Road woes: motorbikes and my daily commute

john84 10 November 2011 71

I travel from Belconnen to Woden daily, mostly in peak-hour morning traffic, and Canberra’s roadways get backed up.

Each day, motorcyclists ride in the bike lanes passing the lines of cars, and eventually duck in at the last chance available, skipping all the automobilers.

Does anyone else have a problem with this?


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71 Responses to Road woes: motorbikes and my daily commute
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thatsnotme thatsnotme 10:20 pm 18 Dec 11

FWIW, I have actually seen the police targeting motorcycle riders in bike lanes, along Parkes Way during the morning rush. Just a van parked in the bike lane, pulling over any motorcycles who were using that lane. There were 3 or 4 bikes pulled over when I went past.

I don’t have a problem with it, as long as it’s safe – which generally means that visibility needs to be good enough that motorcycles can see any bikes in the lane in plenty of time. The on road bike lanes along William Hovell Drive and Parkes Way rarely ever seem to have any push bikes in them though – why not specially designate some cycle lanes on major roads as allowing motorcycles, with a reduced speed limit, and push bikes always retaining right of way?

The Antichrist The Antichrist 4:58 pm 18 Dec 11

No problem with this at all, as long as the motorcyclist takes appropriate care if there are any pushie riders actually using the pushy lane in the first place……..

Classified Classified 10:03 pm 11 Nov 11

Innovation said :

Postalgeek said :

Mysteryman said :

ABC129 said :

A driver of a vehicle and rider of a motorbike may only drive in a bicycle lane
for up to 50 metres:

%u2022 to enter or leave the road;
%u2022 to overtake a vehicle that is turning right or making a U turn; and
%u2022 to avoid an obstruction.

Quoted again for those who didn’t bother reading it the first time.

But those cars were an obstruction, your Honour. Then 50 metres up the road I encountered further cars obstructing my way.

Or “I was going to exit the road in 50 metres your Honour but then I changed my mind and decided to exit 50 metres further down the road” … Or actually pull in and out of side streets or driveways every 50 metres (It would still be quicker than sitting in stationary traffic)

Sounds like a good strategy. Let us know how it works out for you.

Walker Walker 9:49 pm 11 Nov 11

I wouldn’t do it. I don’t see the payoff being worth the risk, nor see myself deriving any joy from it. In fact I think I’d find it embarassing, demoting myself to a cycle lane. (Unless I’m cycling of course! In which case I’d take the suburbs anyway, so to me the whole lane is a non-event).

Innovation Innovation 7:16 pm 11 Nov 11

Postalgeek said :

Mysteryman said :

ABC129 said :

A driver of a vehicle and rider of a motorbike may only drive in a bicycle lane
for up to 50 metres:

%u2022 to enter or leave the road;
%u2022 to overtake a vehicle that is turning right or making a U turn; and
%u2022 to avoid an obstruction.

Quoted again for those who didn’t bother reading it the first time.

But those cars were an obstruction, your Honour. Then 50 metres up the road I encountered further cars obstructing my way.

Or “I was going to exit the road in 50 metres your Honour but then I changed my mind and decided to exit 50 metres further down the road” … Or actually pull in and out of side streets or driveways every 50 metres (It would still be quicker than sitting in stationary traffic)

Postalgeek Postalgeek 6:38 pm 11 Nov 11

Mysteryman said :

ABC129 said :

A driver of a vehicle and rider of a motorbike may only drive in a bicycle lane
for up to 50 metres:

%u2022 to enter or leave the road;
%u2022 to overtake a vehicle that is turning right or making a U turn; and
%u2022 to avoid an obstruction.

Quoted again for those who didn’t bother reading it the first time.

But those cars were an obstruction, your Honour. Then 50 metres up the road I encountered further cars obstructing my way.

KeenGolfer KeenGolfer 5:03 pm 11 Nov 11

bd84 said :

2. Motorbikes lane splitting is illegal. Unsafe lane changes, occupying the same space as another vehicle, overtaking on the left etc.
3. Motorbikes moving between stopped traffic also illegal. See above.

Rubbish. Lane splitting and lane filtering are not illegal. Show me the legislation that says they are. There are other offences that *may* come into play but it’s not that hard to filter or split and not break any road rules. Maybe you need to read the ARR to see what offences there actually are and what is fictitious.

lore lore 12:28 pm 11 Nov 11

Best thing I’ve seen- a motocycle weaving in and out of stopped bumper to bumper traffic, passed a ute with a dog on the back. The dog jumped and barked at the motorcyclist, he was shocked and fell off his bike! A little bit of entertainment for us in the car.

Mysteryman Mysteryman 12:24 pm 11 Nov 11

ABC129 said :

http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/64482/Road_Rules_2011_Part_E.pdf

From Page 3 of the document:

Bicycle lanes
Bicycle lanes are reserved for the use of bicycle riders only. Bicycle lane markings,
including the coloured bicycle lanes at intersections highlight the existence of the
‘bicycle lane’ to motorists and the ‘right of way’ legally provided to the cyclist.
Therefore, where a motorist sees a bicycle lane, he or she must be on the lookout
for cyclists as always. If a cyclist is on a bicycle lane the motorist must give way.

While the bicycle lane alerts motorists to cyclist’s ‘right of way’, the bicycle rider also
needs to be vigilant, as these areas pose a much higher risk of collision. The fact
that the bicycle lane gives a cyclist ‘right of way’ does not necessarily mean that it
will be granted. Cyclists are often difficult to see in adverse conditions and are
extremely vulnerable, so as a cyclist, it is far better to be prepared to give way than
to have a collision.

**pay attention to this bit**
A driver of a vehicle and rider of a motorbike may only drive in a bicycle lane
for up to 50 metres:

• to enter or leave the road;
• to overtake a vehicle that is turning right or making a U turn; and
• to avoid an obstruction.

Quoted again for those who didn’t bother reading it the first time.

Mothy Mothy 11:35 am 11 Nov 11

carnardly said :

Yes, I have a problem with it.

+1

Sgt.Bungers said :

We’ve had to contend with human/wind/motor powered vessels in our water ways for centuries. Motor powered gives way to wind and human powered, human powered gives way to wind powered. Easy.

Cycle lanes could easily work the same way, with the caveat of a 20 km/h speed limit for motorcyclists? What’s the big deal?

Ahh that’s right, tall poppy syndrome from those in cars.

Sorry Bungers but your analogy is not a good one – a waterway has room for one to give way to another. A bike lane does NOT. Particularly when some idiot on a motorbike comes out of his Xkmph regular traffic lane into a Ykmph bicycle lane.

Since you and Innovation both believe a 20kmph speed limit for a motorbike traveling in the bicycle lane is feasible, can I ask how you’d police that? Tell me where else you see a differential speed limit based on being on one other the other side of a line?

Do I get annoyed with cyclists who bang past me on shared paths with no warning? Hell yes. But those are shared paths. A bicycle lane is NOT a shared space, nor should it be.

Sandman said :

As for that cyclist that got hit by the motorbike, I guess there’s never been a cyclist hit by a car in the history of the ACT? At least he has the benefit of CTP insurance, unlike the old lady on my street who got knocked over by a cyclist who went through a red light cause he didn’t think they applied to him if he thought it was safe.

He was hit by a motorbike while riding IN THE BIKE LANE Sandman. He was where he should be, the guy on the motorbike was not. The fact that there are inattentive drivers around, or a colourblind cyclist for that matter, does not make that motorcyclists lack of observation of the road rules any better, nor invalidate the rule. If on motorbike – stay out of the bike lane!

G-Fresh G-Fresh 10:34 am 11 Nov 11

steveu said :

I am a motorcycle rider, as are many of my friends..

I farted on the set of blue lagoon!

Seriously though being a motorcyclist aint’ unique. I’m one too. Really, no one could give a s*** whether I am or not.

The point here is that we are all motorists and the safety of all motorists is paramount. Lane filtering or not so long as there is no danger to others then it doesn’t matter what the Mick Doohan wannabe (or other rider type) gets up to on their commute.

dpm dpm 10:29 am 11 Nov 11

I’m OK with it too, except when motorcyclists say “don’t ride us off” (remember the TV ad?) and then do domething that increases the chance of that happening. (however, in this case, riding down the bike lane/curb side is probably one of the safer ‘illegal?’ things they can do, IMO)
Every time I see a rider do something stupid/illegal, I say out loud in the car “don’t ride us off!”. I find myself saying that to myself quite a few times a week…..
Luckily I’ve never seen the aftermath of a motorcycle crash. I reckon it’d be nasty. Which is why I wish they’d help us moron car drivers take better care of them! I say, be as predictable as you can on the road guys! 🙂
To tell the truth, if riding was safer than it is now I’d love to ride to work!

p1 p1 10:24 am 11 Nov 11

OpenYourMind said :

Firstly, there’s lots of reasons to ride a motorcycle, but saving money is usually not a good reason.

Not a good reason in your opinion perhaps, but I would suggest it is a very common reason over the last few years in Canberra, and showing no signs of changing.

All those people aren’t riding scooters for the thrills.

Thoroughly Smashed Thoroughly Smashed 10:20 am 11 Nov 11

You said :

As a motorcyclist let me just say that it sucks to be you.

Enjoy your slow drive to work, trololololololol!

Maybe on average I’ll take 5% longer than you to get to work, but I’m also ~97% less likely to die doing so. Seems like a fair trade-off to me.

You You 10:17 am 11 Nov 11

OpenYourMind said :

You said :

As a motorcyclist let me just say that it sucks to be you.

Enjoy your slow drive to work, trololololololol!

I wouldn’t get so high and mighty. Sure, you might be a little quicker at times in heavy traffic, but then you get to work and start offloading your boots, dri-riders, helmet, gloves etc. and all those car drivers have already settled down to their first cup of coffee at work. Motorbikes: 0-100km/h in 5min – counting all the dickin’ around.

That said, I ride a bicycle more often than not and I have to add a shower to my commute time too.

