Bourke Street Bicycle Road

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tenspeed

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May 11, 2008, 6:20:26 AM5/11/08
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Anyone got any thoughts about this recent announcement by the Sydney
City Council?

There's some interesting 2007 stuff from when the Sydney City Council
Cycle Plan was launched at:

http://groups.google.com/group/aus.bicycle/browse_thread/thread/6b252d8b773b18f0/fa9f0c752b84cb9b?hl=en&lnk=st&q=bourke+cycleway#

... but the two-way bikepath scheme has since been moved to Bourke
Street (which isn't as wide as Crown Street) and is meeting a lot of
opposition from the residents and cafes there. Some as yet unknown -
but sizeable - number pf parking spots and/or trees will have to go to
squeeze it into the very narrow bit around the "Il Baretto" where
Bourke Street crosses Arthur St in Surry Hills.

The original Crown Street plan is pictured at:

http://www.sydneymedia.com.au/html/3231-new-bicycle-lanes-to-improve-safety.asp

The Bourke Street announcement (pretty light on detail) is at:

http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Development/CityImprovements/RoadsAndStreetscapes/BourkeStCycleRoute.asp

Detailed draft plans (approved in Nov 2007) are at:

http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Council/documents/meetings/2007/Traffic/211107/071121_STC_ITEM34.pdf

Is this going to be safer/faster/better than the existing Bourke
Street Bike Lanes?

Zebee Johnstone

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May 11, 2008, 7:40:35 AM5/11/08
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In aus.bicycle on Sun, 11 May 2008 03:20:26 -0700 (PDT)

tenspeed <tens...@iinet.net.au> wrote:
>
> Is this going to be safer/faster/better than the existing Bourke
> Street Bike Lanes?

Consider the fun if the parked cars are vans or big 4WDs, there's only
one bicycle, and it's a BMX or similar small bike, and a car darts
into a driveway.

I believe that the majority of crashes in places with Copenhagen lanes
are at intersections, partly because the cars don't realise the bikes
will be there, and partly due to sightlines.

Zebee

tenspeed

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May 11, 2008, 8:33:37 AM5/11/08
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Copenhagen lanes?

Hadn't heard that description before; just googled it and all became
clear when I hit the BV website.

Are the Swanston St ones causing the fuss in the forums one-way or
two?

Please excuse my ignorance, have only recently learned that our
current Sydney ones are properly called shoulder lanes.....


On May 11, 9:40 pm, Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:
> In aus.bicycle on Sun, 11 May 2008 03:20:26 -0700 (PDT)
>

Joel Mayes

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May 12, 2008, 3:53:11 AM5/12/08
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On 2008-05-11, tenspeed <tens...@iinet.net.au> wrote:
>
> Anyone got any thoughts about this recent announcement by the Sydney
> City Council?
>
> There's some interesting 2007 stuff from when the Sydney City Council
> Cycle Plan was launched at:
>
>
> ... but the two-way bikepath scheme has since been moved to Bourke
> Street (which isn't as wide as Crown Street) and is meeting a lot of

<SNIP>

IIRC the plan was for a two way bike path on one side of the road i.e.
bikes in two direction cars in one. They tried this in the Netherlands
and bike/car accidents increased by 71% (if my memory serves).

Having traffic coming from an unexpected directions is just a stupid
idea.

Cheers

Joel
--
Human Powered Cycles | High quality servicing and repairs
jo...@humanpowered.com.au | Affordable second hand bikes
(03) 9029 6504 | Bicycle reuse centre
www.humanpowered.com.au | Mechanical and on-road training and instruction

Zebee Johnstone

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May 12, 2008, 4:41:15 AM5/12/08
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In aus.bicycle on 12 May 2008 07:53:11 GMT

Joel Mayes <jo...@muse.ath.cx> wrote:
>
> IIRC the plan was for a two way bike path on one side of the road i.e.
> bikes in two direction cars in one. They tried this in the Netherlands
> and bike/car accidents increased by 71% (if my memory serves).
>

http://cycledog.blogspot.com/2008/01/copenhagen-cycling-not-what-it-seems.html

The construction of cycle tracks has resulted in a slight drop in the
total number of accidents and injuries on the road sections between
junctions of 10% and 4% respectively. At junctions on the other hand,
the number of accidents and injuries has risen significantly, by 18%.
A decline in road safety at junctions has undoubtedly taken place after
the construction of cycle tracks. If the figures for the road sections are
combined with those for the junctions, an increase of 9-10% in accidents
and injuries has taken place.

....The increase in injuries due to the construction of cycle tracks
arises because there are more injuries to pedestrians, cyclists and
moped riders at junctions. There has been an increase of 28%, 22% and 37%
respectively for these three road user groups.

The increase in injuries to women was 18%, whereas there was only a small
rise in injuries to men, just 1%. The increase in injuries is especially
large among females under 20 years of age on foot and bicycle, as well
as female pedestrians over the age of 64. On the other hand, there was a
considerable fall in injuries among older cyclists and children in cars
of both sex.

...From table 1, it can be deduced that the construction of cycle tracks
has resulted in three important gains in road safety: fewer accidents in
which cars hit or ran over cyclists from the rear, fewer accidents with
cyclists turning left and fewer accidents in which cyclists rode into a
parked car. These gains were more than outweighed by new safety problems:
more accidents in which cyclists rode into other cyclists often when
overtaking, more accidents with cars turning right, more accidents in
which cars turning left drove into cyclists as well as more accidents
between cyclists and pedestrians and exiting or entering bus passengers.

Zebee Johnstone

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May 12, 2008, 4:54:59 AM5/12/08
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In aus.bicycle on 12 May 2008 08:41:15 GMT
Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:
> http://cycledog.blogspot.com/2008/01/copenhagen-cycling-not-what-it-seems.html
>

Looking at the full report, the biggie appears to be (as you would
expect) how many vehicles turn across the bike lane.

In the area studied, the construction of the cycle lane meant parking
was removed from the main road, meaning people were now parking on the
side roads - more turning traffic.

It also seems that - again as you would expect - that if you mix bikes
and cars at traffic lights, especially if the cars want to turn and
the bikes want to go straight then that's bad news. I'm not sure what
a "shortened cycle track" is, but I think it's where the copenhagen
lane finishes so the bikes are spat out into the road, and where that
happened and there was no turn lane for cars, so cars and bikes mixed,
then bike injuries increased even though actual crashes decreased.

The injury rate at intersections with Copenhagen lanes increased 45%.

Apparently what increased was right turning (in Oz, left turning)
traffic hitting cyclists. I suspect that's a sightline thing -
drivers not turning their heads to look but relying on mirrors which
are notorious for being badly adjusted and not good at seeing
singletrack vehicles. A driver turning from the far lane has more
vision of the bike lane.

The other big rise was bike on bike action. Usually, it appears, from
passing. I can see that - anyone who rides on bike paths knows the
Sunday rider is as bad as the Sunday driver for having poor lane
discipline and poor awareness.

However...

"The construction of cycle tracks in Copenhagen has resulted in an
increase in cycle traffic of 18-20% and a decline in car traffic of
9-10%. The cycle tracks constructed have resulted in increases in
accidents and injuries of 9-10% on the reconstructed roads"

Stats aren't my strong point, but doesn't that mean that the injury
rate is half the expected increase?

Zebee

tenspeed

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May 12, 2008, 5:57:09 AM5/12/08
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This isn't a new bike route so there's no reason to think that Bourke
Street car traffic will decrease. I think council are hoping that the
two-way bicycle road will encourage more recreational cycling - it's a
pretty street.

The narrow bit is Restaurant Row. It's often very difficult to park at
the moment, with loads of three-point turns into the cross streets
when drivers spot someone pulling out. Seems unlikely that this stuff
will be reduced when the existing bike lanes and half the parking
spaces are replaced by the bicycle road.

The area I'm describing - we often bike around there - is on pages 10
and 11 of the detailed plans, by the way. It's in the background of
the pic in the council announcement leaflet.

-----------

On May 12, 6:54 pm, Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:

<SNIP>

dixie...@gmail.com

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May 12, 2008, 7:45:24 AM5/12/08
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On May 12, 6:54 pm, Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:
> In aus.bicycle on 12 May 2008 08:41:15 GMT
>
> Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >http://cycledog.blogspot.com/2008/01/copenhagen-cycling-not-what-it-s...

That's a pretty stunning set of statistics there. I would be very
interested to know what kind of evidence base council is working from
in terms of claiming this kind of development would then be making the
roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike. Nobody so far has been
able to show me any kind of evidence that this type of development has
worked in the past but maybe I'm just not looking in the right places?

I am tempted to email the woman in charge of the project Fiona Lewis
and ask her about this but to be honest I really don't feel like being
brushed off again like all my other queries have been up to this
point.

fractal

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May 13, 2008, 12:12:42 AM5/13/08
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<dixie...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:b47aea39-5b9b-4824...@1g2000prg.googlegroups.com...

> On May 12, 6:54 pm, Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> In aus.bicycle on 12 May 2008 08:41:15 GMT
>>
>> Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >http://cycledog.blogspot.com/2008/01/copenhagen-cycling-not-what-it-s...
>>
>> Looking at the full report, the biggie appears to be (as you would
>> expect) how many vehicles turn across the bike lane.
>>
>>
snip

>> Zebee
>
> That's a pretty stunning set of statistics there. I would be very
> interested to know what kind of evidence base council is working from
> in terms of claiming this kind of development would then be making the
> roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike. Nobody so far has been
> able to show me any kind of evidence that this type of development has
> worked in the past but maybe I'm just not looking in the right places?
>
> I am tempted to email the woman in charge of the project Fiona Lewis
> and ask her about this but to be honest I really don't feel like being
> brushed off again like all my other queries have been up to this
> point.

The original city bike plan up for submissions didnt have any "Copenhagen
style" lanes in it but somewhere along the line
after the submissions were received and the final plan was released they
appeared. Probably under pressure from local bike groups and
maybe a few councillors who have been to Europe etc and think they know
whats best, or maybe the troglodyte traffic engineers who dont want cyclists
on the road. King St will be the first such 2 way bike lane (down a steep
hill, hate to think of possible handle bar tangles) then Clarence I think it
is, and Bourke St after that. SS Council did part of Bourke St in Surry
Hills a few years ago with a contraflow bike lane with median, but that was
when Bourke St was one way I think, and its flat there. I dont like the idea
of two way bike lanes on hills like Bourke St North. I have a book called
Collection of Cycling Concepts, put out by the Danish Govt for free, and
they dont reccommend two way bike lanes if there are many side streets or
driveways etc, and there aent any pictures of them, so I dont know where the
so called Copenhagen style lanes come from. From memory 10 years ago
Copenhagen had one way separated cycle lanes on its big wide main streets.
So much room it was no wonder everyone rode a bike.

Sorry if that was all one long line but how do you adjust line length in in
Outlook Express?

FB in Syd knee


tenspeed

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May 13, 2008, 4:23:29 AM5/13/08
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On May 13, 2:12 pm, "fractal" <no...@yeahyeahyeah.org> wrote:
> <dixie.d...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> news:b47aea39-5b9b-4824...@1g2000prg.googlegroups.com...
>
>

> The original city bike plan up for submissions didnt have any "Copenhagen
> style" lanes in it but somewhere along the line
> after the submissions were received and the final plan was released they
> appeared. Probably under pressure from local bike groups and
> maybe a few councillors who have been to Europe etc and think they know
> whats best, or maybe the troglodyte traffic engineers who dont want cyclists
> on the road. King St  will be the first such 2 way bike lane (down a steep
> hill, hate to think of possible handle bar tangles) then Clarence I think it
> is, and Bourke St after that. SS Council did part of Bourke St in Surry
> Hills a few years ago with a contraflow bike lane with median, but that was
> when Bourke St was one way I think, and its flat there. I dont like the idea
> of two way bike lanes on hills like Bourke St North. I have a book called
> Collection of Cycling Concepts, put out by the Danish Govt for free, and
> they dont reccommend two way bike lanes if there are many side streets or
> driveways etc, and there aent any pictures of them, so I dont know where the
> so called Copenhagen style lanes come from. From memory 10 years ago
> Copenhagen had  one way separated cycle lanes on its big wide main streets.
> So much room it was no wonder everyone rode a bike.
>
> Sorry if that was all one long line but how do you adjust line length in in
> Outlook Express?
>
> FB in Syd knee


Just done a search or ten. BINGO!

Looks as if a "focus group" of "potential cyclists" was shown pics of
various sorts of bike lanes and thought the two-way ones looked nice:

http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Council/documents/meetings/2007/Committee/Planning/260307/070326_PDTC_ITEM02_ATTACHMENTE.PDF

This is borne out by the tone of the press stuff when the plan was
released.:

http://www.bicyclensw.org.au/Assets/Downloads/080208%20bourke%20st%20cycleway.pdf


Zebee Johnstone

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May 13, 2008, 4:51:14 AM5/13/08
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In aus.bicycle on Tue, 13 May 2008 01:23:29 -0700 (PDT)

tenspeed <tens...@iinet.net.au> wrote:
>
> Looks as if a "focus group" of "potential cyclists" was shown pics of
> various sorts of bike lanes and thought the two-way ones looked nice:

Hmm.. couple that with this report about gut feel safety assessment
often being wrong...

http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/think-before-you-leap/2008/05/11/1210444242976.html

" "People are not accustomed to thinking hard," writes Daniel
Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, "and are often content
to trust a plausible judgement that quickly comes to mind"."

""Psychology and media aside, a third element skewing our perceptions
of risk is marketing. Simply put, fear is useful. Fear sells products.
Fear wins votes. Fear attracts public attention. "

People with little or no experience of cycling in traffic fear
traffic. And so see something that "looks right" and think it is
right. THinking hard about it, using intelligence and looking for
problems is too hard (and probably not worth the effort for a bit of
focus group silliness).

Zebee

terryc

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May 13, 2008, 5:13:15 AM5/13/08
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On Tue, 13 May 2008 01:23:29 -0700, tenspeed wrote:

> Looks as if a "focus group" of "potential cyclists" was shown pics of
> various sorts of bike lanes and thought the two-way ones looked nice:

Yer, I can imagine what sort of cyclists the focus group consisted of.
They have focus groups that choose the adverts we see. Nuff said.

Fractal

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May 14, 2008, 7:49:47 AM5/14/08
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"terryc" <newssixs...@woa.com.au> wrote in message
news:pan.2008.05.13....@woa.com.au...

Bumped in to one of the consultants who is designing the Bourke St bike
lane. He said they were aware of the dangers from turning motorists at
intersections. They are going to do away with the median approaching the
intersection and "curve in" the bike lane so it is next to the traffic lane,
with only a white line separating bikes from cars. This is to promote better
visibility. Still have to trust motorists not to turn across your path. And
how does a cyclist make a turn from wrong side of road and across the path
of other cyclists, particularly if there are a lot of cyclists?

There is an example on Marsh St (the road past the Airport) in Arncliffe on
the Tempe/Botany Bay cycle path. A two way shared path crosses Innesdale St
and motorists turning right off Marsh St at speed are a threat to any
cyclist heading south unless you keep a sharp lookout over left shoulder,
and left turning motorists are also a threat. The next cross street has
lights so easier to negotiate.

fb


tenspeed

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May 14, 2008, 12:34:58 PM5/14/08
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On May 14, 9:49 pm, "Fractal" <fractalbugNOS...@aussie.yahoo> wrote:
> "terryc" <newssixspam-s...@woa.com.au> wrote in message
>
> news:pan.2008.05.13....@woa.com.au...
>
<SNIP>

> Bumped in to one of the consultants who is designing the Bourke St bike
> lane. He said they were aware of the dangers from turning motorists at
> intersections. They are going to do away with the median approaching the
> intersection and "curve in" the bike lane so it is next to the traffic lane,
> with only a white line separating bikes from cars. This is to promote better
> visibility. Still have to trust motorists not to turn across your path. And
> how does a cyclist make a turn from wrong side of road and across the path
> of other cyclists, particularly if there are a lot of cyclists?
>
> There is an example on Marsh St (the road past the Airport) in Arncliffe on
> the Tempe/Botany Bay cycle path. A two way shared path crosses Innesdale St
> and motorists turning right off Marsh St  at speed are a threat to any
> cyclist heading south unless you keep a sharp lookout over left shoulder,
> and left turning motorists are also a threat. The next cross street has
> lights so easier to negotiate.
>
> fb

-----------------------------

Interesting.

