Thought I'd post this since Australia always seems much more obsessed with copying American infrastructure than European, so to avoid waiting 20-40 years here it is:
IMHO (having grown up in Denmark and lived in Adelaide for a number of years) this section is the most important:
"Separated bike facilities
yep hence it gets even more frustrating when so much energy and time is wasted on discussing how it should be implemented here. Surely plagiarism is not always a bad thing.
I just want to return to Vienna. :)
In 2005, I cycled about 300 km in the north and north east of Austria. I found drivers there were very courtious and aware of cyclists, and that included drivers of heavy farm machinary moving from farm to farm. In the town of Stockerou, almost every shop had a bike rack out the front, and many people of all ages came to town on bikes.
it depends on priorities I guess but yes I never thought I would get 'home sick' of something as mundane as bicycle infrastructure.
Just downloaded this book yesterday and I think it may hold the answer (or at least a prediction) to which places are great to live in and will become succesfull in the future. Wonder if Adelaide will be in the mix.
and here is another interesting article
I thought this point interesting:
German law requires motorists to proactively anticipate possible hazardous behavior of cyclists and peds and take steps to avoid injuring them, or will be found liable if they collide.
Would that be Strict Liability Legislation or some other similar thing?
rossmg, yes a form of Strict Liability Legislation.
In Sep-2011 I heard a Dutch road safety expert talk about cycling in The Netherlands, with some comparison with Australia. He said that a driver cannot use excuse that "the cyclist wobbled" because not unusual for a cyclist to wobble (especially when starting pedalling from traffic lights), so drivers must predict and allow for this. In Adelaide a truckie can successfully use that excuse after appearing to overtake a cyclist too closely in an intersection (a female Prospect cyclist killed at Cavan). The road safety expert said that a driver cannot use excuse that "the child cyclist came from nowhere" because children can be unpredictable and driver must allow for that. Consider that a good Australian driver will allow for half-predictable behaviour of other drivers to protect themselves and their vehicle. What is so hard about looking for objects as large as people (cyclists and pedestrians) and catering for their safety, especially when it means following ARR?
I also found it particularly interesting that in The Netherlands a road planner and road safety expert caters for all road users, including cyclists. Not a separated skill or knowledge. That might explain why Dutch roundabouts are superior to Australian roundabouts. The designs here improve safety of vehicle occupants and decrease safety of vulnerable cyclists. For more on this, look for studies by Australian Bob Cumming.
I am neither a road safety expert (although I sometimes think it shouldn't take much in this country) or a legal expert but you can pretty much replace 'Ducth' with 'Danish' in above.
Just to give you a couple of examples from Denmark:
When doing your drivers license in Denmark your are told and tested in the exam (theory and practical which are very comprehensive by Australian comparison) to look out for cyclist and expect the unexpected. Driving behind a bike rider riding uphill for example means you need to leave extra space because of wobble etc.
If/when car/cyclist accidents occur the 'softer traficant' (being the bicyclist) has from the word go always got the upper hand. I cannot find the ruleset but what it means is that the car driver is always at fault, even if the bike rider was not wearing light for example, since the car driver is heavier/more dangerous than the bicyclists. (this may explain why you cannot loose you license for riding DIY, since you are not perceived dangerours to anyone but yourself).
The ruleset is to leaned towards protecting the 'softer traficant' that if a bike rider rides into a parked car (which has a driver in it ready to drive off - or has just stopped) then the insurance of the car drivers covers bodily harm of the bike rider. Bit 'absurd' perhaps but again the responsibility of he who has the most dangerous vehicle prevails.
Again I am no legal expert, and this is all written in laymans terms but it nevertheless reflect the mentallity, approach and culture around road rules in regards to bicyclists as perceived by anyone who has got a drivers license.
My driver training is Germany was the same. It is drilled into you to pre-empt mistakes by cyclists, pedestrians and indeed other motorists.
In addition, the Dutch and Danish have designed a system that, wherever possible, reduces the conflict between various road users. On fast roads, cyclists have their own designated (and generous) space so the chances of "coming out of nowhere" and being crushed by a truck are minimised.
correct. The 'only'/biggest problem with bicyclists being killed in traffic are related to trucks turning right (think left). The victims are usually women/kids who do not anticipate when a truck veer left to do sharp right hand turn (to ensure the rear of the truck clears the corner).
To reduce risk trucks are fitted with 3 mirrors (mandatory)on right hand side (1 looking straight down, and 1 wide angle), bike tracks are 'pulled forward' from stopping line for motorists in traffic lights, truck driver education emphasises this risk etc. Again lots to be learned, but let's start with some simple proper bike infrastructure like segregated bike tracks...
I did some research on all this stuff a few years ago. I concluded that it's not that these Eu countries somehow have managed to develop 'cycling friendly laws'. What I found they have managed to do is establish a different set of 'bicycle friendly' legal precedents. Law is a dynamic argument involving attribution of fault and responsibility. These Eu countries have managed to get beyond the legal fiction of 'equality before the law' (which unfortunately bicycle advocates seem obsessed with in Australia) and have understood that it's responsibility for managing vulnerability that's important. As the cyclist is more 'vulnerable' and the car more 'dangerous', greater responsibility for avoiding injury (and therefore greater 'fault') is attributed to the car driver.
I'd suggest our local politicians simply do not understand that simple point - that is vulnerability.
I guess my local member here (Morialta) does not represent all but he clearly did not "get it" when I letter wrote him a while back. In fact he didn't respond to several of my questions! Should I be surprised??