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Bicycles and motorcycles sharing lanes

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Dirk Gently, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. I know I am coming into this discussion pretty late but I thought I would throw in my two cents as a cyclist and motorcyclist.
    Im not sure if this is a good idea actually, you all know that you have to claim your position on the road as motorcyclists. Cyclists have to do this as well but we can’t match the speed of the main traffic in most instances. If I am on a dual carriage road I’m in the centre of the left lane. That’s usually enough to stop a car from trying to squeeze past, a motorcycle however may try and get by and if they are considerate I think they can do it safely. Just.

    If I only have to share my lane with a motorcycle I would of course be in the left wheel groove (or further over if my tires wont get shredded by the shit on the road), allowing plenty of room for a motorcycle to pass. But if there are any cages around that position on the road is very dangerous for me. You think the roads are tough on a motorbike? Try them on a 9kg road bike, no leathers and a foam skull cap easily exceeding 40km/h.

    Personally I think cyclists should have their own dedicated lane but the ass holes who blast their horns as they endanger cyclists by overtaking while leaving a few inches clearance are the same ass holes who gripe about the cost of building those lanes. I would prefer to share my lane with a motorcycle that can actually fit alongside me rather then a car (or bus!) that is going to try and occupy the same space as me. But you throw motorcycles into an already complex and aggressive cocktail of bicycles, busses and taxies your just going to end up with more wipeouts

  2. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

    I read Dirk's post as a discussion on sharing general lanes with bikes. This is a bus lane which is being discussed, full of buses! I'd suggest the concept of riding a pushbike in a manner such as to force a bus or taxi out into the other lane will last nanoseconds....or have I misunderstood Dirk's message?
  3. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

    Like I said, It should be perfectly safe for a motorcycle to pass a cyclist in the same lane and if I knew a lane was only shared between bicycles, buses and motorcycles I would ride further to the left to allow plenty of room for a motorbike to pass. But when there are cars/taxis around that posture is dangerously submissive, someone will try and thread a cage between me and the other lane and that's the problem I was trying to illustrate.

    I ride on Hoddle only a few times a month but when I do I certainly am not holding up the frequently stopping buses and if its peak hour I'm flying past the other lanes of traffic. I'm pretty sure most cyclists using Hoddle are pretty gritty and won’t be holding anything up.

    Cars that want to do stupid things have hit many of my friends and indeed I myself.
    But neither I nor any of my friends (that I know of) have ever been hit by a motorbike. I am not saying the added risk comes from the motorcycles directly, Its the position in the lane a cyclist may feel compelled to adopt in response to the presence of motorcycles (wanting to allow the safe passing of a vehicle that is small enough to fit in the same lane) that would make them more vulnerable to a taxi driver shaving past when it just isn't safe to do so.

    I really do think cyclists should have their own lane wherever possible but when there isn’t a dedicated bicycle lane you have to realize that a cyclist has as much right to the road as you. If I am forced to ride in a normal lane (or a shared lane) then goddamnit I’m in that lane! But I will happily wave as anyone on anything passes me in a safe manner, motorbikes can do that while using the same lane I am, cars (generally) cannot. I could move over a little to help the more cautious of motorcyclists pass but in doing so I would be inviting taxi tracks up my back.

    I hope that makes my view clearer (It should, I repeated it a few times.)
  4. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

    Dirk - the plain fact is - there has never been an incident involving a bicycle and a motorcycle in a Bus lane - or any other sort of lane for that matter, as you have accurately pointed out.

    Thinking that cyclists should have their own lane is just a "feeling" that cyclists have. A selfish feeling IMHO.....

    Until there is a shred of evidence to demonstrate that motorcycles and bicycles should be separated, then cyclists should just shut up. It only makes them look like tools and it does nothing for the relationship between us. BTW, I have already advocated that bicycles and motorcycles should be allies.....

    To repeat my point - THERE IS NO EVIDENCE to demonstrate that cyclists should be given separate road space that can't be shared with motorcycles. Why? Because there is no evidence to demonstrate that motorcycles pose a danger to cyclists......
  5. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

    Geeez jdkarmch, take a breath and read what I wrote. It sounds like you think I said "motorcycles kill cyclists, they are bad, I hate them, i don't ride a motorcycle. I want to biatch and moan about motorcycles!"

    Read what I wrote. Its very clear that you haven't understood what I have said.
  6. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

    Sorry Dirk. I apologise if I offended you. But, there is too much of this crap from anyone who rides a bicycle - claiming that they want their own space and that motorcycles are too much like cars, and that motorcycles don't belong in the same space as bicycles. Yes, just the mention of the subject makes me very angry.....

    When a bicycle rider says that bicycles should be given their own space - then it does sound like bicycle riders are saying "motorcycles kill cyclists, they are bad, I hate them, i don't ride a motorcycle. I want to biatch and moan about motorcycles!"

