Bradley wants bikes off roads

Excerpts from this week Post Newspaper

Force pedal bikes off the roads, says Cambridge councilor Rod Bradley. Both tax and ratepayers’ money is being wasted building bike paths that either go nowhere or are ignored, he says. Mr Bradley failed to persuade fellow councillors to campaign for fines for cyclists who ride on roads where cycle paths exist. “We spend money providing bicycle facilities and cycleways and cyclists do not use them,” he said. “Then there are cycle paths like the one at the intersection of The Boulevard and West Coast Highway that just fizzle out and cyclists are left riding along next to humungous trucks.”

 Comment – Cyclists generally use bike paths that are well designed and maintained and actually go where cyclists want to ride. (the bike path between the Narrows and the Canning Bridge recorded just under 600,000 bicycle movements in 2009).  It is not the fault of cyclists when councils construct cycle paths as an afterthought, with no user consultation and little consideration given to connectivity.  Councillor Bradley proposes fining cyclists for a councils’ incompetence.

 Councillor Bradley highlighted the recent case of a Wembley woman who was knocked off her feet in a collision with a lycra-clad bike rider on the dual-use path around Lake Monger. He slammed a proposal to put up signs along the path. “The lady was walking along on the side she was supposed to be on, as we are going to tell her to do, and most likely the cyclist was travelling on the left side, as we are going to tell him to do,” he said. “Cyclists do not watch where they are going, they put their heads down.”

 Comment – Of course this depends upon the type of bicycle you ride.  If you ride one of the increasingly popular upright style, you cannot ‘put your head down’, so we must assume that Mr Bradley’s generalised statement actually refers to cyclists on racing cycles.  This unfortunate accident is a good argument for encouraging those cyclists who travel at speed to use roads, as dual–use paths were never intended for this type of use.  

 So having acknowledged councils shortcomings, rather than attempt to address them with some positive action, Councillor Bradley’s solution is classically bureaucratic – blame the cyclist.

About Peter Bartlett