Citizens' Jury - Sharing the roads safely

South Australia has a strong culture of motoring while there is a growing movement towards encouraging more people to cycle. There are also increasing demands to be able to travel safely on roads, highlighted by recent accidents. How can we encourage sharing our roads safely? Are there ideas that we can trial or pilot that allow us to test attitudes, feasibility and benefits? Can we consider new ways of sharing our roads with respect to each other’s needs and ensure both are viable and safe modes of transport?

Comments closed

Ian Smailes

13 Nov 2014

I metre overtaking space: should be observed not just for cyclists but also for walkers. I think there is a fundamental behaviour problem here as motor vehicle drivers just don't expect cyclists or walkers as they would do, say, in The Netherlands or Belgium.
Cycling on footpaths: only if cyclists are legally required to have horns or some such warning device to alert pedestrians. My experience of walking in national parks is that cyclists ignore dangers to walkers by not alerting walkers appropriately even when they're using paths only meant for walkers. Heaven knows how inconsiderate cyclists could be on normal public paths.
Bike storage on buses: reminds me of buses in Norway having special storage areas for skis but at the rear which may be a better location than the front.
Road markings: be careful as too many different road markings can kill the message.
At one time in Edinburgh Scotland, there were so many different road markings on some roads one could be forgiven for thinking that the road transport department had invented their own tartan.

Eric Thribb

07 Nov 2014

Having read the report I have a few observations and one heartfelt plea...

First the caveat - my feet are in three camps - I'm a cycle-friendly driver, a cyclist who would like to bike more and a walker - it's only in that last guise that I'm openly antagonistic to what appears to be a minority, but a growing minority of cyclists.

Helmets - I hate the things, they're ugly, uncomfortable and I'd personally rather take my chances and not wear one. However, they work. They save lives, reduce brain injury risks and (probably, although this is less clear) lower health costs. The evidence that is presented against this is cherry-picked in the same way that climate-change deniers and intelligent design proponents quote edge research to support their claims. Sadly, apart from the libertarian argument I can't see a logical case against them.
Insurance: I'm surprised that this wasn't raised. As cyclists we are road users and we have responsibilities. Again, I don't like it, but it is time to open the debate once more about compulsory insurance and registration - opening the path to disqualification for our worst offenders who bring our activity into disrepute (drunks, drug users and couriers mostly).
Passing space: Yes! (although it would probably have to be accompanied by single file and keep-left rules). More countries are doing this, either by specific legislation or by inclusion in codes.
[cont'd]

Eric Thribb > Eric Thribb

07 Nov 2014

[Part 2]
Riding on footpaths: No, please, no. This is a daft idea that devalues an otherwise good report. I last rode on the footpath when I was about 10. I've not felt the need to do it since other than the odd temptation out of laziness or convenience. The day that I feel I need to ride on the footpath is probably the day that I decide I'm no longer fit to use a bike. It's as a pedestrian though that this one really gets me - it's just not an acceptable option. You don't mitigate a perceived threat to cyclists by transferring it to pedestrians, that's just dumb. Walking, particularly in the CBD is already a less than pleasurable thing most of the time with the interference and threat from inconsiderate cyclists being a major contributor to the pain of getting from a to b. On this one, I'd go further - rather than relaxation of the law, we need stronger enforcement.

So, there's the plea - 'Won't somebody think of the pedestrians?'. The word pedestrian only appears three times in the report and only once with any direct relevance. As walkers we are definitely the third class in this debate that always polarises around the car vs bike debate. The report has some very good recommendations but, overall? due to the lack of wider context - 7/10 - Could do better

Jason Morton > Eric Thribb

07 Nov 2014

As someone who drives, cycles and motorbikes, I believe strongly in sharing the road.
Helmets: Much like Mark Dawson, can you please reference your Helmet argument with unbiased scientific research summarised in a way that shows that helmets increase cycle use and reduce hospitalisations.
Insurance: As physical activity is associated with reduced health costs (hence why insurance companies encourage exercise) motorists should pay a penalty tax to encourage exercise like cycling or walking to work as a public health benefit. (http://jpl.sagepub.com/content/16/2/202.short). Likewise, it is the motorist who does the damage in an accident (hence the increased CTP for bigger cars on the road). So the issue of insurance is already covered. Cyclists injure very few people, and therfore CTP would be lower than the administration to provide it. Also, why are you targeting couriers? They aren't under the influence of drugs or breaking any laws by being couriers...

Jason Morton > Eric Thribb

07 Nov 2014

As a scientist I am outraged that you would compare cycle helmet research to climate change. I just don't know what to say about such ignorance.

Paul May > Eric Thribb

07 Nov 2014

Whilst injuries to pedestrians from cyclists are rare, I agree that opening ordinary pavements to cycling is a retrograde step. Apart from the risks involved, it reduces the legitimacy of riding on the road, and will rduce the perceived need for proper infrastructure. Well laid out shared use paths with good sight lines and clear signage are a differnt issue, but even these should separate pedestrians where cycle volumes and/or speeds are high.

The insurance and registration argument is a ridiculous furphy that we should really leave well alone. It is quite literally a solution in search of a problem. The total external impact of cyclist caused accidents and infringements is so small as to be negligible compared to the impact from motor vehicles. If there is a real concern about cyclists being covered by 3rd party insurance, then the state could set up a modest compensation fund. Registration and insurance would take another huge bite out of cycling numbers, especially those who are occasional or uncommitted. My wide rode her bike the other day for the first time in about 5 years - I really don't think she would have bothered if she had to register her bike and get insurance first. Registration also becomes awkward over the question of children's bikes. Is the bike or the rider registered? Do you have to register a bike as soon as the stabilisers come off? What happens if an adult rides a teenager's bike or vice-versa?
...

Paul May > Eric Thribb

07 Nov 2014

...
As for your assertions about helmet laws, I wonder what you've been reading. The effectiveness of helmets (unlike the case for climate change) is still the subject of much medical debate. There are many studies with wildly differing estimates of helmet effectiveness. Typically the older ones (usually case-control studies) give higher figures. Some recent studies show little or no net protective effect.

The problem with mandating helmet use is the huge (~35%) reducion in cyclist numbers that typically result. The health disbenefits of this easily outweigh the very small number of lives that might be saved by helmets. The reduction in cyclist numbers also reduces the safety in numbers factor, and makes it politically less urgent to cater for a shrinking demographic.

Eric Thribb > Eric Thribb

07 Nov 2014

Good to see a robust debate, although the 'ignorance' comment was probably uncalled for James. And I treat comments that have to begin with "As a scientist" in the same way I would those that start with "As a Mother"...
OK, my climate change comment seems to have raised a bit of ire - good! because as someone who has only just started to follow the debate, that's exactly what it reminds me of. We have a large corpus of research out there, the vast majority of which clearly supports the argument that helmets reduce head injuries in direct impact accidents. Like in climate-change, there are some interesting counter-arguments that deserve consideration but, at the moment, they are in the minority.
So, like climate change, the sensible, risk management based approach is to go with the leading evidence but continue to research and challenge where there is doubt or ambiguity.
Trouble is that instead of a rational debate and a scientific method, we have descended into a Nanny State vs Cycling Rights shouting contest where everyone behaves like a radio talk show caller. Take the link provided below to cyclehelmets.org. This may not be a fair example, but as it was offered, it seems a reasonable place to start. A website that claims to present "a resource of best-available factual information". It actually reads very much like many of the more rational skeptic sites. Under a thin veneer of impartiality the vast majority of the content is firmly anti-helmet and 10 minutes of putting

Eric Thribb > Eric Thribb

07 Nov 2014

(sorry - ran over the char limit)..
...and 10 minutes of putting the editorial board through Google exposes anything but open minds - the first six members (all I researched) appear to be active anti-helmet campaigners.

Eric Thribb > Eric Thribb

07 Nov 2014

Sorry Jason, I called you James above - my bad.
The couriers comment BTW was lazy on my part - I should have included a smiley - tongue planted firmly in cheek. Having said that, there are many around the city who could do with some re-education in basic manners.

Eric Thribb > Eric Thribb

07 Nov 2014

"can you please reference your Helmet argument with unbiased scientific research "
OK, remember though, I'm not claiming to be an expert here, just a reasonably competent researcher who is catching up on the debate.
From page one of the Google Scholar results

Nonuse of bicycle helmets and risk of fatal head injury: a proportional mortality, case–control study
Navindra Persaud, Emily Coleman, Dorothy Zwolakowski, Bert Lauwers, Dan Cass
CMAJ. 2012 November 20; 184(17): E921–E923. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.120988

The effectiveness of helmets in bicycle collisions with motor vehicles: a case-control study.
Bambach MR1, Mitchell RJ, Grzebieta RH, Olivier J.
Accid Anal Prev. 2013 Apr;53:78-88. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2013.01.005. Epub 2013 Jan 16.

Bicycle helmet efficacy: a meta-analysis
R.G. Attewell, K. Glase, M. McFadden
Note that the first two are quite recent.

That last one is a great example, by the way, of the cherry-picking that I've seen in the helmet-skeptic blogs and sites - I'm sure I've seen it quoted as "Three studies provided neck injury results that were unfavourable to helmets with a summary estimate of 1.36 (1.00, 1.86)" while neglecting to mention that this was followed by "but this result may not be applicable to the lighter helmets currently in use.". Or that the paragraph concluded with "In conclusion, the evidence is clear that bicycle helmets prevent serious injury and even death."

Paul May > Eric Thribb

11 Nov 2014

Eric,

I suspect that most people bring some preconceptions to the helmet debate, and instinctively one would assume that putting a layer of protection on one's head should give some benefit. Where you read cyclehelmets.org and see an agenda, I see an honest attempt ot explore a complex issue where much of the research is contradictory or is the subject of much debate. Unless they are being VERY selective, their list of helmet-sceptic papers is over double the length the number of supportive papers, so I don't think the doubters are by any means a lunatic fringe. Note that the list of patrons and the editorial board are mostly university professors, safety researchers or medical doctors, not internet libertarians. The policy statement page also notes that many of these people were previously of the belief that cycle helmets were an effective safety tool before they looked into the detail of the research, and understood its shortcomings. Many mentions have been made of the significant disconnect between the large safety benefits predicted from case-control studies, and the almost total failure for these to be realised across whole populations after the introduction of helmet laws.
...

