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The scofflaw cyclists of the inner north

By johnboy 15 April 2010 121

[First filed: Apr 13, 2010 @ 23:16]

Cyclists Dismount

A few weeks ago Loose Brown suggested that it might make interesting social commentary to video the Sullivan’s Creek bike path and pedestrian crossing of David Street at peak hour.

So on Tuesday 13 March I did just that, for 10 minutes from 8:10am to 8:20am. And indeed it was interesting.

So here’s the thing. It’s a pedestrian crossing and it’s very clearly signposted that cyclists should dismount.

As an exercise for the reader; before you view the video write down how many cyclists you think will go over the crossing in ten minutes, how many will dismount, and how many will ride straight through it.

Let us know how you went in the comments.

Cyclists at pedestrian crossings

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The scofflaw cyclists of the inner north
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alaninoz 11:41 am 15 Nov 11

Grail said :

Failing that, the next best way is to stop to allow pedestrian traffic to cross.

Agreed, and this implies getting off the bike and walking, or possibly running, across the crossing. Pedestrian, from the Latin pedes – A walker, one who walks.

Grail 10:20 am 15 Nov 11

WhyTheLongFace said :

1. The law is not stupid. People who ignore it are.
2. Avoid accidents at all costs. Bingo. Don’t ride your vehicle across pedestrian crossings is the best way to achieve that. HENCE THE LAW!

The best way to avoid hitting cyclists at pedestrian crossings is to not drive a car. Failing that, the next best way is to stop to allow pedestrian traffic to cross.

Grail 10:17 am 15 Nov 11

shiny flu said :

I think the law is the law. And in this case makes complete sense. Since the majority of people in Canberra drive a car, everyone knows how difficult it is to see a something moving across you at 20-30km/h.

At that particular intersection the visibility is quite good. There is plenty of time for cars travelling at 50km/h to slow down and let even speeding cyclists cross.

It’s also worth remembering that the law is only the law because it’s the law. The fact that it is the law has no relation to whether it’s a good idea, makes sense, or is actually worth enforcing.

Just like the noggin that uses Tuggers Park Way as race track swerving and cutting you off to get to the exit 0.009sec before you, you’ve got the same types that ride a bike, in which case a firm law saying that you have to dismount makes far more sense for those without life preservation skills. Unfortunately for everyone else that’s happy to make sure they don’t want to end up testing out a car’s crumple zone… just means a slight minor inconvenience.

Now you’re having a joke at our expense, aren’t you? Are you seriously suggesting that people who don’t obey rules of the road or basic common sense, are going to get off their bikes and walk across pedestrian crossings because the law says they have to?

I’ve woken up in Bizarro World haven’t I?

ThatUniStudent 10:04 am 15 Nov 11

Hey, I saw some guy with a beard cross Northbourne Ave the other day riding a red bike. He never dismounted, and he rode across against a red light. Oh hang on, that was Johnboy. LOL!

James-T-Kirk 1:45 pm 29 Apr 10

Horrid said :

But here is the real question people- instead of observing that a particular law exists and tut-tutting that those evil cyclists don’t obey it, how about asking ourselves if the law itself makes any sense or is fair and reasonable? When 10% of a population disobey a law, you have a law enforcement problem. When 95% (or whatever the number is) don’t obey it, the law itself is quite obviously wrong. I suspect this may be the very point our esteemed editor is trying to get us thinking about by confronting us with this total none-obeyance.

Yep – Thats why talking and texting on mobile phones should be allowed – because most drivers do it……

PhatSlug 10:14 am 29 Apr 10

Actually, there were police at this particular crossing at some point in 2007 (maybe October?) when someone did get hit.

What was interesting was that all the attention was focussed on making cyclists dismount, rather than checking the speeds that cars were approaching the crossing etc. Verdict cast!

What Davo111 said is pretty much dead right and a safe way to do it.

