I saw a brief statement on Channel 7 News that a cyclist has been killed in a collision with a truck on Churchill Rd at Kilburn this afternoon.
Currently I do not know the name. However, I am upset whenever I hear sad news like this and my heart goes out to their family and friends.
In a way I hope that it wasn't the cyclist trying to ride up the left hand side of a turning vehicle. I see it all too often riding to work. There's a reason it's against the law. Not saying that he was doing that btw.
I do not know the circumstances of this latest sad fatality.
I address criticism of Churchill Rd. The collision occurred in Kilburn rather than Prospect. In both areas Churchill Rd is a designated freight route. Local councils and/or state govt can make bad decisions on cycling infrastructure.
Not long ago Prospect Council produced plans to widen footpaths, indent car parking, and force cyclists closer to large trucks on Churchill Rd. The state govt approved these plans on its arterial road. As coordinator of Prospect BUG, I lobbied in vain for bicycle lanes of Australian ‘best practice’, with buffers separating bicycle lanes from trucks. I provided photos of Victorian examples.
I referred to a Prospect Council document, Churchill Road Masterplan October 2009:
“The Churchill Road corridor is dominated by its primary use as a freight route, with a large number of heavy trucks, fast flowing commuter traffic . . . Motorists are afraid to park on the street due to heavy vehicles and speeding traffic.”
However, indented parking to protect property of parked cars appears to get priority over the safety and lives of cyclists. Think the AC term is WTF!
Brett, with the Churchill Road in Prospect re-design, the gutters have been moved closer to the road middle. So the bicycle lanes and cyclists are now closer to the traffic. You refer to cars. This is a designated freight route so many large trucks. Now when wide trucks overtake cyclists, there is minimal space, often less than the recommended one metre clearance, and definitely no room for error by either party. You describe a weaving cyclist (OK), bike loaded with empty bottles (not the average cyclist). Some cyclists are careful road-users, while at the same time are not prepared to put their safety in the hands of truck drivers when the road design forces trucks to pass too closely. I know experienced cyclists from Prospect who are no longer prepared to cycle on Churchill Road.
As coordinator of Prospect BUG, I warned Prospect Council several times that their design was not 'best practice' re cyclist safety, and showed photos of better designs in Melbourne. Elections resulted in some new councillors who belatedly agreed, but vetoed the cost of changing the plans.
No Hands CPR is definately an option
Where do people learn that riding into the oncoming traffic is a good idea? I was riding in a bike lane the day before the Bupa Challenge and nearly cleaned up someone riding towards me. They seemed to be dodging up and down from the bike lane to the footpath and back at driveways, paying no attention to me, and little attention to the cars and trucks next to me.
If in doubt:
I was riding down Hawker St Brompton today , and a truck had blocked the bike lane. I slowed down and inched my way past . When the traffic started again the truck went past me and without indicating decided to turn left nearly wiping me out in the process. It seems that when some drivers are in a hurry and have a big vehicle then anything that gets in the way is insignificant. I'm not sure how he got his licence but I think he should be made to sit the test again. My condolences to the families and friends of the cyclist who was killed - no one wants to hear sad news like this. Stay safe.
The "truck" involved in this incident may be small enough that the driver has not been required to sit a practical driving test in a heavy vehicle. A Class C licence permits a driver to drive a vehicle with a GVM not exceeding 4.5t. So someone who passed their test driving Mum's Suzuki hatch can drive a small truck, as well as a V8 HSV/FPV, without having had supervised experience in either. Even small trucks handle very differently to cars. I wonder if the size limit should be reduced as more people own smaller cars, and the weights of small trucks have reduced over the years too.