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[Vic] East-West inquiry

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by TonyE, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Some time ago the MRA put in a submission to the East-West inquiry

    Following on from that I was invited to a one on one (well two on one) meeting to discuss the submission details with the Minister's advisers. I've just come back from this meeting which I believe was very valuable. There was no negative feedback and the subject of "safety" came up only in the context that safety results should follow naturally if the transport plan is right.

    I was asked to sum up in one line what it was that motorcyclists and scooter riders wanted from the road system. My reply was that we wanted a road system which enabled us to make best use of the advantages of powered two wheeled vehicles while not disadvantaging other users.

    From there we went into a discussion around road-space issues and the integration of powered two wheelers into the transport system. Use of bus lanes, filtering, advanced stop lines were all discussed. I also brought up the subject of the Transit lane on the Eastern Freeway (the "emergency" lane that is permitted for use by buses and taxis in peak hour but not motorcycles.)

    There was also discussion around powered two wheelers and commuting - especially the potential for having secure parking and lockers at outer suburban transport hubs. I believe that this is now available at Geelnong and has been very successful.

    At present we are about 2-3% of the commuting mix. A realistic modal shift from cars to powered two wheelers of around 10% of the commuting mix is entirely possible - especially given the current mix of 15 - 20% in some European cities. I pointed out that even a shift to 7 or 8% would provide a serious safety valve in terms of easing congestion and would make major differences to what roads are required.

    This is particularly significant as there is very little modal shift from public transport to other forms of transport. Onec a person is habituated to public transport then most studies show that they don't generally change their commuting mode unless they move. The modal shift almost invariably is from cars.

    We also discussed the concept of travel plans as per the UK model. see here for details I'm surprised that this has not been picked up yet by VicRoads, local government etc. (I am discussing the UK travel plan concept with one of the Universities in my work role however.)

    I believe that we really have turned a corner in terms of having transport policies that will address motorcycles seriously. That the submission was taken seriously enough to warrant a face to face meeting is good - that they were aware of the issues and had actually done their homework was even better. When coupled with the work I'm currently invoved with as part of a VMAC sub-committee developing a Victorian Powered Two Wheeler Transport and Safety Strategy which will replace the current Motorcycle Safety Strategy i think we should see some changes for the better over the next couple of years.

    It won't happen overnight but I believe that we will see some positive changes in the way motorcycles are viewed. I only hope we manage to keep up the momentum we have at the moment and that we don't end up falling back into only being viewed as a safety "problem" by some of the anti-motorcycling crowd out there. (and yes, they really do exist :evil: )
  2. All they need is a slight adjustment of their reasoning processes. I have a fairly sloid hammer, send them over and I'll sort them out for you. :)

    Nice to see some of the powers that be might be starting to see bikes as a solution rather than a problem. Some initatives that benefit motorcyclists rather than just tax/fine them would be beneficial, I hope they listened attentively. :)

    Thanks for making the effort, it must be hard to not punch bureaucrats when you meet them? :)
  3. Well we know who they are, don't we? They're Neil Mitchell :evil:
    Get rid of him - problem solved.

    Seriously, I think the news is good. I can foresee a little resistance from other alternative transport advocates (bus companies, bicycle groups?) but their arguments wouldn't be strong.
  4. Good work, will keep a keen eye on what comes out of that.

    <offtopic rant>
    Maybe it's just me - but these guys give me the shits ... they don't pay rego, they want to be taken seriously, they cry blue murder when anyone goes anywhere near them, but it's okay if they break the laws (3 abreast across a lane, splitting, going through red lights, etc).
    </offtopic rant>
  5. I hear that one of Neil Mitchell's offspring has started riding. That might change his attitude. :wink:

    Using the Eastern Freeway bus/taxi lane should have no issues - for a start there's no bicycles to get scared by the big noisy motorcycles (an argument used by some feral bicycle groups in the UK about bus lanes. If a motorcycle scares them then a bus coming up behind them must make them sh!t themselves :LOL: )

    Actually preliminary results from the UK trials have been very positive. No real conflicts between bicycles and motorcycles and generally a decrease in motorcycle crashes on those routes (although starting from a very low base means the figures not all that accurate)

