Cycling in Sydney Australia
The quote above is the heading for a particularly dumb and irritating letter in today's North Shore Times.
Perhaps SCers would like to drop a short message to the NST editor -- email@example.com -- explaining the holes in Willoughby resident Gaye Hyslop's "reasoning":
"You would think that after all the time and effort that went into organising the bicycle lanes, riders would actually use them. I have seen numerous selfish ones ignoring them and riding on the road. Not to mention the ones I have had to avoid while exiting my driveway. Yes, the ones on the footpath. Get over it and use the space provided for you," she says.
My response would go along the following lines and be way too long for the editor to consider, but bear with me.
Starting with sentence #1. Let's look at all the time and effort that went into "organising" this Willoughby bike lane, not far from my home:
Because it's a signposted "bike lane", cyclists are required by law to use it, unless impractical. It is barely a metre wide, and runs downhill within millimetres of the doors of parked cars. Note the kerb extension at the speed hump about 50 metres away. The lane disappears here with a painted instruction to "MERGE". So you are mixing with any cars on the street anyway.
Further down the hill beyond an intersection the lane marking returns near a raised pedestrian crossing/refuge. Here the "bike lane" narrows to a mere 750mm and, just beyond the crossing, a car is parked across almost half the width of the "bike lane".
A little further down the hill the "bike lane" becomes a "garbage lane" (Well, no, actually. I think it has been a garbage lane from the start.), then the lane markings disappear again before a T-junction with no provision for cyclists. The "bike lane" is quite impractical for use by a cyclist and to use it at all you would end up swerving all over the road. Better to ride in a straight line in the "car lane".
So, is this the kind of space Ms Hyslop wants us to use? Are we being selfish by ignoring this sort of facility? Of course not, but I often wonder how expenditure on such things is justified in councils. The green "bike lanes" squeezed up against parked cars through the centre of Lane Cove are another "facility" which beggar belief.
Now, sentence #3: Avoiding cyclists while exiting her driveway! Has Ms H not noticed that there are many different kinds of wheeled vehicles using footpaths legally that she needs to avoid running over while exiting her property? Children under 12 on bicycles and the adults accompanying them on bicycles are just two of these types of legal footpath users.
Then, sentence #5: Use the space provided. Would that we could! Perhaps if cars weren't already taking up most of the space on the roads, usually parked or driving with only one occupant, and they weren't overlapping into space supposedly allocated to cyclists, then cyclists would be more able to use that space.
Yes. There is only one thing worse than no cycling infrastructure: bad cycling infrastructure.
Thank you, Mr O'. Your sub-editorial talents are no longer going to waste.
Would you mind measuring the offending signs for us Neil?
And a square-on photo would be good, just of the sign. And bolts which should be 14mm if hexagonal.
I'm thinking that all mention of bike lane should go, in favour of "give way to cyclists" at each pinch.
However that doesn't get much of a message through to council's numpties.
Naturally the convention is cycle symbols go where cyclists are expected to cycle.
Thanks Neil, that's top info.
We reviewed & brain tested our glossy print of Bob's American "USE FULL LANE" + "CHANGE LANES TO PASS" and judged it is too much info to go thru the average brain at car speed on one sign.
So maybe we need a "USE CAR LANE" or "USE WHOLE LANE" or "USE MAIN LANE" to go over the "LANE" you measured.
Perhaps also "CYCLE A METRE FROM CAR DOORS" or equivalent to go over other signage as well as "GIVE WAY TO CYCLISTS" as seen in Summer Hill. And stencils obviously.
Another problem we found is door lanes in Canada Bay without the bike lane sign at all, so we need additional signs or changes to whatever useless stuff is there.
It is too, I just printed A4 'scale to fit' on photo gloss and it came out beautifully.
IDK how that fits the existing dud signage, but hey if some of you are impatient and want to laser & laminate to make a start and test the effect... you can!
I like those signs, but maybe the second sign should be more specific and say "MOTORISTS must change lanes to pass bicycles" rather than leave it up to *****s to put 1 and 1 together. Then again if you had alternate "GIVE WAY TO CYCLISTS" and "CYCLISTS USE FULL LANE" signs along that pictured stretch of door zone bike lane that'd get the point across. And to complete the revamp a stencil to paint a circle with a slash through it over each of the existing bicycle symbols with a warning message "DANGER - DOOR ZONE, NO CYCLING WITHIN 1 METRE OF PARKED CARS" plus maybe a few signs like the below - shouldn't leave much confusion in anyone's mind. Ms Hyslop would have an apoplexy - and cyclists may actually be safer - two birds with one stone.