    What I would like to see is BNV stop this sort of propaganda. I would like to see BNV and the motorcycle community team up and target the real hazard to us both - and you know who/what that is - IT IS NOT MOTORCYCLES!!!!!

    Now - before you respond - stop and think about what you say next. This is a motorcycle forum - people here are very sensitive - just like the ones on the BNV Forums.

    How about you do something positive? Help me in my quest to stop the cold war between BNV and the motorcycle community. Together we can acieve a lot of positive outcomes. Together, we can promote a common safety message, together we can get more road space for us - that will enhance our joint safety..... yedda, yadda, yadda......
  7. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

    John, you and Dirk are on the same side of the coin.

    Dirk, have you sent your views to BVN?
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

    Thanks Rob. I recognise that fact.

    Just want to make sure that Dirk understands the sensitivity I feel. Several years ago I was booked by a cop for riding in the bicycle lane outside Flinders Street Station - and there wasn't a bicycle in sight - and I wasn't causing any danger to anyone......

    Does anyone have any ideas as to how we team up with BVN, so that we can combine our efforts to make the roads safer for all single tracked vehicles?
  9. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

    Dirk, I take your POV as genuine and not hostile, but respectfully disagree. I started cycling in traffic about 24 years ago (stopped for 4 years of that). Had a couple of near misses in the first couple of years, but none in the last 20. I see a lot of (cycle) near misses, and can easily predict most of them long before they occur. I have to say if your friends are repeatedly being hit (or nearly) by cars they must be doing something wrong.
    I totally disagree with the popular policy of not conceding space to cars. As the lead vehicle I believe that it is easy to control the time and place of the overtake. It's not that hard. Trying to prevent it is just being bloody minded, and ultimately unsafe when the car driver gets fed up with the bad attitude and forces the issue.
    (Also disagree with the need to separate cyclists, but that's a whole different can of worms)
    OK, I don't expect to necessarily change your views, but at least give some thought to who the real problem is.
    JDK has long evangelised about how cyclists and motorcyclists could help each other on the road. That will never happen while there is the mistaken belief that cycles cannot safely share with anyone.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

  11. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

    Looks like bringing in a sidebar topic kinda derailed everyone's thought movement on the whole thing. :]

    Dirk I understand you're on the same topic, but I think the delivery of what you said confuses people.
    I know I got confused and had to read it a few times.

    Would I be correct in saying that you'd like the bus lane shared with bicycles too?

    Or that you'd prefer Motorcycles and bicycles to share a lane.

    BTW, the reason people like John (jdkarmch) got a little confused is that this is a discussion on the Bus Lane Trials, when all of a sudden you came in with this "Hey! Bicycles too!" thing.
    Well, at least that's what it felt like to me, no disrespect intended.

    I would assume that others perceive it to be this way too, due to what seems to be a heavy bicycle bias on a motorcycle forum.

    (Altho' I do agree with what you're saying.)

    EDIT: Looks like I took too long to post the above and other posts have already popped in before me.
  12. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

    I guess if common sense was common we wouldn’t need 90% of our laws. Im not one for blindly obeying and wouldn’t feel any hostility towards you if I saw you using an unused lane.

    That said if I was asked to vote on allowing motorcycles to share those tiny bicycle lanes cyclists use I would vote against it. Does your Harley even fit in them?? If however it was a question of sharing a normal sized lane with motorcycles (without cars) I would vote in favor. Hell, a whole lane for motorcycles and bicycles would be amazing! (not going to happen but I am telling you so you know I don’t think that it is the motorcycles that are a direct threat to cyclists.. as I thought I had done several times before).

    And I recognize this is a touchy subject but I’m just curious.. Do you ride a bicycle? Do you think a cyclist has the same security as a several hundred kg, leather clad Harley rider capable of being heard and rapid evasive acceleration? And do you think we should have foot paths for pedestrians or should people walk on the roads?

    And I think discussion is always positive, a group of people sharing their views with respect and interest fosters education and consideration.

    Just please recognize that I am not even a member of BNV and am oblivious to all discussions you have had with them.
  13. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

    you're right Grunge, we need to keep it on topic. Apologies for my part in the derailment. We can discuss the practical impact on bicycles without getting into the larger political issues.
  14. Bicycles and motorcycles sharing lanes the debate started by a non motorcyclist but a cycle rider

    No I have nothing to do with them. Are they having a bicycle led motorcycle bash on this topic?
  15. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent


    If it is a single carriage road of course I do what ever I can to help facilitate the passage of cars. If it is a dual carriage road especially one with parked cars peppering the left hand lane I maintain a steady course. I think I am a very safe rider but I am usually on the road more than 10 hours a week and have a lot of exposure.
    The last time I was hit was on plenty road at around 11.00pm. I was in the left hand lane, a cage came screaming up behind me, blaring the horn and revving high, I was passing a parked car, instead of going into the other lane (no other cars on the road) he accelerated into me, i managed to stay up but it broke several spokes in my rear wheel. Don’t know what you can do against that.

