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.
Rather than reply, which someone will surely do, why not get organized with a bike stencil, paint and sign alterations?
Too late. Already sent this.
Cyclists are selfish for riding on the road, says Gaye Hyslop (Letters, February 15).
Oh, please! Given that there are not and never will be bike lanes everywhere and given also that many existing bike lanes are often impractical for safe use due to cars parked too close or actually in them, cyclists have to use the road. But cyclists have been using roads far longer than cars and will continue to do so long after Peak Oil has priced petrol out of reach for casual motoring.
And as for Ms Hyslop's apparent difficulty driving out of her property, there are many different kinds of wheeled vehicles legally using footpaths which she needs to avoid running over. Children under 12 on bicycles and the adults accompanying them on bicycles are just two of these types of legal footpath users.
So get over it! Don't blame cyclists for doing what they are allowed to do, and don't suggest that they are the cause of traffic congestion. Just share the road and everyone can safely get to where they need to go.
But Martin, if you are keen and have the necessaries, feel free to visit Francis Rd, Artarmon, one night and fit it with a nice wide uphill bike lane. The metre-wide (in its generous bits) downhill "bike lane" could be turned over for cars to use. Make it a bi-di car lane, wouldja?
Ohhh! Come on Martin, we need more anarchists! ;-)
can you recommend a fast drying white paint please.
paving paint. Wait. What um.Let me start again.
whispering ....paving paint. (Best go the no slip / gritty in tin stuff.)
and this dries fast? I had some for my garage, only grey, did not have a very fast dry time.
Ofcourse I only want this info because I have always wanted a white path to my front door.
one brand called jet dry is quick. Maybe best done at night
Dont think you need the very best job on "our" roads
I used paving paint from Bunnings for alocal effort up here in Brisbane. Worked a treat. I purchase small glass beads from a art supplies shop to sprinkle on the drying paint so that it is retroflective - that worked too! :-D
To appease Gaye Hyslop,why not bring bike stencils and spray paint on all cars parked on bike lanes.Get MTB to ride over cars.
Dooring risks,then spray paint car doors with bike stencils too.