivers manage just fine. there is the about 5-10% who seem to see it as “so dangerous”, and see it necessary to yell out the window, flash lights and honk.

I see it more of an attitude issue – not safety. I think your previous comments have proven that!

tylersmayhem3:28 pm 22 Dec 08

I’d go as far as to say in some ways it’s safer riding on the road. Bike paths and footpaths have lots of crossings over roads. Slowing down the curb to cross the side road, then up on to the continued path is plenty dangerous with cars turning onto streets at speed. If a cyclists is travelling in the same direction as the traffic, it is less likely that they should be hit.

> Northbourne avenue and parts Gungahlin drive are perfect examples of that.

Northbourne Ave is pretty much the only road I ride on to/from work. There’s no bike path anywhere near it, so I’m not sure what point you are trying to make. Personally, I have no problem at all either riding or driving on Northbourne Ave…the lane widths are fine. I’d hate to see how you cope in Sydney if you think Northbourne is a problem.

& I do use cycle paths where I can. I mentioned in the recent Streeton Drive thread that my commute to work is 16km & that I do at least 12 of those on a bike path. The fact that I ride a few k’s down Northbourne in an on-road cycle lane does not give poor drivers free license to side-swipe me!

So justbands, you are saying that there is no reason to use a perfectly good bike path that is out of the way of motorists which follows the same length of road? I thought the point of having bike paths was to make it safer for both cyclists and motorists. Its got nothing to do with bad driving, if you are using the same lane as motorists, there is not a lot of room. Northbourne avenue and parts Gungahlin drive are perfect examples of that. I’m sorry, but I fail to see your argument. If I had my own personal, traffic-free car lane, you could bet your arse that I’d use it.

tylersmayhem3:03 pm 22 Dec 08

I could walk in the middle of the road instead of using a footpath, but it doesn’t make it a good idea.

Hardly an accurate comparison! It’s worrying to know there are drivers with attitudes like yours out on the road.

Ad to that the apparent inability for you to pilot a car without hitting a cyclist on the side of the road on our typically wide Canberran roads, I’m even more concerned.

If I’m that cyclist, then I’ll gladly put my foot into your passenger side door. I wouldn’t do it deliberately, but if you’re such a bad driver that you can’t even manage to avoid a cyclist then that’s a bit silly. Seriously…grow up. You don’t actually own the road you know.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy2:59 pm 22 Dec 08

I tend to agree. While I would never deliberately hit a cyclist, seeing cyclists deliberately riding on the road when there’s a cycle path right next to the road is a bit silly.

justbands said :

> Beware cyclists, my left wing mirror is more than capable of breaking your lycra cladded arse.

What is that supposed to mean? If there’s a cyclist on the road you’ll deliberately hit them with your mirror???

I wouldn’t purposely hit someone, but if it happened because a cyclist wasn’t using a perfectly good bike lane 2m away, then I can’t say I’d feel too sorry for them. I could walk in the middle of the road instead of using a footpath, but it doesn’t make it a good idea.

Thumper said :

Given half a chance Stanhope will legislate for aircraft landing at canberra airport to have bike racks on their noses.

Great idea! It would be a nifty way for arrivees to skip the taxi queue and traffic and get into town quickly.

> Beware cyclists, my left wing mirror is more than capable of breaking your lycra cladded arse.

What is that supposed to mean? If there’s a cyclist on the road you’ll deliberately hit them with your mirror???

How the hell are cyclists supposed to get in the way of drivers if they are on a bloody path!?!? Outrageous! Beware cyclists, my left wing mirror is more than capable of breaking your lycra cladded arse.

Given half a chance Stanhope will legislate for aircraft landing at canberra airport to have bike racks on their noses.

> I noticed a new bike path going along that spot where they’ve wrecked all the river-side trees.

You mean “removed all the weed/pest trees”? Nothing gone but poplars & willows…which are rightfully being eradicated.

> Surely Mr Snow isn’t charging exorbitant prices to use the bike racks too?

Shhhhh! Now there’s an idea not to put into Mr Snows head! 🙂

Mr Evil said :

harvyk1 said :

If Terry Snow thinks he’ll make a quick buck from it, I bet he would allow the rebels to set up camp there.

Yep it would be a great idea to let the Rebels live at the airport: a free security service at Snow’s beck & call; collection agents for the times when any airport tenants forget to pay their rent; and when someone whinges about aircraft noise just send ‘Snake’, ‘Slash’ and ‘Animal’ around to their house to quietly point out that there are worse things in life than a little aircraft noise – like fractured ribs, broken fingers, a ruptured spleen or a broken nose.

strangely, most of the guys i have met over the years have real names. they also seem to be nice fellas. I must be talking to the wrong ones, obviously.

Don’t give them ideas, Mr Evil.

I noticed a new bike path going along that spot where they’ve wrecked all the river-side trees. I’m not sure that they go all the way to the airport though? There’s signs up saying cyclists have to go onto the gravel, when the concrete barriers start up. And I can’t see anything bike-pathish going out ot Fairbairn, but there is a cycle sign on the road out there so I guess they are expected to fight the trucks adn tailgaters who don’t approve of the 70 km/hr limit.

