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Another (but different) bike lane question

By Mrshmellowman 24 April 2009 86

I know you guys love talking about this stuff, so, I have a question about the accepted behaviour of bike riders. I am genuinely interested in these circumstances, so bear with me while I explain the set up.

I was travelling up Northbourne Ave in the middle lane (on a motorcycle, so I was up high and could see everything) when I noticed that in the bike lane, a little lady on a sit up bike with a basket on the front was being overtaken by a big bloke on a mountain bike.

Now, the little lady was sort of in the middle of the bike lane, so this overtaking process caused the big bloke to ride the lane divider, which in effect put half of him in the traffic lane.

This is where it all went wrong.

The white Camry in the left lane of Northbourne suddenly had half a big bloke on a bike in his lane and swerved and braked to avoid the possibility of a collision. This manoeuvre brought him over into the middle lane.

The blue Falcon in the middle lane suddenly had a white Camry half in his lane for no apparent reason and he, reasonably I thought, swerved away to avoid a possible collision. That put him in the right hand lane.

The grey Mazda in the right hand lane suddenly found a blue Falcon swerving into his lane and being unable to swerve away, braked hard.

Luckily there was a half a gap behind these cars and the following traffic just had to touch their brakes to slow and let everyone sort themselves out.

I have seen variations of this play its self out a few times on the Ave. Never this badly though.

Now, my question is this. There is no right or wrong in this situation, but two very different classes of bike lane user’s right next to peak hour traffic looks like a potential disaster.

Should the bike lanes on big busy streets like Northbourne Ave be reserved for people who are travelling at certain speeds, like slow medium fast lap lanes at a pool? Should little ladies with flowery baskets on their bike be committed to the footpath and leave the bike lanes to the Lycra clad heroes?


What’s Your opinion?


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Another (but different) bike lane question
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tim_c 11:33 am 07 Sep 12

When changing lanes, you must give way to all traffic in the lane you are moving into. This means the big guy on the pushy must give way to the white Camry. It also means the driver of the white Camry must give way to the blue Falcon, and it also means that the driver of the blue Falcon must give way to the grey Mazda.

monomania 12:50 am 27 Apr 09

vg said :

Your logic crumbles somewhat when you realise that when I ride my car does not get driven. As wonderful as I am I cannot drive and ride at the same time.

If you think me cycling on the road equates to a car being on there as well then there is no hope for you.

“That is not to say that when not on their bikes his family’s 3 vehicles”

And where did you get that I have 3 cars in the family? Helps if you read the argument you are disputing. I pay rego on 2 cars, as do most families.

Take riders off the road and you can add cars to them. Simple mathematics.

Who knows how far your two cars travel on Canberra’s roads. Less than if you didn’t ride obviously.

My point about congestion is this. Two lane road. 200 cars and 6 bicycles per hour. 103 vehicles per lane. I bike lane and one other vehicle lane. 6 bicycles in their lane. 200 other vehicles in their one lane.

Sgt.Bungers 8:36 pm 26 Apr 09

Bike rego… how did we get onto this?? Again???

Not one developed country in the world has a registration for cyclists… it is a disgrace that so many Australian motorists call for it every time they see one cyclist break the rules. You should be calling for more police to catch rule breakers red handed.

“Registration” is simply a way of keeping track of motorised vehicles. Unfortunately with today’s modern “enfor?ement” methods, registration is now more about ensuring that those who break rules can be automatically punished by a computer.

The instant that we started registering human powered transport, we put ourselves on a downhill slope. Why not register all humans too? After all, we’re all going to cross a public road at some point in our lives. We have to make sure that those who do it illegally can be reported. It also means that anyone who breaks any law ever, can easily be tracked. A clear and obvious registration number and barcode tattooed onto the back of each of our heads will be enough. But wait… if someone commits a crime facing the camera instead of facing away from it… yeah we’d better have serial numbers tattooed on people’s foreheads too. The instant a person is able to walk they should be tattooed. Of course, you’re not allowed to grow hair or wear a hat, get sweaty, or do anything that prevents automatic cameras from scanning your head. It’s for the greater good.