Davo111 3:41 pm 26 Apr 10

bethybobs said :

I think cyclist should give way or at least be forced to slow down to a rolling stop. I don’t really care if they dismount or not as long as they dont expect me as a driver to notice them meters from the crossing as they then proceed to zoom passed. If they slow down and I notice them of course I will give way, frankly anyone with common sense would do this anyway as they will be the worse off in a collision.

Quoted for truth

My procedure (as a cyclist):
1. Coming towards crossing… slow down
2. Check for cars either direction
3. If there are cars coming, prepare to stop at the road edge.
If the car slows right down, then i ride quickly to get out of their way

Its pretty much common sense…

For the record i only get off my bike if i’m in a high traffic area and i’m not at designated crossing. i.e. Northborne away from crossings.

Jim Jones 8:38 am 22 Apr 10

Horrid said :

If ManaGal is imagining laws and road rules that don’t exist, then presumably nothing else he/she says is worth reading either.

+ 1

MangaGal 7:30 am 22 Apr 10

Aeek said :

MangaGal said :

The drivers who can’t understand that overtaking cyclists is overtaking deserve to be laughed at, assuming this wasn’t peak.

Yeah, it was at peak. That’s why I was frustrated. Otherwise, why would I care if they ride on the road. I’m not that unreasonable. Like I said, I used to be a cyclist. And also, I did say they ride side by side. I know it’s not a law but wouldn’t it be safer if they ride in a line?

Sometimes I see cyclists cycle as hard as they can to try to speed up, maybe for the sake of the cars behind them. I actually don’t mind that either but these 2 were casually cycling side by side at peak hour.

I also don’t understand why people think cyclists deserve to be on the road. They don’t have rego, and why do we motorists get stopped by police for not having rego on the road, while cyclists can do whatever they want without penalty. If they want to be on the road, they should contribute via rego. I think one of the cities in Europe does it, I can’t remember which one right now.

Horrid 11:34 pm 21 Apr 10

MangaGal said :

“Last week 2 cyclists were cycling side-by-side on Barry Drive just outside the ANU near the “form one lane” section. I was among one of the cars who had to bypass them without hitting anything or anyone. FYI, there wasn’t a bike lane. All bikers are supposedly to turn off into Turner and reroute.”

As has been already stated, factually wrong. If ManaGal is imagining laws and road rules that don’t exist, then presumably nothing else he/she says is worth reading either.

astrojax 9:01 am 21 Apr 10

slow down to a rolling stop

a rolling stop? care to demonstrate – does this apply to your driving at ‘stop’ signs, too?

while i’m here – meters from the crossing gas meters? [/picky grammar nazi]

bethybobs 11:32 pm 20 Apr 10

I think cyclist should give way or at least be forced to slow down to a rolling stop. I don’t really care if they dismount or not as long as they dont expect me as a driver to notice them meters from the crossing as they then proceed to zoom passed. If they slow down and I notice them of course I will give way, frankly anyone with common sense would do this anyway as they will be the worse off in a collision.

Ema Chizit 12:59 pm 20 Apr 10

it seems these days we wrap people in cotten wool, what is the purpose behind making people dismount at the crossing and walk over just to get back on once you’ve crossed and ride off. what a waist of time. Surely people (on the whole) will cross with care what ever method thay use to cross

Aeek 8:53 pm 19 Apr 10

MangaGal said :

Last week 2 cyclists were cycling side-by-side on Barry Drive just outside the ANU near the “form one lane” section. I was among one of the cars who had to bypass them without hitting anything or anyone. FYI, there wasn’t a bike lane. All bikers are supposedly to turn off into Turner and reroute. I guess these 2 bikers think they are untouchable, from where I was sitting, I could see they were laughing at me. They made no attemps to get back into a line formation.

Assuming this is real, not a troll – Barry Drive by the Ovals? so its still 2 lanes then.
Into Turner? you are kidding!

http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/64482/Part_E_-_Other_Road_Users_2010.pdf on page 100
“Although Canberra has cycle paths, it is not compulsory for cyclists to use them.
There are no roads in the ACT from which cyclists are excluded.”
Road works excepted.