Paul May > Eric Thribb

11 Nov 2014

...

Ultimately, there are two questions here, and they are separable. Firstly, in the event of any given cycle accident, do you have a significantly better chance of avoiding injury / death if you are wearing one? Secondly, if you do, does this justify compulsion to wear one? The first is still the subject of great debate. Note the responses to one of the articles you posted: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2012/10/15/cmaj.120988 - three considered, and somewhat sceptical posts, and one supportive post. The sceptical posts largely concentrate on the limitations of concentrating on any correlation between helmet use and injuries, as there are a number of other related factors (e.g. alcohol) that may play a greater role.

Secondly, if the benefits of helmet use are as suggested by some studies, the next question is one of compulsory use, or promotion. I haven't yet seen a study that takes into account the substantial drop in cycling levels that have been experienced in Australia (~30-35%) and concluded that the rather more modest reductions in fatalities & head injuries actually experienced (~20%) are a positive public health outcome. It is noticeable that the (mostly European) nations with really high cycling rates have low casualty rates per km, and very low helmet wearing. It seems unlikley that we can acheive the kinds of levels of cycling that we would like to see whilst insisting that it is so dangerous that a helmet is a legal requirement.

Sundance Bilson-Thompson > Eric Thribb

12 Nov 2014

Eric, regarding helmets the question is not "Do helmets protect individuals against injury in the case of an accident?" but rather "Do mandatory helmet laws provide a net benefit to society?" The answer to the former question is clearly yes, however this presupposes the situation in which an accident has already happened. If you're going to assess how dangerous cycling is by only looking at the instances of cyclists who do have accidents then that in itself is a form of cherry-picking. To accurately assess whether helmets are useful or necessary, one needs to look at all cycling trips, not just those that end in a hospital. Now there are a lot of reasons to say that mandatory helmet laws are bad for cyclist safety, and the well-being of society as a whole. Firstly helmets discourage people from cycling, leading to less awareness of the presence of cyclists on the road, and hence a greater chance that drivers will inattentively collide with them. Secondly it shifts the burden of responsibility from infrastructure (which does an excellent job of preventing accidents in the first place) to personal protective equipment (which does not discourage accidents, may in fact make them more common, and only serves to mitigate some of the effects of accidents). And as far as the "personal liberty" arguments go, it's quite valid to ask if mandatory helmet laws are fair. Cycling is slightly safer than netball, believe it or not (in terms of hospitalisations per participant per year)...

Sundance Bilson-Thompson > Eric Thribb

12 Nov 2014

... and government data shows that the odds of being killed each time you get on a bike are about 1 in 7.7 million (and of being seriously injured, only 1 in 350,000). So if personal protective equipment is not required for other, comparably dangerous activities, why are cyclists singled out for special treatment? Also in many states including SA members of religious groups that require a specific head dress (eg Sikhs) are exempt from wearing a helmet. If religious conviction, supported by faith rather than evidence, is a good enough reason to not be forced to wear a helmet, why shouldn't personal liberty, or peer-reviewed accident data be good enough? Lastly the comparison to climate change skepticism is an interesting one. 98% of climate scientists support the idea that climate change is caused by humans. Likewise the vast majority of countries do not require mandatory helmet use. Australia's stance that helmets are necessary is actually the fringe view. In fact several places where helmets were mandatory for all ages have seen those laws repealed or amended to only apply to minors (e.g. Israel, Austin and Dallas, the Northern Territory). The data from areas where helmets are NOT mandatory clearly demonstrates that giving cyclists the right to choose whether they wear a helmet does not make cycling more dangerous.

Michele Bryant

06 Nov 2014

I would really love to see the Amy Gillett Bikeway completed to Mt Pleasant as promised. We are cycling on 100 km roads up here with cars and semi trailers and no bike lane. All of the previous comments relate to the city. Please don't forget us in the country. You might like to come up and get some fresh air and a safe ride one day.

Aron Hausler

03 Nov 2014

Hi - there are some amazing advancements in the fields of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications...and of course, who hasn't see / heard of Google's driver-less car?

Some of that world leading technology is developed right here in SA. Some leading car manufacturers foresee an end to vehicle collisions within a generation...some are even betting the farm on it.

I would like to see some of that energy and resource going in to vehicle-to-cycle technology.
Can cycles be tagged electronically so that in-car safety systems can help avoid hits and near misses?

What would it take to have vehicle technology that automatically assists in identifying and avoiding incidents with cyclists? What are the regulatory conditions that would need to be true for technology to assist drivers (or vehicles) to more safely share the road with cyclists and others?
It ain't a quick fix...but the trend is clear and the base investment is already being made by large car and truck manufacturers. What role could SA play in that market (if it exists)?

Mark Dawson

28 Oct 2014

Australian Workers Support Ride-2-Work Scheme

http://www.bikeoz.com.au/index.php/cpf-news/154-australian-workers-support-a-national-ride-to-work-scheme-new-data-shows

Paul May

27 Oct 2014

One or two more creative ideas:

If (and only if) the helmet law can be rescinded, launch a bike-share scheme similar to those that have been successful everywhere in the world outside Australia. These have proven to be a great way to get people cycling, and a real catalyst for change.

As Adelaide is a much less compact city than many that have high cycling rates, one way to encourage more people to cycle into the CBD and reduce congestion would be to provide better park & ride sites arranged around the inner suburbs. Such sites would need to provide secure overnight bike parking so that drivers could leave their cars for the day, pick up their bikes, and ride the last few km to work. Such sites should also be convenient for public transport to give modal choice, and would make ideal sites for bike-share hubs. It's already noticeable that some commuters park around the outside of the parklands and bring a bike with them - this would provide the facilities for more people to do it.
...

Paul May > Paul May

27 Oct 2014

...
Many of the main routes approaching the city have 4 narrow lanes with no room for cycle lanes of a useable width. As these are the natural routes into the city, and parallel back streets are often not direct or suitable, some way needs to be found to enable cyclists to ride on these routes and feel safe. One possibility would be to reduce the traffic lanes to 3, operating on a tidal flow system (similar to Flagstaff Road) with a 50kmh limit. Between the peaks the centre lane could be reserved for turning traffic, and some turns banned in the peak. The remaining space would be then available for a separated bike lane of reasonable width. Parking would be largely impractical on such a route (unless room could be made for parking bays where essential).

John Handley > Paul May

31 Oct 2014

Recently there was a delegation of people from City of Melbourne, Monash, RACQ etc to the Netherlands. They rode around some very interesting sites and had some great discussions. NOT A HELMET IN SIGHT.

Did they come back and say oh, we ought to look at MHLs? No...

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=743059332408139&set=vb.220197534694324&type=2&theater

Andrew Thomas

27 Oct 2014

Another one from left field. I am aware of a number of locations where shared paths cross roads which are low traffic. Invariably, the giveway signs are placed to stop cyclists on the shared path, even though there may be actually more shared path traffic than motor vehicle traffic on the roadway. This seems contrary to general raoad safety managment principles which give intersection priority to the higher traffic volume lane/road. I think part of the issue may be that shared paths (especially those on reserves) are not necessarily considered as "road related areas" under the road traffic act, and therefore they cannot be given "priority " as a higher trafficked 'roadway". putting the giveway sign on the low trafficed road and giving priority to the shared path would be a great boost to legal protection of vulnerable road users

Andrew Thomas

27 Oct 2014

A couple of suggestions on improving cycling safety in SA
1: I havent researched it directly but understand at least one other nation requires all motorists to spend time on a pushbike on the road before they get their drivers licence. This one seems a pretty simple way to raise motorists level of awareness, as, Im sure every motorist would have a new appreciation of the vulnerability of cyclists, if only they were exposed to it themselves
2:introduce legislation to require motorists to yield to cyclists as they exit bike lanes, or within 10m on approach and exit of a roundabout or intersection. (similar to the give way to merging buses rule that was introduced - if its good enough for buses, it should be good enough for the vulnerable road users) At present its not clear who has right of way, and cycle lanes are not consistently linemarked to make it clear. The confusion is a recipe for disaster, either thru casualty or road rage.
3: Encourage Councils to sweep cycle lanes more frequently than regular roadways - I ride out of the lanes to avoid the tyre shredding crud that is blown and washed into the cycle lanes.

Mark Dawson

27 Oct 2014

Out-group homogeneity bias

Interesting introduction to the affects of media bias against road cycling and out-group homogeneity bias and their influence on motorist's perceptions and behaviour

http://allezalain.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/open-letter-to-nillumbik-mayor-michael-young-re-cyclists-on-heidelberg-kinglake-road/

Russell Johnstone

23 Oct 2014

I've had to ride in the city on several occasions recently and I'm struck by the state of poor repair that the bike lanes are travelling away from the city along Payneham Road. It would seem that any trenching works along the road have been undertaken in the bike lane and the restoration of the road surface has been inadequately completed so that riding in them is downright dangerous. Does a 'Standard' for the guidance of local government and their contractors for the completion of repairs exist? Is it policed? This is a potential area for improvement.

Paul May > Russell Johnstone

23 Oct 2014

Absolutely - and it's not just the re-instatement that is poor. There are many places with potholes, bumps, recessed or raised utility access covers, drains etc. Add to this the amount of gravel, rubbish and debris that accumulates in some cycle lanes, and it becomes a full time job watching the road surface.

Mark Dawson > Russell Johnstone

23 Oct 2014

Most road shoulders are merely services' areas for roads designed for motor vehicles. Unfortunately, painted "bike lanes" generally cordon the worst bits of road surface and road debris. Extreme vigilance and bike handling skills are required to minimise the risk of ending up under the wheels of motor vehicles.

Mark Dawson

22 Oct 2014

Gold Coast's A-Metre-Matters video [Adelaide would need a Thunderbirds and an AFL player etc] and ensure properly-adjusted helmet straps

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=707797609312882

Mark Dawson

20 Oct 2014

California has just released their ad for the 3-foot passing law recently introduced

http://youtu.be/9JJ-JHrT2E8

Mark Dawson

16 Oct 2014

More good stuff from the ABC

http://australianbicyclecouncil.cmail2.com/t/ViewEmail/r/FA144FFB3879E8C22540EF23F30FEDED/1B9E9B23AC7E54036E6039C17E42EE19

Mark Dawson

15 Oct 2014

Latvians demonstrating the space a car with one occupant uses
http://mpora.com/articles/pro-cycling-protest-brilliantly-demonstrates-much-space-cars-waste-cities

Paul May

14 Oct 2014

I'm suprised that no-one so far has posted a link to this resource: http://www.cyclehelmets.org/
This site gathers together evidence, commentary and news stories regarding cycle helmets in a methodical evidence-based way. It also examines the effects of helmet compulsion on rider numbers, and explains how helmets can prevent some injuries, but make others more likely.

YourSAy Team > Paul May

15 Oct 2014

Thanks for the link Paul!

Mark Dawson

14 Oct 2014

Vulnerable Road User Inquiries - there's a wealth of information and learnings from NSW

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/BD0C30FA449977D9CA2577270021AA13 and the ACT

http://www.parliament.act.gov.au/in-committees/standing_committees/Planning,-Environment-and-Territory-and-Municipal-Services/inquiry-into-vulnerable-road-users/reports?inquiry=450639

and SA's road safety strategy http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/towardszerotogether/road_safety_strategies

While our Citizen's Jury process provides a channel for public consultation it would be good to see this put in some top-down perspective where citizen's can clearly see the commitment to safety, including researching the body of knowledge, then proposing and evaluating possible improvement strategies and public policy. Such work, being for the public good, should be a pillar of government - lead by full-time specialists such as those in DPTI, with specialist input from academics and other communities of interest.

Mark Dawson > Mark Dawson

14 Oct 2014

Sorry - just noticed this duplicate post but can't edit|delete

Mark Dawson

14 Oct 2014

Vulnerable Road User Inquiries - there's a wealth of information and learnings from NSW

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/BD0C30FA449977D9CA2577270021AA13 and the ACT

http://www.parliament.act.gov.au/in-committees/standing_committees/Planning,-Environment-and-Territory-and-Municipal-Services/inquiry-into-vulnerable-road-users/reports?inquiry=450639

and SA's road safety strategy http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/towardszerotogether/road_safety_strategies

While our Citizen's Jury process provides a channel for public consultation it would be good to see this put in some top-down perspective where citizen's can clearly see the commitment to safety, including researching the body of knowledge, then proposing and evaluating possible improvement strategies and public policy. Such work, being for the public good, should be a pillar of government - lead by full-time specialists such as those in DPTI, with specialist input from academics and other communities of interest.

YourSAy Team > Mark Dawson

15 Oct 2014

Thanks for your ideas Mark.

Monique Blason

14 Oct 2014

I ride to work each day, I mountain bike, road ride and I drive. As a female in my 40s and a mum I am well aware of the risk I face each morning and afternoon so I do all I can to mitigate that risk including wearing my helmet, having lights on at all times and wearing reflective gear. I want to get home to my family. I believe I have a fairly good understanding of the variety of risks we cyclists, of all types, face. So, I am flabergasted that some people think relaxing mandatory helmet laws will not be a negative thing. I coudn't care less about my what my hair looks like after a ride into work each morning. I have a shower and I brush it. So do the other females in my office. Simple. Please don't use this arguement as a reason to not wear a helmet. My partner's colleague was on bike path the other day, his tyre blew out sending him over the bars. He was dazed for a while after as he landed on his head. He said that if not for his helmet it would have been much much worse. I think we all know someone who has had a similar incident. These everyday statistics are not quantified because we don't report them - who would we report it to? So, I think we should be very careful about using 'statistics' as they may not give the whole picture. Quite frankly I would rather have bad hair than brain damage.
Otherwise: some fantastic ideas and thoughts in this forum. Agree totally with frustrating disappearing bike lanes! We could all do with more education and awareness and improved infrastructure. I look forward to seeing what the Citizen's Jury comes up with.

YourSAy Team > Monique Blason

15 Oct 2014

Thanks for getting involved Monique.

Paul Oborn > Monique Blason

16 Oct 2014

You can still wear your helmet everyday if it makes you feel safer, without a law.
Unfortunately, wearing a bike helmet does not guarantee you will not suffer brain damage or death. (100% of cyclists killed this year were wearing helmets).

Where you ride, what you ride, your speed, your bike handling experience, your awareness of surroundings etc. all play a bigger role in your safety than a helmet.

This year, US bikeshare clocked up 23 million rides with no helmets and zero deaths.
http://grist.org/list/u-s-bikeshares-have-killed-a-shocking-amount-of-people/

Helmet laws have distracted us from real safety initiatives.
"Make them all wear helmets, problem solved".
But the problem of keeping cyclists safe has not been solved.

This is why after 22 years, no other counties have followed our example and implemented mandatory laws, they've focussed on real safety initiatives.
Initiatives that encourage cycling, make cycling more attractive and pleasurable, not the 'extreme sport' with specialist apparel it's become in Australia.

John Handley > Monique Blason

31 Oct 2014

One of the problems with Mandatory Helmet Laws is that they make cycling appear dangerous. It is not, cycling is one of the safest activities we do - much safer than playing sport, or driving a car.

It's bad policy based on no evidence, and there has been no evidence of its usefuness since intorduced by Bob Hawke.

Mark Dawson

11 Oct 2014

Degrees of Separation - Ride On magazine's OCT-NOV issue has an article exploring the benefits of separating motor vehicle and bicycle traffic [pp. 40-42]. Members receive this publication and others can subscribe here https://www.isubscribe.com.au/Ride-On-Magazine-Subscription.cfm?mckv=s81QSJMRP&pcrid=23017799184&plid=&kword=ride%20on%20magazine&gclid=CNTx1571rr0CFQPipAodZygAxQ

The article references Qld's Cycling Strategy https://www.isubscribe.com.au/Ride-On-Magazine-Subscription.cfm?mckv=s81QSJMRP&pcrid=23017799184&plid=&kword=ride%20on%20magazine&gclid=CNTx1571rr0CFQPipAodZygAxQ and its Separated Cycleways guideline http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/~/media/busind/techstdpubs/trum/SeparatedCyclewaysGuideline.pdf

There's also good resources on http://www.bicyclecouncil.com.au/ with research and other information. We need an agreed vision for South Australia with a cycling strategy to help achieve that vision as an organising framework.

YourSAy Team > Mark Dawson

13 Oct 2014

Thanks for these links Mark - we've passed them onto the jury.

Paul Oborn

11 Oct 2014

22 years after the introduction of mandatory helmet laws, The state government of Queensland recently held an inquiry into cycling: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/committees/THLGC/2013/INQ-CYC/rp-39-29Nov13.pdf
‘Report No. 39 – Inquiry into Cycling Issues Transport, Housing and Local
Government Committee (November 2013)’.
One of the recommendations from the inquiry (on page 47) states;
“The Committee is concerned that the introduction of mandatory helmet laws may have had an unintended, adverse impact on cycling participation rates in Queensland and therefore the overall health of the state. It also believes there is sufficient evidence provided by the Northern Territory example that a relaxation of mandatory helmet laws in lower risk situations (such as cycling on footpaths and on dedicated cycle paths), does not inevitably reduce the safety of cycling.
The Committee is therefore of the view that relaxing mandatory helmet laws in specific circumstances is likely to increase cycling participation rates with a range of associated health benefits and economic benefits in tourism areas. The Committee also believes that a relaxation of mandatory helmet laws may assist in normalising the perception of cyclists by motorists.”

Mark Dawson > Paul Oborn

11 Oct 2014

I've run along the shared bike|pedestrian paths in Darwin Paul, especially the one from the CBD along the coast past Fanny Bay. It's often been 23C with high humidity early and most cyclists on those paths elect not to wear helmets. But as a life-long cyclist I'd always wear my helmet - I've been unconscious several times after hitting the ground when motorists have turned in front of me and am grateful for my helmet protection. It's important to note the Qld's committee's wording "relaxing mandatory helmet laws in specific circumstances"

Paul Oborn > Paul Oborn

11 Oct 2014

I'm not anti helmet, I wear a helmet when I ride on the road for exercise, however, I choose not to wear a helmet when I ride my vintage upright bike through the park - even though I risk a fine (that's the only risk!) It should be a choice individuals make for themselves. Our situations, locations, bikes and experience etc. are all different. The law doesn't allow for the differences and alienates a lot of people from riding. Just last Sunday I pleaded with my teenage daughter to come for a ride to the park with me. "Dad... I've just done my hair". She would not come because of the helmet law. My wife is the same. Riding a bike should be as simple as 'riding a bike'. In Australia we've complicated bike riding with a rule that hasn't actually saved anymore lives and in fact has made cycling a 'dangerous' activity that, in the eyes of the public, is dominated by MAMILS. Hence, we find ourselves here within a citizens jury. This wouldn't be necessary if cycling was 'normal'. BTW, The "specific circumstances" QLD committee refer to is; exemptions for over 16yo, parks, cycle tracks, shared paths & roads under 60kmh limits.

YourSAy Team > Paul Oborn

13 Oct 2014

Thanks for your contributions Paul and Mark - good to hear both sides of the issue.

Mark Dawson > Paul Oborn

13 Oct 2014

Bicycle helmets prevent serious injury and even death http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety/publications/2000/Bic_Crash_5.aspx
There may be more recent reports but this meta analysis shows the value of helmets. I recall an Australian Safety Transport Bureau report with OECD comparisons but can't find it right now.

Paul Oborn > Paul Oborn

13 Oct 2014

I'll tell you straight up Mark, you're wasting your time trying to convince me a helmet law is good.
My view, based on years of reading reports both for and against: Helmets are good. Mandatory laws are not.
In the same way that sunscreen is good, not mandatory.
Personally, I fear skin cancer more than falling off my bike and would rather ride my bike in the park wearing a wide brimmed hat than a helmet.

