Tuesday 27 October 2009

Destroying the bike lane in order to save it

Way, way back in the dark recesses of history, I attended a public forum where the city council presented their plans on improving the main cycle route through Pyrmont. It was interesting to attend, and to listen to the various weird-beards on one side proclaiming that all cars should be banned, and the NIMBY residents on the other who didn't want noisy, fume-belching bicycles roaring past their windows at 0800.

I have to laugh now because back then, the biggest objector was a shop owner in Union St who hated the idea of losing lots of trade due to the loss of a few parking spots in the street. If I have my facts right for once, it is his shop that now faces demolition from the Metro. He should have shut up and put up with the cyclists - the lesser of two Green evils.

The Objector ran a cafe, and thought that the loss of a few car spots would stop people from driving to his cafe for a coffee and a bit of cake. That cafe now regularly sports a posse of parked bikes out the front, and the tables always seem to be full of lounging, lycra-clad coffee consumers.

On to other things..... the Daily Telegraph was infested today with rabid motorists ranting about us Devils on Wheels. Seriously, if we were living in the Middle Ages, we'd be accused of witchcraft, sorcery and having carnal relations with the Horned One. Motorists would be queuing up to claim, "He turned me into a newt!" One of the things we are commonly accused of is running red lights, so here is a photo of a small bunch of us stopped at such a light. Sure, one red light does not make a summer, but most of us do have an idea of the road rules, and obey them most of the time.

The telling thing in the above photo, which is very hard to make out, is that just past the intersection, the road has been ripped up on the left hand side. I believe that is the new bike lane in the making. Frankly, I have no idea why they need to put a bike lane through this spot - it's a safe stretch of road for bikes. Where it gets hairy is about 100 metres further on, and I guess that the Cycling Black Spot from Hell will be taken care of in the 2045/46 budget year. Typical of a council to start with the easy, non-essential bits, and ignore until later the bits where people risk death and dismemberment on a daily basis due to some shockingly bad engineering designs.

Anyway, the council is spending a small fortune ripping up a perfectly good bit of bike lane to build.... another bit of bike lane where one is not really needed in the first place. The mind boggles........

No comments: