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 have witnessed a head on collision with one rider riding on the wrong side of the bike path on a corner. It wasn't a pretty site, and there was plenty of blood and bent wheels.  The poor guy who got hit had no chance.
  • I witness daily, riders who refuse to slow down or give way where roads cross bike paths.  Only today a rider cut me off to the point I skid and hit the deck just braking to avoid him.
  • I've had multiple people run too close, or clip me whilst using footbridges, obviously they're going too fast, or do not have the skills manoeuvre a bike around a tight bend.
  • I've seen dozens of riders who refuse to slow down in areas where there are pedestrians, lots of bikes and little vision due to shadows and corners.

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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Agreed.  I used to dip into the bus lane too from the cycle path, but then I realised it's just not a good image for cyclists.  My hope is that drivers will see me cruise past the car park that is Epping Road in the morning and think that cycling to work looks a good idea.  

I too hope for this moment of realisation from car drivers @stuh, but I think it's wishful thinking....

Go on then people, spill. What "kind" of cyclist do you find has the worst behaviour?

We can pick from

  • Lycra road warrior
  • Mountain biker on the road
  • Casual newbie
  • Single speed hipster
  • Normal commuter/flat bar road bike

I think that covers off most of the bases?

Categorise - divide.  Not a good path to take.  We should favour unity

The one with the dickhead on it?

This!

There will always be idiots (whether they drive, walk or ride) and so bike infrastructure should be designed to minimise the harm they cause to other road users. This doesn't always mean that Clover Moore-style separated cycleways are appropriate.

Most of the European design handbooks say that separated bike tracks are a good idea if they keep riders away from fast traffic (eg Epping Road), pointless in light-traffic residential streets, and downright dangerous if there are frequent unsignalised intersections with cross-streets and driveways.

It's a pity that the new bike tracks through quiet parts of Surry Hills are being promoted as the "Bourke Street Cycleway", which encourages idiots to speed through the many red lights, give way signs, driveways and ped crossings. Great to see more cyclists around, but a real shame to see them making pedestrians and drivers so angry. I find it faster and safer to keep off the bike tracks and stick to the road.

There is a recent independant study from the out of court settlement between CoS and David Hannan that showed that there has been fewer accidents and it safer on Bourke Rd since the cycleway was built.

A bit of info here

Safety on Bourke Road has improved

In the five years prior the Bourke Road cycleway opening, total Bourke Road crashes averaged 21 per year, in the past 12 months there were six.

Crash data reveals improved driver, walker and rider safety along Bourke Road, when comparing 2010 with the previous 5 years.

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010



Total crashes

 

30

 

15

 

28

 

18

 

14

 

6

Source: Police and Roads and Maritime Services (formerly RTA) crash data.

And there are more people riding on that road. Eg less now on O'Riordan (which is a horrible, horrible place to ride).

I use O'Riordan. I find it is more direct between the city and the domestic terminal. It is fine but in rain you need to watch out for water and push out into the middle in places.

I use Bourke less and less these days particularly in peak periods, it's just too crowded with peds etc so unless its very early or very late I'll use the share pathway on Anzac pde as its wider and then other back streets home.

  If the mountain won't go round Mohammad, Mohammed will go round the mountain. The walkers and the rest are welcome to Bourke st. 

There is a feeling that this sort of behaviour comes from "Newbies" on the cycle paths. Not so. Coming from a suburb where there are a lot of cycles on long established paths I can concur that this attitude of "me first" has been around for a long time, and most likely involves experienced cyclists.

Among those who have been riding for a while is an impatience for the slower cyclist, which I believe has evolved into the commute criterium. I know the feeling of frustration when you get a bit of speed up then have to slow down for a slower rider. The Harbour Bridge is a short course for example. Has been for years. We've all talked about the accidents there. 

I've posted here before about the only couple of crashes and most of the near misses I've had in 40 years on the bike has been on cycle paths. So I'm convinced it's not newbies, at least not entirely. Numbers of cyclists yes. But check your own behaviour first. 

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