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New Protected Cycle Lanes for Civic?

By Horrid - 12 November 2009 49

The Canberra Times reports that separated ‘Copenhagen’ style cycle lanes are being considered for Civic, along with a ‘shared space’ zone on Bunda St where all users have equal rights. Pedal Power seem to think it’s a good thing and a bit of digging on their website soon revealed where the idea came from- looks like part of some kind of orbital cycling route around the whole of Civic.

Personally I reckon it’s a great idea- you could ride round this cycleway thing in quarter of the time it would take in a car in rush hour, methinks. And get to just about anywhere in Civic you needed to go on it. And give the people screaming about cyclists in their way exactly what they want- the cyclists off to one side somewhere. Now me, I don’t mind riding in Civic now, but I’ll bet that the shopper set, trendy uni students, office workers and the like would all go for this and get on their bikes to ride it.

So hopefully it’s something that Canberrans will get behind and support. I fear not all will- nothing brings out the hatemongers and rednecks faster than the prospect of taxes that cyclists pay being spent on cycling, instead of yet another freeway or carpark. But there is probably a lot more people who reckon if it works in Copenhagen, or Melbourne like the CT story says, then it’ll probably work in Canberra as well.

What’s Your opinion?


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49 Responses to
New Protected Cycle Lanes for Civic?
Sgt.Bungers 2:19 pm 12 Nov 09

I have no problem with people driving cars having their own stretch of pavement so long as they abide by whatever road rules are set.

Not like the driver I saw a few days back heading north on Melrose Drive – got to the Yamba/Yarra Glen Roundabout, so all of a sudden the driver decided his vehicle was a Bus/Taxi or Motorcycle and used the Bus Lane adjacent to the round about to gain 5 seconds over everyone else… only to have that 5 seconds lost at the traffic lights out the front of the British High Commission.

Just my little whine for the day (I know it’s been brought up time and time again).

dvaey 2:17 pm 12 Nov 09

Funky1 said :

I have no problem with cyclists having their own stretch of pavement so long as they abide by whatever road rules are set.

As you pointed out, cyclists obeying the laws/rules of the road do so on an honour system. If a car behaves dangerously, you report it to the police or whine on riot act. If a bike behaves dangerously, you whinge on riot act stereotyping all cyclists as theyre not identifiable. Take the following situation of a car and a bike crossing an intersection on a red light. Both activities are just as dangerous, however only one can ever be held accountable.

Funky1 2:09 pm 12 Nov 09

I have no problem with cyclists having their own stretch of pavement so long as they abide by whatever road rules are set.

Not like the two cyclists I saw this morning heading south down Commonwealth Ave – got to the lights which were red, so all of a sudden became pedestrians (whilst still seated on their cycles) and used the adjacent crossing before riding down past the Britsh High Commission against the red light.

Just my little whine for the day (I know it’s been brought up time and time again).

Sgt.Bungers 1:59 pm 12 Nov 09

Lol @ #5.

People who ride bicycles do not have to pay registration on their vehicle because it is human powered. End of story. Build yourself a Fred Flinstone car with your feet dangling out the bottom to push it along and you wont have to pay rego on that either.

Bosworth 1:15 pm 12 Nov 09

2600 said :

Once it’s built, the pedal nazis wont use it. They’ll continue to ride on the road just to piss off motorists, just like they do now on Lady Deman Drive (and many other places we’ve built cycle roads for them). This is all part of their extreme anti-car campaign. Screw ’em!

Troll

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 1:06 pm 12 Nov 09

2600 said :

Once it’s built, the pedal nazis wont use it. They’ll continue to ride on the road just to piss off motorists, just like they do now on Lady Deman Drive (and many other places we’ve built cycle roads for them). This is all part of their extreme anti-car campaign. Screw ’em!

I agree. I still see plenty of cyclists using the road when there’s a cycle path just metres away.

2600 12:31 pm 12 Nov 09

Once it’s built, the pedal nazis wont use it. They’ll continue to ride on the road just to piss off motorists, just like they do now on Lady Deman Drive (and many other places we’ve built cycle roads for them). This is all part of their extreme anti-car campaign. Screw ’em!

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 12:05 pm 12 Nov 09

Aubergine said :

#5 – not the “cyclist don’t pay” argument again.

I would happily pay $100 “cyclist rego” every year just to never hear this stupidity ever again.

Send me a cheque care of the RiotACT and I’ll never mention it again.

Aubergine 12:01 pm 12 Nov 09

#5 – not the “cyclist don’t pay” argument again.

I would happily pay $100 “cyclist rego” every year just to never hear this stupidity ever again.

