Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why Can't They Be Like We Were?

Great little film about kids riding their bikes around  in Australia 1976, and the lack of things to do in an inner city environment. I used to have a chopper bike like this to ride to and from school, it was my pride and joy.


You wouldn't see kids riding around like this today, sadly.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Getting Ready for Battle

Is this what is needed to ride safely in Australian cities now days. While I have taken liberties by adding a shield and sword shouldn't we have infrastructure that makes riding a bike feel safe.

When it comes to cycle safety many people state their own experience and don't think about the community as a whole.While we have low rates of cycling in this country, many cycle advocacy groups sometimes make the mistake of just representing their members and not looking at the potential cyclists or future cyclists.
Like many cities in Australia, Canberra has a group of devoted cyclists or bike riders, but there are many that only ride for recreation or for sport and wouldn't commute because of safety issues or the perceived safety issues as some would say.
Canberra's cyclists used to look like this......

The head of ACT Roads while being a cyclist believes that our current infrastructure of cycle lanes on 'high speed high volume roads' is fine for the 'elite commuter cyclist' but there are many in the community that wouldn't agree. You could categorised the Canberra community as a whole for cycling like this.
There would be many in Canberra that would cycle more if there were the facilities to do so, particularity around our car congested town centres and schools.
This photo captures the joy of commuting or cycling to a destination in Copehagen.......
Now you couldn't do that on a 1.5m bike lane on one of the many Canberra arterial roads. In the recent Copenhagen Bicycle Account 2008 the cyclist sense of safety rated only a 5 out 10 and that's with cycle tracks, a physically separated curb which is your standard Copenhagen style lane.

While there are better examples of physical separation in Copenhagen the Dutch certainly do it best. Isn't time that Canberra started implementing international best practice and not short sighted tokenism.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Driver Found Guilty

Obviously these warnings do very little
From the Canberra Times:

Cyclist's death: driver guilty

02 Jun, 2011 06:41 AM
A Canberra driver had an obligation to avoid a collision with a cyclist that led to the latter's death, an ACT magistrate found yesterday. The Fadden man was found guilty of failing to keep an adequate lookout for the cyclist, leading to the collision which caused the rider's death last year.
James Keenan, 61, died in hospital last February after spending a fortnight in intensive care with head injuries after the crash on Sternberg Crescent in Wanniassa.( He was wearing a bicycle helmet)
The cyclist fell to the road after colliding with the side of a turning Mitsubishi Evolution driven by Rhys Wilkins, who pleaded not guilty to negligent driving causing Mr Keenan's death.
Both the prosecution and Wilkins' lawyer argued the other party had a duty of care at the time of the fateful incident at the intersection of Sternberg Crescent and Ashley Drive.
Defence lawyer Michael Kukulies-Smith argued the cyclist should have given way to the turning car and slowed down approaching the intersection.
But the prosecution submitted the 36-year-old driver should have taken more care while overtaking the cyclist and turning the corner.
Magistrate Lorraine Walker ultimately found Wilkins, having seen and overtaken the cyclist, had an obligation to keep a watchful eye out for the other party.
The defendant was suspended from holding a driver's licence at the time.
The ACT Magistrates Court heard Wilkins, who was not under the influence of alcohol and was not alleged to have been speeding, was travelling west on Sternberg Crescent on January 29.
The defendant told the court he was on his way to the shops and spotted Mr Keenan riding his bike close to the curb towards the Ashley Drive intersection.

View Large Map
Wilkins said he moved to overtake the bicycle, indicated, slowed and turned left on to Ashley Drive.
At some point before turning the corner he lost sight of Mr Keenan.
''I felt something, I looked in my rear-view mirror, and I saw a guy tumbling over the road,'' he told Ms Walker at an earlier hearing.
But the magistrate noted Wilkins never mentioned looking behind him, in his rear-view mirror or over his left shoulder as he prepared to negotiate the turn.
She said it was open to infer, on the evidence before her, the cyclist was travelling close behind the overtaking car when Wilkins took the corner. She was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt the driver failed to keep a lookout and fell below the duty of care expected of a prudent driver.
The defendant is expected to appeal. Wilkins is on strict bail conditions, which include banning him from driving a vehicle.
He is due back in court for a sentencing hearing in August.

Do we need to change some of our Laws?