Welcome to the first installment of a new regular feature on Carbon Addiction (yes, another one).
This particular idea has been inspired by a couple of truly idiotic things I’ve seen while out riding in the last month or so. The first was a mindbendingly insane piece of traffic calming (aka concrete traffic island) placed directly in the middle of an established, marked bike lane by Canada Bay Council.
Still unsignposted over a month since its installation, it nearly brought me down the first time I came across it (pre dawn) and forced me to swerve quite violently onto the road proper. Ironically, before I’d even had time to complain about it that morning, a fellow member of my cycling club beat me to it. After chasing an explanation through all the proper channels, no one at Canada Bay Council is able to give me an intelligent reason for why they’ve done it. Clearly the person responsible doesn’t ride a bike. I imagine a lawsuit will be heading the Council’s way when, inevitably, an unwitting cyclist does come down and smashes themselves up – which will no doubt lead to its swift removal. Lunacy.
(Footnote: The official word is that cyclists should pass to the left ie. between the gutter and the concrete island. This essentially requires dismounting to be done safely. The hazard is further compounded by the fact that, unlike when the above photo was taken, there are almost always cars parked on the left hand side, right up to the crossing – forcing riders to make three sharp turns in quick succession.)
As crazy as this situation is, however, it isn’t the main reason I felt compelled to post this story this morning. Oh no. Yesterday morning, whilst innocently cruising around the inner western Sydney suburb of Concord with my regular Saturday bunch ride, we came across this remarkably stupid piece of “planning” infrastructure.
Not only are the traffic counter cords raised above the road surface, they do so right smack bang in the middle of a marked bicycle lane. We’ve used this lane for years. Thousands of cyclists do. I actually went back this morning with my camera to watch for ten minutes. Every single rider who passed, and there were many, was forced out of the bike lane and into the traffic. Several only saw the obstacle at the last moment. I suspect one poor woman soiled her knicks, given the intensity of her panicked exclamations.
Have you seen anything dumb out there (serious dumb or funny dumb)? Then please let me know. I suspect this will get rather interesting 😉