I might peddle out to the airport next time I’m flying somewhere. Surely Mr Snow isn’t charging exorbitant prices to use the bike racks too?

harvyk1 said :

If Terry Snow thinks he’ll make a quick buck from it, I bet he would allow the rebels to set up camp there.

Yep it would be a great idea to let the Rebels live at the airport: a free security service at Snow’s beck & call; collection agents for the times when any airport tenants forget to pay their rent; and when someone whinges about aircraft noise just send ‘Snake’, ‘Slash’ and ‘Animal’ around to their house to quietly point out that there are worse things in life than a little aircraft noise – like fractured ribs, broken fingers, a ruptured spleen or a broken nose.

Nah, not confused, i just thought I’d bring it that new cycleways appears to springing up everywhere 😉

> did the government have an oversupply of green paint?

I think we’re getting confused here…isn’t this post about a purpose built cycleway?? All the whinging & whining about cycle lanes is blurring the story.

barking toad12:30 pm 22 Dec 08

Flying pigs would be good too. But I probably wouldn’t use them.

I use bike paths and sometimes bike lanes. The cost of the lanes just can’t be justified because they’re nice to have though.

I’m surprised the mayor hasn’t got one running to his new motel so he can ponce about his human rights wank and get us to supply bikes for the visitors to ride there to supply syringes.That’s if it ever opens.

did the government have an oversupply of green paint?

it appears that bizarre cycle lanes are popping up everywhere. Surely it would be better to spend some money and build purpose built cycleways rather than ruining perfectly good raods.

tylersmayhem12:17 pm 22 Dec 08

It’s just that I see the one climbing up Hindmarsh that suddenly stops and the one that starts part way along Newcastle street and all of a sudden stops in the middle of nowhere as if a cyclist could call in a helicopter to drop off then collect.

Okay, 3 post NB here again 🙂 – yes exactly the reason why most of us cycle on the road rather than ride on bike paths that take you god knows where. Sadly the better option is to tackle bike lanes which are largely unfinished.

More facilities for ALL Canberran’s. Instead of bitch, just appreciate it hey?! I probably won’t ever be riding on it, but I appreciate options for all of us, and certainly don’t feel hard done by that my taxes are going towards the path, even though I won’t be using it.

Now for some decent other options out to the airport other than taxi. Monopoly obviously means no Action buses!

tylersmayhem12:11 pm 22 Dec 08

I thought cyclists wanted to ride on the roads…

Roads…out at the airport – HAHAHAHAHA, that’s hilarious Peter! OI suppose they could be called that.

tylersmayhem12:09 pm 22 Dec 08

And these pristine cycle lanes will last forever, largely uncontaminated by cyclists.

What – because YOU will refuse to use it?

> Pardon me for being a tad cynical about these cycle lanes.

So you’d be happy then that they’ve created a cycle path to the airport, instead of putting cycle lanes on the road? Or is this also a waste of money, ’cause you know, cyclists would rather ride on the roads (apparently)? Should they have put cycle lanes in instead? I’m confused.

barking toad11:48 am 22 Dec 08

Pardon me for being a tad cynical about these cycle lanes.

It’s just that I see the one climbing up Hindmarsh that suddenly stops and the one that starts part way along Newcastle street and all of a sudden stops in the middle of nowhere as if a cyclist could call in a helicopter to drop off then collect.

And it would be rude of me to mention the lane that runs on Hindmarsh from Weston to Woden parallel to a perfectly good bike path, said lane being, again, largely uncontaminated by cyclists.

Do we really need to spend on these extravagances while letting the city infrastructure decay? Maybe it would better to maintain the existing paths.

But the mayor is more about style than substance. Hence the money spent on his memorials disguised as art.

> I thought cyclists wanted to ride on the roads…

If the cycle path goes where you want to go & is well maintained, I’m sure MOST cyclists would prefer to use it instead of the road. My commute to work is about 16kms, at least 12 of those are on a cycle path.

justbands said :

> And these pristine cycle lanes will last forever, largely uncontaminated by cyclists.

There’s plenty of office workers stuck out there, I’m sure these paths will get some use.

for walking?

I thought cyclists wanted to ride on the roads…

> And these pristine cycle lanes will last forever, largely uncontaminated by cyclists.

There’s plenty of office workers stuck out there, I’m sure these paths will get some use.

barking toad10:57 am 22 Dec 08

This is fantastic. This is terrific.

And these pristine cycle lanes will last forever, largely uncontaminated by cyclists.

But I’m sure the mayor will get some carbon credits to sell under the ETS.

If Terry Snow thinks he’ll make a quick buck from it, I bet he would allow the rebels to set up camp there.

For a moment there I thought the headline said “Airport Open for Bikies”.

That would have been a more entertaining story. Nothing against pedal power, of course. I just wanted to read about how Terry Snow was supplementing his massive income by allowing the rebels to set up camp in some of the unused space at BBP.

Good on the Pedal Power Mafia, this is exactly what they should be doing to help the cyclists of Canberra.

Now lets see how many cyclists actually use the paths.

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