I stopped & had a little chat with the filmer...

 

CoS are again hiring & spending money to show the RTA how much the cycle lanes are being used.

 

Imagine how much progress there'd be if money was spent fixing problems instead of addressing BS media hype!

They had counters installed only a few months ago! numbers are consistently going through the roof!

 

One thing i've noticed is the large number of red light runners, its getting much worse VERY quickly, only a few months ago there'd be a couple, now a lot more are doing it :(

 

They did a time lapse & sent it to the RTA - but apparently it looked "too dangerous"??? WTF?

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If you dont want to wait at the bicycle red light - cycle in the car lane!!! simple solution!

 

If you want to be "treated like a car" then act like one & drive in the car lane?

Nate, the cycleways are supposed to do two things:

 

1. Make cycling a safer option for commuters.

2. Make cycling a more efficient option for commuters.

 

If they do both of those things, numbers of people choosing the cycling option will rise, which is the goal.

 

Light sequencing is both a safety and efficiency issue. Without decent sequencing, efficiency is severely limited. I made a video on the Woop ride on the weekend, waiting to cross Cleveland St on Bourke St - I filmed for three minutes and the bike light was green for 5 seconds. Cars were able to turn across the cycleway on three occasions, pedestrians had multiple green men to cross during that time. This is not the kind of situation that will encourage people to use the infrastructure.

 

This efficiency issue then becomes a safety issue when cyclists feel that they have no choice but to run the red bicycle light. I will tell you now that in the vast majority of cases, this is not actually a dangerous thing to do - generally cyclists will run the red when the cars next to them have the green or when the pedestrians next to them have the green - that is, when the rest of the traffic or pedestrian flow is moving in the same direction as them. Cars can't turn a corner when pedestrians are crossing, so there is no real problem with a cyclist going straight and when all the cars on the road are going straight there is likewise no problem with a cyclist going straight too. Sometimes, though, they will run the red light in situations when it is dangerous, and we don't want to encourage this - the problem is that people who become used to having to run the red light in a safe way can become somewhat de-sensitised to the red light and could chose to ignore it when it is not safe to do so.

 

Rather than accepting the status quo, we should be looking to improve it. A bike is not a car and it is not a pedestrian - it is a particular type of vehicle that shares similarities with both. The infrastructure should reflect this, so I don't see how wanting better sequencing is wanting to be "treated like a car". We should all want the cycleways to be as good as they can be, from both the safety and efficiency perspectives, because I think we should all want more people using their bikes as a form of transport.

Sorry "feel that they have no choice but to run the red"???

It doesn't matter what you "feel", the rules are black & white & need to be obeyed.

 

As for sequencing & time dedicated to bikes/cars - thats being worked on, i'll chase up to see if there's any movement on that front.

Dont forget thats the RTA's domain - so gonna be a VERY hard one to tackle.

Yes, "feel no choice but to run the red". When the application of the law is so wrong-headed, there is often little choice but to make your own decisions, regardless of what the law states.

 

The reason we have laws regarding traffic lights are to ensure safety to users of public space and a fair flow of traffic (be it pedestrian traffic, bicycle traffic or motor vehicle traffic). When the traffic lights are doing neither, it is not surprising that they are ignored. The law ought to be obeyed, but the law also ought to make sense too. When you have cars going straight to your left, pedestrians crossing a street to your right blocking off any car that wanted to turn turn, and a red light for cyclists in the middle, and this happens on plenty of intersections in this city, there is no reason in practice to consider that red light worthy of being obeyed - as a result, many, if not most, cyclists will ride through the red, and in doing so they are neither causing a threat to themselves or others.

 

When you have a law that is being ignored en masse, you need to ask questions about why this is the case. To simply state that "the law is the law and must be obeyed" is a fairly arbitrary perspective to take. Our laws can and should be improved when doing so offers benefits to society. That doesn't necessarily mean that when you have a lot of people breaking the law it is a sign that there is something wrong with the law or its enforcement or practice in reality, but you have to at least consider that as an option. In this case, I think it is clear that there is a problem - there is no reason why at certain points in this city cyclists are given such limited opportunities to legally move through intersections - limited in their frequency and limited in their duration as well.

 

In this situation I think the actions of cyclists are understandable, generally threaten the safety of no one, and reflect the fact that the law is being applied poorly through irrational sequencing. Rather than telling people to put up with it, and therefore accepting a status quo which hamstrings the potential for success of our cycleways, we should be pushing for change.

Nate, it's that sort of blind obediance to "black and white" thinking that causes so many problems in this country. People need to think for themselves not dumbly wait for a machine or the government to spoon feed them.

 

Laws written many years ago for the lowest comon denominator mentality & driver skill level for cars are often stupid for other users. Actually read the rules and you'll see there are some that are dangerous for bikes such as cars are legally required to keep to the left of the lane - right where they could rear end / side swipe a bike if they can't see it past the 4WD in front.

 

Rules should be obeyed if other road users are at risk and treated as guidelines when individual circumstances are suitable. The problems are knowing the difference and rules can not cater for all circumstances.  Police do have discretion to consider other circumstances, most police are reasonable and will turn a blind eye or give a "safety" warning if they consider it wasn't particularly bad.

Cars can't turn a corner when pedestrians are crossing, so there is no real problem with a cyclist going straight and when all the cars on the road are going straight there is likewise no problem with a cyclist going straight too.

 

Generally I agree with this, but I can see why the rule is such. 
When turning, some vehicles have a bad blind spot for objects pulling alongside them. Example, your typical "bongovan" like a Hiace (which the city is full of, being a commercial centre). 
On these vehicles the B Pillar is level with the driver's ear, and there are no windows further back. The side mirror will pick up objects when they are far enough back, but not when right alongside.
So why is this an issue for bikes and not pedestrians?
Pedestrians arrive at the crossing at a low speed and usually set out from the kerb from a standing start or close to it.
A bike can bomb through at 30kph, so for the van driver above, one moment there's nothing in the mirror, and the next thing he's got an unseen bike alongside when turning left.
A possible solution - after the bicycle green, change to a flashing orange bicycle lamp for as long as the pedestrian light is green. This would allow bikes to cross after coming to a full stop to check it is clear (like a stop sign basically).

It works the same with bus lanes where, unlike Australia, cars cannot enter a bus lane to turn left. they have to turn from the second lane across the bus lane, giving way to anything in it.

 

A bike can bomb through at 30kph, so for the van driver above, one moment there's nothing in the mirror, and the next thing he's got an unseen bike alongside when turning left.
 

I ride in this scenario in Europe each week where cars turning left across the bike/bus lane literally stop awaiting the bikes to pass them on the left. The car just waits until there is a gap in the cyclists/buses. Cars bank up behind, but that's the way it works and it works well.

 

As a driver in this environment looking in the left wing mirror to turn left doesn't come natural at first, but when you know theres a good chance of a cyclist being there, looking in the left mirror and blindspot comes natural for every left turn.

 

Hopefully as the volume of cyclists increases in Australia we'll move to this mode of operation

 

plenty of oz drivers don't use their mirrors at all

+1 Rob.

Not every person that chooses to ride a bike is comfortable with riding next to motorised traffic 20x their weight.

Heck, I know of drivers who wouldn't want to drive alongside Mac trucks/road trains.

People who choose to cycle on the cycleways shouldn't be penalised for their choice or made the most inefficient mode of transport.

Having to obey the road rules is being penalised?

If you dont want to wait at the bicycle red light - cycle in the car lane!!! simple solution!

 

As far as I know doing this is illegal, as long as there is a cycleway you are legally bound to ride on the cycleway (with some exceptions for turning), even with those stupid shared parking / bike lanes I am legally obliged to ride in, is it safe? let's say I'd be on my 3rd life by now if I was doing this all the time.

Not correct, Bernard. You are only obliged to ride in a bike lane which is properly signposted at beginning and end (e.g. Francis St, Artarmon, would you believe) but even then only if it is practicable. If the cycle lane is obstructed or it is in the door zone it is impracticable and you don't have to use it.

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