Paul May > Paul Oborn

15 Oct 2014

A link to some critique of that meta-analysis: http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1251.html
In short, it criticises the methodology and links to academic papers critical of that study. One of the key issues is that it is an analysis of only a small number of case-control studies (case control being one of the poorer ways to study this kind of thing). We now have whole population data for Australia that does not indicate anything like the effectiveness claimed for cycle helmets.

Mark Dawson

09 Oct 2014

Sobering stats http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/85395/Cyclists.pdf

Mark Dawson

08 Oct 2014

Free seminar 14 October "How re-thinking urban mobility is injecting new vibrancy into our cities’ street spaces and sparking innovation in the way we travel"
http://blogs.adelaide.edu.au/researchtuesdays/2014/09/09/the-streets-are-alive/

YourSAy Team > Mark Dawson

08 Oct 2014

Thanks for sharing the details of this event Mark.

Sam Gallery

08 Oct 2014

As far as shoulder bike lanes go, most cyclists will agree that they are fine until you come across a parked car, you then have to swing out into the traffic which is frustrating for the rider and drivers as there often is barely enough room for all. There is a section of sir Donald Bradman drive between South road and just before Marion road which solves this problem and should be an example of successful bike/car sharing. The car parks are recessed into the footpath and the bike lane is left clear for cyclists at all times. I ride and drive along there regularly and there is never a problem as a rider or a motorist.

Mark Dawson > Sam Gallery

08 Oct 2014

And many of these "lanes" are on Clear Ways which cars mostly respect only during the "clear" period. Worse, many such lanes just disappear at intersections e.g. heading west over Portrush Rd on The Parade, Norwood and|or haven't been painted e.g. Portrush Rd between The Parade and Greenhill Rd despite being marked early this year.

Sam Gallery > Sam Gallery

08 Oct 2014

I agree with you re the lanes disappearing at intersections, this drives me crazy as a motorist and as a cyclist. Often as a cyclist, I ride up onto the footpath for 10m or so until the bike lane starts again. It begs the question, why have bike lanes if they are just going to disappear when it gets too narrow?

YourSAy Team > Sam Gallery

08 Oct 2014

Thanks for your contributions Mark and Sam.

Shane Bergl

07 Oct 2014

When cyclists have to pay road usage fees, ie. rego, then they can have equal rights.

Sundance Bilson-Thompson > Shane Bergl

08 Oct 2014

I assume that anyone who makes such an ill-informed comment must be trolling. But just to be clear, most cyclists already pay road usage fees - because they own cars as well as bikes. Like me. I ride a bike, but I also own a car, pay rego, taxes, etc. And a bike creates a lot less wear and tear on a road than a car does, so you should really be glad to see more people riding instead of driving - we're keeping "your" road well-maintained.

Paul May > Shane Bergl

08 Oct 2014

Firstly, the question was about encouraging cycling (that's how I read it anyway). Insisting on registration is about the best thing that could be done to reduce cycling numbers.
Secondly, how much should it be? Rego currently pays third party insurance, and includes a component for the size and engine size of the vehicle. As the number of people injured by cyclists is tiny, and the pollution and road damage done by cyclists is negligible, the fee would barely be worth collecting. The argument about paying for the cost of cycle lanes is also doubtful when compared to the costs of upgrading South Road (billions by the time it's finished).
So it all comes down to law enforcement. I'm not pretending cyclists are blameless, but in general their transgressions do not create anything like the level of danger and injury that motorists' law-breaking does. Cyclists are already easier to identify, because (like pedestrians) you can see our faces. Drop the helmet law, and you could see us even more clearly. I also defy anyone to create a readable number plate that would be remotely practical to fit to a bike.
So please, can we drop the rego argument?

Sam Gallery > Shane Bergl

08 Oct 2014

And pedestrians? If cyclists have to be registered then I don't see why pedestrians shouldn't be, footpaths cost more than bike tracks.

Mark Dawson > Shane Bergl

08 Oct 2014

A decade ago cyclists and others seeking justice [after Ian Humphries was killed riding his bike] gathered on North Terrace outside Parliament. Michael Atkinson addressed the crowd as the representative of the SA Government, spruiking the Governments planned $2 M spend on cycling infrastructure. Someone in the crowd responded with "that's merely a gold-coin donation" [per head of population]. Cyclists then and now want improved equity. As the Productivity Commission recently concluded [http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/automotive/report] "decades of transitional assistance to automotive manufacturing firms ($30 billion between 1997 and 2012) has forestalled, but not prevented, the significant structural adjustment now facing the industry". All taxpayers have funded this assistance which dwarfs any spend on safer cycling during this period and the foreseeable future.

