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Pedal power wants barriers on the bike lanes.

By johnboy 15 August 2011 39

northbourne bike lanes

Pedal Power have released their submission to the review of transport corridors along Northbourne Avenue:

Pedal Power holds the following views on the range of possible facility types that might be recommended:

— The best solution that will maximise cycling safety and amenity on Northbourne Avenue is provision of separated (also known as ‘Copenhagen’) cycle lanes to the left of the general traffic lanes in both directions of travel. This is Pedal Power’s preferred overall solution for meeting the needs of the great majority of bicycle riders, and also attracting new riders. Installing separated cycle lanes addresses the concerns of most riders (existing and potential) who value speed and priority but also want physical separation from traffic, without creating any detriment to riders who prefer the current on-road cycle lanes. This proposal provides the best opportunity for the consultant and the ACT Government to provide a solution that satisfies the greatest number of people and user groups while supporting the objectives of the Sustainable Transport Plan for the ACT. It is also consistent with the ACT Government’s commitment to provide separation for bicycle riders on Northbourne Avenue.

— Provision of an off-road path as the ONLY means of cycling on Northbourne Avenue is completely unacceptable to Pedal Power and many individual bicycle riders. This would require breaches of the ACT Government’s own stated policies, put bicycle riders into dangerous conflict with pedestrians, present insurmountable technical challenges in providing genuinely equivalent cycling amenity to that presently available, and merely duplicate a nearby existing path. Many existing riders would refuse to use it and would continue to ride on the road. Most importantly, it is also an inferior option to installing separated cycle lanes.-3-

— No matter what the outcome of the study, on-road cycle lanes (preferably separated cycle lanes, but at minimum the current arrangement) MUST be retained on Northbourne Avenue as part of the Main On-Road Route Network.

— Separate to consideration of Northbourne Avenue, the study should not ignore the current use and future potential of roughly parallel Connector Routes on minor streets and of the ANU to Lyneham Main Community Route path. Opportunities should be taken wherever possible to improve these routes and east-west connections between them.

— We also recommend that the ACT Government document Design Standards for Urban Infrastructure 13: Pedestrian & cycle facilities should be formally considered as part of this study, and any proposed solutions should be tested against the document to ensure consistency. This document should also be updated to include standards for separated cycle lanes prior to detailed design of these lanes

The trouble with barriers is it still won’t fix problems with cars turning left.

What’s Your opinion?


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Pedal power wants barriers on the bike lanes.
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churl 10:25 am 16 Aug 11

Best fix for Northbourne:
Make it two car lanes.
AND build Monash Drive.

BicycleCanberra 9:56 am 16 Aug 11

troll-sniffer said :

I regularly ride on and near Northbourne Ave and IMHO as a regular on-road cyclist the last thing we need are segregated bike lanes for Northbourne Ave. The current lanes are fine for even marginally competent cyclists. Motorists and truck drivers all treat me with courtesy when I use the lane correctly, ie in the left half of the lane and aware of vehicles intentions near driveways and intersections. (A few bus drivers are still arse-holes but I’m sure they are slowly being weeded out of the system)..

It is important we design infrastructure that is safe for everyone to use not just yourself, or the strong and fearless. A city where the most vulnerable of citizens like children and the elderly or the disabled can walk or ride safety should be encourage. Cycle lanes on high speed high volume roads are not the standard in countries with much higher rates of cycle use compared to Australia and Canberra.

http://vimeo.com/27307346

troll-sniffer 9:24 am 16 Aug 11

I regularly ride on and near Northbourne Ave and IMHO as a regular on-road cyclist the last thing we need are segregated bike lanes for Northbourne Ave. The current lanes are fine for even marginally competent cyclists. Motorists and truck drivers all treat me with courtesy when I use the lane correctly, ie in the left half of the lane and aware of vehicles intentions near driveways and intersections. (A few bus drivers are still arse-holes but I’m sure they are slowly being weeded out of the system).

I would rather see a campaign to make rear view mirrors compulsory for cyclists. This will no doubt raise howls of derision from the carbon fibre brigade, for whom the sleek lines of their show ponies are sacrosanct, but for them the option of the helmet mounted mirror is available.

I would guess that my rear view mirror (mirrycle for those who want to check it out) is the equal of helmet, brakes, bell and lighting combined in making my on-road cycling safer.

