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Time to push for a motorcycle lane?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by vic, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. From this mornings fatality;

    Police said the motorcyclist appeared to have run into the back of a van before being hit by a sedan.

    Is it not time, seeing that Brumby is now starting to push the "ride motorcycle to ease congestion" message, to be pushing for a motorcycle/scooter friendly lane?

    For the time that they are used, emergency lanes, if kept clean, would be ideal for riders to make their morning commute.

    The argument that a car may suddenly pull into the emergency lane is piss poor.

    It would be like firing a gun into the clear air and hitting a bird.
  2. I don't think so. The emergency lane is for emergencies and emergency vehicles. Why should bikes get to ride down it when a car could fit just as easily? Any biker that can't filter through traffic should wait in line until they sort their shit out.
  3. The argument would be, that if an emergency vehicle needed to go down that lane, a motorcycle would be most unlikely to be an impediment. Goldwings excepted.

    But. The lane is also used to temporarily accommodate broken down trucks and cars. If a motorcycle at 100kmh encounters such...
    Of course, most riders could easily manage this situation, but it would only take one to suddenly swerve into the other lane at the wrong moment.

    There are arguments both ways. To be acceptable to any administrative body, I think there would need to be a fairly low speed limit for bikes (as the only users) in that lane). Then it becomes an alternative, safer (?) option to filtering in congested conditions.
  4. Slightly OT (not freeway related) - It'll be good when powered two wheelers can use the bike lanes. Often, car lanes were narrowed to create the bike lanes which means a narrower gap for motorcycles and scooters to filter through.

    The thing with the emergency lane on the freeway sounds like a recipe for disaster, in case of an emergency and it being used by emergency services, but how many bikes would use it and what would be the chances of them delaying an emergency vehicle who happens to use it? Not many and not much I reckon. A car can't easily merge back into the traffic in a second or two like a bike can (especially when the traffic is stopped) - a bike can at least get out of the way quickly and not hinder an emergency vehicles progress. Note, by not many motorcycles would use it I mean there's not a huge number of bikes on the freeway compared to cars and trucks. What would be the frequency, say, on the Monash? One bike every thirty seconds? That's not many.

    The more motorbikes and scooters are out there commuting, the more other vehicles' users will be more aware of them on the road. It's win-win.
  5. I have a key problem with a motorcycle lane (Especially in the left hand emergency lane)
    If you have a bike lane at the far left then you have to deal with merging traffic at every on ramp and off ramp.
    If you have a motorbike lane drivers will be resentful of you using other lanes.
    As such I feel that having a motorbike lane on freeways would actually increase the risks to motorcyclists.
    NO SPECULATION This whole thread is based on speculation by my pointing that out is not allowed
  6. absolutely they should be able to use them.


    - Speed limit of 60km/hr. This allows for emergency braking situations and encourages bikes to get back in if the traffic is flowing again and they only would get into it if the traffic was below 60km/hr
    - Bike must get back in the traffic entirely for emergency vehicles, bicycles, broken down vehicles and service vehicles.

    I don't believe the lane should be for motorbikes to do full speed in. they should only be able to use them if traffic is significantly slowed.

    Under these circumstances it would be fair, it would encourage people to ride bikes and it would be safer than all three current options, provided a driver/rider education program accompanied the rule change.
  7. Now thats actually not a bad suggestion.
    I'd package it with:
    (i) significant penalties for exceeding the 60kmh limit;
    (ii) same level of penalties for not IMMEDIATELY getting out of the road of an emergency vehicle.

    This would make it a heap more palatable to the "powers that be".
  8. Excellent point. Can't easily refute this. How do cyclists deal with this on the country freeways? Could the lane merge back into traffic (for m/bikes) before each ramp?

    Meh, They already do. Not gonna make it any worse than splitting.

    I'm wary of segregating traffic too, but changing driver behaviour seems to be even harder to achieve.

    With a limit (I would make it 50), I think it might work, especially for right hand emergency lanes.

    Without knowing much about the circumstances of this morning's tragedy, we can't draw too much from that alone.
  9. +1, I totally agree.

    Vic, Maybe you could start a poll to get votes on what people believe would be the best idea, and then forward these idea's on to MA or the MC council to put forward to each respective state gov dept of transport???
  10. +1 to that, same reason i won't jump in a right turn lane to get to the front of a que.... just make spiltting/filtering specifically defined as "legal" at any speed
  11. As much as I agree that splitting should be made explicitly legal it wouldn’t address this particular issue MOD: NO SPECULATING on the accident second warning! This whole thread is based on speculation by my pointing that out is not allowed) when all hell broke loose then making splitting illegal wouldn’t address the issue.
  12. Because encouraging people to ride motorbikes rather than take a car is better for everyone (except maybe car and petrol retailers).

    Also it would be harder for cars to get out of the way of emergency/service vehicles, whereas it is little problem for bikes.

    A car in the service lane would also make it impossible for push bikes to use the motorways.

    [edit: in other words there are good reasons why cars can't use it, but there are no good reasons as to why motorcycles can't use it under certain circumstances]
  13. I put up a proposal (as first suggested by Marcus Wigan) that on roads like the Monash the outside right lane should be a motorcycle lane - it used to be legal to filter in the narrow bit on the right - until they designated it as an "emergency lane". That was in the congestion inquiry submission several years ago.

    AFAIK there's been a lot of formal proposals about this, including one that we put up with formal support from the City of Casey. All have been rejected.

    I'm still very hopeful of getting usage of the Bus/Taxi/VHA lane on the Eastern - the one that's an emergency lane when it's not peak hour.

    As to the death this morning - (before the mods get upset - this is not speculation).

    The police have said that he was blinded by the sun, came around the corner and crashed into the back of a delivery van. We have unofficially herad that they believe that there was no suggestion of speeding and that he was going below the speed limit.
  14. There's a side to this that may appeal to authorities:
    Motorists don't like splitters (complain to the cops all the time); police and ambos don't like splitters; Want to stop motorcyclists splitting on freeways? Give them an option. The RH emergency lane is a reasonable option.

    In almost any scenario a bike can get out of the way of an emergency vehicle, so that's not a good reason against it. They are already deleting the emergency lanes from the Westgate in the name of traffic flow.
    Speed limit it for bikes, yes, so it's only worthwhile in congested conditions, too.

    If this can make things safer, and help fight congestion at the same time, they might go for it. Things are in flux right now, due to the transport strategy being released. The time is right.
  15. You mean we're not allowed too?

    we're allowed to use bike paths and pedestrian bridges though yeah? :grin:
  16. Encouraging more people onto two wheeled transport will also cause an increase in injury and deaths on the roads due to the lack of safety equipment, although people may call cars cages they do offer a heck of a lot more protection in a collision than a bike. Stats shown on here in the past has shown that there are more rider caused crashes than the oft quoted hit by car crashes, with more bike (pedal or powered) on the road it has to affect the statistics.

    A car driver blinded by the sun similar to this morning would be much better off with crumple zones, seat belts and air bags, even being able to easily flip down the sun visor.

    It's easy to jump on a band wagon but using this mornings collision as a reason will back fire as using an emergency lane where cars might be parked with the sun in your eyes could result in exactly the same thing :cry:
  17. Please make no more speculations on this morning's accident
    I've had to moderate the same person a few ties now as he should no doubt know better.
    I saw the aftermath of the accident this morning and don't want any speculation apart from the police report as given by Tony.
  18. But it can also be argued that the chances of a car blocking the E-lane/Motorcycle lane are so small as to be insignificant compared to a shared lane.
    Providing us with a dedicated motorcycle lane isn't a magic bullet that will remove all dangers, but it will go a long way to minimising them, which in anyone's language is a good thing.
    And you've made the point yourself, if the victim was in a car, chances are he would still be spending Christmas with his family. What we're saying is, if he was in a MC lane, the same could be said.
    There are plenty of arguments for and against, but i know where i feel safer.
    Bikes and cars ARE different, and should BE treated differently in regards to road planning.

    It would be nice if they didn't just reject these proposals, but actually provided us with evidence and reasoning as to why.
  19. The right hand lane has a bit more merit to me, but honestly, there's plenty of space in between.
  20. Yeah I think an extra RHS lane (that's only yay wide) would be good. There used to sorta one on the Monash. They repainted the lanes and left the "old" RH markings to fade away and for a while there it looked like a lane for bikes :D