The Scofflaw Cyclists of the Inner North post last month stirred up a mass of debate in this forum… as does any discussion regarding cyclists in this city.
My response was simple. Build an intersection that legally requires motor vehicle operators to get out of their vehicle and push it for 5 metres, and you’re likely to get a bunch of motor vehicle operators breaking the law as well. A cycle route cannot suddenly turn into a pedestrian route (pedestrian crossing), just because it intersects a road. That’s bound to create a situation where people are riding their bikes where they shouldn’t be.
Enter the Dutch way of doing things.
In this video we have a bike path intersecting bus lanes and tram lines in Utrecht. Utrecht is a city of 300,000 people, a similar size to Canberra. The intersection serves over 20,000 vehicles (including bicycles) per day. Look how it simply… works. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if all riders were legally required to dismount.
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According to the post, 33% of all trips in Utrecht are made by bicycle. Currently in Canberra, 2.5% of trips to work are made by bicycle. Measly by comparison. Imagine how much Northbourne Ave would be freed up in peak times, if there were a proper dedicated bicycle route down the median strip, and even a quarter of motor car users switched to bicycles. Especially when you take this picture into account, which shows the space that 60 push bikes, vs 60 motor vehicles, vs 60 bus seats, take up.
With proper alternative transport, those who hop out of their cars, are likely to save time… if not… they’ll certainly save money, and their health will improve. If 33% of car drivers in Canberra switched to alternative transport (when we finally get a proper alternative transport solution in place)… current road infrastructure will be significantly freed up, speeding up travel time for those who must drive.
So why is it that so many Canberrans are so opposed to bicycle solutions and other alternative transport? Why is it that any post about people who ride bicycles in this forum seems to stir up a hatred so deep, with arguments so illogical, it can almost be compared to race “debates” in Cronulla?
What’re your thoughts?