Tuesday, 12 May 2009

From the USA

Here is a city that is trying hard in the USA, and has featured on here previously, Portland.

Have a read through this web site and recognise the similar state of mind, even if Portland is well advanced in its thinking on cycling:

And here is another USA story. An article on bicycles and the law in California. Obviously not Toowoomba, or Queensland, but worth a read all the same:


Many motorists do not know that legally, bicyclists on conventional roadways are never required to use a separated path, or even a shoulder. Further, there are persuasive reasons why cyclists prefer the roadway.

Like other travelers, bicyclists want to reach their destinations safely, conveniently, and with minimum delay. Paths are often indirect and disconnected; they fail to serve the cyclist’s destination; they may be poorly designed and maintained; and they are usually shared with pedestrians.

The roadway has none of these drawbacks. Nor are sidewalks or paths adjacent to a roadway safer than the road, as noncyclists and even many cyclists believe. Bicycle riders on sidewalks parallel to arterial streets have been found to suffer bicycle-car collisions 1.8 times the rate of those on the adjacent roadway (because of blind conflicts at intersections and the promotion of wrong-way travel).

The conclusion that parallel paths are undesirable is accepted as fact in existing standards for bikeway design. In any case, almost every bicycle trip must at some point use roadways shared with motorists, because the roadway system serves nearly every origin and destination, while bicycle facilities do not and cannot.

Bicyclists, too, may be unaware of their right to use the roadway, ignorant of its advantages, or intimidated by belligerent motor vehicle traffic. As a result, bicyclists may be unwilling to exercise their rights under the law. A clearer statement of the law would lead to greater respect for bicyclists’ rights.

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