The NSW Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay, and his portfolio the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS), have really outdone themselves this time.

The RMS has released a 960 page report for public comment, titled Sydney City Centre Capacity Improvement Plan Review of Environmental Factors. It covers 17 road projects from Broadway to Macquarie St, and includes the complete removal of the College St cycleway without providing any alternative.

The report says the proposed works will ‘improve customer service’ but actually reduce footpath widths, remove trees, and take out cycle paths, bus priority lanes and pedestrian crossings.

The full report is available from Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) at www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/sydney-inner/sydney-city-centre-access-strategy/capacity-improvement-plan/index.html . We have provided a PDF document you can view with details of the changes: http://goo.gl/diX7Jy

How to respond:

Comments are due by 9 January 2015 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We have provided some sample text to use in an email. You can copy the text and click ‘SEND’; or (better still) amend it to your words and key concerns.

Ideas for what to say in your response:

The proposed ‘traffic capacity improvements’ in the Sydney City Centre Capacity Improvement Plan are focused exclusively on increasedmovement of motor vehicles through the Sydney CBD.

I am very concerned about the proposed roadworks in the RMS report. Overall, the proposed changes will increase the volume and speed of vehicular traffic travelling through the Sydney CBD and around its fringe. This will endanger pedestrians and bicycle riders, induce demand for car travel in the central area, and eventually lead to greater congestion in the long term.

The proposal includes the complete removal of the College St cycleway, without providing any alternatives.

Other project areas that will reduce safety, convenience and amenity include:

1.       Wentworth Avenue - Reconfiguring lanes and removing parking to make seven lanes of moving traffic (project C1). This is more traffic lanes than the current M4 motorway, without improving pedestrian safety or amenity.

2.       College Street - Removing the entire segregated cycleway to make way for six lanes of moving traffic along the length of Hyde Park (project C2), without provided any safe alternative for bicycle riders or pedestrians.

3.       Macquarie Street - Reconfiguring lanes, removing parking, and removing footpath bump-outs and trees to create five lanes of moving traffic (project F1, F2) which will effectively make Macquarie St an on-ramp for the expressway.

4.       George Street next to Railway Square – reducing footpath widths and removing trees to make way for seven lanes of moving traffic (project S6).

5.       Ultimo Road intersection with Harris Street – removing a signalised pedestrian crossing (project S4) near the UTS and ABC buildings.

6.       Broadway heading toward Railway Square – removing a dedicated bus lane (project S5).

7.       York Street – removing the signalised pedestrian crossing outside the Grace Hotel (project R5).

8.       Market Street – between Clarence and York Streets – reducing footpath width (project R2).

There are more cost-effective alternatives that should be considered to reduce congestion. I request that:

1.       Consideration be given to reducing traffic flow through the CBD by reducing surface traffic lanes and reducing the tolls on the Cross City Tunnel and Eastern Distributor.

2.       Emphasis be given to improving the movement, safety and amenity of pedestrians, bicycle riders and public transport users in the CBD.

3.       Existing on-street car parking, loading bays and traffic lanes be reviewed for ‘higher and better uses’ such as wider footpaths, dedicated bus lanes, segregated bicycle lanes, share cars, and vegetation.


SAMPLE EMAIL: (use this to help create a response to the proposed changes)

TO: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CC: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SUBJECT : Sydney City Centre Capacity Improvement Plan Review of Environmental Factors (REF)

The proposed ‘traffic capacity improvements’ in the Sydney City Centre Capacity Improvement Plan are focused exclusively on increased movement of motor vehicles through the Sydney CBD.

I am very concerned about the proposed roadworks in the RMS report. Overall, the proposed changes will increase the volume and speed of vehicular traffic travelling through the Sydney CBD and around its fringe. This will endanger pedestrians and bicycle riders, induce demand for car travel in the central area, and eventually lead to greater congestion in the long term.

The proposal includes the complete removal of the College St cycleway, without providing any alternatives.

Other project areas that will reduce safety, convenience and amenity include:

1.       Wentworth Avenue - Reconfiguring lanes and removing parking to make seven lanes of moving traffic (project C1). This is more traffic lanes than the current M4 motorway, without improving pedestrian safety or amenity.

2.       College Street - Removing the entire segregated cycleway to make way for six lanes of moving traffic along the length of Hyde Park (project C2), without provided any safe alternative for bicycle riders or pedestrians.

3.       Macquarie Street - Reconfiguring lanes, removing parking, and removing footpath bump-outs and trees to create five lanes of moving traffic (project F1, F2) which will effectively make Macquarie St an on-ramp for the expressway.

4.       George Street next to Railway Square – reducing footpath widths and removing trees to make way for seven lanes of moving traffic (project S6).

5.       Ultimo Road intersection with Harris Street – removing a signalised pedestrian crossing (project S4) near the UTS and ABC buildings.

6.       Broadway heading toward Railway Square – removing a dedicated bus lane (project S5).

7.       York Street – removing the signalised pedestrian crossing outside the Grace Hotel (project R5).

8.       Market Street – between Clarence and York Streets – reducing footpath width (project R2).

There are more cost-effective alternatives that should be considered to reduce congestion. I request that:

1.       Consideration be given to reducing traffic flow through the CBD by reducing surface traffic lanes and reducing the tolls on the Cross City Tunnel and Eastern Distributor.

2.       Emphasis be given to improving the movement, safety and amenity of pedestrians, bicycle riders and public transport users in the CBD.

3.       Existing on-street car parking, loading bays and traffic lanes be reviewed for ‘higher and better uses’ such as wider footpaths, dedicated bus lanes, segregated bicycle lanes, share cars, and vegetation.

Yours sincerely,

[enter name, email and address]

Some source material lifted from here

Cyclists are allowed to cycle two abreast!

Cyclists cannot ride more than two abreast unless overtaking. When riding two abreast riders should not be more than 1.5m apart. This rule also applies on bike paths, shared paths and shoulder of the road (Rule 151 - Victorian Code, other states use the same number)
(http://cycle.org.au/index.php/the-law/australian-road-rules).

This means cycles are perfectly legal to cycle side by side on all roads in Australia. Although at times common sense will mean you will fall to single file to allow cars access on some roads and situations, but 2 abreast is allowed. If someone in your group hears a car from behind, a simple call can be used to get the other riders to slip into single file, but only when it is safe to do so..

Why do some drivers allow themselves to get frustrated and angry?

Without wanting to delve into the minds of the motoring public here are some of the possible reasons:

  • They think it's illegal
  • They think it's harder to overtake
  • They think it's dangerous in general
  • They think it means cyclists are not paying attention to the road

So why do cyclists cycle two abreast?

There are many reasons why cyclists choose to cycle two abreast so I'll give you the reasons that I know of.

It's Safer!

Simply put, it's safer for cyclists to ride two abreast, it means that drivers usually have to overtake properly rather than skimming past the rider in the same lane. If a group of cyclists are in single file, motorists will often assume they can overtake in places which are not safe and will not leave the cyclist enough room. Drivers of motor vehicles should give cyclists the same amount of room they would give another car when overtaking which means they should be in the adjacent lane or on the other side of the road, to do this safely means they would to wait until there are no oncoming cars. Being in double file forces this scenario.
Another safety reason is in visibility. Two riders side by side can be seen much further away and will look like a bigger vehicle. This is even more evident when running flashing rear lights, so to catch the eye of the approaching drivers. Two abreast in this situation will aide the driver in seeing slower moving objects in front and giving the driver more time to prepare to safely overtake, timing his approach with vehicles approaching on the oppisite side of the road, or allowing the vehicle time to move into the adjacent lane.

It allows motorists to overtake quickly?!

Riding two abreast also allows the motorist to overtake the group of cyclists quicker as the line is only about half as long. This allows the vehicle to pass the group in just over half the time (giving for moving in and out to the correct location on the road). A good over take is safer for everyone, the other vehicles on the road, the driver and their passengers and all the riders on the road in the group.
A simple illustration can demonstrate this.

both

It's also a social activity, so why should we not enjoy the ride!

Cyclists that ride like this are usually training, participating in an organised activity, keeping fit or just out having fun with friends, the rides can be from a few kilometres to an all-day event, so it makes it much more enjoyable ride if you want to have a chat, it moves along the hours and the road under the bikes. Most cyclists prefer to have someone to chat with but this does not mean that they are not riding safely, most car drivers will talk to their passengers and this is not regarded as unsafe driving!

Video courtesy Safe Cycling Ireland

SafeCyclingIreland

Original article by Debra Killalea
source :http://goo.gl/oM1e0E

I'm part of a group which is probably among the most hated in society.

In fact, most people say we are an inconvenience, rude, obstructive and don't obey the rules.

Even those who do like us have moments when they don't.

Actually, let's face it, the only people who really like and tolerate us are probably ourselves, and maybe greenies.

Yes, I'm talking about cyclists.

2014-12-08 08.35.38 Small
Some 'cyclists' are just kids off to school

OK, I get it, there are some annoying cyclists who take up the entire road or ride on the footpath, but I bet drivers commit far worse offences to warrant almost being run over, abused or spat at.

