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Cyclists are not people!

By Sgt.Bungers - 2 June 2010 71

That is if you believe the road works sign located at the Flemington Road/Sandford Street intersection in Mitchell:

“CYCLISTS WATCH FOR MERGING TRAFFIC”

The definition of traffic being;

  1. The passage of people or vehicles along routes of transportation.
  2. Vehicles or pedestrians in transit

The sign suggests that a “cyclist” is none of these?

The purpose of this road sign is beyond me.  For starters… people on bicycles are part of traffic.  Secondly… any road user, regardless of their mode of transport, shouldn’t need a road sign to remind them to watch for merging traffic… that’s just an everyday part of using our road network.  Signs like this breed complacent road users.

Much like the “Watch For Entering Traffic” signs that can be found on Drake Brokman Drive in Holt.  The sign is redundant… road users should always be looking out for other road users or animals that might be entering the road at any stage of their journey, not just when a sign tells them to.

I’ve digressed… I’m sorry to announce to those who choose to use naturally aspirated forms of wheeled transport… according to Roads ACT, or construction companies contracted by ACT GovCo, when you get on your bike, you are apparently no longer a “people”, your bike is not a “vehicle”, you are not even a lowly “…pedestrian in transit”… you are just a cyclist.

How do you feel?

What’s Your opinion?


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71 Responses to
Cyclists are not people!
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Solidarity 10:50 am 13 Feb 12

I commute using naturally aspirated wheeled transport, 6 litres of it… does that make me a cyclist? If so, should I be getting all ranty about this sign? I’m confused about what I should be complaining about here. Can someone help me out?

Jethro 6:14 am 13 Feb 12

Aeek said :

I have my doubts. Why not start by making a hook turn at Belconnen Way?
Only legal for cyclists so a driver’s license doesn’t teach it well.

Sorry, I misread that post from you. I assume by hook turn you mean turn right from the left lane after traffic has passed?

See, I don’t even know that was legal for cyclists. And judging from my observations of other cyclists merging across a couple of lanes of traffc to turn right, plenty of on-road cyclists don’t know that either.

This is exactly why there should be some type of training and testing system for cyclists. I highly doubt every on-road cyclist has sat down and read exactly how the road rules apply to them.

Jethro 6:00 am 13 Feb 12

Aeek said :

Jethro said :

To use an example of some of my local roads. Imagine a cyclist cycling down the left hand lane of Belconnen Way, navigating their way into the far right turning lane to get onto Coulter Drive and then turning right at the round-about onto Springvale Drive. A cyclist with a driver’s license would know the specific rules governing their actions in this situation

I have my doubts. Why not start by making a hook turn at Belconnen Way?
Only legal for cyclists so a driver’s license doesn’t teach it well.

Was just using those streets as an example where a cyclist would need to do things like cross over two lanes from the far left to a far right turning lane in heavy traffic, and would need to turn right at a roundabout with heavy traffic. In that specific situation they may indeed take an alternate route. I was more just trying to illustrate that doing something like crossing two lanes in heavy traffic while on a pushbike is a specific skill unique to pushbikes and should therefore be something in which on-road cyclists receive training and testing.

Jethro 5:57 am 13 Feb 12

Snarky said :

Jethro said :

… cyclists who ride on main roads as opposed to bike paths probably should have some form of license to do so. Surely it is reasonable to expect a road user to be licensed in their class of vehicle?

Off topic, but a genuine question – can anyone tell me what the practical differences are between a motorbike and car licence? The road rules are broadly the same, surely? Is it purely a test of whether you can control a different type of vehicle?

On topic, Jethro, what makes you think most cyclists don’t have either a car or motobike licence? This article (PDF, page 2 – describes NSW but likely similar in ACT) indicates that pretty much 80-90% of all adults hold a licence. They will be aware of the road rules.

Re-read my post. I said those who hold a car license will know the road rules, but perhaps not the specific skills for using a pushbike on the road.

I really don’t see why cyclists who fully immerse themselves in traffic shouldn’t hold a license in the class of vehicle they are operating, just as every other road user does. Why are cyclists so against being treated the same as other road users? Surely, a system where road cyclists are licensed would cause other road users to see them as more legitimate at the least.

