Via twitter and email, I’m being asked to point to the line in the coroner’s report, where Garry Brennan of The Bicycle Network, blames the cyclist, James Cross, for his own death by dooring. Look on page 6: “[t]here are clearly riders of less experience and with an undeveloped spatial sense of safe positioning in the bike lane.”
Subsequent advice betrays Gary’s own habit, of riding to the extreme outer edge of the bike lane, with his left shoulder exactly(??) 900mm from parked cars, and his right shoulder out in the car lane—but then only when bike lanes are wide enough to allow this, as only most of them are. It is only due to sheer luck that people like Garry (and me) have lived to develop the experience and spatial sense needed to walk this fine wire. Even then, our luck may run out.
James Cross was a victim of criminally negligent design standards, still applied by Australian road engineers. Assuming Australia follows America’s lead, as we have since WW2, we should at least do what many American cities have done, and paint meter wide buffers between parked cars and road-side bike lanes. Alternatively, if we want bike modal shares higher than America’s 1% average, we will eat even more into driving space, with protected bike lanes, of the kind we know potential cyclists are waiting for. And while we’re battling herd politics for a safe slice of main street, we should take even greater advantage of every waterway, rail easement and park, to build off road paths where we can. If you leave a comment that betrays your own ignorance, it won’t appear. My blog isn’t your school.