ACT retains passing minimum distance laws

After a trial, the ACT government has decided to retain mandatory minimum passing distances for motorists passing cyclists.  Read more in the Canberra Times article.

Do you think we should follow this lead in Victoria?  Currently the law only specified a ‘safe’ passing distance and the government has funded an education campaign.

WA has a minimum passing distance of 1m for speed limits of 60kph or less and 1.5 m for speeds over 60kph.

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Barwon River Circuit, Saturday 31st March, 2018

Herman led 32 cyclists on the Barwon River path.  It was a perfect morning for cycling – cool, still and with a general feel of relaxed recreation among path users.  Due to the holiday weekend for Easter, the Barwon Edge had a surcharge of 15%, which was a problem for a few of the group.  However, the relaxed mood continued with lots of chatter and discussion before the riders dispersed to go home their own way.

Thanks to Herman for leading this morning’s ride.

Next week – Doug has organised to have a PASS BOX fitted to his bike and a couple of people will be at Barwon Edge to fit this after the river ride next Saturday.  PASS BOX is a measuring device to measure how close other vehicles come as they pass bicycles.  The aim of this is survey is to see just how much of an issue this is, and to see how motorist behaviour changes over time.  The Melbourne Bicycle Users Group are seeking other Geelong cyclists who ride on the roads around Geelong.  If you’re interested, please fill out the registration survey at http://passbox.org/.

Ted Wilson Trail Update

Church Street end now re-opened, but beware of temptation

Finally, after over a year, the Church Street end of the Ted Wilson Trail and western end of Church Street have reopened.

The shared path along Church Street that leads to the Ted Wilson Trail (newly re-opened Church Street on the left)

However, avoid the temptation of the new sweeping path down the hill to Fyansford!

The path makes and abrupt halt at the bottom of the long hill – at the edge of the estate.  When it will be finished nobody knows.  Cyclists need to pedal back up the hill and take the usual route along Hyland Street to access Fyansford.

“Fyansford” end of the new path from Church Street to Fyansford

Riding along the re-opened Ted Wilson Trail isn’t all roses either.  The path is seriously overgrown with weeds, which are beginning to compromise the integrity of the path surface.  Hopefully, CoGG will soon rectify this.  (If you have Snap, Send, Solve  on your phone – send in a request to have this fixed.  The more people who do so, the more likelihood of fast action.)

We note that the Ted Wilson Trail is now closed between Bacchus Marsh Road and Anakie Road for 5 months from 8th January till 8th June.  Cyclists detour to Matthews Road, and have to negotiate the very busy multi-land roundabout at Cox, Anakie and Matthews Road.

Path closure sign on Ted Wilson Trail near Pioneer Road.

Support new Cycling Infrastructure for Geelong – have your say

To promote the safety of separated bicycle infrastructure, these kids have produced a music video…

Please find the time to comment on Geelong’s proposed new cycling infrastructure – https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/yoursay/item/8d51c8881af246e.aspx

To view the detailed plans, there’s one final drop-in session from 3-6pm, next Tuesday (February 13th) from 3-6pm.

Let the strength of our cycling voices lead to positive, safe cycling infrastructure!

Amsterdam: Cycling Heaven – 5 reasons why

Geelong moved a step closer to becoming a leading cycling city with the opening of the first stage of the Malop Street Green Spine last week.  There is now a one-way cycleway westwards from Yarra Street to Moorabool Street.  As funding becomes available, it is planned to extend this further along Malop Street.  City of Geelong is to be congratulated for this step towards making the Geelong CBD more people-friendly.  (Unfortunately, at least for the present, if you’re travelling eastwards, you still need to use the old bike lane with the hazards of fast-moving motor vehicles, and opening car doors.)

Amsterdam has one of the highest rates of cycling for transport in the world.  It wasn’t always so!  I recommend you read In the City of Bikes:  The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist by Pete Jordan (available at the Geelong Regional Library) to find out how Amsterdam transformed itself into a cycling Mecca. 

This is despite the fact that for much of the year, Amsterdam has an unfriendly climate for cycling.

Making a city where most trips are done on bikes requires utterly discarding conventional car-centric ways of thinking about transportation. Norman Garrick

With Geelong’s easy terrain, wonderful climate and the beginning of the Principal Bicycle Network, we’d love to see Geelong transformed to a place where cycling is the norm.

Five reasons why Amsterdam works so well for bikes

For more, here is an article on the five reasons why Amsterdam works so well for bikes.  Underlying all this is designing transport for people rather than cars.  In a city with a greater urban area population of 1.8 million people, traffic deaths are 2/100,000 of population.  Australia’s rate of traffic fatalities is close to triple this.

Look at any photo of people cycling in Amsterdam.  You’ll see  mixture of male and female, ages and many assorted bicycles.  One measure of how well our infrastructure makes cycling safe is the percentage of females riding bikes.

Cycling in Amsterdam. People go about their daily lives using bikes for transport. Low speeds and good infrastructure mean that cycling is safe for all. Image from http://www.local-life.com/amsterdam/articles/cycling-in-amsterdam

Barwon River Circuit: Saturday 21st October, 2017

There were at least 24 cyclists on this morning’s overcast ride around the river.  It was great to see people from far and wide, including Kelly and Karen commuting from Corio via the Ted Wilson Trail (and conquering Hyland Street on the return journey).

The riders were met by Tina and Gavin at the Breakwater (though Tina’s was a social visit only, due to family commitments), and president John (who’d been chasing the ride) at Queens Park.  Nancy and Heather also joined the group for coffee at Barwon Edge.

The river was reasonably quiet, but this morning’s ride was marred by the aggressive comments and behaviour of one jogger, and a bit of a problem with a couple of out of control dogs in the leash free area.  The Barwon River trail is a shared path.  Cycling Geelong’s riders kept their good temper, and unfailing politeness.  After all, everyone is out on the path for recreation and enjoyment – whether,  pushing pedals or a pram, jogging, or being taken for a walk by their canine friends.

All path users should keep to the left of the path.  Cyclists are required to give way to pedestrians.  However, it is also the responsibility of all path users, including pedestrians, not to block the path, and to control dogs whether in on-leash or off-leash areas.

Elections: Have you asked your local candidates if they’re committed to sustainable transport?

The City of Geelong’s long awaited elections are now in progress.  Your votes need to be posted by next Friday, October 27th.

As cyclists, we know you’re committed to safe cycling and improved cycling facilities.  When making your voting decisions, consider asking your local candidates about their commitment to cycling.

Ask targeted questions like:

  • Do you ride a bike?/When was the last time you rode one?  (We know, for example, that Mik Aidt, a candidate in Brownbill, rides a cargo bike in his election campaigning.)
  • How would you improve cycling facilities (add the name of the area where you live) … e.g. Drysdale, City Centre, Bellarine Rail Trail?
  • Are you aware of the Principal Bicycle Network?  How committed are you to ensuring that this becomes reality?  To which routes would you give priority?
  • What are your priorities for improving cycling safety throughout Geelong?
  • How would you improve safe cycling routes to … (name the school where your children attend)?

You can find contact details for all candidates on the Electoral Commission website.

Do your homework to find the very best council to promote Geelong as a SAFE CYCLING CITY.