All because you’re pissed off about that queue jumping cyclist who was able nip onto the foot path to go around the red light, or use the bicycle lane to get ahead of you and 100 other motorists at the traffic lights. All whilst you’re sitting in your car fuming about the rising cost of transport… and in a hurry to get home to watch today tonight’s latest weight loss tips.

vg 5:04 pm 26 Apr 09

Your logic crumbles somewhat when you realise that when I ride my car does not get driven. As wonderful as I am I cannot drive and ride at the same time.

If you think me cycling on the road equates to a car being on there as well then there is no hope for you.

“That is not to say that when not on their bikes his family’s 3 vehicles”

And where did you get that I have 3 cars in the family? Helps if you read the argument you are disputing. I pay rego on 2 cars, as do most families.

Take riders off the road and you can add cars to them. Simple mathematics.

monomania 4:37 pm 26 Apr 09

vg said :

I’ve said this all along. I pay rego on 2 cars and more tax than most. I also ride a bike to work. Doesn’t that mean, according to the ‘should pay to ride’ argument that I am actually more than doubly allowed to use the roads to cycle?

I don’t think there is much reason to insist on cyclists being registered. If anything, registration of motor vehicles probably doesn’t contribute much more than enabling the policing, signing and stop lighting of roads.

vg said :

Cyclists not contributing to roads is a bullshit argument perpetuated by lard asses stapled to their car seats. The only thing they don’t contribute to is ANOTHER car on the road

Typical unpleasant cyclibabble. vg is wonderfully healthy with tight buns. Making more than his contribution by paying more tax than most and not only that and doesn’t add to the congestion on our roads.

That is not to say that when not on their bikes his family’s 3 vehicles make any less use of the roads than the average.

Then his family’s probable above average lifestyle would mean that through the vehicles that service it, vg makes more use of our roads than the average.

Given the narrowing of roads sometimes from two to one lane because of the installation of sparingly used cycle paths it could be argued that cyclists have created more congestion in terms of more non-bicycle vehicles in less road area.

vg 2:58 pm 26 Apr 09

….and (2 post nutbag) $600 from every registered car in the ACT probably builds about 200m of the GDE. The roads revenue is derived from the GST and other state based taxes. Rego contributes f all to it

vg 2:53 pm 26 Apr 09

I’ve said this all along. I pay rego on 2 cars and more tax than most. I also ride a bike to work. Doesn’t that mean, according to the ‘should pay to ride’ argument that I am actually more than doubly allowed to use the roads to cycle?

Cyclists not contributing to roads is a bullshit argument perpetuated by lard asses stapled to their car seats. The only thing they don’t contribute to is ANOTHER car on the road

Postalgeek 2:29 pm 26 Apr 09

dvaey said :

PsydFX said :

If it had been a car rather than a bike causing the issue I wonder if the camry would have still swerved as excessively?

If a vehicle is coming into my lane, I’ll swerve to get out of its way. Whether that vehicle is a car, a bike, or a semitrailer.

Postalgeek said :

Wow, according to some, it’s perfectly acceptable for white Camrys to fail to anticipate road situations and swerve across lanes to avoid an slow moving object, but not MTB riders, even though the weight difference is about a ton.

So, you believe the 1ton car travelling at 60km/hr should slow faster than the 100kg bike travelling at 20km/hr? ‘Wow’, you must have failed physics or something. A heavier object isnt as easy to control, or stop, hence the reason why in the air or on the water, the larger vehicle *always* has right of way, as the smaller vehicle is more maneuverable.

Read what I said: anticipate road situations. It’s called competency. And that dumb ass argument about cyclists not contributing to roads is tired. Ever heard of GST?

vg 2:12 pm 26 Apr 09

midlife said :

The driver of the Camry should have performed a community service and elimited the lower life form. I believe in survival of the strongest even if it is assisted by a bit of metal around you.

You’re about 150kg, aren’t you

vg 2:11 pm 26 Apr 09

France

10 times the motorists
10 times the cyclists

They exist well together.

Canberra drivers, by and large, cannot cope with anything out of the ordinary.

And what Deckard said

Deckard 1:44 pm 26 Apr 09

So, the bike rider is at fault. Who gives a toss.

What does it matter if he has a licence or rides around with a number plate stuck to his forehead. He made a mistake. If a driver did the same and you rang the police with his number plate do you think they’d chase it up?

As for the rego. Here we go again…

Your car rego does NOT cover the cost of the road. Other taxes contribute far more. Including GST payed on bicycles.

The government is also trying to encourage people to take up cycling. Do you think hitting them with red-tape is the answer? When petrol is $5 a litre and parking $2 per hour in 15 years you might have a different view.

We’d all love off road cycle lanes that run parallel to the road but like cop cars on every street, it’s just going to cost money that this Govt does not have.

So if you feel you really need that extra 30 cm lane width on Northbourne I’d suggest you go and learn to drive in a real city where you’re driving along at 80kph with a truck probably less than a metre away from your passenger side mirror.

dvaey 10:28 am 26 Apr 09

PsydFX said :

If it had been a car rather than a bike causing the issue I wonder if the camry would have still swerved as excessively?

If a vehicle is coming into my lane, I’ll swerve to get out of its way. Whether that vehicle is a car, a bike, or a semitrailer.

Postalgeek said :

Wow, according to some, it’s perfectly acceptable for white Camrys to fail to anticipate road situations and swerve across lanes to avoid an slow moving object, but not MTB riders, even though the weight difference is about a ton.

So, you believe the 1ton car travelling at 60km/hr should slow faster than the 100kg bike travelling at 20km/hr? ‘Wow’, you must have failed physics or something. A heavier object isnt as easy to control, or stop, hence the reason why in the air or on the water, the larger vehicle *always* has right of way, as the smaller vehicle is more maneuverable.

Clown Killer said :

I was wondering how long it would take before the old ‘if I pay registration and have to have a number plate on my car …” whinge would hit the thread. Here’s an idea – maybe we don’t have it because its a waste of time and money and there’s few votes in pandering to fools.

Having just paid $600 for 12 months registration for the 3rd car in this household, yes I agree with you. We should just scrap all licensing and registration and just make it part of land rates… or we can make our current system more uniform and enforce user-pays across the board. I am curious though Clown Killer, have you ever had an accident and swapped details with the other person involved? Have you ever reported a bad vehicle/driver to the police, by using its numberplate? Im sure both people in that situation would rather prefer you didnt have their details, in the same way as a cyclist would prefer it.

Im not saying everyone who jumps on a bike should be licensed (unlike the laws that say everyone who drives, anywhere, must be licensed), I’m simply saying if you choose to use the cycle lane on the roadway, you should understand and comply with the road rules and be held accountable for breaching them, plus contribute to their cost. If you dont wish to pay for the usage of the roadway facilities, theres generally a sealed path running a very short distance from the bike lane, stay with that.

One fact people seem to be overlooking here, the bike crossed a solid white line, into another lane of flowing traffic. If a car crosses the solid white line, the car is at fault, if a bike does it (according to Clown Killer) the car is still at fault.

Kramer 10:06 am 26 Apr 09

Two bikes in the bike lane? Maybe if they are riding little road bikes… The bars on my mountain bike are almost the same width as the cycle lane (definitely the same width as the ultra-narrow section on Belco Way). I’ll head check, and then slowly move right (into the vehicle lane) to overtake a slower travelling bike.

GnT 10:00 am 26 Apr 09

Yossarian said :

As a garden variety mountain bike rider, that wears normal (un-sponsored) clothes, I have found Lycra clad bicyclists to be aggressive and arrogant on the road. Nevertheless, this is beside the point.

Hey cars? Here’s a radical idea. You ready for it?

When you see a bike on the road, be cautious. If you see two bikes, hey, why not go out on a limb and be a little bit more cautious?

P.S. Lycra clad bicyclists: if you see me riding without a helmet, mind your business, keep your lecturing to yourself, and keep riding.

Yossarian – wear a helmet! I don’t want to subsidise Medicare to pay for your cracked skull, just so you can look kewl and not ruin yo mad ‘fo.

BTW – you are not a mountain biker unless you are carving up the dirt – riding a k-mart special, mountain bike styled (which wouldn’t last 5 mins offroad) bike around the city streets won’t qualify you. Get to Stromlo with a helmet.

I agree with everyone here that commonsense should have prevailed from the cyclist on Northbourne, but failing that some commonsense, observation, and anticipation from the car drivers, would also be nice.

PsydFX 1:11 am 26 Apr 09

If it had been a car rather than a bike causing the issue I wonder if the camry would have still swerved as excessively?
I think I would also take excessive actions in order to prevent a collision with someone with so little protection.

Postalgeek 11:05 pm 25 Apr 09

Wow, according to some, it’s perfectly acceptable for white Camrys to fail to anticipate road situations and swerve across lanes to avoid an slow moving object, but not MTB riders, even though the weight difference is about a ton.

Canberra drivers get more scary every day.

Deckard 11:04 pm 25 Apr 09

Licensing cyclists….

*yawn* I’m off to bed.

Clown Killer 10:38 pm 25 Apr 09

Just to clarify here – there’s a theme in all of these threads that essentially relies upon shifting blame from the people in complete control of the vehicle their driving to someone or something else which is fallacious and just doesn’t wash. The old the … ‘roo just ran out … there was a cyclist … black ice on the road … unexpected off-camber bend … blah, blah, blah is rubbish – Who’s in control of the car?

Clown Killer 10:32 pm 25 Apr 09

Seeing as you want to look at this from a liability point of view lets go.

1 cyclist over takes old lady riding in bike lane into first lane of traffic causing car 1 into 2nd lane hitting car 2 both cars go into lane 3 collecting car 3. who’s at fault? and who should pay for damages? old lady for going to slow, cyclist for over taking into lane 1, or car 1,2 or 3?

Neither Old lady or Cyclist. Camry fails to drive in a manner appropriate for conditions (that include cyclists of varying abilities) and three lanes of busy traffic instead ploughing along at or above the posted speed limit. The actions of the cyclists result in the Camry driver taking evasive reaction, unfortunately they have no idea of the dimensions of their car so they over react and causes accident – Camry driver to blame.

#2 cyclist over takes old lady riding in bike lane into first lane of traffic and car 1 hits cyclist then car 2 runs up his arse. who’s at fault the cyclist or car 1 or car 2?

Camry fails to drive in a manner appropriate for conditions (that include cyclists of varying abilities) and three lanes of busy traffic instead ploughing along at or above the posted speed limit. The actions of the cyclists result in the Camry driver failing to take evasive action. Camry Driver to blame.

#3 both 1and 2 happen together??

Yaddah, yaddah, yaddah … Camry Driver to blame

rottweiler 9:29 pm 25 Apr 09

ok clown killer lets just say that there was an accident who is at fault the car driver or the cyclist??? and who should be held liabale???

#1 cyclist over takes old lady riding in bike lane into first lane of traffic causing car 1 into 2nd lane hitting car 2 both cars go into lane 3 collecting car 3. who’s at fault? and who should pay for damages? old lady for going to slow, cyclist for over taking into lane 1, or car 1,2 or 3?

#2 cyclist over takes old lady riding in bike lane into first lane of traffic and car 1 hits cyclist then car 2 runs up his arse. who’s at fault the cyclist or car 1 or car 2?

#3 both 1and 2 happen together??

Danman 9:29 pm 25 Apr 09

I hate it when fast canoeists cut me off in my tinny whilst overtaking slow canoeist ..Damn things should be registered, he only gave me 2 minutes for evasive action.

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