Monday, 10 October 2011

Articles from National Ride to Work Day in Melbourne

Articles that are coming out around the National Ride to Work Day in Melbourne (Oct 11) illustrate the extent of our problems in this city. Journalists at The Age newspaper have written a few pieces that really question the International Cyclist's Union designation Melbourne as a world cycling city.  Part of the problem is the infrastructure, creating safety risks. A second is the "driving culture".

Video, The Age, 5 Oct 2011.
Tessa decides it is worth cycling. to work. Mind you if she is going from St.Kilda to The Age offices way out on the way to the airport...
There are a series of articles and videos in the Age this week and last week. Some of them are a bit strange - eg focussing on how many accidents bike riders have in Melbourne, which will put people off (no car accident victims mentioned).

A focus on driver education is welcome:

“Cycling safety campaigns usually focus on changing cyclists' behaviour, where the emphasis should be on changing driver behaviour,” Ms Johnson said. “If a driver cuts you off or opens their door in front of you, there's nothing you can do to change your behaviour in that situation. Those two examples and so many I see are about changing driver behaviour.”
And this is not encouraging

John Gould, a passionate safety advocate and bike shop owner, said Melbourne road users could learn tolerance from their overseas counterparts.“I've ridden in probably 20 countries and I find Melbourne the second-worst place I've ridden in [after Istanbul],” he said.“A lot of those countries don't have many cyclists but they're still a lot more considerate … I was probably on the only bike in Slovenia and holding up traffic going up hills. But no one tooted, everyone knew it was only 10 seconds of their lives. “Here there's lots of carry-on: 'Get out of my way'. The utes love to play chicken with you, I see lots of incidents. The road is a shared carriageway and we've got to share it.”

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