    There's also no reports of conflicts from bus lane use in Canberra where it
    is the norm.
  6. Tony, looking at the advanced stop lines issue in isolation, you mentioned (I think) some time ago that Bicycle Victoria or it's executive director Harry Barber (assuming he's survived that Subaru thing) had no opposition to motorcycle use of them.
    Is this the case? If it is, it would seem to me to be good item to try and get locked in. If an organisation like BV gives it a green light (pun intended :roll: ) it seems to me that it would make a good cornerstone piece of legislation that could be added to incrementally.

    edit: I've left out an important point - I would approach this on the stop line issue only, not tie it to cycle lanes where you are certain to encounter some resistance.
  7. A bicycle is allowed to use a full lane and ride 2 abreast, so other than the fact that the law has issues with it, how does 3 abreast effect you?
    And if you feel it does, do you split, speed? Filter? Ever u turned across a solid white line? J walked? If you can’t answer no to all of these questions pull your head in
  8. Don't forget our best mate Harold Scruby :evil: :evil:
  9. Cycle lanes per se aren't under discussion - as you say we're looking for the easy bits first. One of the things is to find appropriate places to trial them first. I would expect wider areas like Royal Parade and St Kilda Road could be worth a look for initial trials. It needs to be somewhere where a narrow filtering lane can be added.

    The fact that people like BV can't necessarily see a lot of conflict (not the same as active approval) doesn't mean that the ferals like Critical Mass won't be anti sharing Advanced Stop Lines with motorcycles. :roll:
  10. I'd love to see a big push for UK-style <25kph filtering and by association, advanced stop lines.
  11. Are they allowed to ride two abreast? yes - as long as they are not more than 1.5 metres apart *and* do not breach VR247. Riding in a bicycle lane on a road ("The rider of a bicycle riding on a length of road with a bicycle lane designed for bicycles travelling in the same direction as the rider must ride in the bicycle lane unless it is impracticable to do so.") or VR253. Bicycle riders not to cause a traffic hazard ("The rider of a bicycle must not cause a traffic hazard by moving into the path of a driver or pedestrian.")

    Cyclists are only allowed to occupy a whole lane when the traffic lane is so narrow that there is not enough space for another vehicle to overtake a bicycle safely within the same lane.

    As for my own indiscretions:
    Split - not to date
    Filter - not to date
    Speed - on track days
    U turned a solid line - no
    J walked - sure, but there was no traffic

    Fine, people break the law, and yes it does affect me if I am not breaking the law and they are causing a traffic hazard by blocking up a lane - leaving me a choice of crawling along at 15-20km/h or performing a risky lane change.

    How many times have you had a cyclist abuse you for crossing "their lane"? You might also be interested to know that any motorised vehicle is allowed to utilise the bike lane for no more than 50 Metres *where necessary* to pass a turning vehicle, enter/leave a side street, swap lanes or enter a parking space.

    So, pull your own head in, I was venting a point about a lobby group that screams blue murder at cagers and bikers yet seem to have little respect for either by their own actions.

    Are we done here?
  12. Pfah! If we're in a situation where the so-called organisers of Critical Mass get to have in put into government decisions we're in a very bad way! :evil:

    Frankly, I doubt they'd personally put their names to anything for fear of being identified and charged on the basis of past activities. Anything they put their stamp on will be poison as far as voters and politicians are concerned, anyway. F$%^ 'em.

    BV is the only body with credibility and the only one that MRAVic ought to concern itself with regarding cyclists' opinions. Honestly, I'd put it to them for a statement. Unlikely to be worse than the implied status quo, and anything else is a step forward.
  13. I never said anything about having input into decisions - I did mean they would be the ones complaining. :LOL:

    FOr info about the UK bus lane trials
  14. What do you mean blocking a lane? They are legally allowed to do it, where is your problem?
    So you obey the law and they obey the law but somehow you want to have a go at them for it?
    What’s your justification?
    If they are 3 abreast but still in the lane how is that any different from them being 2 abreast in it’s impact on you?
    And So… You have also broken laws on J walking… “but there was no traffic†and that is your judgment on it, they have made there judgment, what makes your word carry so much more weight?
    As for people crossing the lane… I have been the cyclist when someone has crossed the bike lane not in front or behind me, but beside me, almost pushing me into the back of a parked truck. I have also been the motorcyclist when a car has without indication gone for my lane putting me hard on the anchors. And I’ve seen a motorcyclist pass around the left of a cyclist in a bike lane almost wiping them out as well.
    Some cyclists are F$%tards, so are some car drivers and yep even some motorcyclists. When people stop making this an us Vs them about mode of transport, and make it Us Vs them about good Vs Bad behaviour on the roads, then things may improve.
    And where necessary I think you will find still will include giving way to traffic already in the lane, so not cutting off the poor ba$tard in lycra.
  15. Bicycles son't really have anything to do with a good transport plan for motorcycles - except to use as examples to show the safety benefits that will naturally follow.

    If there is an issue over shared road usage then that's something that will need to be overcome. The best way to overcome any objections is to come up with genuine evidence based arguments in our favour. If there is no conclusive evidence one way or the other then a realistic set of trials has to be carried out to determine the best actions. First however we need to find out what trials are needed and where and how they will be carried out.

    To paraphrase what I said before: We want a transport plan which enables us to make best use of the advantages of powered two wheeled vehicles while not unfairly disadvantaging other users
  16. err, no - they're not, law is quite specific when they are allowed to do so. It is also specific about three abreast.

    Again, I have no issue with them if they do obey the law - I was having a go at those who do not and those who cry blue murder at everyone else who isn't riding a bike.

    Once again, asked and answered.

    Did I ever say my word carried any weight at all? I was expressing an opinion, one which you obviously decided to grab and troll. I never claimed I was perfect. You asked about my indiscretions, and I answered. If a police officer had caught me, guess what - I would have paid the fine and copped it sweet - because I made a judgement call that still broke the law. However, I will not scream at motorcyclists or car drivers about pedestrian rights and call them all motof*cktards and scream blue murder.

    You'll get no argument out of me - I think at least 40% of all license holders (both car and bike) should not have it ... I would gladly support compulsory license re-testing every few years. I can sit here and give just as many arguments for both motorbikers and car drivers if that makes you feel better ...

    I agree - but my stated opinion was about the lobby groups - and the ferals that constantly argue and preach it. I agree that behaviour on our roads is atrocious, I find that as a general rule, most car drivers are oblivious - with fringe groups of sunday drivers and F1 wannabes - on the other hand, motorcyclists are generally more vigilant - but there are the two groups of the "ride your ride" type or the "every street is my track" type. However, I find the majority of bicyclists to be a bad combo of the two - oblivious, arrogant and a presumption that the world owes them right of way ... there are a few bicyclists that are great - not so many are - I have friends (or worse - family) in almost all of these categories, I may buy them a beer as a person - but I neither may endorse nor like what they do ... with some I won't go on the road with them at all.

    Wow, we really have a chip on our shoulder, don't we? Where did I say "go for them"? Where did I say "ride them off the roads"? Where did I imply in any way, shape or form that they were lesser citizens or had no rights? I simply stated (originally) that I am sick of a lobby group that demonises the rest of us because we do not shave our legs and wear lycra.

    Go down to Beach road one weekend - let me know who the riders think that road belongs too ... try making a left turn of St Kilda Road during peak hour - cop the abuse for "daring" to cross over the bike lane or worse - be stuck across the lane in a car while the lights are red. In general have no issues with most people as people ... but as mobs, not a fan. I just think the arguments should go both ways - and if cyclist lobby groups are going to demand fairness and respect on the roads, they should show it as well.

    Now, that's all I said. Everything else you blew out of proportion and I simply responded to.

    The real shame here is that our community seems to have less say about the roads, laws and conditions than the bicyclist community. Yet we pay rego, higher road levies, etc ... I never made it a "us vs them" argument, just a general rant of frustration.

    Now, is this over or would you like to put some more words in my mouth?
  17. :roll:
    I apologise for introducing the subject of cyclists to this thread. It was never my intention to derail it to the extent that appears above.

    Maybe someone else can have a go at working out how the East -West transport enquiry could be of benefit to motorcyclists?
  18. Make these mandatory... :LOL: :LOL: