Copenhagen is bicycle city – there are now more bikes than cars! In 1970, there were about 350,000 cars and 100,000 bikes. Today, there are 265,700 bike riders compared to 253,600 car drivers, right in the heart of the city.
New research from Monash University in Victoria suggests cycling is a high risk activity, even on dedicated bike paths. This small study found nearly a quarter of cycling crashes in Victoria occur in marked bicycle lanes. They are usually in daylight and in clear weather. Most participants were experienced cyclists of more than 10 years.
Cycling along with the wind in your hair may seem like a thing of the past but, under a new road safety plan, the ACT may be the first to take off cycling helmets.
First, the ACT wants to be the first Australian jurisdiction to have zero deaths or injuries on the road. Under the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–2020 (NRSS), all states and territories in Australia have the target of reducing road deaths and serious injuries by 30% by 2020.
The New South Wales Police Force has issued a public plea for caution on the state’s roads after the weekend’s seven fatal crashes.
In the short period from New Year’s Day up to January 19, NSW Police have reported 21 fatalities on the road. The majority have been due to car crashes, with 11 of the drivers killed, as well as two passengers and seven motorcyclists. A pedestrian has also been identified as one of the casualties so far.
I have commented in the past about cycleways in the Sydney CBD and feel compelled to do so again. My comments this time are specifically about the cycleway in College Street, between the Cathedral and William Street.
I do not understand why cyclists run the risk in College Street traffic when there is a new cycleway running a parallel path. Any week day afternoon there are many cyclists weaving through the traffic in College Street and yet the cycleway is largely unused. Last Friday afternoon I witnessed an altercation between a driver and two cyclists at the William Street lights.
Something needs to be done. College Street is dangerous for cyclists and for drivers.
If the cycleway is badly designed and in the wrong place, admit defeat and move it so that it can be used, otherwise get rid of the cycleway. What is the point of retaining a cycleway that is not used?
Finally, if the cycleway is to be retained, then cyclists should be forced to use it.
What is it with the new cycleways in the Sydney CBD? Last night I was stopped in traffic on the corner of College & William Streets. I watched 7 cyclists weave through the traffic, splitting lanes in College Street, yet the adjoining cycleway was empty. Surely, where there is a cycleway the cyclists should not be allowed to ride on the road, otherwise get rid of the cycleway.
I refer to my earlier post, Sydney Cycleways & Greenslips.
Last night I counted 9 cyclists in the traffic in College Street in the block between the Cathedral and William Street. At the same time, there was not one cyclist in the new cycleway which is adjacent to College Street. Surely it would be safer for cyclists in the cycleway. Not sure what the issue is with the cycleways.
What is it about cycleways in the Sydney CBD? Cycleways have been installed at the expense of pedestrians and motorists. I think there is an issue with the design and location of the cycleways and I think there is an issue with the fact that cyclists do not bother to use them. It is rare to see a cyclist on the Kent street cycleway. Travelling south along College Street of an afternoon it is positively dangerous as cyclists compete with motor vehicles, running alongside an unused cycleway.
Perhaps cyclists need some encouragement to use cycleways. One way to encourage cyclists onto cycleways may be to legislate that cyclists injured in an accident with a motor vehicle do not have access to benefits under the CTP greenslip scheme if the accident occurred adjacent to a cycleway that the cyclist could or should have been using!