A wiggly bicycle road, eh?

Looking at my Gregorys (ancient 2nd edition Maxi - map11) that's 5
cross-streets in the half kilometre between Devonshire St and Fitzroy
St. Not a raceway, then :)

Will we be compelled to use it rather than the main roadway?
Presumably the shoulder lanes will be removed to make space for the
bicycle road..

20cents

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May 14, 2008, 10:59:52 PM5/14/08
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In article
<0017d3bf-f482-4d42...@a9g2000prl.googlegroups.com>,
tenspeed <tens...@iinet.net.au> wrote:

> This isn't a new bike route so there's no reason to think that Bourke
> Street car traffic will decrease. I think council are hoping that the
> two-way bicycle road will encourage more recreational cycling - it's a
> pretty street.

Of course there has to be a means of reaching Bourke St in the first
place so that you can enjoy promenading on the bicycle. Or will it be
like Centennial Park where people drive to the park with bike on the
rack?

Do they intend to instal an appropriate number of bike racks to allow us
to stop for a drink and snack?

>
> The narrow bit is Restaurant Row. It's often very difficult to park at
> the moment, with loads of three-point turns into the cross streets
> when drivers spot someone pulling out. Seems unlikely that this stuff
> will be reduced when the existing bike lanes and half the parking
> spaces are replaced by the bicycle road.

I am not as confident.

Drivers will, as they do in my neck of the woods, concentrate on finding
a parking spot next to the cafe/restaurant and 'to hell' with anything
or anyone that gets in the way.

How do they intend to mitigate against the Australian drivers' fixation
with 'must speed up and pass cyclist because I need to turn left' that
causes us cyclists all sorts of angst. Probably not as bad for regular
road warriors but the weekend cyclist is going to feel intimidated.

And that is before they address the problem of the drivers making mobile
phone calls to explain to their friends at the cafe they are only five
minutes away.
>


20cents

PeteSig

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May 16, 2008, 11:07:01 PM5/16/08
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"Zebee Johnstone" <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:slrng2dmpj...@gmail.com...

Jaaysus!!!

Would it be too much to expect that our TERTIARY qualified TRANSPORT
PLANNERS might have the gumption to do a bit of a search of overseas
experiences, before istalling patently unsafe traffic devices.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segregated_cycle_facilities

"For urban roads, with many junctions, accident analysis suggests the
opposite, that segregated cycling facilities are likely to produce a net
increase in the number of collisions. These conclusions are supported by the
experience of countries that have implemented segregated cycling facilities.
In the U.S.[34], UK[35], Germany, Sweden[36], Denmark[37], Canada [38] and
Finland[39], it has been found that cycling on roadside urban cycle
tracks/sidepaths results in significant, up to 12 fold, increases in the
rate of car/bicycle collisions. At a 1990 European conference on cycling,
the term Russian roulette was openly used to describe the use of roadside
cycle paths.[40]"

"In Helsinki, research has shown that cyclists are safer cycling on the
roads mixed in with the traffic than they are using that city's 800 km of
cycle paths [41]. The Berlin police and Senate conducted studies which led
to a similar conclusion in the 1980s [42]. In Berlin 10% of the roads have
cycle paths but these produce 75% of fatalities and serious injuries among
cyclists [43]. In the UK town of Milton Keynes it has been shown that
cyclists using the "off-road" Milton Keynes redway system have, on a per
journey basis, a significantly higher rate of fatal car-bicycle collisions
than cyclists who simply cycle on the ordinary unsegregated roads[35]. Cycle
lanes / bike lanes are less dangerous than cycle paths in urban situations
but even well-implemented examples have still been associated with 10%
increases in casualty rates."

Helsinki has many kms of two-way cycle lanes, and for 'wrong way' cyclists
they are 10 times more dangerous than cycling on the road.


tenspeed

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May 17, 2008, 11:54:00 AM5/17/08
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On May 17, 1:07 pm, "PeteSig" <pete...@bigpond.com> wrote:
<SNIP>


Just tried the "Sidepath Suitability Score" after following up the
Wiki stuff (thanks Pete):

http://www.bikelib.org/roads/blos/sidepathinfo.htm

Used a Gregory's to count the intersections on the west side of Bourke
St. Doesn't show the driveways so made a few guesses.

Score was between 17 and 31 depending on the guesses.

Guidelines say over 10 = silly idea.

And thats for a one-way path (Council plan is for a two-way one).

This is not looking good,

Anyone know why BicycleNSW are supporting it in their newsletter?


Adrian Tritschler

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May 17, 2008, 6:42:25 PM5/17/08
to
tenspeed <tens...@iinet.net.au> writes:

> On May 17, 1:07 pm, "PeteSig" <pete...@bigpond.com> wrote:
> <SNIP>
>> Jaaysus!!!
>>
>> Would it be too much to expect that our TERTIARY qualified TRANSPORT
>> PLANNERS might have the gumption to do a bit of a search of overseas
>> experiences, before istalling patently unsafe traffic devices.
>>
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segregated_cycle_facilities

..snipped for brevity...

