This is the current state of the recently-completed Carrington Rd cycleway in Marrickville. There are four side-streets at which the cycleway stops, with a Give Way sign for cyclists.

Perhaps it's not immediately obvious why this is a problem, but here's how it goes:

  1. Cyclist is riding along cycleway
  2. Car approaches intersection from side street (from the right in this picture)
  3. Car slows/stops to give way to traffic on Carrington Rd
  4. Cyclist has to give way to already stopped car, plus traffic turning in from Carrington Rd
  5. Car isn't sure whether to give way to cyclist or not
  6. Confusion ensues

So it just doesn't work. The cars don't know what to do, the cyclists don't know what to do... but there's a simple fix. They could just paint the bike path straight across the intersections, and move the Give Way signs on the side streets back a little. That way cars entering from side streets would give way to traffic (cyclists or cars) travelling in straight line along Carrington Rd, and cars turning off Carrington Rd would give way to cyclists also.

So I'm asking you to email Marrickville councillors (councillors@marrickville.nsw.gov.au). Maybe say something like:

Thanks for building the Carrington Rd cycleway. I use it often, but it could be greatly improved if the cycleway was extended across the side streets. The current arrangement, where cyclists have to give way at every side-street, is confusing for both cyclists and motorists, and this confusion will eventually result in accidents. Please finish the job by making the cycleway uninterrupted.

Thanks all!

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That design has been tried overseas and has failed.  The design was tried in Melbourne and failed.  Why Sydney insists on building this DANGEROUS infrastructure is beyond me.  If I was choosing to ride that road I would take a lane.  It is plainly unsafe and impractical to ride in that bicycle lane.

Honestly it boggles the mind that these bidirectional lanes keep being built in Sydney when all available research shows that they are MORE dangerous.

it boggles the mind that these bidirectional lanes keep being built in Sydney when all available research shows that they are MORE dangerous.

They're built because they require less road space than single direction lanes on each side. Bi-directionals can often be squeezed in with no loss of parking lanes or travel lanes for motor vehicles.

In other words, overall safety is being sacrificed to mollify the political demands of the driving majority. That's a trade-off that councils seem willing to live with in order to get a fledgling network of protected bike lanes. Whether that compromise is warranted is an open question. I'm cautiously supportive.

To Chris' original point, I agree totally. Cycling through there would be full of confusion - all the usual road rules about right of way are being thrown out and replaced with "people on bikes must always give way to anybody in a car", which is a terrible idea in itself, but even if it was a good idea the car drivers will have no way of knowing that it exists at that particular intersection, and hence confusion for everybody.

From where I stand it is FAR more dangerous than no bike lane.

There is no use spending money on bike infrastructure that makes cycling LESS safe.

And if it increases the ratio of cyclists to drivers on the road system as a whole will it still have caused more danger? Or will the added safety from all those new cyclists and fewer drivers outweigh it?

i think so Colin I would even say drivers are slowing down ,Carrington was always a drag race for some cars from the lights on marrickville road to the roundabout at Richardson crescent .The shape of the road only added to this phenomenen >the curve of mrytle and the curve into Carrington and the curve and sight up to the roundabout. I think the myrtle street cycleway put more structure into the road initially,because cars now have to stay in a defined lane  and the speed bump at its interesection with carrington has broken up the flow of the driving experience ,even the crossing for bikes in Myrtle Street have contributed to the non drag driving .I'm no expert but just thoughts I've had on my 30 years experience driving this section & 5 years bicycling it

in my experience I perceive it as safer than riding on Carrington -I had quite a few close calls on Carrington pre bicycle lane .I prefer the lanes definitely . Today the workman were replacing the large triangular give way signs with smaller ones as "the larger ones are for cars" It doesn't make sense for cyclist to have to give way for the side streets as we are travelling along Carrington like exsisting traffic .

Surely cars from side streets have to give way to pedestrians that are travelling the same way as the cycleway so ..... from what I have been told it has something to do with the rta -if there had been a raised hump at the side street then the small give way signs would have not gone up and green paint would have gone across the intersection. For a major cycling route down to the Cooks River & sporting fields of the Red Devils junior soccer field it hasn't the absolute safety that the majority of parents would like for their kids cyling on it ,that said I see an increase in cycling along this particular  patch ,granted adults and would deem it more successful if more kids were spotted on it But in reality it was touch & go with Carrington .Maybe when the large developement goes ahead on the opposite side of the street we will see the developer having to incorporate a cycleway there.Also don't know whether my perception is slightly askewed but I think cars have lowered their speed limits since the cycleway went up

While i may take more confidence, riding on the road and taking the lane is safer.

Even if you're right, most people will never have the confidence, and so will never benefit from the safety. Road design has to take that into account. In other words, we need to design for the 99%, not the 1%.

tell you what its got nothing to do with confidence ,have confidence a plenty know how to postion myself on the road ,not afraid to take the lane .Was taught by the best, my daughter who for a number of years rode bunches with st george  & track cycled with the ais  .But the experience of having a truck driver up your arse and been chased by a workman threatening to run me over next time he saw me because "I held up traffic ,meh ,not something I need frankly .Myrtle street was just plain dangerous and is a big improvement.I also was talking wholistic in that I think the cycleway has been an improvement in the overall movement of vehicles -dont forget its a major pedestrian croassing for school kids to get to the primary and high schools .Parents shepharding their kids on bikes I have seen on the new cycleway ,never saw them" take  the road."Seeing more kids riding to school ,you know the ones that are to old to ride the footpath well they're taking the cycle way

I agree Kerry.  

I've ridden Carrington a lot and have never felt comfortable with the variable road surface and perma-parked heavy vehicles which makes it awkward to position yourself and stick to a line.  I've also had close calls with cars pulling out of Renwick and Warren.

Is the design ideal?  No. Is the separation an improvement? Definitely.

"people on bikes must always give way to anybody in a car"

My local council actually said something like that in this brochure on page 9.

I've since pointed it out as being incorrect and sending the wrong message.  I have been advised that it will be changed.  I suggested that it should be

  • Observe and obey all road rules.

While the brochure is generally OK, it's obviously stupidly prepared by someone who rarely cycles, if at all!

My wife observed a crash where a car pulled out of a side street into the path of a cyclist. The motorists explanation was, "yeah I saw you but I didn't think I needed to give way to a bike".

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