Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Articles our City Fathers need to read (Australian Cyclist)

Safer is slower
In a crash between a cyclist and a vehicle travelling at 50kmh, there is a 90 per cent chance the cyclist will die. Yet at 30kmh the cyclist has a 95 per cent chance of surviving, says a UK transport expert. Debra Mayrhofer hears his life-saving message.

Reducing traffic speed is vital to making cycling safer, and thus more popular, according to John Whitelegg, Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of York in the UK.

Professor Whitelegg is also the sustainable transport adviser to the Lancaster Cycling Demonstration Town project, which is committed to doubling cycling levels over a three-year period. He recently conducted seminars in Australia on local initiatives for sustainable travel and didn't pull his punches in outlining the priorities for safer cycling.

Read more here:

Seeing red?
Traffic lights allow us to share the road in safety, right? Not according to new thinking, which says they diminish road safety, increase congestion and add to environmental pollution.

Cyclists are notorious for running reds - a study from New York City last year found that nearly 60 per cent of cyclists observed failed to stop at red lights - and pedestrians are just as bad. Another study found that even those who do stop tend not to wait for the green signal, with almost half the cyclists starting shortly before the light changed, especially in heavy traffic.

As a result, cyclists have a reputation for being arrogant, too focused on their own deadlines and thinking themselves above the law. In some cases this is true; in many cases, it seems that cyclists are ignoring traffic lights as a safety measure, because they feel that it allows them to distance themselves from following traffic.

Read more here:

Read this slowly
Speed limits, fixed cameras, traffic islands, road humps - is there an effective way to slow drivers and protect cyclists? Sally Dillon reports on a simple solution near San Francisco.

Imagine driving past a traffic sign emblazoned with the words, ‘Is today the day your speed hurts a child?' Would you slow down? Would you think a little bit more carefully about how you were driving?

A US city council that installed such signs found that motorists did indeed tend to slow down in response to such warnings.

Read more here:

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