> Just tried the "Sidepath Suitability Score" after following up the
> Wiki stuff (thanks Pete):
>
> http://www.bikelib.org/roads/blos/sidepathinfo.htm
>
> Used a Gregory's to count the intersections on the west side of Bourke
> St. Doesn't show the driveways so made a few guesses.
>
> Score was between 17 and 31 depending on the guesses.
>
> Guidelines say over 10 = silly idea.
>
> And thats for a one-way path (Council plan is for a two-way one).
>
> This is not looking good,
>
> Anyone know why BicycleNSW are supporting it in their newsletter?

Because it is infrastructure and infrastructure is easy. Bike groups
and governments love infrastructure. They can say "Give us X dollars
and we'll build Y km of bike paths and all will be well". They can say
"In our term in office we built Y km of bike paths aren't we good".
What they can't do is say "We'll change the attitudes of majority of
Aussie commo-ford drivers so they don't try to kill anyone not inside
their protective metal boxes".

Adrian

Tomasso

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May 17, 2008, 7:01:13 PM5/17/08
to

"Adrian Tritschler" <ajft6...@bigpond.com.au> wrote in message news:kgrmymo...@fafnir.ajft.org...
>...

> What they can't do is say "We'll change the attitudes of majority of
> Aussie commo-ford drivers so they don't try to kill anyone not inside
> their protective metal boxes".

All it would take is a length of bailer twine from the front bumper to the driver's testicles (or whatever they have in that place).

Any minor bump would be felt.

It would even out the playing field.

Serious caution would ensue - except for the masochists, and they could be kept happy by cyclists kicking their front bumper while
waiting patiently at a red light...

T.

tenspeed

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May 19, 2008, 11:38:50 AM5/19/08
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Back to my earlier questions:

Surely this bicycle road better than the existing shoulder lanes?

BicycleNSW (I joined for the insurance) is telling me to vote for the
scheme.

Why is Council spending all this money and upsetting so many people if
there is no upside?

All the Council adverts say this is going to make things safer for
cyclists.

Everyone in this thread seems to think the bicycle road will be more
dangerous than the existing shoulder lanes.

This all very confusing.

Surely someone out there thinks that this is a good idea?

Zebee Johnstone

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May 19, 2008, 4:06:39 PM5/19/08
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In aus.bicycle on Mon, 19 May 2008 08:38:50 -0700 (PDT)

tenspeed <tens...@iinet.net.au> wrote:
> Back to my earlier questions:
>
> Surely this bicycle road better than the existing shoulder lanes?

Define better.

What do you want in a bicycle lane? I want ease of use - which to me
means I am the traffic and want to have the same options they do.

I also want safety, meaning I want to be visible and for cars to know
I am there.

>
> BicycleNSW (I joined for the insurance) is telling me to vote for the
> scheme.

Because they want facilities, any facilities. THey are scared that if
they object then the various levels of government will say "this or
nothing, Ok then: nothing"

>
> Why is Council spending all this money and upsetting so many people if
> there is no upside?

Because they must do something, this is something, so they'll do it.

Besides - most of them are not cyclists. They are going on the first
gut feeling "ah, that must be safer" rather than really investigating
the thing. Councils aren't particualrly bright. Plus they asked
other non-cyclists who validated the choice.

It does look safer for sure. Until you thnk to yourself "OK, I'm a
left turning car. What can I see?"

As part of my feedback to the council I pointed the left turn problem
out and suggested a speed hump at the entrance to every crossing of
the lane, and motorcycle parking only either side of each crossing.
That's going to be about the best you can do to give left turning
drivers vision into the lane. The hump will slow them down enough for
cyclists to ahve a chance to stop before the car violates their right
of way and hits 'em....

>
> All the Council adverts say this is going to make things safer for
> cyclists.

And all the car adverts say you will pull members of the appropriate
sex if you buy their car. You believe that too?

>
> Everyone in this thread seems to think the bicycle road will be more
> dangerous than the existing shoulder lanes.

Yes. Because most people here are experienced cyclists. Meaning they
know how to handle traffic so traffic isn't scary.

Non-cyclists feel that being without some form of cage whether that's
metal or concrete dividers is too scary.

So the council hopes this will encourage more cyclists to use it. And
it might until someone gets hurt. And then the non-cyclists will
think "it really is too dangerous to ride a bike!"

>
> This all very confusing.
>
> Surely someone out there thinks that this is a good idea?

Obviously someone at the council does. Now, if you ask "does someone
out there who is an experienced cyclist or comes from a country where
cycling is a normal mode of transport think that this is a good idea
on a street with lots of intersections" you will get a different
answer.

The council didn't ask. Or if they did, they asked BNSW who have
never said no to any cycling facility no matter how useless because
they think if they do then they will be pilloried for it.

WHich makes them a useless advocacy group. WHich annoys the shit out
of me but I can't see any way to fix it.

Zebee
- who dislikes fear as a way of doing business, but the state
government loves it.

Duncan

unread,
May 19, 2008, 10:35:02 PM5/19/08
to
On May 20, 6:06 am, Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:
> In aus.bicycle on Mon, 19 May 2008 08:38:50 -0700 (PDT)
>
> tenspeed <tensp...@iinet.net.au> wrote:
> > Everyone in this thread seems to think the bicycle road will be more
> > dangerous than the existing shoulder lanes.
>
> Yes. Because most people here are experienced cyclists. Meaning they
> know how to handle traffic so traffic isn't scary.

