Not sure if this has been posted before, but last month, Austroads released a paper on how to manage bikes on high speed roads. The first few sentences of the summary reads:
This report investigates the provision of facilities for bicycles on sealed roads with speed limits
of 70 km/h or more. It outlines how to improve these roads for cyclists where off-road
alternatives or on-road, lower speed, direct options are not available.
It is a challenging area because the differences in speed and mass of bicycles and high speed
motor vehicles are very different. The greatest road safety benefit will be achieved by separating
cyclists from high speed vehicles. However cyclists are lawful road users and they shouldn’t be
restricted from roads unless alternatives are good quality, lower speed, just as direct and do not
present a higher overall risk to cyclists.
It's nice to see that someone's thinking. Off-road paths generally suck for fast commuters or road cyclists due to the requirement to share with foor traffic, stupid bend radii/cambers, random tree roots and constant interruptions for side roads.
Agree although I'd qualify that: badly designed off-road paths generally suck for fast commuters or road cyclists everybody. The report I think could do much better. Some of the suggested treatments are pretty pointless for fast roads. Once speed limits get to 70km/h and above, cyclists really need to be protected.
Unfortunately what often happens is the sort of treatment that you see along Port Wakefield Road starting at the Northern Expressway intersection. All that has happened is that bicycle stencils have been painted on the edge of the road. Unsurprisingly nobody uses it.
I quite often (haven't recently though) ride from Brighton to Port Noarlunga via Lonsdale Rd - Dyson Rd - Murray Rd.
This road has quite a wide edge (bike lane) almost all the way from Brighton Rd but the biggest issue I see is the amount of debris that exists just off the left traffic lane to the edge of the bitumen.
Ducking around bolts and bits of tyres etc creates more of a hazard on that road than the traffic even though one section has a speed limit of 100k.
Doesn't anyone sweep these roads (to the edge) ?
One significant item in the document above is in the graph on page 4, note the major jump in the probability of fatality when the speed goes just from 40kph to 60kph, 20% to 80%. Says a bit about the ability of drivers I think.
Also worth noting is the second bullet point on item 2.3 on page 5 re debris.
Don't be silly Mike, that's like people fitting a Sturmey Archer 3 speed to the latest Colnago carbon fibre frame - someone's sure to do it but it's not likely.
Mike, you can report cycling hazards of debris on arterial roads to Transport. If an urgent hazard (includes broken glass), phone 1800 018 313 (24-hr).
Yes, have done Heather, got Marion Rd swept between Darlington and Sturt Rd as well as getting a couple of shrubs cut back so that drivers didn't have to poke out in the bike lane to see to the right.
On Sturt Rd they have been installing a gas main at night, when they finish each morning they sweep the road of gravel etc, have a guess where they sweep it to and then leave it ?
Mike, phone DPTI tonight about workers leaving gravel in the Sturt Road bicycle lane.
I think they are just about finished on Sturt Rd Heather, it was happening up to about a week ago.
Back in the seventies (pre Europa **gasp**), I used to ride out to the Levels campus of the Institute of Technology - you younger types would know it as Mawson Lakes.
In those days, I had to ride along the edge of the road, i.e. the six inches between the white line and the edge of the bitumen. The speed limit was 80km/hr and helmets were just a twinkle in a marketing man's eye.
You know what? At the time, I felt rather vulnerable, but in four years, had no close calls and to be honest, I felt safer then than I do on many 60km/hr main roads now.
I believe the difference has two sources. Being in my late teens and early twenties, I hadn't discovered pain yet - when you young types become old buffers, you'll know what I mean. The second is that although everyone treated the speed limit as some sort of obscure guide, there was a LOT less traffic and that made all the difference on all roads.
I used to ride to school up and down Magill Rd and felt perfectly safe (and my parents encouraged it knowing it was more or less safe) - nowadays, the amount of traffic on that road is horrendous.
Same out in the country. I spent much of my working life working on the roads, city and country, and it was a bloody sight more frightening in the latter years than in the early ones.
The single bit of black stuff to suit all worked half a century ago, but I think it's had its day and we need well designed alternatives, not just for idiot push bike riders but for trucks as well - this is already happening of course, but the process is far from finished.
Now, if I could just work out how to mount an anti-tank gun on the Hillbrick ...
Richard, sounds like you need another bike . . . like the one pictured on the group Look For Cyclists intro at http://www.adelaidecyclists.com/group/lookforcyclists
This indicates to me that the problem isn't infrastructure, it's people - but then I already knew that. I felt safer riding along arterials in the mid 90s with no bike lanes than I do now. Driver attitude is worse than it's ever been and so is cyclist attitude (on average).
@Richard, I remember riding along the Main North Road out to Elizabeth to watch Port play the Bulldogs. (I was on my black BSA sturmy archer 3 speed. Great first bike for a 15 year old in the late sixties.) You obviously didn't have to go past the levels, but the next 2 or 3 km from there to the far end of Parafield Airport was terrifying.
As you said, only about six inches to the left of the white lane marker, and then a six inch vertical drop from the bitumen to the dirt verge! I was being buffeted by the cars going past at 80km/hr or more, and the big trucks, and all the time worried about dropping down and off the bitumen and crashing off the bike as the wheels slipped down the cliff and hit the dirt. After all that Port got thrashed. I decided to catch the train home!
Have never done that particular section oif the Main North Road since. Hope they have added a nice wide paved verge, as they have between Elizabeth and Gawler.