[CAMWEST-discuss] Sharing our road space or dedicated bike ways?

Mark Robson Mark.Robson at australwright.com.au
Tue Dec 1 00:16:43 UTC 2009


Hi All,
 
I've kept this to the discuss list as it's for discussion and is personal opinion.
 
Pls don't broadcast the result.
 
A 3 metre wide cyclepath isn't wide enough for four cyclists to pass. I've tried it on the Prospect canal,
and I need a full metre of width at any decent speed. So a typical Austroads 2.5 metre wide path carries commuting cyclists in a single line.
Applying a 5 second seperation for safety gets 720 cyclists per hour down the path, allow a bit extra
for peleton formation, say 1000/hour and for a 3 hour commute your Austroads path gets 3000 people into the city.
Let's say we have a path every 30 degress on the compass around said city, then there are 12 paths and 36,000 satisfied commuters. 
 
How many people travel to the city each day by car and bus? 100 - 200 - 300 thousand??? Anyone know?
 
I first realised this on a Sydney-Gong ride, 10,000 people were 'transported' from Sydney to the Gong across a 3 hour spread
and a single lane of the Princes Hwy ( about 3 metres wide ) is simple not big enough to cope.
 
A single train however holds around 850 passengers and with a 5 minute seperation that's 12 an hour, 36 in the peak hours,
and  30,000 people down a single train line, 3 metres wide!  Put 6 tracks to feed the city and you have 180,000 satisfied
travellers each morning. Your typical train track is 5 times as efficient at people moving as a cyclepath.
 
When the financial mess hits the fan as oil starts to run short and an energy starved society withers, a few 
widely spaced cyclepaths simply will be unable to cope with the demand. The excess cyclists will spill onto the roads.
 And why waste the resources building stuff that will be useless in the future.
We already have a system of paths that joins every residence with every business, we call it roads.
 
In my future, every multi-lane road like Parramatta Road will have the entire right lane dedicated as a cycle lane,
why the right lane, because then the cars can turn left without smashing through the line of cyclists
( I also realised this on a congested Sydney-Gong ride when a car 'parked' in the right lane when it couldn't turn left) 
 
The problem we have now is the traffic proportion is 99.5% cars and 0.5% bikes. when it gets to 80-20 cyclists will
be better able to take their place on the roads. We need the cyclepaths to get from 99-1 to 80-20.
 
Society is in for huge turmoil to get from where it is now and this future point. At best the cyclepaths we advocate for are 
nothing but a means of starting the transition. They can perhaps fulfill cycling demand for the first 20% of the transition.
At that point we have anarchy when the paths overflow but the roads are not yet emptied of cars. The 'bike-rage' we see now will seem
insignificant to the traffic-wrestle-war that happens at this point, and govt will be forced to dedicate whole lanes to bike traffic
to stop the fighting.
 
When will all this happen - if you believe Dan's figures in about 15-20 years, thankfully I'll be able to just retire and ride my bike
along the Canal.
 
PS it seems that every time I travel I see more and more bikes, 5 years ago it was rare to see a cyclist, now it's rare NOT to see a cyclist.
 
 
Mark R
 
 
 -----Original Message-----
From: camwest-discuss-bounces at nicku.org [mailto:camwest-discuss-bounces at nicku.org]On Behalf Of Danny Hannan
Sent: Tuesday, 1 December 2009 10:17 AM
To: Ian Macindoe; Announcements CAMWEST; General Business CAMWEST
Subject: Re: [CAMWEST-discuss] Sharing our road space or dedicated bike ways?



G'day all,
There are financial issues building overseas, related to both residential and commertial property mortgages that will come to a head about the middle of 2011.  It is difficult to forcast but the potential of the value of mortgage defaults is in the hundreds of billions or even trillions (12 zeros) of dollars.  Putting great strain on the global financial system, with governments already in great debt, bailouts will be difficult.  This will mean very little money will be available for borrowing for any purpose, causing interest rates to raise and liquidity to be very tight.  Coupled with the decline in global oil production projected (by the IEA) to start impacting supply around 2012 and the introduction of probably global Emissions Trading Schemes (ETS) that raise the cost of all forms of energy consumption, including the cost of manufacturing all metals and particularly high-energy-input batteries and the cost of electricity, the future looks bleak indeed.
 
Some people are against any ETS because it will hurt the economy, but I ask this question:  "If you were on a space station and had to choose between continuing to do the work of the space station or putting a large % of your effort into the life support system of the space station instead, which would you choose?"  I think the answer is clear.
 
We are all on a space ship called Earth!
 
The ETS that is being proposed at the moment is a dogs breakfast of a scheme but it is the best we have at the moment.
 
My guess is that by about 2015 the volume of traffic on the roads will be reduced because of the cost factors involved, once that traffic reduction is apparent it is time to start to convert road lanes to dedicated cycling lanes.  So we have a five year window to advocate for this to happen and for cyclists to have much higher legal status on the roads.
 
Legal priority would be good, that means that if another vehicle causes a cyclist to crash or is involved in a collision with a cyclist, the driver of other vehicle has legal liability. 
 
Dan
danny_hannan at yahoo.com 



  _____  

From: Ian Macindoe <imacian1 at bigpond.com>
To: Announcements CAMWEST <camwest-announce at nicku.org>; General Business CAMWEST <camwest-discuss at nicku.org>
Sent: Tue, 1 December, 2009 8:45:29 AM
Subject: [CAMWEST-discuss] Sharing our road space or dedicated bike ways?


Although written by a Melbourne man this may be of interest.
Ian
Dampen the rage among users of our congested roads by building commuter bike ways in our cities.    [To read the full article, visit http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=9719

  _____  

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