Yesterday whilst riding south along Lady Gowrie Drive at Largs Bay (at about 7:20pm – still lots of daylight, with both a front and rear flashing light) I had the unfortunate experience of being cut off by a 4wd that decided at the last moment that turning left to enter Jetty Road was the most important thing in his life. After raising my voice to enquire about his intelligence, it made me think, why does this type of event occur far too often?
The driver of the 4wd had passed me only moments earlier to get to a roundabout before me, then as he was driving a lumbering diesel and I was powering a svelte carbon joy of technology, I was soon right along side. My sixth sense cut in, I realized what he is probably oblivious to, ie what a poor driver he truly is; because in reality I was not totally surprised when he indicated to turn left when only a short distance away from the corner and then proceeded to change direction, even though my front wheel was beside his vehicle as the indicator went on. Not once did his eyes glance in the passenger side external mirror.
Then it dawned on me, it appears that many motorists do not consider a bike land in the same manner that they would give consideration to driving on a dual carriage roadway. One would hope that not many motorists would indicate to turn left to go down a side street from the outside lane of a dual carriage road without making sure that the inside lane was clear of traffic. Alas, that is what happens far too often to cyclists when traveling in a bike lane. I don't know what the answer is, or how to resolve this issue, (maybe as part of driving education bike lanes could be described as being similar to a dual carriageway).
Have others had similar thoughts in relation to the above?
First, as a dad who rides with 3 kids to school and back each day, I ALWAYS ride in front of them on footpaths on the way to school. In truth we have had less than a handful of incidents in the 6 months we have been riding, but one was one too many.
Second, I think there should be changes to the Council Building codes on fences. I think that a 6+ft solid fence is not appropriate to lead out to a footpath, whether the car exiting is traveling in first gear or reverse. Unfortunately, before I got my flat, the Strata had already installed a 6ft fence out the front, but I would remove it in a second if I suddenly owned all of the flats in our block. It's just not safe.
Wise words Wombat, see too many kids riding/walking to school 100m in front of the parents with not a care in the world.
Where I live there are no front fences on any houses, whether this is for aesthetic reasons or to prevent kids being skittled, I don't know.
Again, at the risk of sounding like a smart alec eastern seaboard person, I agree re front fences. In my former home in NSW, tapered front fences (going down to about 1 metre) were compulsory. This headed off potential problems with cyclists and pedestrians.
Agree. Why would you sprint off and ride on the inside of a vehicle full well knowing how incompetent many drivers are?
In those situations you'd be better off sliding in behind them so you can swerve around on the right whilst they're lumbering around the corner.
What about the driver who is behind the cyclist, driving faster so overtakes the cyclist, to then suddenly cut across the bicycle lane and cyclist, to enter a car parking space? The driver can see a vacant parking space in front, but not the cyclist. The last time someone did this to me, I was too busy to take his details and report to SAPOL. But he seemed perplexed when I yelled, "You idiot. Cut me off", as I cycled on.
I've always thought that a painted line is not really sufficient, and that small rumble strips (or those reflective discs) would both improve the visibility of the bike lane at night and provide an audible warning to drivers on entering a lane.
Maybe installing these at LH turns might be a start.
So many marked bike lanes have so many cracks, potholes, debris etc that I find I am often riding on the white line, rumble strips would only make it worse. However where the bike lanes are wide, in good condition and on busy arterial roads rumble strips would be great.
Hi Muscatelle, something called 'running bike lanes' is the new standard in Australia. For a start, the bicycle lane is between the footpath and car parking. So no cars cutting cyclists off to reach car parking, or pulling out without looking. The bicycle lane may be raised or coloured green. Between the cycle lane and car parking is a buffer zone. This is designated by two parallel white lines, with diagonal white lines in between. The buffer zone is wide enough that if a passenger opens a car door, it does not protrude into the bicycle lane. The buffer zone may include white plastic posts or 'candlesticks', and sometimes a special type of rumble. Look under my discussion which is something like ... seeking photos of freight routes with cycle lanes.
Unfortunately SA is behind Victoria in implementation. I asked BikeSouth (now Office of Cycling & Walking) for better placement of bicycle lanes years ago, perhaps in 1993. And what does one do about the old style unsafe bicycle lanes?
Yes, drivers pushing past and slowing right down at roundabouts is probably my most common irritant on the road. The only suggestion I have is to glance back when you're about 20m away, and hop into the centre of the lane if there's anyone coming up behind you.
You might think it's dangerous, but I've done it thousands of times over the years and never had a problem.