Cycling in Sydney Australia
Here's a little piece from the very balanced, no agenda, SMH. I wonder why they bother but I guess they need something to stir up people's emotions to sell their newspapers.
It always amazes me how motorists whinge about bikes break road rules & pedestrians whinge that bicycles are dangerous pedestrain killers. And then we have cyclists whinging about other cyclists breaking road rules because it "gives cycling a bad image"? When really it's drivers that are the most dangerous to both bikes and pedestrians (killing over 200 pedestrians every year & seriously injuring / maining thousands more) and everyone breaks road rules regardless of their travel mode.
When I participated in the last 2 Super Tuesday bike counts, I didn't just count bikes. I also counted racer / commuter / schoolie / electric - male/female - helmet / no-helmet - pedestrians and anyone breaking rules. In both 2011 & 2010 it was the pedestrians who followed the rules the least - they didn't wait for the green man or crossed in "hazardous" situations.
The whole debate about safety & bicycles seems to revolve about enforcing the rules and blaming cyclists. But really the whole safety debate should be about who causes road deaths & injuries and what can be done to educate & encourage those people whatever mode they use. Plus of course enforce the rules for ALL road users based on the danger they present to other innocent people.
PS - what's the photo of the bike bridge got to do with bikes bowling over pedestrians??? Mustn't have had anything better to print.
Ride time ... cyclists fill the broad bike lanes all over Copenhagen. Photo: Johan Spanner
COPENHAGEN: Mikael le Dous has it in for cyclists.
A power plant engineer, he rides a bike himself, as do his children. He just wishes cyclists would behave.
"We call cyclists the plague of the pavement," he said.
Mr le Dous, 56, a bearded, animated man, doesn't just complain about delinquent riders. As the head of the Danish Pedestrian Association, which he founded six years ago, he has dedicated his spare time to doing something about them.
Armed with a digital camera and a video recording device mounted on the dashboard of his car, he photographs cyclists who ignore traffic lights, go up one-way streets the wrong way or plough through pedestrian areas without dismounting, gathering material to present to the authorities to argue for stricter surveillance of cyclists.
Sometimes, he says, the results of rider misbehaviour can be fatal. "It happens occasionally that you'll have an older woman, not hit but surprised and frightened by a bike so that she falls and maybe even dies," he said.
In a nation dedicated to cycling, however, Mr le Dous has been fighting an uphill battle. The association now has only about 160 members, with a meagre annual budget of a little more than $1900.
"We don't mind cyclists," Mr le Dous said. "We mind people who don't respect the law."
Every day, 55 per cent of Copenhageners travel to work or school on a bike.They fill the broad bike lanes that abound in the Danish capital which has a population of 1.2 million.
Mr le Dous looks enviously at a group he sometimes considers his nemesis, the Danish Cyclists' Federation. Founded in 1905 and boasting 17,000 members, the federation wields the enormous clout in Denmark on matters of traffic that automobile associations have elsewhere.
Frits Bredal, 46, a former television journalist and the federation's spokesman, said it was aware of anger over cyclists, but "bicycles are not just nice and cute; they will be, and should be, a central part of Danish transport policy, local and national."
Bike safety has improved recently, he said, thanks to a range of measures, including wider bike paths and educational programs. "Last year, we had the lowest number of traffic accidents ever, including the lowest number of fatalities involving bicycles," Mr Bredal said.
Like many in Copenhagen, Natalia Privalova, 37, an office manager, has two bikes.
Cyclists respect pedestrians, she said, then tempered the assertion by adding, "when they follow the rules".
"Of course," she said, "rush hour is another story."
I could, but that would probably match with the "scared / falls / possible heart attacks theorem"
Much easier to refer to pg 36 of cold, hard dead statistics. -> http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety/publications/2009/pdf...
The whole debate about safety & bicycles seems to revolve about enforcing the rules and blaming cyclists.
"We mind people who don't respect the law."
This highlights the fallacy that all that matters for safety is to respect the law. This tends to take away personal responsibility and simple common sense like paying attention to the road.
One of my relative is an example of this, driving way below the speed limit, talking to you and looking at you while driving. Managed to knock off a pedestrian, but still believes to be a good driver who "respects the law".
What is missing is personal responsibility. The danger in our current system is that many people believe they are not accountable as long as they follow the few rules they are aware of.
When you are biased against somebody, the easiest way to denigrate them it to claim that they fail to respect the law. This is actually easiest to do with car drivers, as there is so many laws that people aren't even aware of. Perhaps there is not as much bias against car drivers.
The pb is not so much who is the target of such tactics, but why do people fall for it.
"It happens occasionally that you'll have an older woman, not hit but surprised and frightened by a bike so that she falls and maybe even dies," he said.
Gosh, yes. This is a serious issue. We must get cyclists to obey the rules. It might eventually even result in saving a life.
Meanwhile we will just ignore the elephant in the room which daily kills and maims thousands of people worldwide , is gobbling up every square inch of available space in our cities, pollutes the air, earth and water with fumes, particles, waste and noise, causes climate change and encourages obesity.
Someone call Harold Scruby. Quick.
Furthermore there wasn't a scrap of evidence to show the cyclist hit the bus driver. Witnesses wouldn't agree that it had happened, and the driver was suspended for his attack using the bus revealed by the CCTV. But that wasn't reported of course.
I think there is a psychology that I can't quite explain where other people are expected to follow rules, however I am not. Often applied by motorists concerning cyclists and other motorists.
Unfortunately I am ashamed to say that I think there are significant numbers of cyclists out there behaving badly towards peds. Especially in Melbourne. It just isn't necessary and it can't be good for the common cause of car-free spaces.
I don't want to advocate that cyclists obey daft rules, but I would like respect and common sense to be applied.
and the driver was suspended for his attack using the bus revealed by the CCTV
Do you have more info about the suspension?
I saw the video and the dangerously close cutting back of the bus driver across the rider's line.
I was very impressed he gathered himself and managed to reach and verbally discuss the issue with the offending driver of the 3200kg weapon.
I made a fuss about it with the Police, and a suspension was the eventual outcome.
All I know otherwise was that the suspension was 'voluntary', as in take the suspension or take a prosecution.
I wasn't a witness, save for viewing CCTV like you did.