Mark Dawson > Shane Bergl

09 Oct 2014

Car registration goes towards administration and third-party insurance, not road construction and maintenance - see these links
https://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/general/better-conditions/2690/
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/bicycle-registration-radical-expensive-and-sure-to-get-people-off-their-bikes-20140507-zr5zq.html

Lee-Anne Fleming

30 Sep 2014

Just want to put a few ideas down for the jury to consider in working towards ' What things could we trial to ensure they share the roads safely'
1) Traffic flow and lights sequencing. Traveling by car West to east through the CDB (eg Mile end to Kensington) taking a major road such a Currie St. The timing of the traffic lights are set up in a way that when ever you come up to a light it turns amber then red, even at pedestrian crossing. While the speed is still 40, not getting a smooth run of even a few hundred meters is very frustrating as a driver, and probably makes them impatient, and take risks to 'get through this next light'
2) I see drivers move the vehicle to the side a meter or more to avoid debris on the road, but very little when they are passing a human on a 2 wheel vehicle.
3) allow motorcyclists to lane split at traffic light which are stopped to get to the front of the queue to enable then to accelerate into clear space as the lights go green. Other states have put this into legislation
4) have bigger and clearer signs posted for suggested bike routes. Currently the tiny blue signs (bike with arrow) up a stobbie pole at a few intersections along the route do not really publicise the route well. Have these signs more visible and with selected route distance/times at intersections would also put it in the public's mind that 'yeah i could take my bike to the shops because it is only 4mins away'
5) .....tbc

Lee-Anne Fleming > Lee-Anne Fleming

30 Sep 2014

5) ... consider that some roads should not allow bikes traffic on them. Such as South road. Heavy vehicles (which have no other options to take) is not a place where even a skilled cyclist should be riding where there is not adequate protection - and really the punie bike lane could not protect in such circumstances
6) Bike lanes that end dramatically (eg heading east on Hounslow st Hilton - northern side of street with junction of Bagot Ave) runs the rider into the gutter. Or where approaching a round about.
A good example to follow would be what they are trialing in Mildura at San Mateo Ave and 13th St where the bike lane is directed into the 'claim the lane' position for optimal visibility and safety through the roundabout
7)PSA about how cycling assists to reduce traffic congestion ie every cyclist is one less car on the road.
b)... i may come back and ad some more :)

David Bills > Lee-Anne Fleming

01 Oct 2014

Just a few thoughts on some of your points ...
1) Some cities overseas have what they call a "green wave" which is programmed so that a cyclist moving at 25km/h will get a clear run of green lights. Copenhagen even have little lights built into the road in some places, so you know that if you're over a green one you will get the next green light
5) This is a bad idea, unless cyclists are provided a parallel alternative (like the Veloway along the Southern Expressway). Banning cyclist from certain roads would set a bad precedent and furthers the misunderstanding that cycling is dangerous. We need to encourage cycling!

Scott Davis > Lee-Anne Fleming

02 Oct 2014

An earlier version of the Torrens-to-Torrens project showed separated bike paths. The current version of the video shows animated cyclists riding on the main carriageway with disappearing bike lanes. At least one cyclist is passed very close by a car in the same lane.
http://www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/south_road_upgrade/northsouthcorridor/torrens_road_to_river_torrens
Putting wide kerb-separated bike lanes or parallel dedicated bike routes would encourage commuting in this corridor. People on bikes often want to go to the same places as people in cars.
The Port River Expressway corridor is wide enough for separate bike paths, yet bikes are still expected to ride on the shoulder, despite having had a death on Ride to Work Day in 2010.

YourSAy Team > Lee-Anne Fleming

02 Oct 2014

Thanks for your contributions Lee-Anne, David and Scott

Lee-Anne Fleming > Lee-Anne Fleming

02 Oct 2014

Scott, Indeed having a proper separated bike path would be the min requirement to ensure it is safer.
The current situation is just too risky.

Paul May > Lee-Anne Fleming

03 Oct 2014

Just a few thoughts on the points raised:
1. Absolutely. The slow changes of lights seems to lead to a lot of amber gambling behaviour. Shorter turns would reduce this behaviour, as well as favouring cyclists and pedestrians.
4. Makes a lot of sense. The exisiting routes are hard to follow even when you have planned in advanve.
5. No. As David says, it just paints cycling as more dangerous than it is, and makes cyclists seem like less legitimate road users. I am absolutely for properly protected cycle lanes on roads such as South Road, but they must be on or immediately parallel to the main road. The city's main arterial roads are the quickest and most direct routes for getting from A to B. Any diversion makes us second class citizens (OK, third).
What might make sense so as to reduce the exposure of inexperienced cyclists to these kind of scarier road environments would be to remove them from things like the Bike-Direct maps.
Personally, I ride South Road from Darlington to Mile End in the rush hour at least once a month, and it's far from Adelaide's worst road.
6. I use roundabouts which push the rider out of the cycle lane and into 'primary position' on a daily basis. I think that unless the speed limit is 40 or lower, they are far too scary for inexperienced riders. The ones I use are in a 50kmh zone, and not far apart, so there is a constant rush for drivers to try to overtake before the junction, often cutting quite close. I suspect the details of the desi

Paul May > Lee-Anne Fleming

03 Oct 2014

I suspect the details of the design could be improved, but I'm not a fan. From a cyclist viewpoint, roundabouts should be avoided altogether.
7. Yes, some good PR about how cyclists actually are making things better, and are not merely to be 'tolerated' might help to change some attitudes.

Mark Dawson > Lee-Anne Fleming

07 Oct 2014

New York City's recent initiatives seem to be working http://www.vox.com/2014/9/8/6121129/bike-lanes-traffic-new-york
and well integrated when I was there last year [following my visits and observations in 2002 and 2006 when I wouldn't have been game to cycle there].