Tuesday, June 09, 2009


I learned a lot during my time at Tom Collins House - and not all was related to writing.

Before I go any further let me say that I am very much in favour of there being more use of bicycles for environmental and health reasons and I understand that there is a serious lack of suitable cycle paths in Perth. I'm not talking about people forced to ride on the road because they have no other option.

What irritated me as I drove to and from the Centre every day was the total lack of consideration of many cyclists for other road users. The route I took has a cycle way along one section and a cycle lane on both sides most of the rest of the way. It's a busy section of road which takes a large volume of traffic travelling at the speed limit of 70 kmh. A cyclist is vulnerable in these conditions but every day without exception there would be cyclists either not riding on the designated sections of road, blocking traffic and putting themselves in danger.

I would have thought that riding in the section of roadway where cars do not go would be the most appealing options not to mention the safest but apparently not. Many compounded this situation by listening to music and apparently not even being aware of the cars coming up behind them as they wandered over the road.

Then you get the cyclists who think the white line marking the cycle lane is the appropriate place to ride. They wobble along it, their bodies swaying into the vehicle lane, causing traffic blockages because to pass them the cars have to move into the next lane.

There were responsible cyclists, of course. Unfortunately over fifty percent - I started to count after a few days - were not.

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