Friday, 5 March 2010

Poor cycling infrastructure part 3

Ask any cyclist what they consider to be the biggest risk to them and the answer will usually be car doors. A close second (or even first) for me is intersections.

Here is the intersection between Walkerville Terrace and Stephen Terrace in Walkerville. Here you are looking west:

That faded white line is the cycling infrastructure. Note how it simply disappears at the intersection. It is faded because of cars driving over it. Not that motorists are to blame. It is very easy to miss it.

Across the intersection, the cycle lane is a little clearer. Walkerville Terrace at this point is quite pleasant. The speed limit is 50 km/h, the road is wide and there is only one lane of traffic each side. Although in this picture there are not many parked cars, on many other streets with this type of bike lane, they are a constant hazard. Doors open all the time without warning:

Behind the silver car on the other side of the road you can see a bus stop. There is also one on this side of the road. When the bus stops there, it generally blocks the bike lane and you have to weave into the lane of traffic to get past it. Again, it is not the end of the world but it is one of those pointless obstacles that stop people using alternative forms of transport.

At the end of the road, cyclists are forgotten about again and squashed to the side:

The lane continues around the corner and you are generally expected to join four lanes of traffic speeding along at 60 km/h. Fortunately, most people are not suicidal and ride onto the pavement and then on to Park Terrace which like Mann Terrace (see earlier post) is closed to through traffic.

Normally you would go overseas for an example of how to deal with bus stops but this time you only need to go to Sturt Street in the city. Here is a view from one end of the new completely separated bike lane:

Motorists have space when turning left to allow bikes past first:

And there is plenty of space for parking:

Where the school crossing is cyclists quite rightly have to wait for children to cross first:

There is also no conflict with buses picking up passengers:

In other words: it is safe and feels safe.

The only drawback is that the lane ends abruptly and you are left to fend for yourself with no protection other than a white line:

Still, it's early days yet. Hopefully this is the sign of things to come.

1 comment:

  1. For me the biggest problem is people pulling out of side streets right in front of me.

    The second problem is trying to merge when the cycle lane mysteriously disappears.

    I stay well away from car doors, though it can be difficult in heavy city traffic.