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Liberals want bike lanes scratched

By Kerces - 13 October 2006 41

The ACT Opposition wants the Government to spend a whole lot of money getting rid of the on-road cycle lanes they have spent lots of money on over the past few years.

Steve Pratt was outraged by an NRMA report which showed 40 per cent of cyclists had accidents or near misses while using the cycle lanes last year. The same report criticised the width of the cycle lanes and the way the Government had made car lanes narrower rather than choosing the expensive option of widening the roadway to make room for bicycles.

Interestingly the report (which I can’t find on their website) did not mention any figures for accidents or near misses in the previous year for comparison.

Mr Pratt told the ABC the cycle lanes made it difficult for “cars turning left into crossroad intersections [and] cars turning into driveways”.

“It’s very unsafe for cyclists in those sorts of conditions, so we would seek to have road cycle lanes removed under those conditions,” he said.

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41 Responses to
Liberals want bike lanes scratched
seepi 10:12 am 13 Oct 06

In Denmark they have cycle lanes, but they are actually separated from the traffic by steel fences (like the barriers at tramstops in Melbourne). I think the ACT govt should have made less cycle lanes, but put more effort into them and made them safer.

The green paint areas are scary on busy roads like the corner of Northbourne and Antill Sts, and the end of the Commonwealth Ave Bridge, southbound. In the mornings most of the fast moving traffic wants to turn left and in the madness of fast lane changes etc it would be so easy not to see a cyclist. I saw a scary confrontation there once between a cyclist and a bus. The cyclist was in the right – but insane to play chicken with a bus.

VYBerlinaV8 9:41 am 13 Oct 06

“if a cyclist kicked my mirrors off at the lights, id drag him from his bike and thrash him.”

I agree completely, and would do the same.

johnboy 9:41 am 13 Oct 06

Neither the start or the finish join any other path, it’s just a white line painted on a section of the road for no apparent reason except to call it a bike lane.

Just guessing here BT, but I’d say some-one’s pay was based on rolling out a certain number of metres of bike path and that 70 metres is contributing to their total.

Big Al 9:40 am 13 Oct 06

Bonfire, you sound pretty confident there … it’d be pretty embarrassing to get your mirror knocked off and then be on the wrong end of a flogging by a lycra-clad cyclist!

Big Al 9:37 am 13 Oct 06

LG the riding close to the vehicle land could be to reduce puncture risk – those skinny tyres on the flash race bikes are pretty thin and most of the crap that ends up on the road gradually makes its way to the sides where the bike lanes are … I’ll be the first to agree that it sounds dumb – especially increasing the risk of getting shafted by car to reduce the risk of a flat tyre, but there you go.

bonfire 9:32 am 13 Oct 06

if a cyclist kicked my mirrors off at the lights, id drag him from his bike and thrash him.

all cyclists are selfish.

they should stick to the offroad cycle paths.

LG 9:28 am 13 Oct 06

Quick question for those that use the cycle lanes – do you ride:
a) in the cycle lane, close to the curb
b) in the middle of the cycle lane
c) on the white strip separating the cycle lane from the road.

I just ask because when the ABC covered this story last night, they showed a cyclist using the cycle lane, but he was practically riding on the white line against the road (see answer ‘c’ above). I wouldn’t be suprised that there are so many near misses if most cyclists ride on the ‘road side’ of the cycle lane.

barking toad 9:22 am 13 Oct 06

Slightly OT, but can anyone explain the logic behind the bike lane on the new roadworks on Newcastle street opposite simon the sad’s gift to developers, aka Epicentre.

Half way along a bike lane suddenly appears and about 70 metres later it just as suddenly stops. Even with a sign to state the bleedin’ obvious.

Neither the start or the finish join any other path, it’s just a white line painted on a section of the road for no apparent reason except to call it a bike lane. And it gives cyclists no protection from cars because it hasn’t been sprayed with magic green paint. Maybe the cyclist parachutes in to the start and is extracted by helicopter when the white line finishes.

Was this designed by one of those gay recumbent cyclists?

Special G 9:08 am 13 Oct 06

Fair call VY. The cycle lanes are a good idea. Cyclists rode their bikes there anyway. They should have widened the roads to do it though.

VYBerlinaV8 8:59 am 13 Oct 06

This is a really good example of a situation where common sense should prevail. Having cyclists cut across lanes of traffic moving at 80km/h is not particularly safe (note here that I am both a cyclist and a motorist at different times of day). When I ride, I make it my responsibility to not be in the way of cars traveling 60km/h (or more) faster than I am.

What really shits me is when you see a bike path next to the road, and the cyclist is on the road. I know sometimes that roads are easier to ride on, but from a safety point of view this is madness.

The cyclist lobby needs to grow a brain and realise that roads are designed for cars, and that although we can legislate that bikes are legal road vehicles, ultimately the rider is the one who comes off second best in an altercation with a moving car. Accordingly, I ride routes I am comfortable with, rather than getting on my moral hobby horse about how cars should be giving way.

Pandy 8:49 am 13 Oct 06

Thats what will happen to cylists.

Weired loons like Pedal Pwer have at times called for a 40km/h suburban speed limit because cyclits feel intimidated by cars. Probably the same loons that like to wear sweaty lycra around Manuka having their skinny soy decaf ‘cino.

smokey2 8:45 am 13 Oct 06

At least with dedicated off road bike paths cyclists do not have to avoid the stinking rotting road kill lying on the side of our roads.

captainwhorebags 8:44 am 13 Oct 06

Bike lanes are a good idea, but the green lanes of death on the exits are dangerous. I know a few riders who believe the it’d be far safer for cars to have right of way on the high speed exits, particularly on Adelaide Ave.

I’m in favour of registration and licencing of all road users, including cyclists. It shouldn’t be a financial impost (just enough to cover the cost of the plates, or $10/$20 a year), and would hopefully make cyclists think twice before breaking road rules.

Of course, I’m sure it’s only a very small minority of cyclists who give the rest a bad image. I’ve seen cycling forums where members boast how “yeah, the driver blasted his horn at me, but it’s fine because I kicked his side mirror off at the next set of lights”. Hardly a win for good cyclist/driver attitudes.

threeze 8:44 am 13 Oct 06

the bike lanes scare the life out of me, i refuse to ride in them or drive next to them. too many wallys on both sides of the driving/biking fence.

Thumper 8:36 am 13 Oct 06

The NRMA has also come out and spoken about has dangerous they believe the bike lanes are.

However, they are speaking from a motorists point of view.

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