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PEDAL POWER WANTS MORE?

By Brianna - 23 June 2013 37

The Canberra Times has this story today about UC vice-chancellor Stephen Parker wanting more cycle lanes in Canberra.

“UNIVERSITY of Canberra vice-chancellor and keen bike rider Stephen Parker has called for more cycle lanes in the ACT to be physically separated from cars and other vehicles.

Professor Parker has been made the patron of the ACT’s lobby group for cycling, Pedal Power, and he says Canberra’s cycle routes could be improved.

”The cycle paths available were pretty good years ago but they’re not so cutting edge now,” said the reformist academic leader, who has overseen huge growth and changes to infrastructure at his university in the past five years.”

”Canberra really needs bike lanes physically separated from cars if we want to get a lot more people riding.”

Hmmm, I thought that’s what bike paths were?

What’s Your opinion?


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37 Responses to
PEDAL POWER WANTS MORE?
bainbridge 10:04 am 24 Jun 13

As I cyclist I’m all for registration for bicycles. Every single bicycle sold in the country. Even kids ones from kmart which will only travel about 1km before going to the tip.

In the ACT you can register a car weighing up to 975kg for 12 months for $235.40. That’s about 24 cents per kilo for the year. A very hefty bicycle might weigh 10kg, so that’s $2.40 for the year, seems OK to me. Of course it would probably cost about $5 to collect the $2.40 so lets bring it up to $7.40 for the year. I’d pay it.

davo101 9:23 am 24 Jun 13

Objective said :

Pork Hunt said :

No government in the world will ever make cyclists pay for rego.

A very glib comment. Off the top of my head I can name at least one Government that does, Japan; no doubt there are more.

Bike registration in Japan is a theft deterrence measure. It costs you $5.50 to register your bike for life.

Here’s a challenge–see if you can find a jurisdiction where they attempt to pay for cycling infrastructure by charging cyclists a registration fee.

Objective 2:57 am 24 Jun 13

Pork Hunt said :

benno1 said :

Sure, give them separated bike paths (noting they already have them in Canberra everywhere and don’t use them) and charge them registration fees to cover the cost.

No government in the world will ever make cyclists pay for rego.

A very glib comment. Off the top of my head I can name at least one Government that does, Japan; no doubt there are more. If the self entitled cyclist wants services specifically tailored to him/her, then I don’t see why they shouldn’t contribute to the cost. Motorists do, ergo cyclists should also.

Martlark 11:49 pm 23 Jun 13

Many of the older paths are narrow, twisty and full of holes and tree root bumps.

Minz 10:58 pm 23 Jun 13

On the registration issue, as a driver it’s a no-brainer – I’m all in favour of better cycling amenities. It’s a win-win for all of us – drivers, cyclists and both. Get more people off the road, reduce road damage and improve health… societal benefits all over the place, and drivers are those that stand to benefit the most in many ways. Sure, cyclists are irritating sometimes, but much, much less than drivers (and I say this as someone who didn’t regularly ride until recently).

I ride (slowly) on the bike paths.. it’d be nice if they were a little smoother, but still, they’re OK by me. If I was a lycra-wearer tearing around at a decent speed, the corrugations would be highly annoying and possibly dangerous, so I can understand why those guys use them less.

Finally, an interesting technical point – damage to road surfaces goes approximately with the fourth power of the weight per axle of the vehicle, so my ~65kg of bike + rider does literally a thousand times less damage to the surface of the road than my 700kg of car + driver (‘cos my car is tiny), and none at all when riding on cycle paths. Roadwork sucks… people should definitely ride more 🙂

Pork Hunt 9:33 pm 23 Jun 13

benno1 said :

Sure, give them separated bike paths (noting they already have them in Canberra everywhere and don’t use them) and charge them registration fees to cover the cost.

No government in the world will ever make cyclists pay for rego.

Postalgeek 9:23 pm 23 Jun 13

benno1 said :

Sure, give them separated bike paths (noting they already have them in Canberra everywhere and don’t use them) and charge them registration fees to cover the cost.