2 lanes and the cyclists have every right to be there. Its keep left unless overtaking.
Use the 2nd lane. The drivers who can’t understand that overtaking cyclists is overtaking deserve to be laughed at, assuming this wasn’t peak.

MangaGal 8:03 am 19 Apr 10

Last week 2 cyclists were cycling side-by-side on Barry Drive just outside the ANU near the “form one lane” section. I was among one of the cars who had to bypass them without hitting anything or anyone. FYI, there wasn’t a bike lane. All bikers are supposedly to turn off into Turner and reroute. I guess these 2 bikers think they are untouchable, from where I was sitting, I could see they were laughing at me. They made no attemps to get back into a line formation.

Now, back to this dismount at crossing issue. Yeah, the law says so but no one is going to dismount because most of them have those clip on shoes at the peddles. It inconveniences them most of time because cars can easily just step on the brakes. The law doesn’t make sense for bikers… yep.

For me personally, I used to be a biker until I busted my knee, can’t ride excessively anymore, I understand it’s really pointless to dismount at the crossing. But, it is the law. Regardless it makes sense or not.

As a motorist, I would appreciate bikers who do that just at peak hours. It just to shows that they too want to share the roads with other motorists. I personally have met (so far) one biker who dismounted at the crossing outside of the ANU. I couldn’t believe my eyes but good on her for doing it. I wish more cyclists would understand their safety should always come first not pride of being able to express their freedom.

I personally have nothing against cyclists because I used to be one, but some of them are really piece of work to be honest. My friend who is a cyclist had told me once before about her experience with other arrogant cyclists on the road, which resulted her accident falling off a bike at 50km/h down hill. At the end of the day, if you go out there with a bike against a metal moving object, you’ll lose. So, just take it easy guys!

Clown Killer 6:25 am 17 Apr 10

JJ is right. The other guy being in the wrong does not give you the the right to drive into them if you can reasonably avoid it. That just puts you in the wrong.

That’s pretty much it. In the case that affected my family the police basically said: “Yep your right, he shouldn’t have been on his bike. Now about your culpability …”

Aeek 9:20 pm 16 Apr 10

JJ is right. The other guy being in the wrong does not give you the the right to drive into them if you can reasonably avoid it. That just puts you in the wrong.

dvaey 4:17 pm 16 Apr 10

Jim Jones said :

I think that the law should be changed to that, when cars come to pedestrian crossings, they have to stop, turn their cars off, get out and push their cars over the crossing (as long as no-one is using it), then continue.

Do you believe that a car driver should be forced to stop at level crossings, or that we should have the barriers currently in-place? Should car drivers should be allowed to decide for themselves whether they can beat the train or whether to just be patient and wait for the heavier vehicle to pass before trying to cross?

Maybe cars dont have to turn the car off or get out and push, but they certainly have to stop, usually because of a boom-gate. Similar situation, and if cars try to beat the train it has similar consequences to a bike trying to beat a car on a crossing.

WhyTheLongFace 11:35 am 16 Apr 10

Grrrr said :

Meh, this has been discussed in half of the previous bike threads already.

1) Johnboy, you agree that the law is stupid .. so you missed an option on your poll: “Change the road rules”!
2) For anyone threatening to run down cyclists, claiming they have right of way – you’re forgetting the first and foremost rule of the road: Avoid an accident at all costs.

1. The law is not stupid. People who ignore it are.
2. Avoid accidents at all costs. Bingo. Don’t ride your vehicle across pedestrian crossings is the best way to achieve that. HENCE THE LAW!

ML-585 11:27 am 16 Apr 10

Jim Jones said :

So I’m completely within my rights to run down babies in prams on pedestrian crossings. Awesome.

Yes, just not the person pushing the pram!

I’ve noticed that many intersections include bars which can be used by cyclists to hold on to so that they can then ride across the “marked foot crossing” when the lights change. Except, of course, that they are by law required to dismount unless there are bicycle crossing lights (of which there are few). Double standard???

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