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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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39 Responses to
Pedal power wants barriers on the bike lanes.
dvaey 4:57 pm 15 Aug 11

Gungahlin Al said :

The Northbourne on-road cycle ways are damned dangerous and a bit of kerbing would not fix how close many buses go to you.

Maybe the next pedal power issue, will be to get buses off every road that has an on-road cycle path?

Gungahlin Al said :

And Basketcase: I’m glad it’s all cut and dried for you, but the reality out there is cyclists do need a certain degree of protection given the sheer number of ACTION drivers

Well, this is where the problem arises. You want the same rights as cars, trucks, cars and buses (ie. to use the road), but you dont want to share it with them because theyre bigger? There exists an off-road option, but pedal power claim it is “completely unacceptable” to look at anything but an on-road option.

Gungahlin Al said :

Because while a vehicle-vehicle accident is usually just about panel beaters, a vehicle-cycle accident is a completely different matter.

vehicle vs pedestrian accidents are a different matter too, hence why pedestrians dont walk along the road, they use the off-road alternative.. that option is too good for cyclists?

wildturkeycanoe 4:55 pm 15 Aug 11

To those complaining about the buses encroaching on the cycleway, think about this. Before the bike lanes were installed, the lanes [3 of] were wide enough for all the vehicular traffic, including the likes of buses, trucks and semi trailers. Instead of widening the road to make a cycle path, they just re-painted the lane markers and narrowed the car lanes down to what is now a dangerously small space if there are two large vehicles driving side by side. I fear for my mirrors when a bus and truck are on either side of me on Northbourne.
Basically, the bicycle lobby has created this monster and now want the taxpayers to make it even worse. What happens to the slip lanes, driveways and bus stops when there is a permanent barrier by the left hand side??? Unworkable and poorly thought out idea. Typical cyclists – wanting all and giving nothing.

Grail 4:54 pm 15 Aug 11

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.

All traffic-light crossings in Amsterdam serve both pedestrians and cyclists with no bizarre need to have a separate set of lamps to give cyclists permission to cross, which light at exactly the same time, off the same circuit, as the lamps for pedestrians (well, at least the ones I saw).

It’s worth noting that in Amsterdam (and surrounding areas of the Netherlands that I saw) mopeds use the cycle paths too. So pedestrians use the cycle path at their own peril. Here in Canberra the black tar paths are “shared paths” which means pedestrians, cyclists and horses all use the same space. Which doesn’t make for safe commuting when you’re trying to pass a guy walking his untrained yappy dog when there’s a horse coming the other way.

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).

dtc 4:36 pm 15 Aug 11

Why do people use cycle lanes on Northbourne Ave anyway? I commute every day from North Canberra to Civic and could go down Northbourne, but it scares me sideways and I always ride on the bike path (which is – at some stage in the near future – going to be lit up – yay). Anyway, yes it takes me a bit longer and I have to go slower, but it is just so much safer and a much more enjoyable ride. Admittedly I ride to commute, rather than for sport or fitness.

Why dont we develop a bike path that runs along the Dickson/Braddon side of Northbourne – not on Northbourne but running a few streets behind. Leave the on road lane but have another option for the non-lycra warriors.

The numbers on the Sullies Creek bike path in the morning vs the numbers riding down Northbourne Ave suggest the vast majority of people will go down a bike path given the option.

Having said that, a pedestrian path alongside the bike path would be useful at times…

alaninoz 4:30 pm 15 Aug 11

Gungahlin Al said :

The cycle lanes for Northbourne need to be in the middle, with the bus/rail corridor, but the other side of the tree line.

By far the best place for them, but it assumes the bus/rail corridor will be built.

Until that happens, where does PP propose that these barriers be built? In the already too narrow car/bus lanes? In the existing bicycle lanes? Widen the road?

Holden Caulfield 4:29 pm 15 Aug 11

Gungahlin Al said :

…Because while a vehiclevehicle accident is usually just about panelbeaters, a vehiclecycle accident is a completely different matter. And there are already far too many of them.

Is there anywhere that stats on car/bike crashes are available? I’ve often assumed it can’t be as bad as one might think, otherwise more serious efforts would be being made to resolve the situation.

