A few months ago I moved to Adelaide from Sydney and have been enjoying this fine city. On the whole Adelaide motorists are less aggro that Sydney drivers, which is a nice change. On the whole I some see safer cycling (e.g less red light running), but also less safer cycling (e.g more gutter hugging in narrow lanes). But there is one thing I've seen all over Adelaide which I find deeply troubling, which Sydney does not have, and that's bicycle lanes positioned in the door zone. Near where I live in Nth Adelaide, here are two examples, on Frome Rd and Bundeys Rd (but as I say I see them elsewhere too):
WTF?? This is crazy. As far I understand the SA regs, the signage indicates these are legally defined bicycle lanes which cyclists are required to use. Please correct me if I am wrong. That means a cyclist is legally required to ride in the most dangerous part of the road, liable to collide with an opening door without warning and flung into the traffic lane with potentially lethal consequences. Sorry, again, but WTF??
Sydney has crappy door zone lanes too, a notable one is on Crown St in Surry Hills, but a key difference is that they are not legally defined as bicycle lanes and no one is required to ride in them. They are hardly worth the pound of paint slapped down to mark them out. In fact, Sydney has very few proper bicycle lanes and even the new Clover Moore propelled separated cycle paths are not designated as such. But in Adelaide the white sign with the black bicycle and the word lane seems to have been put up everywhere. In the case of these door zone lanes, I think its very dangerous. It also makes me a criminal. I have been doored before and I refuse to ride in the door zone, which forces me to break the law and puts me in a bad light with the motorists behind me who might (rightly) protest my claiming the lane, even though I am a vehicle and otherwise have a right to do so. The one time (the one time!) I did ride in the door zone lane on Frome Rd, slowly, with my child on the back, we nearly did get doored and only my experience and certainty it could happen at any moment prevented a collision.
End rant. I apologise if this problem is common knowledge and advocates are already working on it, but I couldn't find that discussion anywhere. I hope I have misunderstood something about these lanes...
Someone will quote the law here at you... but essentially you are only required to ride in the bike lane "unless it is unsafe to do so". Being in the door zone is unsafe. Don't ride in it. I don't!
Having said that, there will be others on here who will have a counter opinion that thou shalt never leave thy bike lane regardless of being in the door zone.
Anyway, welcome. I hope you enjoy cycling in and around Adelaide.
Good point Adam and Michael - I am familiar with the concept of 'practicable' and of course that applies and I should have mentioned it. I think I just wanted to work out a big rant. I get quite annoyed when I see these lanes. Its not so much for my own sake even, but for new cyclists who might feel compelled to use them when they are unsafe.
I really think that getting them removed should be priority. Having no bike lane there at all is better than these things. It just affirms the motorist mentality that cyclists should cower in the gutters. Replace them with sharrows centred and wide on the road.
I feel a letter coming on... who should I write to?
Collision porn: Brisbane cyclists doored yesterday from riding in the door zone.
Just don't read the click-bait zzzzzzzzz comments at the bottom.
Adelaide has lots of bike lanes active only at certain times of the day. Kind of like the famous one-way expressway !
Yeah - Totally agree.
Cycling down The Parade, heading towards Norwood is common for me. Exactly that kind of bike lane.
I avoid riding anywhere near the car side line and often intrude into the car lane as many motorists cannot park their vehicles close to the gutter making the dooring zone extend beyond the bike lane. Irate drivers are not very often in my experience which is mostly good.
Not crazy at all. Just the best in Australian road standards https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDk6pfn-qkg
What a spot on video!! Funny but so true....
Unfortunately - very cringe worthy .. :-(
Yes, bike lanes next to passenger door to curb car parking make for excellent dooring zones.
Hey congrats on making the move Guy....
I emigrated from Sydney 8 years ago....i was able to resume cycling that I had to stop in Syd as there were no group rides, no social media to organise them and I had one too many times of finding myself in the middle of the road after a semi trailer skimmed me and the vacuum and wobbles put me there....
Radelaide is the place for ease of cycling...
But here we try to fit all comers on the narrow main roads. So that means cars and trucks and parked cars and bicycles with a lane. You will work out which roads to avoid.
And without rants, there is no official reason for the internet to exist......(no porn does NOT count as one)