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Money wasted on cyclists: NRMA

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by vic, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. TAXPAYERS are pouring millions of dollars into lining motorways with cycleways that are barely used - and are building a new bicycle lane the NRMA says will effectively cost $300,000 for every cyclist that uses it.

    Despite pleas from Sydney's Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, for bicycles to reclaim the streets, the motoring organisation says residents are sticking to four wheels.

    In a submission to the Roads and Traffic Authority it accuses the Government of wasting millions on cyclists at the expense of motorists, who are forced to battle worsening congestion as lanes are removed from busy roads.

    The cycling lane on the M2 attracted just 130 cyclists a day. The Iemma Government is building a cycleway alongside choked Epping Road, despite as few as 25 cyclists using that corridor each day.

    At $7.6 million for the Epping Road cycleway, the NRMA says that would amount to spending $300,000 per cyclist on a lane that is unlikely to attract many more riders, based on the experiences of the M2 motorway.

    The NRMA wants the Epping Road cycleway to be scrapped to allow lanes to be widened for trucks and cars.

    The Westlink M7 cycleway added $60 million to the cost of that project, a legacy of the former roads minister Carl Scully.

    The Government has paid $25 million to Connector Motorways, which owns the Lane Cove Tunnel, to delay narrowing Epping Road from three lanes to one in each direction, leaving room for a bus lane and cycleway. The intention of narrowing the road is to funnel motorists into the tunnel.

    The M2 dedicated a breakdown lane to cyclists when it opened 10 years ago but only 130 cyclists a day used it.

    Cr Moore has accused the Government of being anti-bicycle and pro-car, and has flagged a plan for a cheap bicycle rental system in the city.

    But the president of the NRMA, Alan Evans, questioned the value of cycling lanes, and said Sydney motorists would suffer when the Epping Road-Lane Cove Tunnel roadworks were completed.

    "When you have high traffic volumes of more than 35,000 vehicles per day, this is not a sensible use of resources," Mr Evans said. "Cyclists appear to be the only winners on Epping Road, at the expense of thousands of motorists."

    A spokesman for the RTA said the cycleway would attract many more cyclists than those now using Epping Road. He said the NRMA's figure was not a true reflection of how popular the new cycleway would be once completed.

    "If you give cyclists a dedicated facility instead of riding in normal traffic, they will use it," the spokesman said.

    The acting Opposition Leader, Andrew Stoner, said the traffic gridlock on Epping Road was a sign of things to come.

    "Current traffic on Epping Road is bumper-to-bumper and most people haven't even returned from their holidays," he said. "Morris Iemma and [the Minister for Roads] Eric Roozendaal spent $25 million of taxpayers' money to delay the road changes until after the state and federal elections and now motorists know why."

  2. This is not actually incompetence or bad planning, but Government corruption....
  3. i believe the cyclists are not using the lanes as they would prefer to have a lane away from traffic, so neither one has to cross paths
  4. At the risk of being flamed, I say good - spend the money. This, IMO, is a case of short term pain, long term gain. Just because few cyclists are using the facilities now doesn't mean more won't in the future, and without these kind of facilities there is no hope of attracting more people to alternatives beside the motor car.

    It's about time planners start to realise that we are headed for a future that does not revolve around every person owning their own car, and taking it to and from work every day. Die hard motorists need to be convinced that there are more economically and environmentally sound means of transport such as bicycling, motorcycling and public transport.
  5. Whipster i have one fundamentle disagreement with what you are saying here.
    The worst thing for a cyclist is to be riding and puffing and infailing next to a bunch of gridlocked Idleing cars (No where near as horid as when we had leaded fuel) It makes cycling much harder work.
    In short cycle lanes on major arterials will not attract any but the most hardned cyclists, and as such these lanes are unlikely to have increassed use.

    If councils want to increase the amount of cycle traffic they are going to have to think a little harder than bike lanes on major arterials.
  6. Personal, self-powered transport is impractical over many distances people must commute in Australia for work etc.

    The money would clearly be far better invested in public transport... after we've publically shot every dodgy bastard CityRail employee who was awarding contracts to their mates for kickbacks.
  7. I'm with Ktulu (and I'm a cyclist) the money should be spent on world best public transport.
  8. Yep, here in Canberra there's sh!tloads of unused bicycle lanes that have been created, yet are hardly used. And we have a cr@p public transport system.
  9. It'd be alright if we were allowed to 'legally' use those lanes...
  10. +1

    Have a look at the governments own strategies


    Issues here is that proposals have been placed since 2004, but I see no measures of performance or metrics to assess how they are tracking to plan or projected success criteria!

    There is a distinct lack of decision making here.
  11. Okay, not being a cyclist myself I didn't think of it in this way, so allow me to modify my argument :) . Let me re-phrase: I don't have a problem with taxpayer money that could go toward roads going towards properly constructed and well-thought-out cycle paths instead.

    In deference to F-L's observation, the specific placement of cycle paths immediately adjacent to vehicle traffic is never going to be as good as dedicated cycle paths elsewhere, so the situation described in this article is probably best interpreted as another half-assed attempt by a government to try and do the right thing, but by not simply going 'the whole hog' the first time and building dedicated paths away from traffic (and instead 'tacking on' cycle lanes to existing roads as an afterthought), they've doomed the project to failure from the get-go. Which then makes it so much easier for the nay-sayers to go "cycling doesn't work, just look at these paths over here, $$$ to build and nobody uses them, the money should have been spent on roads, etc" :roll:

    I just think that more needs to be spent on options alternative to cars, be they bikes, scooters, bicycles, public transport or foot traffic. And it would seem that others agree:

    People seem to get hung up on the fact that bicycle lanes at the moment don't get much use :? . I'm just advocating longer-term thinking: as time rolls on, more and more people are going to turn away from cars as the price of fuel goes up (whether that's because of real shortages or because oil companies just want to fcuk with us :mad: , it doesn't matter) and if the infrastructure for increased use of bicycles is already there then it will be adopted.

