Just getting back into cycling after a bit of a hiatus, I've been thinking a lot ab out safety and dangerous situations I've seen over the years.

The conclusion I came to a while back was that I wouldn't ride on roads where the traffic was going more than 20km/h faster than me, there have been a few exceptions, generally just to get between safer roads etc. But all in all I think it's helped a lot to keep me away from incident

The other big one for me is avoiding main arterial roads at all, they seem to be places where any vehicle not going at least the speed limit is a traitor and viable target.

Does anyone else have a few rules they apply for good route selection?

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I chose arterials over other routes wherever possible.

The reasons are as thus.

(a) arterials often have controlled right turn bays, where I can make right turns safely without being rear ended whilst waiting, and where arrows control motorists which means they don't do right turns when I am travelling through the intersection.

(b) arterials often have division between me doing 35, and oncoming traffic doing 60 (ie 95km/hr closing), and oncoming traffic is more dangerous than rearward traffic until the speed differential is such that I won't survive either way (which is not true on a 60km/hr road).

(c) arterials often have few or no driveways and few or no reasons for cars to make midblock turns (see point b), and excellent visibility at driveways due to no parked vehicles.

(d) aterials often go directly to where I want to go with least time and km exposure.

(e) arterials often have less intersections per km, and intersection accidents are 3x higher per m of roadway than midblock

(f) arterials usually have another lane drivers can pass me in, or the road is so full and slow that it doesn't matter.

(g) arterials often have no reversing vehicles.

It's the sub arterials you have to watch. Ones with car parking, or only one lane each direction, lots of intersections, road fungus like central refuges, roundabouts etc and a 60 k speed limit because RMS thinks the punters would complain too much if they were lowered.

A lot of the deaths and serious injuries (including the recent hit-and-runs IIRC) involving MVs seem to be on arterials though. I used to have your opinion until I noticed this (and then we had a kid so shit got a bit more real).

Once the arterial is fast enough that the closing speed from behind is in the almost always fatal range, then sure.   That isn't a 60km/hr road like Parramatta Rd though.

By arterial road in my case I was thinking more about roads like Gardeners Rd or Parramatta rd, where there is no safe siding.

Actually not, there is a brief jump on to Gardeners road that can be a wee bit hectic but everything else is on fairly slow roads or protected cycle ways. So far I haven't had any issues

You can avoid the Gardners Stretch (obviously) by going straight ahead on Bourke, left turn onto Coward and onto Botany from there. I generally take Coward Street.

But Coward is narrower, with parked cars. May not be to your taste

+1 to all that Jason has said.

My commute is from Penrith to Auburn & I use the M4 all of the way until Church Street. The only time it feels dangerous is when traffic is unusually heavy and someone decides to use the shoulder (my lane) for a rat-run, but I simply hold my line & make them wait. The way I see it, by sitting behind me doing 25-30km/h they are still moving faster than the gridlock.

Also, arterial roads seldomly have a parking lane where you can be doored.

Yeah during peak hour the M4 is fine as its slow, outside of peak hour unfortunately it has quite dangerous merge ramps and relatively high car speed.  ie its a variable proposition.  I wouldn't choose a 60km/hr differential from behind by choice.  Its a bit more than an arterial I'm afraid.

The highway alongside would actually work very well if it wasn't for them painting up the buslanes as 24hr which forces cyclists to the middle lane.

"if it wasn't for them painting up the buslanes as 24hr which forces cyclists to the middle lane."

How so? My undestanding was that we can always use bus lanes, but not "bus only" lanes (which are generally really short anyway so no-one cares.

Actually you could be right, I was always wary of 24 hour buslanes because all of the ones I can think of, have both types of signage on the one sign - ie bus only 24hours.  I'll check the signs carefully next time I'm out there.


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