Archive for July 25th, 2010

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July 25, 2010

I was going to talk about the bike lanes in Albert St East Melbourne so lets do that first (or was I going to rave about the hire bike scheme? My mind is going.. I can feel it. Ahhh well one rave at a post)

These two pictures one taken just before and the other just after these lanes came in. (thanking the Age online ) shows what we are talking about. The cars in the left lane are actually parked. Maybe. Sorta hard to tell. Definitely part of the issue.
albertst bike lane
Let me point you at this thread on BV forums.

Here is Bicycle Victoria’s take on it all. Most of which I think is rubbish.

Speaking as a very experienced cyclist (he says looking at the floor shyly and scuffing his cleated feet) going into town in times of heavy traffic its sort of ok(ish) . But crikey some people park so badly they should lose their licenses.. or at the very least be booked. I am going to take a camera in some time soon. Its mildly entertaining watching them.

Coming out of town.. late in the evening its rather lethal. 40 kph is dangerously fast on it.. and I usually hit 50 for most of that trip on the mostly downhill road. Pretty safely using a lane and traveling at the same speed as the cars . The bike lane green surface is unsettlingly loose. The driveways are lethal.. and at 30 I usually manage to have a near miss with someone pulling across the bike lane and propping while they check for cars. Although the green surface may be loose I know of someone who has destroyed a tire on it while panic braking which means that the surface must be as abrasive as hell. The normal problem of cars overtaking marginally faster than you.. and instantly turning left is aggravated by the design.. they have some actual excuse They come up the outside of the row of parked cars and you come up the inside The poles now sticking out of the edge of the bike lane on the north west end are absolutely for sure going to kill or maim someone. And they are so obviously lethal that I plan to go in with a camera on Monday.. take pics of them and make them available to the police and or coroner when I hear of it happening

What I would do is.. maybe try it for a bit longer on the uphill into town.. With some serious enforcement. On the way out of town I would lose the car parking altogether. I would make the left lane entirely a bicycle lane.. it would be very wide. And I would allow cars in it. Difficult to say what I mean but try and market it as a non exclusive bicycle lane in which bicycles have the right of way.

The way to make cycling safer in the city is to make the strict liability on the car. Where there is an accident the car driver is assumed at fault in the absence of other evidence. If it can be demonstrated the cyclist is at fault then the cyclist is charged but otherwise the car driver is assumed at fault. This works in a lot of countries and pretty much gets rid of the sort of accident where the car driver claims the cyclist must have swerved. It makes car drivers careful of cyclists. It makes the more dangerous vehicle carry the onus which to me at least seems absolutely reasonable. Comments anyone?

Coming up Lonsdale street in the evening on friday one of my tail lights came off.. Stopped in the middle of the lane. Maybe a hundred cars missed it but the very last one.. some sod in a Camry managed by swerving to hit it fair and square. Class mate… pure class. Whoever you are, your wife and kids think you are worth living with. Wait. Sooner or later they will find out the truth.. self evident to many of us who share the planet with you. Take your small minded moment of triumph and hug it to you because you are indeed pathetic..

OK two raves per blog post.

The sad part of the day was the Grand Prix Cycles memorial ride for Steven Hart. I slept so late I took the car in. Our guesstimates of numbers for the ride varied.. maybe 200 or so with nibbles after. It was a very varied bunch.. and I got at least 2 dozen “how did you know Steven” I met some old mates. And TheotherActiveFeetGuy from BV forums. It was not so sad as all that actually. He touched a lot of people. RIP Steven. Life is fragile. Being missed is not so bad
Vale Steven Hart

Team Splat did track tonight. All 3 riders currently on the books. The gorgeous Sally back from her world travels finally made an appearance. And the Lovely Jenny.. still getting her mind back together after her nasty crash last year not only came .. but rode on a wooden olympic velo. And its only a couple of months since that scared the living daylights (not the original word I used here) out of me so I know exactly how much courage that took. I don,t think I can possibly describe how proud I am of her. She rode the full program too. Immensely proud of both girls. But Jenny beat her demons tonight so I don’t think I will meet anyone as brave any time soon. She came around yesterday and we put new ABOC approved super sticky track tires on her bike and she was nervy then.. was waiting when I got to DISC and nervy then. And did just brilliantly.

A weirdness. That goes to it being a very very very small world indeed. One of the other girls at track was talking about her husband. Penny dropped. (no not that Penny. Yes her husband is a perfect notes client. And a good one. And possibly has a netbook for sale.. that might conceivably sort another issue. Amazing huh?