And again, I’m not anti-cyclist. I’m about to jump on my bike to commute to work pretty soon. I’ll ride on the bike-ways and take an extra 10 minutes to make the 19km trip. There is a world of difference between riding on bike ways and riding on the road. Road riding does take a specific skill set that people should be properly trained and tested for.

wildturkeycanoe 5:19 am 13 Feb 12

It is a the natural order of things….cars give way to buses because buses are bigger, bikes give way to cars because they get squished if they don’t. You don’t want the Action buses to put a picture of a bike on the back of the bus, next to the car giving way sign do you? Shall we also put a cyclist on the pedestrian crossing sign because a cyclist is also a pedestrian when crossing the road? Geez, anything else stressing you out today [last year, in case anyone missed that this post is way old]?

Snarky 9:11 pm 12 Feb 12

Jethro said :

… cyclists who ride on main roads as opposed to bike paths probably should have some form of license to do so. Surely it is reasonable to expect a road user to be licensed in their class of vehicle?

Off topic, but a genuine question – can anyone tell me what the practical differences are between a motorbike and car licence? The road rules are broadly the same, surely? Is it purely a test of whether you can control a different type of vehicle?

On topic, Jethro, what makes you think most cyclists don’t have either a car or motobike licence? This article (PDF, page 2 – describes NSW but likely similar in ACT) indicates that pretty much 80-90% of all adults hold a licence. They will be aware of the road rules.

OpenYourMind 8:20 pm 12 Feb 12

One thing I’ve always noticed is that those who whinge the most about cyclists generally demonstrate in one way or another that they shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a car.

Now, I’ll resort to Godwin’s law and mention that even Hitler doesn’t like us cyclists:
http://vimeo.com/36287895

Aeek 6:48 pm 12 Feb 12

Jethro said :

To use an example of some of my local roads. Imagine a cyclist cycling down the left hand lane of Belconnen Way, navigating their way into the far right turning lane to get onto Coulter Drive and then turning right at the round-about onto Springvale Drive. A cyclist with a driver’s license would know the specific rules governing their actions in this situation

I have my doubts. Why not start by making a hook turn at Belconnen Way?
Only legal for cyclists so a driver’s license doesn’t teach it well.

lobster 4:44 pm 12 Feb 12

I think we need a referendum to clear this up. It’s about time the government dealt with the important issues

Grail 4:44 pm 12 Feb 12

The clear implication of that sign to me is that cyclists have to watch for merging cars since the cars sure as heck won’t be looking for cyclists amongst all the signs and barricades.

I’ll head up that way and take a photo so people can understand why the sign might be urging cyclists to be alert, but other vehicles don’t get special mention.

KB1971 3:45 pm 12 Feb 12

Jethro said :

astrojax said :

Jethro said :

However, cyclists who ride on main roads as opposed to bike paths probably should have some form of license to do so. Surely it is reasonable to expect a road user to be licensed in their class of vehicle?

maybe, but ‘pedestrians’? ‘skateboarders’? where does one draw the line?

I don’t see too many pedestrians or skate-boarders fully immersing themselves in traffic like cyclists can.

To use an example of some of my local roads. Imagine a cyclist cycling down the left hand lane of Belconnen Way, navigating their way into the far right turning lane to get onto Coulter Drive and then turning right at the round-about onto Springvale Drive. A cyclist with a driver’s license would know the specific rules governing their actions in this situation, but should be trained and tested on their ability to safely do this on a pushbike.

To be able to ride on the roads like this requires a strong ability to read the traffic, know when to go, how to signal your intentions, exactly where to go when you are changing lanes, turning right at a busy roundabout, etc. It should be something that is tested.

And I am a cyclist, so this isn’t some anti-cyclist rant. But I stick to the bike-paths and occasional on road cycle lanes. I just feel there is a vast difference between this type of cycling and full-immersion in the traffic cycling. If you are going to be fully in traffic, it is reasonable that you receive proper training and testing on how to do this safely and legally. I see plenty of cyclists riding in traffic who really do not know how to safely do something like the traffic manoeuvre I described above.

I regularly ride to work, the last bit is up Commonwealth ave & Vernon Circle. I need to turn right shortly after coming onto Northourne so I do it with the traffic. I always try to wait until there is a break in the traffic as I do this but it is not always possible. Most people are good as long as you give them plenty of notice and I am usually on & off within 100m.

But as with everything there is always the odd driver who hit there brakes & carry on even though I have waited & clearly signalled. It is as if I have not signalled to them & they seem surprised. Its really not much different to driving though, most people are pretty good, just the minority that suck.

Riders need to do this manouver with so much more caution its not funny.

It really is not us or them, its just people, the behavoir is the same no matter what form of transport they are on.

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