    And I appreciate that

    but again, surely over time as the cost of using personal motor vehicles increases, this will matter less. Our societies (I would think) will adapt to this, over the long-term, and we'll find ourselves living in denser population centres with our workplaces, recreation areas, homes etc. within shorter distances of each other.

    Or perhaps I'm being a bit too naive that the world works logically :LOL:
  12. With the population getting fatter and fatter, i can't see the use of bicycles getting higher any time soon!
  13. Why they will have huge stores of energy at there disposal and will be able to ride for ever...
    Consider it like a long range fuel tank :LOL:
  14. The error is in the creation of the McMansion suburbs.
    When Captain Phillip landed in Sydney Cove, he didn’t build his house in Bella Vista. His house was near his work/port. These suburbs we build full of houses are an atrocity of the property market boom. One of the side effects is that those residents will need to travel a small trip every day to other centres for their jobs. Even if you put 10 bicycle lanes + 10 motorbike lanes + have one bus after the other moving people to the city, you will still have traffic congestion. The problem is the amount of people moving every day for such a long distance. It is as if there is an emergency evacuation of a whole town due to cyclone EVERY DAY. No amount of forward planning or infrastructure can cope with that.

    These solutions are no solutions. If you are rich, pay and avoid the crowd by using the tolls, on the expense of the poor, who will have to cope with one lane in Epping road. Also, we love the green vote, so we build USELESS bicycle lanes in M7 (that one is no solution to traffic, just a bicycle marathon course for the die-hards!!).

    You build bigger roads; they’ll build their McMansions farther away.
    Councils (at least), should have forced the developers to build a “proper†suburb, not one house after the other. Maybe forcing the creation of work/business centres with two employment positions per house built.

    Traffic will not be cured by more lanes, but by preventing its creation in the first place.
  15. let the lane be shared by motorcycle. better be used than unused; change the icon to a motorcycle icon; then it would encourage people to use scooter/motorcycle to pass the highway. less congestion, safer trip for riders
  16. Cycleways haven't worked so far in Sydney because they haven't reached a critical mass yet. The one on the M7 gets used a lot for recreational cycling particularly on weekends, but is useless to get to work on because the m7 uses a corridor that is about 5 km to far west.

    And be a bit critical people. Look at the NRMAs numbers. The $300,000 figure is just $7.6M divided by 24. I wouldn't ride on Epping road in peak hour and I'm mad. With a cycle way in, I imagine it would be used by at least 250 cyclists a day. so over a five year period that's only $16 a day per cyclist. To reduce congestion and and pollution and the health of the users.

    And guess what. The M2 links up with Epping road, so you will definitely see an increase in the number of users there too

    What's NRMAs proposed solution? Put more lanes in. So they too can be filled up by more cars and in 1-2 years time we'll be back where we are now, except there will be more people sitting in the traffic sucking in exhaust fumes.

    NRMA are a bunch of tools. For the past 10 years they have been talking out of there arse on most matters. "This car needs more air bags it's only got 27". I've never heard them criticise the the governments ridicules obsession for speed or put forward realistic transport solutions. All they do is whinge about petrol prices.
  17. They do hold the line quite well on a few motoring issues though.
    Of course they are motivated by money, like most organisations.

    I occasionally agree with them, but pledge no allegiance.
  18. Why do you ruin your point with 'McMansions' cliche? What exactly IS a McMansion? Is it a house bigger than yours? Is it a house that doesn't fit your idea of how people should live? Or is it some quote you read in the SMH? *

    The reason why people live in suburbs away from where they work is many fold.

    Property near the docks is very expensive, there is a finite availability of land and the demand for that land is increasing as the population increases.

    People are more mobile now and don't work in the same factory pr office for 45yrs before retiring. Even if they aspired to that, the security of work is not as it once was.

    Unless you want everyone to live in massive residential development in the sky (a proven bad excercise - go to Europe for reasons why), get used to suburbs in the sticks. Or encourage your government to have businesses relocate to regional centres, but there's a good reason why people tend to work in the cities.

    * Justin Madden, Vic Planning Minister made the same snide remark about 'McMansions' until it was revealed that he lived in one. Then he came up with a heap of excuses why he 'needed' the space. Cliches like this are normally used by the same people who berate city dwellers for having large 4wds and then make excuses how to justify their 180hp GSXR1000 K7 on the basis of some 'need'. Just live and let live.
  19. I can't think of any of their releases I agree with in the past 10 years (I haven't read them all so there must be some I agree with), but I don't think they represent motorists at all any more.
  20. from wiki
    McMansion is a slang architectural term which first came into use in the United States during the 1980s as a pejorative description. It describes a particular style of housing that, as its name suggests, is large like a mansion, but is cheaply and hastily built, often in large neighborhoods at a time with almost no difference between individual structures, similar to the production of food at McDonald's fast food restaurants.
    In addition to ubiquity, almost every reason to poke fun at McDonald's has been applied metaphorically to "McMansions". These criticisms include the deviation from traditional local or regional architectural style; a gaudy, sterile, mass-produced appearance; and perceived negative effects on nature and neighborhoods.

    My point was not on the size of those houses, but on the way the are built together, like a chicken factory. They are not like the small towns you find all over australia, which are sustainable, to an extend. McMansions suburbs are a 4star hotel complex (that in 15 years will become a 2.5stars), which stretches for m3 and demands extra consumption of fuel from their residents just to go to the loo. :grin: