Cycling in Sydney Australia
Sorry to post this but fair go Hazbeen, you are well past your use buy date.
Shared paths putting walkers' lives at risk
The Daily Telegraph
November 21, 2013 12:00AM
SHARED is a warm and cuddly word politicians and bureaucrats love. They've given us shared zones and shared paths and their advertising campaigns implore us to share the road.
Sydney's Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, has created more than 51km of shared paths in her queendom.
They form part of the cycle routes connecting her dedicated cycle paths.
Although 92 per cent of the movements in the CBD are by pedestrians, Clover Moore has spent tens of millions on cyclists and hardly a cent on pedestrians.
It's difficult to recall when the words "pedestrian" or "walking" passed her lips.
The Austroads guidelines, which are expected to govern the creation of shared paths, state they should only be proclaimed if there are fewer than 10 cyclists per hour, the maximum speeds are under 20 km/h and the minimum width is three metres.
Otherwise cyclists should either use a dedicated path or ride on the road.
These guidelines are rarely observed.
Last December, The Sunday Telegraph observed scores of cyclists, some travelling at speeds of up to 48km/h, with not one below 30km/h, risking the lives and limbs of pedestrians and themselves on the Anzac Bridge shared path.
On the Spit Bridge shared path, the width is only 1.2m.
And on the Harbour Bridge shared path, hundreds of cyclists each day risk the lives of Fort Street Primary School children, many reaching speeds well in excess of
30km/h. But in spite of objections by NSW Police, the Roads and Maritime Services does nothing.
There is no offence for speeding on a bicycle in NSW. And there are no speed limits on shared paths.
That means police are practically powerless to act, unless they book these cyclists for reckless or negligent riding, which is not only very difficult to prove, but attracts a pathetic penalty of $67.
Meanwhile, Clover Moore has spent a fortune painting her own City of Sydney shared path propaganda logos all over Sydney's footpaths.
They feature a cyclist, sitting upright, without a helmet, on a Dutch-Danish recreational bicycle, with two pedestrians holding hands.
They have no meaning at law and do not permit cyclists to ride on the footpath. But who cares?
The fact is that the vast majority of cyclists using her cycle routes are in Lycra, over the handle-bars, in Tour de France commuter-mode, cycling at about 30km/h.
When they exit her dedicated paths, they do not slow down when they access the footpath.
Politicians and bureaucrats are scared witless by the cycling lobby.
Privately, most agree that urgent action is required. Publicly, they'll run a country mile to avoid confrontation. Incidents and injuries are rarely reported.
The tragic case of Maria Guliano on the Iron Cove Bridge shared path should have forced the government to act.
While walking with her husband, she was hit by a cyclist, causing permanent brain damage.
The cyclist disappeared. She requires a full-time carer. It took her husband six years to sue the RTA and Leichhardt Council.
An immediate moratorium is required on all shared paths until the following laws, regulations and systems are
• A MAXIMUM speed limit of 10km/h throughout Australia and serious penalties for speeding on a bicycle;
• COMPULSORY third party insurance;
• SOME compulsory form of identification for riders aged 18 and over;
• REALISTIC penalties for all bicycle offences in NSW. In Victoria, it's $66,000 and five years' jail for failing to stop if a cyclist hits a pedestrian;
• RIGOROUS enforcement by police and council rangers;
• FULL consideration for all people with disabilities, especially people who are vision and hearing impaired;
• NO electric or motorised bikes on shared paths;
• CAMPAIGNS reminding cyclists that on a shared path, cyclists must keep to the left, slow down and give way to pedestrians;
• CORRECT, well-maintained signage that complies with Australian road rules;
• THE use of bells only in emergencies, not for intimidating or frightening pedestrians; and
• DEDICATED bike paths - shared paths installed only as a last resort.
In New Zealand, shared paths are called pedestrian priority zones. There's no confusion. It's time to banish the word "shared" from the road rules lexicon.
Harold Scruby is chairman of the Pedestrian Council of Australia.
DONT CLICK BUT...
Amidst all his huffing and puffing and general nonsense, Harold has a point - shared paths are a bad deal for pedestrians. They're no great deal for cyclists either.
But Harold has the target wrong. Clover is creating shared paths because the RMS won't hand over the needed road space. Cyclists and pedestrians are joint victims of this, and it makes no sense for them to blame each other. Their goal should be the same - more road space taken from the travel mode that requires the most road space per person - cars!
I'm with you. Shared paths are horrible. Trying to mix pedestrians, who naturally wander in a kind of random Brownian motion at 6km/h and naturally tend to spread sideways with cyclists who rely in part on momentum for their stability. Not a grand idea.
I'd LOVE to avoid Pyrmont Bridge and Anzac Bridge, but most of the routes from the inner west funnel straight into the Anzac/Pyrmont corridor. Ducking them takes me well out of my way and often onto some fairly hairy roads.
The Anzac problem could, of course, be solved by fixing the Glebe Island Bridge question. That'd still leave us with Pyrmont Bridge, of course, to which I see few solutions.
Pyrmont bridge could be mostly solved by a dedicated bike path on Nth side with a nice 1m fence to stop peds wandering onto it
Love the speed limit bits. I average about 6-7 km/h walking, so if I actually jogged in a pedestrian area I'd be speeding. As for bells or horns, you just can't win. Use it and you're "intimidating or frightening", don't and you're a silent, lycra-clad assassin.
I'm a silent, flowery, upright assassin because all bells do on shared paths is make pedestrians jump sideways and shriek.
I think he's got buckley's of achieving his desired outcomes, and double buckley's of getting them enforced if he did!
That said, I'd be very very happy to see shared paths abandoned in favour of actual infrastructure.
Something authorities seem to miss concerning fast riding on shared paths is that if cyclists are bullied or regulated off a road on to a path, they are likely to try to get from A to B as fast as they would on-road.
Additionally, it was proved last night that slowing down to walking pace doesn't stop conflict. Instead, a nasty man walking his dogs illegally off-leash got highly abusive with us.
Those rules would probably increase confict, because they would be used as the basis of abuse by idiots such as he.
Also striking that this kind of nastiness is only received in Australia. That is something to reflect upon.
"Also striking that this kind of nastiness is only received in Australia. That is something to reflect upon."
Scruby can't be doing his heart much good with all this frothing he does. One imagines him dashing off rant after rant, blood pressure rising higher and higher, until eventually his poor little heart goes pop and he ends up dead of a huge cardiac arrest.
Maybe he needs to take up a pastime with known cardiovascular benefits. Like cycling.