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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I agree, though with a qualifier. The reason I started commuting is that the bike lanes were there, and I had the option of getting of the road. Over time I built up my confidence and capability to the point where riding at anything over 30-35 km/h on the Bourke cycleways became more dangerous, and that I could keep up with the cars in the general lanes. So where I am feeling fast that day, or have a tailwind then I will take the lane (not that anyone cares as I am keeping up), otherwise I use the cycleway at under 30 km/h.

 

Can choose based on how I am feeling, weather conditions, and general traffic speeds.

 

Without the cycleways I would in all honesty still be on the bus or train.

I have not had many problemo's with Bike Paths I live in the blurbs and our's are not that busy, my only slight problem is I ride along path a 500 metre unofficial path made of tar.It was as wide as a footpath now the grass has grown over it and it is just a very skinny track one way only.If another bike rider is on the track someone has to jump onto the grass first it is me 90% of the time. I am  not to happy with having a head on so I normally move first very few say thanks they just ride on, Other than that most people are fine and give a wave and hello. Funnily enough the pedestrians usually move out of the way and seem OK with it.

Obviously this is an old problem http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-news/bike-riders-conte... . I've found other similar stories from other countries, so we're not unique.

I feel that lawlessness is the cause of the problem, bike lanes don't really have any rules, and if there are there are no consequences for breaking them. Let me give you an example, if you tell a car driver their lights are not on, or are broken they will be concerned, mainly because they are breaking the law and legal or financial consequences could result..... tell a bike rider his light is off, or he needs to get a light and they don't seem to care, probably because there are no consequences.

This lack of laws/rules covers giving way, not keeping to lanes, speeding, etc.

It may also be that some people do not realise the impact of there riding habits, for example I tend to ride close behind other riders, it's just what I'm used to from riding in groups or in training sessions, I've been trained to ride 12 inches from the wheel in front. I'm not trying to get past, or speed them up, just happy sitting there, however,  what I'm starting to learn is that this can make people nervous or uncomfortable, make me appear impatient/aggressive, and on bike lanes I should give more space... but this has taken me a long time to realise.

Education and rules are needed, but difficult, and may put people off starting to ride in the first place.... it's in part a catch 22.

geez eeney I think you might be in favour of mandatory lighting on new bikes over, say, 10 kg. Am I right?

You can get lights sets at 25 grammes, so why did I pass 6 bikes with no lights on in a 1km stretch last night, me an another rider were chatting about it.  C'mon, it's dark, you need lights, it's not rocket science.

Like I said in my first post, if lights are going to be optional on bike paths then the road is safer.

I've been hit twice now whilst standing still on my bike on bike paths, if I can stop then why can't the other person?   These harmless knocks get annoying when you have to replace derailleurs, shoe callipers, etc, all whilst the other numbskull rides off happily.

The entire thread just points toward a need for general courtesy and common sense.

Hi everyone. I've been reading this forum for a while but this is the first time I've commented. I've been thinking of posting something here for a while as I've noticed an increase in the amount of aggro I'm getting from other cyclists (and in the last 3 incidents, I've clearly been in the right, so the swearing and attitude were totally unjustified) - but I see others have already touched on this so no need to start a new post!

eeney, I disagree that education and rules would discourage people. As a female rider on a pretty slow bike, I understand why most people are reluctant to try cycling - it can be scary out there! If you're not contending with ignorant and/or aggressive drivers or oblivious pedestrians, it seems you now need to be able to take on the "I'm faster than you so get out of my way" attitude from other cyclists. I also don't think this issue is confined to riders on bike lanes.

I realise it would be naive to expect any solidarity amongst cyclists, but surely a bit less aggro towards fellow riders - whether they're slow or fast - isn't too much to ask! And I think if there were more education about cycling - including enforcing road rules (and perhaps common sense) - more people might take another look and feel safe enough to give it a go.

ok, so this is going nowhere. 

please be chilling everyone! I suggest a bike ride :)

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