For those who say it’s impinging on liberties or unworkable… I say bollocks. You already accept dubious helmet benefits with hardly a whimper, all cycles must already carry a bell and reflectors, and all motorcycles and cars are required to have rear view mirrors and no-one doubts their effectiveness.

shadow boxer 9:19 am 16 Aug 11

Sorry didn’t realise there had been any, I hope he is o.k.

BicycleCanberra 8:54 am 16 Aug 11

Sorry try this link………….

http://youtu.be/a84UxbsB3o8

BicycleCanberra 8:51 am 16 Aug 11

shadow boxer said :

where is the evidence of any accidents on the current cycleway.

I have a theory that pedal power want this because the cars occasionaly prick the ballonn of smugness that powers these cycles.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/cyclist-critical-after-northbourne-ave-crash/2056788.aspx

……..and in the bike versus Car story on 7:30 Stateline,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a84UxbsB3o

shadow boxer 8:22 am 16 Aug 11

where is the evidence of any accidents on the current cycleway.

I have a theory that pedal power want this because the cars occasionaly prick the ballonn of smugness that powers these cycles.

dpm 8:21 am 16 Aug 11

shadow boxer said :

my goodness, Canberra has had some stupid ideas over the years (Fusball, tropical arborteriums, single lane GDE, urban infill, turning our lovely sporting ovals into dustbowls and mosquito breeding grounds) …..

Using super-projection skills to close a bunch of schools, only then (within a couple of years) to have young families move into said suburbs, who all love a local school…..! Now, 3/4 of suburbs have kids who can’t even walk to school as it is too far away = about 5 billion kids school drop-offs in cars every morning!

Others? 🙂

Classified 7:39 am 16 Aug 11

Grail said :

Have you tried riding on the shared paths? It’s fine when you are only riding with other cyclists. Doesn’t work too well when you’re sharing the path with people walking their little yappy or big bitey dogs. Or feral children. The paths are awesome for scenic rides, but cover about twice the straight-line distance so they don’t particularly lend themselves to commuting.

Welcome to how we feel about driving with cyclists. Some use the bike paths, some don’t (and ride on the road next to the path), some ride two abreast, some don’t, some switch to footpaths whenever there’s a red light, some don’t, some ignore cars, some don’t…

No-one has a problem provided people are sensible and watch what they’re doing. I’m not suprised cyclists get the cranks with drivers turning across their lane at random, but I would suggest that legalities aside, being aware of where bigger vehicles are and what they’re doing would be a good thing. When I used to cycle regularly I always assumed larger vehicles had right of way unless they were explicitly aware that this was not the case (e.g. traffic lights). Sure, it took some thinking, but I never had a problem with cars, and still got to where I was going in good time.

shadow boxer 6:57 am 16 Aug 11

my goodness, Canberra has had some stupid ideas over the years (Fusball, tropical arborteriums, single lane GDE, urban infill, turning our lovely sporting ovals into dustbowls and mosquito breeding grounds) but this one takes the cake.

Northbourne is a 3 lane arterial road designed to get 20-30000 cars into and beyond civic in the fastest possible manner. Everyone else needs to work around that objective. Thats how cities work.

What happens when a car breaks down and there is nowhere to push it, how do the buses pull over, how do the cars pull over if required.

Cyclists have 100’s of possibilities for riding into civic why do they have to intrfere with the main traffic thoroughfare. Burley griffin would be spinning in his grave at what has been done to his magnificent city entrance.

Pandy 6:31 am 16 Aug 11

And it shall be.

Even if they do not have a champion like Stanhope in power to get the idea up, they do have the ear of the road transport krew; that road chief is known to be a keen cyclist. So Pedal Power will win.

As provision will also need to be made for buses and for stops, not to mention for the barrier itself, I predict that the car lanes will be narrowed once again, maybe reduced to 2 lanes, with one lane dedicated for buses. As the lanes will be so narrow, the speed limit on the road will be reduced to 40km/h.