Just last week, I was at a roundabout about to turn right when the woman in the car behind me launched a tirade of abuse.
I stopped, gave way and indicated my intention to turn but unfortunately she was in too much of a rush - probably to get to McDonald's - to take notice and began honking and using words ladies really shouldn't use.

She was bigger than me, a lot bigger, and her vehicle would smash mine in two seconds flat and, as much as I love a good argument, I politely told her where to shove her impatience and was on my merry way.

I'd like to say this behaviour is uncommon, limited to a city thing, but it's not.

I bike home four days a week and while most days are relatively fine, not one trip passes without at least someone shouting a smart aleck comment or an object being thrown from a car.

And then there's always the tough driver who loves approaching you from behind super fast and coming so close you can feel the gush of wind as they speed past.

Top stuff.

Or the hearse driver who knocks you off your bike because he didn't see you in bright fluoro on the side of the road. Yes, this really did happen and no, he wasn't drumming up business.

Thankfully, I wasn't injured apart from some slight whiplash, and fortunately for him he wasn't on the way to an important job.

Enough is enough. Here are nine reasons why you should stop hating on us.

1. I'm saving you a bus, train, tram seat

Literally, I'm giving my seat to you. So get comfy with that newspaper or kick back with your iPhone in the knowledge I've helped you out in peak hour. You're welcome.

2. I'm saving your car park

Anyone who lives in the city knows how much of a pleasure it is to find car parking especially during busy times. I've instantly made your life easier by freeing up valuable real estate so cut me some slack.

BikeLaneParking
Even then some insist on parking in a protected bike lane.

3. I'm saving you money and lots of it

According to the government, the economy benefits by more than $21 each time I cycle 20 minutes to work. My trip back is 50 minutes so that's at least $50 in the coffers right there. Bonus.

4. I'm saving the environment

Less cars on the road is less emissions so your lungs can thank me later.

5. I'm easing hospital waiting times

You don't need facts and figures to tell you people with a healthy lifestyle live longer, are at lower risk of heart disease and a whole host of other health problems. Google it, you'll see I'm right.

Ride4Robin
We raise Millions every year and keep fit saving on hospitals (win/win)

6. Bike lanes aren't ugly or expensive

Yes, they're green but anything that keeps a barrier between me and you in a car is a good thing. And while the cost of a typical off-road path is about $1.5 million per kilometre, it's far cheaper than building billions of dollars in highways to support your gas guzzler.

7. I'm saving you petrol

The only fuel my vehicle needs is my legs, so the fact I don't need petrol means there's more for you.

8. Bikes don't take up a lot of space

You don't have to be a maths genius to know bikes are pretty small and compact so the argument they take up the whole road doesn't really stick. And last time I checked cyclists had just as much right to the road as any bus, car, or tram so quit the hate campaign.

9. Not all cyclists are tools

Yes, there are idiots who ride on the footpath, without a helmet and through red lights. But let me ask you this, when was the last time you saw a car run a red light or speed up to go through an orange? And what about the driver who doesn't wear a seat belt or speeds through a school zone? Rules are broken, and not just by cyclists. Here's a thought; how about we treat all road users by their behaviour and not by the size or type of their vehicle.

FromeStOpenning
Just everyday people that chose to ride bikes

Bike Cabs aims to operate as a fun, quick and carbon-neutral on swanston
alternative to cabs in and around The City of Melbourne.

Our solution’s threefold approach also aims to increase the general
awareness of the benefits of cycling from a health perspective. Bike
Cabs will collaborate with local businesses in the health foods and
sustainability industries. Bike Cab riders will have the opportunity to
get fit while earning part-time. These energetic riders will drive a
fitness movement in the city.

Our city streets are clogged with car traffic and cabs aren’t happy to
offer short-trips. Bike Cabs are easier to maneuver through traffic and
encourage short-fare trips. Ours is thus a tailor-made solution for the
city. 

We realize there have been concerns how bike cabs would share
bike lanes or whether we might hold up traffic. So we thought it is
imperative that we explain our road usage plans.

Bike Cabs intend to use the main streets only during off-peak hours
while operating mostly inside the CBD’s less congested roads at
other times. We will also give way to fellow cyclists when using bike
lanes. Our bike cabs, equipped with motor assist, can move swiftly
while merging in and out of traffic. Thus we won't cause any
obstruction to moving traffic.

Over the past few years Melbourne has embraced cycle friendly road
infrastructure with the construction of dedicated bike lanes. Our entry
into the Melbourne transport scene will only strengthen cycling
friendly policies. In future, we expect the cycling infrastructure to
continue to improve and make the city closer to being car-free and
more liveable. We also expect a positive shift in people's attitude
towards cycling safety. Together we can make the city’s transport
system more eco-friendly while keeping Melbourne healthier too!

imgBCabs img2BCabs

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