Cycling down Hay St light railway on Monday I noticed the George St intersection has multiple tram tracks now, including a curved track into Hay St. It’s going to be dangerous going through there, and probably at other intersections or turns along the new light railway.

I’m wondering if there is anything planned to reduce risk of wheel catching. 

I remembered seeing something about a system in Germany that allows the tram wheel to depress a rubber strip in the track groove,  which springs back after the tram has passed. 

https://tinyurl.com/Velostrail

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I know several riders who avoid streets with tracks completely.

However I just don't think anyone is really considering this issues at the moment... is it mainly bike riders or would it pose a risk for wheelchairs, high heels and the like?

JM

The main worry would be riding south to north down George St at Hay. Not only would you have to be wary of the north south grooves but also the curving grooves for trams turning right into Hay. Might be other areas like this where tracks curve across a through lane. Wheelchair users would have mainly right angle crossings I think, if they crossed on crossings.  High heels, could well be a problem, but they are a problem anywhere round town (ducks).

I haven't seen it used. We know to cross tracks at a sufficient angle.

That said, the issue did contribute to my decision to go with MTB for the last two purchases, plenty of tyre width. That decision has turned out well: plenty of surface disruptions around due to construction, kerbs to negotiate for the same reason and bike paths that are coarse gravel... even railway ballast where tracks have been removed and repurposed as cycle routes.

I think an educational tour to Amsterdam is in order.

(Or Melbourne if your Amsterdam is a little too far.)

Tram tracks are a hazard.  But they are predictable and can be safe with some care and basic skills.

The Strail is used in Germany and elsewhere, according to the website, and looks quite a good solution. I’m just wondering if it has even been heard of here. 

Ive been riding down Hay St for years and it  Is quite safe if you take care to travel in straight lines, but the new junction at George St has added a lot of complexity.

It does look like an added safety improvement.  But given the cost in installation, maintenance and some decreased efficiency of the trams the likelihood of it being implemented across the board pretty much ZERO.  Implemented in key crossings, maybe slightly above zero.

Maybe I'm a pessimistic, maybe I'm a realist or maybe I've just been riding around complex tram junctions for several decades and just don't see the big issue.  (As we all know the clear and present danger are the incompetent motorists on the roads.)

In short if you are worried about their risks I'd think your best bet is to understand the hazard and learn how to deal with it safely.

The factory is only a 9 hour bike ride away!

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