I reckon a power limit could be set for the bike lane – 1kW max. That will keep away the big motorbikes and the strong cyclists who overtake me 🙂

Except, that doesn’t actually happen. I get to work, park my bike, take off my helmet, gloves and jacket in less than a minute. Done.

ABC129 ABC129 10:14 am 11 Nov 11

http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/64482/Road_Rules_2011_Part_E.pdf

From Page 3 of the document:

Bicycle lanes
Bicycle lanes are reserved for the use of bicycle riders only. Bicycle lane markings,
including the coloured bicycle lanes at intersections highlight the existence of the
‘bicycle lane’ to motorists and the ‘right of way’ legally provided to the cyclist.
Therefore, where a motorist sees a bicycle lane, he or she must be on the lookout
for cyclists as always. If a cyclist is on a bicycle lane the motorist must give way.

While the bicycle lane alerts motorists to cyclist’s ‘right of way’, the bicycle rider also
needs to be vigilant, as these areas pose a much higher risk of collision. The fact
that the bicycle lane gives a cyclist ‘right of way’ does not necessarily mean that it
will be granted. Cyclists are often difficult to see in adverse conditions and are
extremely vulnerable, so as a cyclist, it is far better to be prepared to give way than
to have a collision.

**pay attention to this bit**
A driver of a vehicle and rider of a motorbike may only drive in a bicycle lane
for up to 50 metres:

• to enter or leave the road;
• to overtake a vehicle that is turning right or making a U turn; and
• to avoid an obstruction.

Disinformation Disinformation 10:00 am 11 Nov 11

You said :

As a motorcyclist let me just say that it sucks to be you.

Is that an admission, or just incredible irony?

Classified Classified 9:43 am 11 Nov 11

Okwhatever said :

Classified said :

I don’t care so much about them using narrow parts of the road, what I truly hate is when they weave through traffic using the normal lanes at 20+km/h faster than the prevailing traffic flow. More than once I’ve indicated then started to change lanes only to have to swerve out of the way of one of these morons so as not to hit them. They’re often going quickly enough that not only can you not see them until you’ve started your lane change, but they don’t see you because they’re watching the traffic immediately in front of them.

This is not always the riders fault, you have to see things from another perspective sometimes. Last week I was riding from civic to fyshwick, I had just exited a roundabout and was accelerating (at a normal rate) past a ute which decided to indicate and pull over into the lane space I was occupying. My choices were two: brake or accelerate and I chose to accelerate leading to a flurry of flashing lights and horn beeping from the startled ute driver. I can only imagine he was angry at my aggressive riding and I am sure he assumed I just gunned it to get past his car before he changed lanes but I was just protecting myself from his sh*t driving. A lot of actions a rider takes simply to avoid danger or remove themselves from what they perceive to be a dangerous situation, these actions are often seen as aggressive.

There are d*cks out there but there are more in cars than on motorbikes.

I understand your point, and I agree that sometimes accelerating out of trouble is the way to go. The guy I saw, however, was not in such a situation. He was weaving in and out of traffic at least 30km/h faster than the flow, and continued after he went past me until he was out of sight. A few others beeped him and he just kept going.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen motorcyclists ride like that.

You contend that there are more idiot cra drivers than motorcyclists. That may well be true, but only, I suspect, because there are lots more cars.

Onceler Onceler 9:23 am 11 Nov 11

bd84 said :

1. Motorbikes riding down the bike lane is illegal. The same as it is for cars.
2. Motorbikes lane splitting is illegal. Unsafe lane changes, occupying the same space as another vehicle, overtaking on the left etc.
3. Motorbikes moving between stopped traffic also illegal. See above.

It is also illegal for car drivers to do all of the above. You are moron if you think doing anything of the above does anything for congestion, you’re more likely to be causing it when other users have to brake to avoid you cutting in front of them so you don’t become a hood orniment. You are also a moron if you think doing any of the above will save you from some coffee drinking driver rear ending you, you’re more likely to die from getting knocked off after zooming through traffic on people’s blind spots.

Just because you can physically do something, doesn’t mean you should, I could drive my car on the footpath to avoid traffic, but as it’s illegal I don’t do it. Until more motorbikers show some respect to other road users and actually ride so people can see them, they will continue to gain no respect and keep becoming road kill.

Thank you, bd84, for your enthusiastic use of the word “moron”. I was under the impression that the word originally referred to “one who dwells on the moors” – in other words, a simple-minded country bumpkin. But according to Wikipedia, I was quite wrong – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moron_(psychology)

I’ve not had my IQ tested for many years, but you may be right in that I could fall within the 51 to 70 point range. But this begs the question – are you, sir, an imbecile or an idiot?

Okwhatever Okwhatever 8:38 am 11 Nov 11

bd84 said :

You are moron if you think doing anything of the above does anything for congestion

Just because you are not allowed to do something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be allowed to do it. Lane filtering is legal in some countries for the very reason that it increases traffic flow, including the addition of motorbike zones at the front of intersections specifically for riders to filter to and move away from the slower cars more easily when the lights go green.

I filter, I win. Mwahahahaaa

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