Deref 4:11 pm 15 Aug 11

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.

Gungahlin Al 4:00 pm 15 Aug 11

The cycle lanes for Northbourne need to be in the middle, with the bus/rail corridor, but the other side of the tree line.

The Northbourne on-road cycle ways are damned dangerous and a bit of kerbing would not fix how close many buses go to you.

But on a number of other roads, this solution would be superb. I had an ACTION bus scare the willies out of me again this morning by coming over the line on Flemington Road (on the bit where there is no alternative at all).

And Basketcase: I’m glad it’s all cut and dried for you, but the reality out there is cyclists do need a certain degree of protection given the sheer number of ACTION drivers who delight in using more than their alloted lane. Because while a vehiclevehicle accident is usually just about panelbeaters, a vehiclecycle accident is a completely different matter. And there are already far too many of them.

Kath 3:33 pm 15 Aug 11

I’d feel safer with some sort of barrier on the on-road paths – both as a cyclist and a driver. I was passing a pair of cyclists on Northbourne yesterday who were riding next to each other in the cycle lane. Ever so social for them, but the nearer one was right on the edge of the cycle lane and in danger of being clipped.

I’d prefer a decent off-road path any day, particularly between suburbs – like the lovely path that goes up past Florey and then veers off to Charnwood (where the planner lived?). It’s amazing how busy that path is. After that, anyone heading on to Kippax and surrounds gets to either risk the road or go a really roundabout way for a while, fuming about the long length of ‘burb edge that looks like it should have a continuing path.

basketcase 3:22 pm 15 Aug 11

Absolutely stupid idea. Pedal Power need to rethink their insatiable demands for a bubble wrap protected world for cyclists, it aint gonna happen. Pedal power would be better off educating their members that;

There are other people in the world
That cyclists need to ride defensively.
Cyclists should never ever expect motorists to do the right thing
Cyclist must obey road rules
… and the list goes on …

The stupid thing about yet another barrier is that it is yet another thing to crash into.

Someone needs to talk to Pedal Power, no one minds people pushing for a cause, but creating further obstacles to driving and cycling comes straight from the looney bin.

dvaey 3:21 pm 15 Aug 11

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

This statement basically sums up their stance. The fact that any option not involving cyclists on the road is ‘unacceptable’, but then to claim that bikes using bike paths creates a dangerous conflict. Do they think this danger is greater than the danger of bikes sharing the same space as cars/trucks?

If we eventually got light rail in the ACT, would these same people like to put the light rail running along the same routes as roads and bikes too? Or do they realise the dangers of cars and rail, but not realise the dangers of bikes and cars?

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

The trouble with barriers is that bikes will still often ignore the rules of the road. We can put all the barriers we like up.. until those people who use bikes on the roads are aware and held accountable for the road laws and their actions, this will always be a problem.

Mollie4me 3:15 pm 15 Aug 11

As a daily bicycle-commuter, I have a particular hatred for on-road cycle lanes: 80 cm of drain, a gut-full of exhaust, dodging buses and having cars speed up to pass. Cycle paths need to be suitable for everyone – not just adults on high performance road bikes. An off-road path would be a thousand times better than the current situation – especially for young & old people, parents carrying kids, and other cyclists happy to take their time. Except for designated freeways and motorways (which Northbourne is not) cyclists can still chose to ride on the road if they so chose. Pedal Power should represent all cyclists and support the off-road path. While they are at it, there needs to be some decent cycle paths to cross Northbourne at Wakefield, Ipima/Condamine and Haig Park, so one can actually get from one side to the other.

futto 3:01 pm 15 Aug 11

I like this idea.

I assume Pedal Power would be in favor of separated cycle lanes as it will allow simpler installation of the pushbike toll gates required to fund the creation of further separated cycle lanes.

Holden Caulfield 2:59 pm 15 Aug 11

“The trouble with barriers is it still won%u2019t fix problems with cars turning left.”

Not to mention the tree cutting, or whatever activity is going on in the background of the feature pic.

The theory of better separating motorised traffic from the treddlies is not too bad, though.

Madman 2:46 pm 15 Aug 11

They already have a barrier – it’s called a footpath and a gutter!

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

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