Cycling in Sydney Australia
Alan Davies always writes a good blog - often very interesting and useful for cyclists. His pragmatic and sensible analysis of evidence is something we can all learn from. I hope urban planners and policymakers read it and take note.
Interesting to read the minister referring to lack of evidence as a reason to not implement a possible safety measure, whereas there are plenty of examples of other rules being brought in without good evidence. It's just a convenient excuse to not do something because it might be unpopular or not seen as a high priority. Some consistency in analysis from politicians making decisions would be too much to ask I suppose.
While I appreciate Alan Davies contributions to cycling safety - and this article is a mostly good example – I have some issues with the consistency of his critical thinking. Here is an example:
Cyclists also need to see a driver’s face in order to estimate his or her intentions. They want to see where the driver’s looking and if he or she has seen them. Sometimes that requires looking through a side or rear window. A topical example is doorings; cyclists have to see whether there’s someone in the right hand side of a parked car because of the risk the person might suddenly open the car door.
While he is right that cyclists benefit from being able to see a driver's face, the question of need is problematic - cyclists are better served taking precautions that don't require it. This is especially true with doorings - his thinking here is an implicit support for cyclists riding in door zones. Thats crazy. The first thing cyclists need to do to be safe is NOT ride in door zones. Seeing through the back window is hardly beneficial enough, its tricky to do without fully with being distracted by other hazards, and may give a false indication of safety, for example in the case of when a driver may be reaching to over to grab something, hidden from view, prior to opening the door.
Another example of the weaknesses in Alan Davies thinking is his writing on MHLs - despite knowing the data very well and understanding the relevant arguments against them, he takes a conservative view that its still better to have them than not.