St Kilda Road Bicycle Gridlock ?

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by bigfishmonger, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. bigfishmonger

    bigfishmonger New Member

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    Hi there, just a casual observation, but I have been riding the St Kilda Road route in Melbourne to work for the past year, and in the last month or so the amount of riders has trebled enormously. I think this has been helped by some good weather, the recent ride to work day, Travelsmart and rising petrol prices.

    It is so much so that between 8-9am every morning at each sets of lights you'll find up to 20 riders queued up in the narrow bicycle lane. I'd estimate about 1/10 of the number of cars using the road. :eek:

    They talk about congestion of cars on Melbourne roads, but it won't be long before bikes face the same sorts of congestion issues, with some people being difficult to overtake without having to swerve out onto the road. :confused:

    Pretty soon I think that councils will have to start thinking about alocating more space on St Kilda Road for bicycle users, and some radical ideas like Copenhagen style lanes or even reviving the idea that a Melbourne City Councillor had some time ago about giving up the service lanes altogehter to cyclists. :rolleyes:

    Any stats available on this ? In any case, great news for the cycling seen in Melbourne and a credit to the great work of Bicycle Vic.
     
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  2. rooman

    rooman New Member

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    not just St Kilda Road, it is an obvious trend...

    but about St Kilda Rd, if they improved the light sequencing the bike traffic on SKR would move a lot better, it has to be one of the most frustrating roads to ride along , every light is a red one, the light Red Green Orange cycles are weird and I suspect are purposefully set to discourage anyone from travelling this stretch ...but thinking about it, all lights in Stonnington, Melbourne & Port Phillip Council's areas are IMHO idiotically sequenced, especially on Beach Road from Cafe Racer past Catani gardens...they seem to purposefully slow anything other than dog walkers.....
    Looks like Port Phillip's especially has a traffic light system that is ultra cheap, non programmable garbage type....it wouldnt be hard to sequence an innovative, environmentally, efficient traffic movement programme for the whole area, but some boffins in City Hall have a perverse approach to making sure the lights hold every one up other than beach goers on foot.

    Any one else notice this or am I paranoid from too many red lights anyway?
     
  3. bigfishmonger

    bigfishmonger New Member

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    I think the problem is that cyclists notice red lights a lot more than motorists ...

    I agree, there are a lot of lights up St Kilda Road, and there sequencing is shite.

    Cars can accelerate quickly, whereas I seem to only get up to top gear then the lights change and I have to slow down and do it all over again. My maximum speeds from Alma Road through the Junction where there are no lights reach around 40 kph (comparable with slower cars), but my maximum along St Kilda Road because of the lights is about 15kph. I am not one of those cyclists that likes to run red lights and combined with the number of other cyclists it really does slow you down.

    Priority at most lights for cyclists (ie. a headstart) should be a #1 issue for BV and VicRoads.

    With regards to Beach Road and the St Kilda foreshore, the council's latest designs are intentionally made to push bikes back onto the roads and off the shared paths. This is ridiculous IMO, and the result of some people complaining about bikes being a nuisance. This is fine for weekend riders, but what are cycling commuters in peak hour traffic supposed to do ?
     
  4. crazney

    crazney New Member

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    I can't say I ever ride St Kilda road in peak hour.. But why not just take the lane? Hopefully other cyclists will catch on and you can just take the service lanes by force ;-) (Better yet, make up some flyers about taking the lane and hand them out to cyclists at red lights)

    David
     
  5. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    I agree, why not just take the lane?
    Bicycle lanes create not just a relatively safe zone for cyclists, but also, on the downside, foster motorists' expectations that cyclists should ride only in the bicycle lane. I am actually quite happy that most of my commuting route does not have a bike lane, as this allows me to take the whole left lane without too much hassle. I do accept that many cyclists aren't happy to do this. It's a vexed issue.
     
  6. bigfishmonger

    bigfishmonger New Member

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    taking the lane doesn't really solve anything, because you still need to stop at the lights, and at peak hour you still go faster in the bike lane than the cars do driving.

    I think the critical mass approach is a bit aggressive - bikes and cars don't mix.
     
  7. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    What a bloody great cycling scene! I'm lucky if I see 2 other cyclists on my my morning commute.
     
  8. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    I didn't mean a critical mass approach, I just meant occupying the left hand lane as is your right if there is no cycle lane or if there is no room to overtake in the cycle lane.
    If you believed bikes and cars don't mix in Sydney, you wouldn't ride at all!
     
  9. bigfishmonger

    bigfishmonger New Member

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    I know, many cyclists I know have moved down from Sydney for just that reason.
     
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