Cycling in Sydney Australia
As a 60km a day commuter I am starting to believe that roads are becoming a safer place than bike lanes in rush hour. In the 5 years that I have commuted I have noticed more dangerous and inconsiderate riding and more incidents as a result.
Don't get me wrong, I think bike lanes are great, but as more people use them, more people seem to lack common sense and courtesy. At least on the road there are rules, and I expect drivers to do stupid things.
In the last few weeks::
I don't want to start an argument here, but if you're going to use a cycle lane then apply some common sense and courtesy. If you want to get to work earlier, leave home earlier, do not try to gain 10 seconds by cutting corners, riding too fast for your ability, or not giving way at crossings, etc.
Perhaps bike lanes need part time policing, the RTA needs to do some educational marketing, or we as riders have to remind ourselves and one another.... I do not know the answer, but I do get frustrated that people cannot ride safely, particularly after the government has invested in bike lanes. Think about it, if bike lane accidents increase, then how will that fair in promoting investment in bike lanes in the future?
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Don't know about the bi-di's being too narrow though, that's a problem I haven't really encountered. Maybe if there is an influx of bakfiets maybe, but at about a limited 30-35 km/h haven't had too much problem on the Bourke twins - although the narrowness does mean that it is restricted to single file each direction when there is oncoming traffic. Anything over 35 km/h and the Bourke twins lose their enhanced safety due to design compromise, but then you would do as most do who want to ride faster through there - use the mv lanes if you want to keep up with them through there.
The NSW Road Rules are also a BIG part of the problem
Unless someone wants to share some info, as far as I am aware there are no yellow jerseys up for grabs for commuters.
The one thing that has got me a few times recently is other bikes running reds either hitting me or causing me to take pretty drastic evasive action. Either by overtaking me just as the light goes green (especially if you want to turn in front of me) or crossing a cross road.
I am against the red light running thing, but I am not going to pontificate about it, but if people choose to do it, why the hell does than then mean others who waited for the green then have to get hit by them, or have to take evasive action. There is seconds in it guys, just give way if someone has the green. Goes for shoaling too when the light is about to turn green - if the cross light is going yellow, dont choose then to overtake and cut in front.
It isnt a huge problem for me, but there is some stupidity out there. Didn't see it last week though, it seems the people riding in dodgy conditions are the ones who know how to ride AND respect. Another reason to love riding in the rain though :)
All transport forms have their idiots, whether they be walkers, cyclists, public transport users and especially mv drivers, so cycling unfortunately isnt immune from idiots. For shame.
Yeah, good point. It's easy to whine about the woman who walks across the bike path while talking on her iPhone or the car that cuts you off - but there are a lot of clowns on bikes too (probably myself at times too!).
If we want safer cycling then we have to play by the rules too.
The most important rule is the golden one: treat others as you'd expect to be treated.
Too much selfishness in the world and it doesn't appear to be getting better. We seem to be encouraging it.
Or break the rules safely so the only person we're endangering is ourself
These issues are definately on the increase with cyclists. In the last 12 months the number of cyclists commuting has exploded and I guess you jump out of your car onto a bike with similar attitudes problems will occur.
One that really bothers me is on shared paths like Anzac Bridge. Aside from bike speed being often far too high for a shared path, riders insist on overtaking a pedestrian just when I am approaching from the other direction (on a very wide cargo bike). I think there should be a rule/courtsey guideline of no lane splitting on shared paths.
Cars are of course still much more of a problem than bikes, people don't swerve at me on a bike, but as numbers increase we are going to need more patience and courtsey.
I know I was a bit clueless when I started 3 years ago, maybee we should come up with some guideline for new commuters.
Great post. It seems the developing bike culture in Sydney is inheriting a lot of the tratits of our motoring culture: too fast, aggressive, impatient. SMIDGAF basically.
Like another poster above mentioned, I also have had a few near misses from idiot cyclists running reds. Worst spot is coming down the hill on Oxford St citybound, and these lunatics fly through red lights out of Crown and Riley streets. Without. Even. Looking.
This forces me to jump on the anchors if I have enough time, or swerve into who-knows-what next to me.
seems the developing bike culture in Sydney is inheriting a lot of the tratits of our motoring culture: too fast, aggressive, impatient.
This is so true and it's unfortunate.
Also, bike lanes would naturally attract the least experienced cyclists. A lot of stupidity isn't malicious mostly out of lack of experience. A cultural shift, campaign in educating people would really help bring down cycling incidents. Also, we need more investment (not less) in bike lanes going toward maintenance, expansions or design improvements
According to the recent studies done by CoS, most people in the community do not ride because of having to ride on the road with cars. I have found when I ask people why they don't ride, they mostly say it's because of this danger, perceived or otherwise.
The new separated cycle infrastructure is aimed as enticing newbies out of their cars and onto bikes. Recent counts indicate that this strategy, adopted by CoS, is working.
+1 - perfect or not, they are working
Yup, it worked for me.