Cycling in Sydney Australia
Anyone noticed all the efforts from the RTA with the sensors over the last week or so?
All down Kent st and on King St there were people in RTA PPE equipment checking the signals boxes every time i'd hit a sensor, jot something down on the notepad, look at me again (check if i'm still on the sensor) and then look at the signals box & jot down something again.
There were also chalk scribblings all down bourke st over the sensor areas too.
Seems the RTA is putting in quite a bit of effort into the sensors & making sure they work!
Your assumption that I think the timings is fixed is ludicrous. Nor do I presume the phases are fixed. I understand exactly how the phasing is achieved.
Sat at King/Sussex for 45 mins in the pouring rain today, cam running. 2 cyclists were extremely lucky and recieved a green light whilst rolling. The remaining 100+ had to wait. The cyclists maximum wait time is double that of motorists, and the average wait time is half the phasing, where for motorists its less than a quarter. Will be interested to see some aspects of the behaviour on a drier day, but none of my claims are outrageous, and IMO King/Sussex is IMO the far and away the best tuned of all the intersections.
There are still detection loops that cover less than half the cycle lanes. Union/Edward still fails to detect even my fat alloy rims. Many loops are still invisible, None of the loops extend sensibly near the kerbs where many casual cyclists stop, and even where they do, its often a single loop, which gets once chance at one wheel and isn't near where the wheel will stop. It still takes 2 minutes to negotiate Kent/King intersection. Only a couple of intersections have advanced loops, even though its common for cycles to be advanced.
I am not saying the sky is falling, I'm saying that parallel contending traffic cannot and should not be attempted to be seperated and optimised by reading intersection entry demand sensors only. All that will do is transfer gridlock from one mode to the other. Its a well understood phenonemon and its easily observed here.
Yes - why would you want to go east on Albion from the Bourke St Cycleway? If you are coming south on the Bourke St Cycleway and going east - this suggests you are OK with cycling on the road - in which case you would have already gone down Flinders Street from the Oxford St intersection. If you are going east onto Albion when going north on the Bourke St Cycleway - you wouldn't do it as you are either going onto Flinders which will enter Oxford St anyway - or you're doubling back.
I can understand the timing for cyclists at the Foeaux St lights though as you can get onto the sharepath which will lead you to Moore Park Rd - and Greens Rd - up to Paddington. Or if you are going south - perfect for the cautious type who wants cycleways and share paths - this will take them to the Anzac Pde sharepath - SCG - Aussie Stadium etc.
The only suggestion I can come up with for someone to go east on Albion is someone has gone to Woolies at St Margs - but really if this is the case - make them wait in front of a red lighted Albion St traffic going east - hook turn like - and they can go off in front of Albion St traffic when the lights go green.
"The decision was made to give bikes a separate green phase for safety."
OK the wider issue is evidently herein. CoS and RTA clearly don't trust motorists to give way when turning, so have made non-synchronous green phases for bikes vs cars a requirement.
With that in mind a candidate solution would be to introduce a brief green phase for bikes at prior to the start of the car green phase. This could be done at all intersections, all cycleways, all bicycle 'lanterns'.
The phase could be just 4 or 5 seconds unless the intersection is huge, taking advantage of the superior initial acceleration of bicycles. Not too annoying if there is no bike, so they can have this green even if the sensor hasn't functioned/detected.
Large clumps of bikes, a rare event, would be OK because they would usually cross as if a single large vehicle and be highly visible. No-one is going to set off into them. In any case the sensors could be used to extend the phase if someone insists.
Really the principle is the same as bicycle storage boxes at signalled intersections. Get the bikes moving first, creating safety via visibility and all is good. In fact these could (should!! must!!) be installed as well as the cycleways.
What do you think CoS??
"CoS and RTA clearly don't trust motorists to give way"
So we complain that they dont give us cycle paths and a nice safe environment, and when they do look out for our safety (by removing turning cars) - its that they're not trusting of motorists?
They made the decision for our safety & wellbeing? Why are you turning that into them being "distrustful".
Again very telling - no matter what anyone seems to do for cyclists & our wellbeing, its that they're still incompetant & now they're dis-trustful or others.
Is there anything they can possibly do without somehow being evil?
I sort of like your "all green" idea - do you mean just greens in 1 direction or the whole intersection is green (all directions) for bicycles?
Think that idea was floated before - "cyclists given the green light" article in the terrorgraph
No no just a green in the same direction as the car lanes soon-to-get-green. That's why it is analogous to bicycle storage boxes thus giving cyclists a brief head start so they are visible.
I'm merely observing that they have decided that there is a need for protection against motorists not giving way when turning. I'm not questioning RTA/CoS competence or criticising. I'm not arguing with their choice, it may very well be valid in Sydney.
The idea was floated already in this thread, just expressed differently: in the sense of Danish riders getting started moments before the cars do.
Yes it made sense to me in Copenhagen. It seemed like the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle at work.
The other observations I made when overseas was that:
1. Cyclists in London seemed more agressive to motorists than London motorists were to them. It was almost as though ther (relatively) new-found rights-on-the-road had given them some kind of feeling of superiority over the motorists. Generally I fet that the motorists were far more courteous to the cyclists than are Sydney motorists, yet the cyclists were very quick to yell, shake their fists, thump the cars etc. I actually felt a bit embarrassed by their agression.
2. Cyclists/peds/motorists in Copenhagen generally seemed to just get along well together showing mutually respect for eah other and being courteous.
"State Government StaySafe committee"
Though i dont have much faith in the committee - they talked about "education on rules 72-76" about giving way to peds to reduce injuries/deaths, however the smarter & more required option would be to tell peds about Rule 236(1), so it seems their intentions are good - but they dont really know what the root causes are or what the real issues are.
No problem with StaySafe advocating education in road rules, including 236.
All the same I assume they view 72-76 give way requirements as binding. As makes sense from the safety perspective, especially since they are rules applied to operators of lethal machines. So if a turning cyclist skittles a ped cyclist is still at fault.
I'm not entirely clear about the precise intent and meaning of 236 (1) anyway. At least they do define "traffic" to include pedestrians, so a ped causing hazard to self seems to be included. The equivalent rule for cyclists is equally unclear, especially as the vehicle type give way requirements also apply.
Common sense does at least say don't step off the kerb in front of a vehicle doing 80 that is only 10m away.