Monday 27 April 2009

Me? Fuming?

According to the SMH, I should currently be fuming:

Sydney's cycleways are not so much an organised network as a fragmented collection of winding paths and half-finished ideas. Most were built or designed when cycling was viewed as a pleasant pastime rather than a practical form of travel and are now poorly suited to commuting.
That statement could also be made about many roads around the inner parts of Sydney, which were laid down when cars were either a century in the future or the play thing of the well off.

The article lists 10 cycling blackspots, and they betray the inner-Sydney centric view that the SMH has. I have ridden through 9 of the 10 blackspots listed as part of my commutes, and all of them are within 8km of the CBD. There are some truly shocking cycling blackspots in the outer west and north that put all those on the list in the shade, but who cares about what the bogans have - right?

I had a laugh when I viewed the list - they are more a collection of minor annoyances than terribly risky sites. For instance, the author lists the steps that you have to climb up to get onto the Harbour Bridge bike path. I climbed up and down them daily for over a year, and never thought twice about it. Sure, no one really likes getting off their bike, but if you have to then you have to.

Big deal.

I was always more worried about the ride home that involved chugging up hill along the Pacific Highway from North Sydney to Crows Nest, which generally had to be performed with an impatient bus driver a foot from your bum on a four lane highway. I wanted to be somewhere else - anywhere else really, but that was the only way to go north. The slow grind past the area of the North Sydney train station was the worst section - speeding cars to the right, nasty buses to the rear and a bastard of a hill in front of you. If you ask me, that was a major blackspot.

I am too tired to comment any further. Let me just say that the Herald will have to do better than this if it is to convince the taxpaying public that cyclists are having a tough time. I'm not saying we're not having a tough time out there in some locations - but this list is like complaining about a sprained finger when you've got a broken leg.

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