One small problem: the early morning lycra clad bunch of bike warriors will not be using the bike lane. As they like to ride in a peleton, they will shun the bike lane and ride in the bus lane. To prevent this, I suggest very strict enforcement policies be handed over to Pedal Power to be able to confiscate these bikes and on the 3 offence be able to crush them.

doomguy1001 12:41 am 16 Aug 11

@Grail

First off I don’t have a car, so don’t assume that i am some kind of car nut who has a fearless driving complex. Second, I’d fancy a look at the source of the lane width claim too.

I walk the path networks – great fun to be having a good walk. I can’t say that I have ever been on a path where dogs and feral children and the like are on the same length of path at one time. Perhaps that is just because I walk the deserted paths of Kambah.

Aeek 11:55 pm 15 Aug 11

The first bit heading heading north from the city is way too narrow.
I enjoy the rest of Northebourne.
I handle left indicating motor vehicles by pulling out of the lane to the rear of the last one.
The next vehicle doesn’t get given the chance to turn on top of me (if they neglected to signal).
Barriers would stop me from making life safer for me and easier for everyone.

As for a lane in the middle, how to we get off it? I sometimes ride through Civic, up Northebourne and turn left onto MacArthur. That doesn’t work.

Grail 11:29 pm 15 Aug 11

doomguy1001 said :

What do the cyclists have so far?

1. Bike paths
2. Pedestrian pathways
3. Bike racks on buses
4. Bike lanes on roads

and now they want a special barrier. Geez. Pedal Power needs to work with what they’ve got already. The first two are perfectly reasonable

Have you tried riding on the shared paths? It’s fine when you are only riding with other cyclists. Doesn’t work too well when you’re sharing the path with people walking their little yappy or big bitey dogs. Or feral children. The paths are awesome for scenic rides, but cover about twice the straight-line distance so they don’t particularly lend themselves to commuting.

doomguy1001 said :

limit was reached in my opinion with the narrowing of existing road lanes for the bike lanes.

And yet Canberra still has the widest lanes in the country. What do you want? 500m either side of your car to prevent your $60k “special” lancer’s paintwork being scratched by that commoner’s BMW?

doomguy1001 said :

What’s next Pedal Power? Special bike intersection lights? Closing roads to regular traffic so they can only be used for cyclists.

That are actually on the table – we already have special pedestrian lights at many intersections (David Street x Macarthur Avenue is the one I use most often). The nonsense about 40km/h on the Tuggeranong Parkway, obviously not.

doomguy1001 said :

Stuff them. Catch a bus at least, at least your armoured from all the evil cars trying to use the road!

There wouldn’t be a need for cyclists to defend themselves if only you would learn how to drive with consideration for other road users.

Grail 11:21 pm 15 Aug 11

BicycleCanberra said :

It is important to note that cycle facilities like cycle lanes are not on major arterial roads in the Netherlands, certainly not on roads that have speeds higher than 50km/h. (lower speed limits in residential areas, 30km/h).

In the newer suburbs of Amsterdam that I visited, the bike path was a specially marked part of the “pedestrian” pavement, entirely off the road. The distance between buildings and the road in these areas was about 10m.

BicycleCanberra said :

All in all I am pleased to hear than Pedal Power now support physically separated infrastructure on ‘High speed high volume’ roads. There are guidelines pertaining to cycle facilities on certain type of roads, that the dutch introduced decades ago yet only now we are deciding to consider them.

I feel quite safe on the current on-road facilities except for a few intersections on Northbourne Avenue. The worst of the bunch is Northbourne Avenue x London Circuit, in the South-bound lane. But I’ve already harped on about that in this thread.

Apart from giving bikes a priority light at some intersections (like busses have at many) or shifting bikes onto the pedestrian crossing (like is done in many places throughout Amsterdam), I can’t think of any particularly elegant ways to solve current problems. Note that in Amsterdam the bike and foot paths are side-by-side, but each is specially marked. Both cycle and foot traffic crosses on the same signal.

There is already at least one intersection in Canberra where pedestrians are given a three-to-five second “crossing time” before the cars are given green lights.

As much as I like the idea of Copenhagen-style bike paths, I really can’t see that fitting particularly well into the Canberra environment without extensive adjustments to footpath & road widths/alignment. Perhaps something to aim for as a 10 year plan. Which coincides with my plans for world domination!

I have sent some pictures of Amsterdam cycleways to images@the-riotact.com, let’s see if they end up posted here somewhere.

doomguy1001 11:14 pm 15 Aug 11

What do the cyclists have so far?