<lots of good points snipped>

What I personally hate most about poorly thought out bicycle
facilities, is that drivers then ask (justifiably so, imho), why you
aren't using them. Of course by 'ask', I mean anything from a
bewildered look to outright abuse and trying to force you off the
road.

duncan (definitely a fan of off road paths, but keep the useless
painted lines under kerbside parking, paths that cross busy roads at
ill-thought out intersections and the like to yourselves)

20cents

unread,
May 20, 2008, 1:49:38 AM5/20/08
to
In article <slrng33nef...@gmail.com>,
Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:

> In aus.bicycle on Mon, 19 May 2008 08:38:50 -0700 (PDT)
> tenspeed <tens...@iinet.net.au> wrote:
> > Back to my earlier questions:
> >
> > Surely this bicycle road better than the existing shoulder lanes?
>

(snipped)


>
> The council didn't ask. Or if they did, they asked BNSW who have
> never said no to any cycling facility no matter how useless because
> they think if they do then they will be pilloried for it.

Well, they must have asked because you provided feedback. No?


>
> WHich makes them a useless advocacy group. WHich annoys the shit out
> of me but I can't see any way to fix it.

Write to the BNSW?
Get on BNSW committee?


>
> Zebee
> - who dislikes fear as a way of doing business, but the state
> government loves it.

OK, so the consensus is that a separate bike lane is a bad idea.

What is the solution that satisfies:
a. local residents,
b. cyclists,
c. motor vehiclists, and
d. council.

Why not instal an amber flashing light or LED warning sign at the
intersection that is activated by a motion detector, aimed at the bike
lane, and powered by solar? The technology is simple and cheap.

cheers,
20cents

Zebee Johnstone

unread,
May 20, 2008, 2:29:03 AM5/20/08
to
In aus.bicycle on Tue, 20 May 2008 05:49:38 GMT

20cents <nor...@bigpond.com> wrote:
> In article <slrng33nef...@gmail.com>,
> Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> The council didn't ask. Or if they did, they asked BNSW who have
>> never said no to any cycling facility no matter how useless because
>> they think if they do then they will be pilloried for it.
>
> Well, they must have asked because you provided feedback. No?

They asked a bunch of people before putting up anything else. True,
it isn't built. However it's rather a fair old way along the track.

I suspect they may be getting more opposition than they bargained for
as they are calling some public meetings with very short notice. As
in this Saturday.

>>
>> WHich makes them a useless advocacy group. WHich annoys the shit out
>> of me but I can't see any way to fix it.
>
> Write to the BNSW?
> Get on BNSW committee?

I am already on an advocacy committee, more than one is not really
doable to do them well. I also don't have a rep in the bicycle world
which you must have if you are going to try and move a committee into
a different way of doing things.


> OK, so the consensus is that a separate bike lane is a bad idea.
>
> What is the solution that satisfies:
> a. local residents,
> b. cyclists,
> c. motor vehiclists, and
> d. council.


The problem isn't Bourke St. The problem is the general concept of
what bicycles are for. And the relative value of the car and the
bicycle.

No solution that doesn't recognise those things will work.

You can only keep bicycles safe by increasing their numbers.

You can only increase their numbers by making them more attractive and
cars less attractive.

You make them more attractive by making them more desirable as
transport which means making cars less desirable. You make them more
desirable by changing the relative values. For example, in a car/bike
crash, shift the onus to the driver - they had to prove the bicycle
was behaving badly such as being unlit at night or weaving wildly.
Otherwise any crash is their fault.

Can't see that happening, can you?


>
> Why not instal an amber flashing light or LED warning sign at the
> intersection that is activated by a motion detector, aimed at the bike
> lane, and powered by solar? The technology is simple and cheap.

Might work if it was also triggered by a car at the turn threshold.
So it only flashes if someone's trying to turn. Because otherwise it
is always flashing and will be tuned out.

Now, how to determine a car (which may not be stopped) is turning in
time to signal the driver?

Zebee

tenspeed

unread,
May 20, 2008, 6:24:27 AM5/20/08
to
On May 20, 4:29 pm, Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:
<SNIP>

> I suspect they may be getting more opposition than they bargained for
> as they are calling some public meetings with very short notice.  As
> in this Saturday.
<SNIP>

Anyone seen this doc (emailed from one of the action groups):

World's Worst Practice?

In February 2007, the City of Sydney Council released their "Cycle
Strategy and Action Plan 2007-2017" (#1). After focus groups were
hired to gauge community reaction to photographs of various types of
cycling facility (#2), a last-minute addition to this Plan (Section
4.10) announced that "all routes on local roads that have either
bicycle shoulder lanes, bicycle lanes or are 12.8 metres or wider will
be examined for implementation" (of) "bi-directional separated bicycle
roads".

This came as a surprise to most of the people who had made submissions
to Council on the draft strategy put out to public exhibition in
August and September 2006 (#3), in which there was no reference to
such an obsolete and thoroughly discredited inner-city "sidepath"
design.

It was greeted with ridicule by cyclists (#4), many of whom were aware
of the overwhelming body of well-researched opinion and accident
statistics indicating that these "bi-directional separated bicycle
roads" would be far more dangerous than the shoulder lanes that they
were to replace (#5).

