Cycling in Sydney Australia
Having a coffee at a new cafe near the new roundabout at Wigram Rd and Booth St and saw a few interesting ways to tackle the roundabout. Not a particularly bike friendly intersection, given buses and trucks can just ignore the island, while cyclists have a negative camber to counter if they go round the island, where you lose speed, (or likely crash if you misjudge), and then a battle up the hill to follow.
I thought that was the whole point of these "fried egg" roundabounts (even better when they paint the middle bit bright yellow) - they put them in spots where it's difficult for some vehicles to travel around them (a la trucks and buses making right-hand turns) but the principles of who gives way to who still applies. The thing I like about cyclists flying over the top of them is that it removes any ambiguity about whether you were turning left or going straight, and if turning right, then you're forced to slow down to an accident-avoiding speed.
There is a similar one at the top of Berowra Waters Rd just before it joins the Old Pacific Highway - it's a T-intersection with a side street off to the left and you're on a downhill run in to it, so it makes sense just to fly through the middle while giving way as required.
If it wasn't intended that you can drive/ride over the top then I'm sure they'd be constructed with an elevation and signage &/or greenery to prevent it. The other way to find out would be to park a tent in the middle - which used to be a popular form of protest back home in the '90s - pick a busy grassed round about and stay there until you've made your point or you're moved on.
The thing I like about cyclists flying over the top of them is that it removes any ambiguity about whether you were turning left or going straight, and if turning right, then you're forced to slow down to an accident-avoiding speed.
Are you serious?
I don't think there is anything to like about a cyclist going straight over the roundabout at speed. It is an unpredictable maneuver which removes the cyclist from the place that motorists are going to be looking for other traffic. Clip the lip at anything other than perpendicular and you run the risk of losing the bike from underneath you. I shouldn't have to remind people of the potential consequences of that.
The RMS says:
The roundabout sign means Slow Down, prepare to Give Way and if necessary stop to avoid a collision.
So, as you're approaching a roundabout, you must get into the correct lane, indicate if turning, and give way to traffic already on the roundabout.
Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in the traffic.
So, I don't really see how "flying" could ever be a legitimate or safe way of entering a roundabout, no matter what vehicle you are controlling. Well, at least not until we get some of these:
By flying I mean travelling over the top, not doing so at speed. Find and replace with "progressing in an orderly manner". Sorry for the ambiguity. What I meant is how many times have you travelled straight through a round about in the normal way, and because you enter it by turning slightly to the left, the car waiting to enter it from the left (wrongly) assumes you're exiting to the left and pulls out right in front of you? If on the other hand it was a fried egg round about you could slow down, give way etc (I in no way meant to imply these things shouldn't be done, and I trust from the nature of all my previous posts my position on road safety is pretty clear and therefore I wouldn't advocate for any different at round abouts), and then proceed across the round about - in this case it is much more clear you won't be exiting to the left.
Even with amendments I still think risks outweigh returns. Roundabouts can be a bad place for cyclists, but I think the best response to that is to ride through them as defensively and predictably as possible, not do anything "unexpected".
Don't have the link, but read some research about cyclists' use of roundabouts, and it found that motorists tended to not see, and therefore crash into, those cyclists who went either straight through the middle, or went a straightish line, or hugged the edge.
Those that went a circular line, staying in the middle of the lane throughout the entire intersection, faired the best.
It was interesting to me that even straightening out your line by cutting close to the lip at the apex of the curve was associated with motorists' "failure to see".
The main reason straight line has a higher accident probability is because the group of straight line adopters is confounded with excessive speed group, who may in fact be the second entrant to the roundabout in some cases. In many designs, bicycles are the second fastest users after motorcycles.
how many times have you travelled straight through a round about in the normal way, and because you enter it by turning slightly to the left, the car waiting to enter it from the left (wrongly) assumes you're exiting to the left and pulls out right in front of you?
0 (and that includes several forays into the Central Coast and Western Sydney).
Take the lane at all intersections. Indicate your intentions. Ride with pride.
Okay all points taken - can't (& don't) disagree with them.