Don’t go kidding yourself that your rego covers the costs of the roads. Every tax payer, including cyclists, are subsidising your metal ass.

dtc 9:04 pm 23 Jun 13

ps: the issue is that cyclists, like drivers, usually want to get from Point A to Point B. Some bikes lanes allow this to occur. But many ‘Point Bs’ dont have bike lanes going to them, or at least bike lanes that are useful or particularly safe – Canberra Uni, I think, most offices in Barton, Russell, the airport and etc etc. Fixing up these spots by adding on road cycle lanes is, as gasman mentioned, cheaper but doesnt actually encourage most people because they feel its insane (I never ride down Northbourne even though the bike lane through OConnor is much slower).

Whether or not building separate bike lanes is a useful expenditure of money is a different question. Then again, the Majura parkway (or whatever its called) alone probably costs more than the entire amount spent on bike paths in the history of Canberra.

dtc 9:00 pm 23 Jun 13

benno1 said :

Sure, give them separated bike paths (noting they already have them in Canberra everywhere and don’t use them) and charge them registration fees to cover the cost.

Stand at the crossing of Marcus Clarke St and Barry Drive between 8 and 9am and see how many times you are almost hit by a bike that has just come off the ‘inner north’ bike lane.

Tetranitrate 8:52 pm 23 Jun 13

”Canberra really needs bike lanes physically separated from cars if we want to get a lot more people riding.”

No. Absolutely not.
Canberra’s bike paths are great. You’ll find hundreds of uni-students and others using the bike-path network throughout the inner north every day. Making the existing bike path network more expansive and more direct wherever possible is a great idea.

Continuing the farce that ‘bikes have a place on major roads’ is not a great idea however.
I don’t know what the hell is wrong with pedal power and the lycra clad riders – why do they have this insane urge to ride alongside traffic? I just don’t get it.
I’ve seen people actually hugging the right-hand side of bike lanes/road-shoulders, riding two inches to the left of the line, and narrowly avoided hitting one moron on hindmarsh drive a couple of weeks ago when he’d left himself no margin for error hugging the right edge of the lane and somehow lost control, veering into the car lane. I’d seen him fumbling with his handlebars, had room to move to the right myself and did, but if I hadn’t I’ve have collided with him as he veered into my lane .
What is it about these people that actually seems to cause them to be attracted them to being buffeted by the wind as cars speed past them?

I’ve also been a regular bike rider at various points in my life and I’ve always found it incredibly unpleasant to ride near/around traffic. Obviously concrete footpaths aren’t appropriate for road-bikes, but the dedicated bitumen bike paths most certainly are

dph 8:30 pm 23 Jun 13

”The cycle paths available were pretty good years ago but they’re not so cutting edge now.”

What’s he basing that on? From my experience, cycle paths in Canberra are generally in excellent condition.

qbngeek 7:51 pm 23 Jun 13

This has been done before and surely we are all sick of it. If you want to see how the arguments will go, use the search box up the top and find the last eleventy million this argument was had.

I don’t cycle, but physically separated cycle lanes are a good idea. Bike paths are no direct and meander all over the suburbs.

benno1 6:24 pm 23 Jun 13

Sure, give them separated bike paths (noting they already have them in Canberra everywhere and don’t use them) and charge them registration fees to cover the cost.

gasman 3:50 pm 23 Jun 13

There has been a push over the past 5 years or so of making on-road cycle lanes, rather than physically separated bicycle paths.

Each has their benefits and disadvantages. On-road bike lanes are often the most direct route, and are cheaper to make (simply use the shoulder), but involve bicycles interacting with cars. Annoying for car drivers and dangerous for cyclists.

Off-road bike paths are less direct, and less comprehensive, more expensive to build but completely separate cars from bikes, benefitting both.

At the moment (in Canberra) a significant percentage of car drivers regard on-raod cyclists as an annoyance and infringing on their God-given right to drive fast, rather than as a legitimate form of getting from A to B

Once a certain critical mass of cyclists exists, even on-road bike lanes become safer as car driver awareness and acceptance of cyclists improves, and they modify their driving behaviour accordingly. This is an attitudinal change, and has already happened in many cities and countries around the world.

A comprehensive bicycle path and lane system benefits everybody, including car drivers, by decreasing congestion, decreasing taxes spent on roads, parking and healthcare, decreased carbon emissions.

Building a good cycling infrastructure is very cost effective for communities.

Rawhide Kid Part3 2:44 pm 23 Jun 13

“Hmmm, I thought that’s what bike paths were?”
Bike paths are so 80’s

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