1. Bike paths
2. Pedestrian pathways
3. Bike racks on buses
4. Bike lanes on roads

and now they want a special barrier. Geez. Pedal Power needs to work with what they’ve got already. The first two are perfectly reasonable, the racks on buses are okay but the limit was reached in my opinion with the narrowing of existing road lanes for the bike lanes.

What’s next Pedal Power? Special bike intersection lights? Making the Tuggeranong Parkway 40km/h so it’s safer for cyclists? Closing roads to regular traffic so they can only be used for cyclists.

Stuff them. Catch a bus at least, at least your armoured from all the evil cars trying to use the road!

BicycleCanberra 10:40 pm 15 Aug 11

Grail said :

Deref said :

In Amsterdam (and, it seems, most of Europe) the dedicated bike lanes are part of the footpath, not part of the road – a sensible, safe, and practical idea. We, of course, do it differently.

The bike lanes are dedicated lanes, regardless of whether they are running parallel to the road, Copenhagen-style, or off the road, Canberra-shared-path-style. But at least there is a marked lane for bikes, separate to the path for pedestrians. If you actually look around Amsterdam you’ll find a mixture of Copenhagen-style, Canberra style (bike and pedestrian paths entirely separated from the road) and half-way between, something along the lines of having marked bike lanes on the concrete path up Northbourne Avenue from Melbourne/Sydney buildings to the Jolimont Centre.

But suffice it to say that there are better options than Copenhagen-style cycle paths, which someone in Pedal Power seems to have developed a full-blown hard-on for.

I use the on-road cycling facilities in Canberra. They work well when everyone’s cooperating, but fall apart dismally when idiots in cars think that the bike lane is a special lane reserved for them when they’re in a hurry. Or the folks who can’t handle looking to their left before veering into the left-turn lane at South-bound Northbourne vs London Circuit. Not that this particular 50m stretch of road is particularly friendly to cyclists, buses or cars. That particular intersection could be handled by having bikes move up onto the concrete path, and cross with pedestrians on a special pedestrians-only cycle of the lights (the same timing of lights happens at David St vs Macarthur Avenue, for example).

It is important to note that cycle facilities like cycle lanes are not on major arterial roads in the Netherlands, certainly not on roads that have speeds higher than 50km/h. (lower speed limits in residential areas, 30km/h). Also not all major roads have cycle facilities like separated paths next to them, rather than cycle routes are usually the most direct routes to destinations like work,shops and schools, motor traffic usually has to take the longer route.
“Rat running” has been stopped in many dutch towns unlike here in Canberra. Many city centre are closed to car traffic and the only way to get there is by bike,walk or public transport.
All in all I am pleased to hear than Pedal Power now support physically separated infrastructure on ‘High speed high volume’ roads. There are guidelines pertaining to cycle facilities on certain type of roads, that the dutch introduced decades ago yet only now we are deciding to consider them.
The ACT has a good road hierarchy w,hich is why we have Australia’s safest roads, that could have easily adopted the dutch model. But that would mean lowering speeds limits in residential areas (not on the Bus route collector roads), Oh no! now wouldn’t the sky fall in if we did that.

bd84 10:01 pm 15 Aug 11

Yes the cycleways should be separated, however they should be in a similar position to what is now the footpath. The extra distance between the traffic removes them most of the blind spots that currently exist with having them travelling in a 30cm piece of road immediately beside the traffic as they are now.

Seeing a cyclist in that space is difficult, especially as they don’t like giving way to the left turning cars in front of them that have right of way and also reduce the risk from the drivers who don’t look at all.

The cycle lanes as they currently are on Northbourne should never have been built, the road is simply not wide enough for 3 lanes and a cycle lane and bus stops. They are not safe for anyone, cyclists because them competing with the buses stopping and a lot of left turning traffic and for the other road users who are forced to drive in lanes which don’t fit trucks and buses properly and driving the sections where the gutter actually becomes part of the road.

Deckard 9:14 pm 15 Aug 11

Madman said :

Surely the cost involved in this will come from the revenue of car registrations….

Nah, don’t think so. The revenue from car regos pays a fraction of the cost of roads so will more likely come from GST money allocated by the federal government. The same place that they get the money to cover the short fall in cheap car rego.

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