A press announcement ("New bicycle lanes to improve safety")
accompanied the launch, featuring a "photomontage" of a "bicyclised"
Crown Street, with the buses airbrushed out (#6). Nothing more was
heard of such a plan, possibly after unanswerable questions were asked
by State Transit.

Informed cyclists assumed - with relief - that the whimsical plan to
build "bi-directional separated bicycle roads" had been quietly
shelved, particularly after Copenhagen Council commissioned and - with
considerable embarassment - published (#7) yet another analysis of the
devastating effect on pedestrian and cyclist injuries of even one-way
cyclepaths in an inner-city situation with multiple cross-streets.

Residents and local businesses were unconcerned - there is (as of May
13 2008) no reference to "bi-directional separated bicycle roads" in
Council's "Inner East Local Action Plan" (#8). They were similarly not
mentioned at the Surry Hills (#9) and City East (#10) LATM meetings in
November and December 2007.

However, unbeknownst to the community, Council's "Sydney Traffic
Committee" had quietly approved detailed draft plans (#11) for a
"Bourke Street Bicycle Road" on 21 November 2007. The plans were
tabled by Ms Fiona Lewis, later to be despatched into the community to
defend the concept without - it appeared - permission to acknowledge
the existence of these plans.

A press release from Clover Moore on 8 February 2007 (#12) stating
that "construction on a 3.2 km separated cycle way connecting
Woolloomooloo with Zetland is expected to commence later this year"
went largely unnoticed by the community. Clover went on to say -
astonishingly - that "this increases safety by removing the conflict
between cyclists and cars" and alluded to the Focus Group report on
the sorts of facilities preferred by "potential cyclists".

The first that most of the community heard of this was in late March
and early April 2008, when a glossy leaflet (#13) was slipped under
their doors announcing that "The City of Sydney is introducing a
dedicated separated bicycle route along Bourke Street". The leaflet
featured another "photomontage", this time of a three-lane part of
Bourke Street with the new bikepath and an extra traffic lane
airbrushed in.

Local residents and businesses were not impressed, particularly when
they unearthed Ms Lewis' detailed plans (#11) and saw that most of the
pretty plane trees - and the pedestrian refuge - in the background of
the shot were earmarked for removal, along with much of the street
parking around Arthur Street outside two popular restaurants and a
pub.

Safety issues apart, the fundamental flaw of this proposal is that its
12.8 metre cross-section (the minimum allowable under RTA guidelines
(#14), and calculable from - although carefully not spelled out in -
Council's glossy leaflet) is up to two metres wider than much of the
narrow, twisting, Heritage-listed part of Bourke Street that runs
through Surry Hills.

Local cyclists, pedestrians, residents and business immediately
showered Ms Lewis, Councillors and Clover Moore with letters, but
have received no concrete answers whatsoever to their specific
questions - which revolve around safety, damage to the streetscape,
and the loss of street parking.

Council have been inconsistent and evasive on these issues, but it
appears that at least 12 trees (Monica Barone's undated letter to
residents) (#15) and "approximately 13" (#13) west-side parking
spaces will go; there are abundant reports of residents being
verbally advised by Council officers that they can trade-off between
the century-old plane trees that line the street and their on-street
parking, at an exchange rate of two parking spaces per tree.

Most residents have bravely voted for the trees, although a close
examination of the detailed draft plans (#11) shows the "bicycle road"
reducing roadway width to around 6 metres in places where Council
staff have verbally assured residents that east-side parking and the
two traffic lanes will remain unchanged - truly a miracle of
engineering.

Residents are similarly unconvinced by Council officers' verbal
assurances that the 12-30 or more parking spaces destined for removal
can be "relocated" to narrow and already overcrowded sidestreets.

Thus, in May 2008, we find a demonstrably dangerous "bi-directional
separated bicycle road" which was never put out to public exhibition
being shoehorned into an undersized, Heritage-listed streetscape by
elected officials who have - as far as we can ascertain - thusfar
refused to answer any of the questions raised by residents and
businesses affected by the scheme via thousands of letters, petitions
and emails.

A "detailed map" released on 14 May (#16) adds fuel to the flames of
resident anger by showing little detail, echoes previous nonsense
about creating replacement parking spaces out of thin air, and
overstates the width of the "narrow" bit of Bourke Street by a metre.

This is all an absolute disgrace. The scheme should be abandoned
immediately, before more ratepayers' funds are frittered away on this
dangerous, destructive, undemocratic and poorly-researched flight of
fancy.

The safe solution is to slow Bourke St to 30Km/hr or less, paint it
green and run it as a shared traffic zone. Add angle parking (as
currently exists in Gt Buckingham Street et al) to stop door-opening-
on-cyclist injuries - which the proposed bicycle road does little to
prevent. Cyclists, residents and local businesses would be overjoyed.
It should have been done years ago.

The remaining funds should be immediately reallocated to building the
vital "missing links" between bicycle-friendly parts of the city and
into genuine and proven schemes to increase cycling safety and
participation.

We sincerely hope that this shambles is not representative of the
quality of research, design and management behind "Sustainable Sydney
2030".

======================================================================

References:

(#1) http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/AboutSydney/documents/ParkingAndTransport/Cycling/CycleStrategyAndActionPlan2007-2017.pdf

(#2) http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Council/documents/meetings/2007/Committee/Planning/260307/070326_PDTC_ITEM02_ATTACHMENTE.PDF

(#3)
http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/council/documents/meetings/2006/Committee/Planning/310706/31-07-06_PDTC_ITEM172006-ATTACHMENTA1.PDF

(#4) http://groups.google.com/group/aus.bicycle/browse_thread/thread/6b252d8b773b18f0?hl=en

(#5) Too numerous to list. Google for "safety" and "sidepath".