Aubergine 11:59 am 12 Nov 09

It will help if simple rules are applied in these areas – eg: cyclists must give way to pedestrians, cars must give way to cyclists and pedestrians. Different pavement treatments in the shared area will help a lot too.

There has been a “shared area” outside the Woolies entrance at Cooleman Court for a couple of years now. It is very poorly marked and almost nobody knows it’s there. A couple of signs say that cars must give way to pedestrians (and cyclists?) but almost every car driver – and pedestrian – has no idea the area exists. The signs are not obvious and the painted “Shared Area” boxes on the road are almost unnoticeable. More than once I have walked (carefully) across in front of a slow moving car and pointed the sign out to the irritated driver – they simply had no idea it was a pedestrian priority area.

A simple alternative to repaving the area would be to paint pedestrian crossing stripes across the entire length of the roadway (about 50 metres) outside Cooleman Court – every driver knows what these mean! The painted boxes and signs are not obvious and are understandably ignored. Pavement treatments in Bunda Street etc would have to be similarly obvious to be effective. Canberra streets already have too many signs – nobody has time to comprehend and prioritise them. Green paint seems to be understood on freeway exits as cyclist priority areas. “Zebra stripes” are even more obvious and universally understood. But paint erodes, and imagine the visual atrocity if the entire length of Bunda Street was covered in stripes. It has to be attractive, yet obvious and easily understood, and consistent across the city.

dvaey 11:43 am 12 Nov 09

So, will cyclists be paying extra for this infrastructure that they have exclusive access to? Will car drivers get a discount because the available road is being reduced? Will roads such as Northborne lose a road-lane or will they lose pedestrian area? You cant add a cycle lane without sacrificing one of those two. Cyclists are ‘wheeled pedestrians’ and should be given the same allocation and rule-set as pedestrians, imho.

PigDog 11:31 am 12 Nov 09

I really like this concept. Seems a like a sensible way to get more people (safely) on bikes.

However, I can see the government totally butchering this. I don’t know how, but they will find a way.

Postalgeek 10:50 am 12 Nov 09

Good to hear. Wish all cycle lanes could be separated by a curb or bollards, but thankful for what we get. In spite of all the rants, cyclists and motorists would probably be happy with the same thing: separated parallel lane for cycles. But I guess we’ll wait to see the cost and motorists’ reactions if they get cramped or lose a lane to a physically separated cycle lane.

I found the the comparative photo in horrid’s link to the orbital cycling route very interesting. It really demonstrates just how much space cars take up.

Sgt.Bungers 10:34 am 12 Nov 09

Progress! Let’s hope it’s not botched up by ACT GovCo. To be a true shared space, gutters will be removed, an appropriate “flat” drainage system will be installed instead. The distinction between where cars are allowed to be driven and are not allowed will be made by different coloured concrete/pavement/tiles only. A speed limit of walking pace will also have to be introduced.

Laws will have to be well publicized regarding how the shared space works. Ideally, all laws regarding driving vehicles in a dangerous manner will be revoked in a shared space. People driving a car in a manner considered dangerous will be charged with reckless endangerment, or indeed any other charge able to be given to a person acting in a life threatening manner whilst NOT driving a motor vehicle.

eg: a simple grievous bodily harm charge for hitting and seriously injuring a person on foot. A manslaughter charge for killing a person on foot in ANY circumstance, other than a person deliberately jumping in front of a motor vehicle in close proximity. That said, someone driving their car at walking pace will do little to no damage to a person who deliberately jumps in front of a car.

Such laws and changes will create an uncertain driving environment for people operating motor vehicles, greatly increasing concentration and attention to the dangerous task at hand. Such laws place the responsibility for driving safely back in the hands of the motor vehicle driver, instead of the current setup which requires people walking to stay off the road and out of motor vehicles way, so as to enable higher speeds for motor vehicle drivers.

Surveillance cameras will need to be in place 24/7 to discourage the few elitist wkrs who are likely to object to such a “shared space” setup, by driving their car at speed through the area expecting everyone to get out of their way.

For a shared space to be truly equal, laws governing the shared space must be equal for everyone, regardless of their choice of transport.

Ronnie 10:22 am 12 Nov 09

This would be great. We really need good cycling routes to encourage more people to ride to work and play in Civic.

How much time would people spend in their cars, worrying about parking/ fuel costs etc and then struggling to find time to get to the gym to do some exercise. If Canberra had infrastructure along the lines of what Pedal Power is proposing then more people will find the switch to pedal power easier, safer, healthier and more enjoyable.

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