Bike riders' contempt for the law

  • Geoff Chambers

Riding ... people use the new cycle paths on Kent St / Pic: John Grainger Source: The Daily Telegraph


SYDNEY'S bikeways have become lawless express lanes with cyclists rolling through red lights and riding on footpaths.

While motorists are fined for driving in bus or bike lanes, cycling infringements go unnoticed.

Sydney City Council and the RTA are holding urgent negotiations to consider methods to penalise reckless riders.


Ideas discussed include an increased presence of police traffic officers and cameras monitoring high frequency bike lanes.


In the meantime, the bike paths have become havens for inexperienced cyclists keen to test Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore's laneway project.


Riders using the new Kent St bike lane yesterday expressed their frustration that some cyclists had given them a bad name.


During a two-hour period, The Daily Telegraph observed cyclists riding without helmets, riding through red lights, riding on footpaths and riding in front of turning cars.


Ben Haslem, who rides from Newtown to Neutral Bay three-times a week, said he was fed-up with cyclists who didn't respect the rules.


"You can understand why some people are getting angry about the bike lanes. Every time I go for a ride you see people riding straight through the red light," Mr Haslem said.


A group of lawyers and accountants who work in the CBD, known as the Easy Riders, ride from the Harbour Bridge to Hyde Park for Ride to Work Day.


Easy Riders member and lawyer Peter McNamara said the ride into King St was dangerous for some cyclists. "It can get a bit tricky out there for riders who aren't familiar with the roads. It is busy at peak time and pretty narrow," Mr McNamara said. 'It can get pretty dangerous when there's a group of riders on the road."


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If you follow the link Kim gave at the top of the post there is a voting panel about if bike lanes should be scaled back in Sydney. It currently looks like this

Ooh I think it is time for someone to write a little script to swing those numbers...... ;-)
Let them be angry I reckon, their problem eh.

My guess is costly compliance work will be an incentive to engineer things properly, ie. so walkers and pedestrians need not jaywalk/ride. Eventually the authorities will have their epiphany.
There might be more ammo in the way for the Daily Terror: This morning at the corner of Margaret Street and Kent Street there was a TV camera crew filming cyclists using the new cycleway. I arrived when the light for cyclists was red and I stopped (as I would do normally, camera crew or not) but in the time it took for the light to go green no fewer than six cyclists went straight through the red light. All of this was being recorded at the time.
It may be unfashionable to say this but I truly wish there weren't so many cyclists flagrantly disregarding road rules.

A lot of cyclists who run red lights impede the passage of motorists who have right of way. It's not acceptable behaviour.

That Telegraph article makes several very valid points.
True, but the Terror puts it in a inflammatory way.
Its not what they say but how they say it.
They are writing for their demographic.
"A lot of cyclists who run red lights impede the passage of motorists who have right of way"

That's a bit OTT isn't it? If it were true wouldn't there be a lot of dead cyclists?

I reckon there's a few of those, but there's many more cyclists running red lights who look first and don't impede anything. And arguably for good reason.
Totally agree. Almost every intersection I'll see a cyclist disobey the red signal but it is exceedingly rare that I see a cyclist impeding a vehicle.
Maybe they should try to organise another rally at the town hall again!
"When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle." —Elizabeth West

Unfortunately, it seems that bikes do in fact cause irritation to others. It is still the greatest invention of all time though!
"And in other news in Sydney today, not a single other road user ran a red light, exceeded the speed limit, overtook or parked illegally, drove under the influence, or caused an injury accident".

But you can choose what you do - be responsible for your own actions, or blame others for their actions. Only one option will guarantee a change in behaviour. I don't run red lights so that it doesn't add weight to those who think "all cyclists run red lights". What do you do?
did anyone else see the motorbike that just ran through the bike lane on kent st? did he get fined? no i dont think so


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