    My friends were taken down by SMIDSY’s mostly.

    ...OK I just wanted to reply to the people who had commented on what I had said, If this is off topic then we should leave it alone.

    I had meant for my initial post to simply illustrate a potential risk of adding motorcycles to the lane that bicycles, buses and taxis currently use. I had hoped to make it clear that I didn't think it was motorcycles that would endanger cyclists but rather the position in the road a considerate cyclist would adopt to help a motorcycle overtake safely (after all we are family aren't we?) if any of you have ridden in the left wheel track im sure you have had cars try and squeeze you out. motorcycles and bicycles have a very similar footprint on the road, if you get pissed off at a car for trying to muscle in on you im sure you can understand how a cyclist feels. They ARE more vulnerable to cars taking their lane then motorbikes
  16. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

    And now you show your true colours...... I have ridden my Harley in a bicycle lane, with other bicycle riders. And, guess what? There wasn't a problem. Heaps of space. More than enough for both of us..... Don't use that argument with me, there is no evidence to support its validity.

    Yes, I have ridden a bicycle in the past - as an adult in fact. And how often do these rapid evasion acceleration manoeuvres you describe occur? What has weight got to do with it?

    My point - where is the evidence? When was the last time a motorcycle and a bicycle collided/had an accident in a bicycle lane? The truth is - NEVER.

    Same level of security? Motorcycles and bicycles share exactly the same vulnerability levels. What has clothing got to do with it. If a motorcycle rider gets hit by a car - then they suffer an injury - just like a bicycle rider. Therefore, common sense dictates that they too should be separated from cars in their own lane. The fact is that if they were to be given that space, then it may be to the detriment of bicycle riders. So? Why not allocate the same space to both motorcycles and bicycles? Can't you see the common sense here?
  17. Re: VIC - Hoddle street Motorcycle bus lane sharing trial imminent

    OK, so you had a SMIDSY - something which you could have had riding a motorcycle.

    Can we see the common factor here?

    Motorcycles and bicycles are both subject to the SMIDSY threat. It happens to us both, quite often in similar situations. Yet, it never happens motorcycle to bicycle.......

    Dirk - you just described something almost identical to that which many here have experienced on a motorcycle. My own experience? Been rear ended by a cage three times. It would have been nice to have been somewhere on the road which would have stopped that happening. Now, come to think of it - having my own lane would have made a lot of difference... Can we see what I mean here[-(
  18. Re: Bicycles and motorcycles sharing lanes the debate started by a non motorcyclist but a cycle rider

    When pushbike riders
    a) have to obtain a licence to ride on public roads to demonstrate their knowledge of the road rules and an assessed ability to actually ride safely, and
    b) have to pay registration as a contribution to the building of bicycle lanes and maintenance of the roads they want to ride on,
    THEN I will consider that they have a right to be on public roads.
    Till then, they are nothing but a traffic hazard.
  19. Re: Bicycles and motorcycles sharing lanes the debate started by a non motorcyclist but a cycle rider

    Fixed. How often have you encountered that old lady who can barely see over the steering wheel doing 20 under the limit? You lot are worse than her for blocking traffic. Either build a bike lane or let cyclists ride on the footpath, they don't belong on the road.
  20. Re: Bicycles and motorcycles sharing lanes the debate started by a non motorcyclist but a cycle rider

    You know, I'm very active both as a motorcyclists and cyclists..

    One thing BVN don't seem to realise is that motorcyclists don't really want to use a cycle lane in the first place..
    Lets face it, in a little or no traffic, I doubt any motorcyclists would use a lane that by the way is usually full of crap and better off sticking to the normal traffic lanes..
    On the other hand, it's safe for a cyclists to use the cycle lane at all times when possible for obvious reasons.

    But we're asking to share cycle lanes only in times of heavy traffic or to use it to filter to the front when it's safe to do so.
    And this can easily happen without incident..

    But unfortunately, people jump on a bicycle and lose the plot about sharing the road and end up having a don't let anyone near us attitude..
    It's ok asking everyone out there to share the road but simply demanding that no one else use their space is hardly called sharing...
    Too many cyclists, particularly a few in BV, put themselves in a higher moral ground than every other road user which causes resentment rather than cooperation between road users...

    As far as sharing a bus lane, honestly BV are crazy thinking bicycles and motos can't share a lane as wide as a bus lane... Give me a break..
    But I'm not suprised BV hold that view..

    But remember we still need to keep the discussions going and persist with it as there is a lot of positive that could come for both cycles and motos in the way of road safety..

    Remember that if this trial is successful, then they could implement sharing a bus lane vic wide and this could benefit cycles as well. Technically, cycles are not supposed to use bus lanes (although most do including myself) at the moment unless it's sign posted they can.

    If the results become favorable, then it would allow for cycles to legally use bus lanes at all times and motos to use them when traffic conditions suggests..
    A win win and what sharing the road is all about I say...