Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hopeless design

I joined BayBUG (Canada Bay Bicycle User Group) for a portion of their ride to Cronulla this morning down the Cooks River cycleway.  Part of the cycleway around Campsie is in the process of being ripped up and replaced by the Council with a wider, smoother path - and that required us to divert into the back streets of Campsie.

Part and parcel of being a cyclist in Sydney is being discriminated against.  If a diversion is setup for cars, signs will be setup at every intersection telling drivers where to go in order to follow the diversion to the very end.  Cyclists are treated differently.  If you are lucky, whoever is doing the roadworks will put up a single sign telling you to divert elsewhere, and that will be it.  They don't bother thinking through where the cyclists actually have to go to divert around the roadworks, expecting them to figure it out for themselves.

Which is what the ride leaders did.  That involved a lot of consulting of maps, a bit of guesswork and the occasional foray into the unknown to see if a certain road or path would get us to where we wanted to go.

The first part of the diversion took us up a path at the end of Lindsay St in Campsie.  Council has put in barriers at each end of the path to stop motorcyclists from using the path.  However, they've built the barriers in such a way that it was nearly impossible for even the thinnest of us to squeeze through.  Bikes certainly couldn't get through the gap - they all had to be lifted over the barriers, which is a pretty silly design for a bike path.  

Prams and pregnant women would be utterly unable to negotiate this path - this photo shows the far end, where the barriers were wide enough to man-handle a bike through - just.

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