I know what the ACT Government are thinking. Lets provide on road cycling, clear our air, stop the consumption of fuel and lower car emmisions. All very good, and good idea really. It keeps people fit, and does lower car emmisions, etc. The thing that drives me mad, is the way some cyclists think they dominate the road. By law, if you hit a pedestrian or cyclist, no matter what the circumstances, your at fault.
Now these green ‘cyclists have right of way’ glory paths plastered on more and more roads every week I find are a death trap. I can’t say I remember once where a cyclist has used this green path which usually cross an exit ramp, and actually NOT seeing cars almost running up the back of each other. Time after time I see a good 3-4-5 cars slam their breaks on due to a cyclist using this green path, and the cars not seeing the cyclist for whatever reason (most likely due to the cyclist not being as wide as a car and not standing out as much). I’ll try and get some footage of this happening and post up a link.
I’ve got 2 concerns about this :- the first being my frustration at the cyclists for using these green paths, and my second being the safety for these cyclists. I know the green paths mean cyclists have right of way, but for God’s sake, you cyclists aren’t cars. You dont have airbags, you dont have crumple zones built into your bike. Its your life on the line – if you get hit, you get hit good. Sure the drive of the car will get in trouble if they hit you, but isn’t it better to avoid accidents then to know you have right of way if one does happen? I’m sure everyone can see the number of hit cyclists are going up almost on a weekly basis. I dont cycle on roads myself, but I can tell you if I did, I would certainly pull off to the side of the road to ‘cross’ the exit ramps then to just keep looking forward, continue cycling and hope for the best. This isn’t really the cyclists fault, its more of the people who thought of the idea in the first place.
I’m sorry to say it’s not just the green pathways that i’m concerned about. Pick a day, pick an intersection, and I guarentee you’ll see a cyclist doing something stupid. Today I saw a cyslist WITHOUT A HELMET come out of one of the designated cycle lanes and cross a Northbourne Avenue intersection diaginally from one side to another when their light was red. Are you a car today or a bike? A car would get booked if it went through a red light, you may not get booked, but you could very well get killed. Registration for bikes would be a really good idea I think, as well as them paying for some road costs. I can’t start to think how much it has cost the tax payer to pay contracts to drill all the cat-eyes on 3 lane roads to move them a foot to allow for a cycle lane. Its times when I see cyclists doing stupid things that really make me angry to think that so much money was spent on these cycle lanes, and these cyclists abusing the way they should ride on the road and endangering their lives.
I’m sure there is a website somewhere with how to properly use these cycle lanes, and i’m sure some items would include: wear bright clothing to attract attention – you dont stand out as much as a car or motorbike does, if you get to an intersection and the light is red – it means STOP, not hop up on the footpath to cross the intersection, check before using those death-trap green paths to ensure its safe or pull over onto the side of the road and cross when there is no cars.
In the end, i’m writing with concerns for you cyclists lives. Of course you have right of way – IF YOU SURVIVE THE ACCIDENT. I guarentee you the car will have right of way in a fatal accident. If you use the cyclist on-road cycling – your a car. Stop at red lights, give way as you would in a car. In the end the only thing you’ll get out of doing the right thing, is potentionally preventing an accident which you dont stand a chance with against a car.