(#6) http://www.sydneymedia.com.au/html/3231-new-bicycle-lanes-to-improve-safety.asp

(#7) http://www.trafitec.dk/pub/Road%20safety%20and%20percieved%20risk%20of%20cycle%20tracks%20and%20lanes%20in%20Copenhagen.pdf

(#8) http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Development/documents/LocalActionPlans/InnerEastLAP07.pdf

(#9) http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Council/documents/meetings/2007/PublicMeetings/SurryHillsLATMFlyer211107.pdf

(#10) http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Council/documents/meetings/2007/PublicMeetings/CityEastLATM131207.pdf

(#11) http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Council/documents/meetings/2007/Traffic/211107/071121_STC_ITEM34.pdf

(#12) http://www.bicyclensw.org.au/Assets/Downloads/080208%20bourke%20st%20cycleway.pdf

(#13) http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Development/documents/CityImprovements/BourkeStCycleRoute/BourkeStCycleways_V1.pdf

(#14) http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/downloads/technicalmanuals/nswbicyclev12_i.pdf

(#15) Could not be found at the Council website but freely available
from local residents

(#16) http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Development/documents/CityImprovements/BourkeStCycleRoute/Precinct2c.pdf

Shane Stanley

unread,
May 22, 2008, 9:05:15 AM5/22/08
to
In article <slrng33nef...@gmail.com>,
Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:

> The council didn't ask. Or if they did, they asked BNSW who have
> never said no to any cycling facility no matter how useless because
> they think if they do then they will be pilloried for it.
>
> WHich makes them a useless advocacy group.

They're not alone. From the latest Bicycle Victoria mail-out:

> Sydney: Bourke St is copping a bit of criticism
> If you know someone who lives in Sydney please ask them to write in support
> <http://www.bv.com.au/change-the-world/41281/> .

--
Shane Stanley

Travis

unread,
May 25, 2008, 11:01:24 AM5/25/08
to


I'm often in those focus groups, every few months I get called in to
give my opinions on all kinds of random crap, like for example an
advertising campaign about to commence for a big company, a political
session for marginal seat voters just before the election,
questioetc. They're not entirely stupid, though there is a cross
section of people in these things and therefore a few opinions
expressed which were a little bit dumb... :)

They're not bad. You get between $50 and $100 in your hand for an
hour of two of talking. There are usually snacks, cans of drink, and
icy cold pizza on offer.

I got on their list by not rudely hanging up on a telemarketer, at the
end of the call I was asked if I'd like to attend paid focus groups,
but you can register for focus groups yourself here in Perth at
http://www.wcfs.com.au/

No idea about where you'd register in the eastern states for a focus
group, but I'm sure you could find something in Google.

And maybe next time there is a cycling focus group, some people who
aren't "differently clued" about cycling might be consulted. ;P

And if you think the ads which get aired are bad, you should see the
ones we reject!

Travis

Travis

unread,
May 25, 2008, 11:12:53 AM5/25/08
to
Actually I found this in Google: http://www.amsrs.com.au/index.cfm?a=directory2004

It is a list of market research firms, for anyone wanting to sign up
for focus groups. It is Australia-wide.

It is more lucrative for some groups than others. I think everyone
gets paid the same, but depending on your demographics they may call
on you more frequently or less frequently, as a function of how many
people they have on their list with the required demographics. I'm a
30-something male, which apparently is a hard to find group for them,
so I do a number of these every year.

Travis

terryc

unread,
May 25, 2008, 10:01:08 PM5/25/08
to
On Sun, 25 May 2008 08:01:24 -0700, Travis wrote:

> And if you think the ads which get aired are bad, you should see the
> ones we reject!

BTDT, that was why my comments. At one stage I too was in the hard to
obtain group. Mostly I found that the groups in general were good at
picking up the subtle hints given; aka if you give the results they
want, they get you to come more.

slowly...@gmail.com

unread,
May 27, 2008, 7:53:36 PM5/27/08
to
> >  Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
<snip for brevity>

>
> I suspect they may be getting more opposition than they bargained for
> as they are calling some public meetings with very short notice.  As
> in this Saturday.


Went along to the Surry Hills one. Standing room only. Run by a
busload of hired facilitators. More a lecture than a meeting. No
questions allowed. Lots of booing when they announced this bit.

The new deal is lose three parking spots to save each tree. More
booing.

Interestingly nobody contradicted the local view that the thing is
unsafe because Surry Hills is a mass of intersections.

slowly...@gmail.com

unread,
Jun 10, 2008, 7:29:27 PM6/10/08
to
> On May 20, 4:29 pm, Zebee Johnstone <zeb...@gmail.com> wrote:
> <SNIP>> I suspect they may be getting more opposition than they bargained for
> > as they are calling some public meetings with very short notice.  As
> > in this Saturday.
>
> <SNIP>
>
> Anyone seen this doc (emailed from one of the action groups):
>
> World's Worst Practice?
>
> <SNIP>


There's an updated version of this report (?letter?) called The Bourke
Street Cycleway - World's Worst Practice? on the web at

http://www.sustainablesydney.net/Bourke%20Street%20Cycleway.htm

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