Friday, October 30, 2009

Bikes and buses

There have been several articles recently about cyclists assaulting bus drivers. A high profile Sydney Morning Herald article recently reported about a cyclist illegally riding on the NW Transitway in Sydney assaulting a bus driver who had hooted and tried to run the cyclist off the transitway (or so the footage appears to show).

An interesting follow up article in the Sydney Morning Herald points to one of the factors that results in cyclists illegally using the Transitway. Apparently there are gaps in the cycleway constructed along the corridor that force cyclists onto the motorway. These issues were raised by interested parties when the Transitway first opened, although the RTA denies there are gaps in the cycleway.

CAMWEST, a group advocating better cycle infrastructure for Sydney's west, identified that "there is a barely passable alternative by going under Old Windsor Rd into Fletcher Close, Sherwood St & Hammers Rd. It involves a short walk of 20 or so metres. They identify a real danger of the intersection of Old Windsor Rd and Hart Drive (Cumberland Hwy) & point out that they would really prefer a bridge there to connect the cycle path.
The screen grab from clearly shows the issue cyclists have. South of Hart Drive there is a fantastic off-road facility and north of the intersection none.

What the incident highlights is that cyclists find it more attractive to use the Transitway than to use whatever facility is provided in these "gaps". Consistency in the provision of cycling infrastructure like this is vital or cyclists will find the path of least resistance. In this case, it is the Transitway.

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