Although Summernats was cancelled this year due to COVID-19, streetcars continued to make the news.
ACT Policing worked closely with car clubs for authorised ‘Clayton’s cruises’, but police were later forced to close streets when impromptu gatherings became public safety risks in Braddon, Fyshwick and Eaglehawk.
Police seized a number of vehicles, including one apparently belonging to a P-plater, and have identified the person they believe is responsible for smashing the rear window of a police vehicle during a night of illegal burnouts and anti-social behaviour.
Car club organisers who had worked hard on building strong relationships with police and the Transport and City Services directorate expressed their frustration at drivers who disrupted traffic and created concerns for public safety. But others said the behaviour was inevitable given the cancellation of Summernats and the longstanding lack of a dragway in Canberra.
We asked, Would a dragway stop illegal behaviour in streetcars? A total of 1021 readers participated.
Your choices were to vote No, the community won’t reward bad behaviour from people who should know better and this received 35 per cent of the total, or 355 votes. Alternatively, you could choose Yes, it’s a sensible way to meet the car community’s needs. This received 65 per cent of the total, or 666 votes.
This week, we’re wondering whether Canberra cyclists get a fair go in the community.
Tim Gavel’s editorial on the perennial issue stirred some strong responses as he argued that safety, or the lack of it, has become a significant issue in Canberra and that many cyclists say they’ve observed an increase in aggression from motorists in recent years.
Bike retailers say that sales have gone through the roof during the pandemic and, Tim said, “this means more cyclists are on the road facing ever-increasing safety risks, despite the improvement in bike paths around the city”.
“Bike paths have also become more dangerous as the popularity of motorised scooters increases, and more scooter-riders start using bike paths.”
Barney Voveris said: “What do they want the roads and cycle paths all to themselves the next thing that will happen is that you won’t even be allowed to overtake a pushbike you have your bike lanes and you can’t even stay inside them so stop whinging all of you peddle pushers you are lucky that you don’t have to pay for rego or insurance for using the roads maybe you should, and that might stop you from carrying on.”
And Margy Duke wrote: “It’s the arrogance that I’ve had enough of … I’m sure not all cyclists are that way, but I’ve sure had my share of them. I’ve had the roof of my car punched and slapped numerous times for stopping to give way. One incident a cyclist in Yarralumla slapped my car and yelled at me because I stopped at a roundabout to lawfully give way and that inconvenienced the rider, I’ve been yelled at and sworn at for obeying car road rules, I’ve had my car kicked by a cyclist for the same. On and on and on …”
But Adrian Hobbs countered: “I cycle. I also pay registration on 3 vehicles. So I reckon I have 3 times as much right to be on the road as most people.”
Cyclist Jonny Ivan said: “I use the bike paths, that is what they are for, they are safer. [I] see too many bike riders on the road breaking the law.”
Our question for this week’s poll is: