Austroads report released - Bicycle Safety at Roundabouts

Go here to download the report, and to sign up for notification of new reports on cycling

It's a good report in that it scientifically analyses the causes of bicycle crashes at a host of sites, and provides detailed recommendations for these problem NSW roundabouts:

  • Eastern Avenue – Tresidder Avenue, Kingsford
  • Barnstaple Road – Ingham Avenue, Five Dock
  • Heffron Road – Banks Avenue, Pagewood
  • Anzac Parade – Rainbow Street, Kingsford
  • Phillip Street – Young Street, Redfern

Interesting fact: 23% of crashes at (Victorian) roundabouts involved at least one cyclist (p39)

Call to action:  Ask your local council traffic committee what they are doing about improving cyclist safety at roundabouts

Summary

Published: 01 May 2017 
This report investigates how the geometric design components of a roundabout may contribute to bicycle crashes.

An Australian and New Zealand crash analysis found that most of the crashes occurred at urban local road roundabouts, in 50 km/h speed limit zones. The crashes predominantly occurred on the circulating lane near the entry for an approach road and were right-adjacent type crashes.

The study included an in-depth investigation of 17 roundabouts across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. A geometric analysis identified that the entry geometry of the roundabouts investigated would permit relatively high entry speeds, in excess of the target speed of less than 30 km/h. This target speed was adopted for analysis purposes, however, further investigation to determine an appropriate speed to prevent or minimise fatal and serious injury outcomes for crashes involving motor vehicle and cyclists is needed.

The motor vehicle speeds on the entry and circulating lanes were estimated using the ARNDT crash prediction model, however the model was developed on rural roads and so the application of this model to urban local roads requires verification. For the purposes of this investigation, the ARNDT model was used to assess geometric alignments to achieve lower approach speeds and it was found that a roundabout with a radial-type of alignment, used in countries in Europe, achieved approach and circulating speeds of less than 30 km/h.

Sight distances were examined and it was found that the available sight distance to vehicles approaching from the right did not meet the design requirements. There is some research which indicates that restricting the sight distance on the approach to a roundabout reduces the approach speeds of vehicles, however, this requires further investigation to develop design criteria.

The report recommends further investigation into motor vehicle/cyclist crash outcomes and the effect of restricting sight distance on the approaches to a roundabout, and the development of design guidance for urban local road roundabouts.

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That's good,  hope they are improving it for cyclists, not motorists. It's one of those high entry speed, tangential type roundabouts. Number one spending priority for BAYBug in their  Submission  to the Council. 

Ingham Ave and Fairlight St is also very dangerous, too tight for a car and bike to safely approach (up the hill on ingham heading west). Cars turning across you from ingham into Farlight and out of Fairlight L & R in front of you. 

It needs to be widened re-aligned and roundabouted, or remove the turn right option from Ingham into Fairlight and Fairlight into Ingham.

Or narrowed on approach and cyclists encouraged to take central position, as in paper by Cumming. 

More chance the right turners will see you then- maybe.

correct.

I always take the centre of the road there, same when approaching roundabouts, gotta try and be as visible as possible.

Thanks for this. I've been asked to step up and nominate for the local traffic reference panel - resources like this are vital.

www.simplycyclingtraining.com/blog/

Out of interest, Which council will you be working with?

Northern Beaches. Just waiting BNSW endorsement letter.

Update: nearly fell off my bike in shock at the above mentioned Five Dock roundabout today.

2 years after the report was released, works to improve safety are in the final stages.  Speed cushions have been installed at the two downhill entry points - these were the identified high speed points that cause cars to collide with cyclists.  With a sample size of 1 event, I noted that traffic was indeed slower.

Hopefully when they do the next safety report, this intersection is no longer represented.  The only shame is that it takes so long to address these types of issues.

That’s good, except the speed cushions IMO anyway tend to make cyclists go left or right around them and not keep to the centre of the lane, where you should be on approach.

True you tend to go left or right on a bike to avoid the cushion. But having had numerous near misses over a 10 year period commuting this way, I must say this is a major improvement. Well done to anyone involved in helping make this happen. 

Maybe best strategy is to go left of the cushion if no traffic behind you, but suffer the bump if a car driver is being impatient behind you, ie showing signs of trying to pass on approach. 

Thinking about it, dangerous I know, putting cushions on the downhill approaches only  just reinforces the give way to the right mentality, and might speed up motorists (and cyclists) entering from the other legs.

I tend to go right - this has worked ok in the past fortnight since the cushions were installed.

If we're talking about the same roundabout (ingham and first ave), bumps are installed on all approaches, so it shouldn't reinforce the give way to right mentality. 

Previously, it was drivers racing like fangio down ingham ave towards iron cove creek that gave me the most grief (with me heading east on First ave and attempting a right turn downhill onto Ingham). 

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