Sandy Bay Cycle/Walk Way Spin Doctoring (Literally)

August 18, 2010

So there is a couple of weeks to go in the second consultation round for the Sandy Bay Cycle/Walk way project and things are hotting up. Helpful local residents have joined our efforts to promote the consultation in a rather different way through the launch of ‘Citizens opposed to the Sandy Bay Cycle Way’ and setting up their poster boy Jim Wilkinson MLC to stand up against the plan. Fair enough I say, people who have a lot to loose have a valid right to democratically exercise some protest activities but I’d suggest that lies and deliberate misquoting might not be the most ethical or politically correct way to go about it. Read on for a full summary of whats happening:

Healthy Transport Hobart launched a demonstration in support of the project on Tuesday 17th which involved a 7am slot on ABC local radio and a gig on HOFM news. The gig aimed to raise awareness of the importance of the project to the health of the community and hold a presence of bicycle users on the road in question between 3.30 -5.30pm. There was a great turn out with around 60 people stopping by and around 25 at any one time signing feedback forms and holding signs. The signs were transported by bicycle in a rather precarious manner but arrived in time. Special guests included Greens Denison Candidate Geoff Couser who as a resident of Sandy Bay Rd expressed his support and a bunch of roadies who stopped by to have a yarn as well as a proud father from West Hobart and his two boys who ride to Taroona high school a few times a week.

It just so happened that on the day of this demonstration. I discovered that the good folk drumming up support for a petition against the plans had made their stance clear and published a nice colour poster clarifying their position.

What can I say? Some one out there is pretty scared me thinks….

As I caught a lift back from Launceston yesterday I heard the radio news reporting that MLC Jim Wilkinson is calling for the Sandy Bay Cycle/Walk Way plan to go back to the drawing board as it is unsafe. I was saddened to here this as I’d met Jim once before at a Heart Foundation meeting and he seemed like a man who’d be supportive of such progress. He has shunned the traffic modelling and safety reports from external experts and decided that his own little ideas are far more valid. Interesting. I opened the paper today to find him looking very un – cycle chic posing against the bike/walk way at Sandy Bay.

The one valid point I found amongst the wild claims and inappropriate propositions was that the barrier between bicycles and cars needs to be larger and more significant. Fair call. Point taken. Lets get it in the plan but not oppose the project outright hey ladies and gentlemen.

Finally, I though I better provide a response to the claims made:

“Hobart City Council should consider providing for cyclists in Churchill Ave or along the foreshore or extend the width of footpaths on Sandy Bay Rd”

A) Sandy Bay Rd is a major commuting and rec route for riders and walkers, Churchill Ave is indirect, hilly and goes is not a direct route so will not be taken by the majority of riders. Evidence says that you should provide infrastructure on the most common cycling routes, not make a new route and expect people to use it.

B) Along the foreshore?? Are you serious? The residents would set up gattling guns before they’d let bicycle users and other rif raff obscure their views of the water.

C) Widen the footpath – that is the plan in 3 locations along the road where parking is required. However if this was done in both directions on bother sides we pretty much say good by to all the parking (probably not a good idea).

Mr Wilkinson stated that the only thing between cyclists and motorists was a low level rubber or cement strip.

Whats your point Jim. A double white line up the midlands highway is pretty effective at separating trucks and cars. A single white line on bike lanes helps increase perceptions of safety. Currently there is no division between cars and bikes thats why we are trying to improve things sir. Perhaps you have less faith in drivers than me and think that a concrete strip wont stop people driving into the lane. But fair point. Lets make it a waste high wall. Problem solved.

Jim Said “Even the councils own report concedes that ‘bidirectional bicycle lanes running adjacent to roadways are not typically recommended ‘ (which is code for this is not best practice).

The safety report from SKM actually says this: ‘

While bi-directional bicycle lanes running adjacent to roadways are not typically recommended because of the contraflow cyclist movement may not be expected at driveways and side streets in this particular situation there are very few side streets on the foreshore side of Sandy Bay Road, making it in principle a suitable site for the treatment.

Jim says: “This is a potential recipe for disaster and the council needs to rethink its strategy before proceeding”.

Whats your basis Jim, I cant respond if you don’t base your claims in something substantial.

He said “The plan would create chaos for commuters”.

Not according to the traffic modelling report Jim. It is actually going to improve flow. Read it and you’ll be amazed.

Now to the glossy flyer authorised by Guy Abel:

Sorry, I just can’t justify reading it again. Read the traffic modelling and safety report and you can make up your mind.

When someone suggest taking prime real estate for selling cars, it is no surprise that there is an uproar

Posted for the love of the counterattack by Liam.C

9 Responses to “Sandy Bay Cycle/Walk Way Spin Doctoring (Literally)”

  1. Katie Kingshott said

    I reckon the person who has that fancy pants car parked on the street belongs to the rascal bank rolling the anti-bike lane propaganda- what rubbish! GO HEALTHY TRANSPORT, GO HOBART CITY COUNCIL, GO SANDY BAY BIKE LANES. You guys rock.

  2. Richard Head said

    when you cyclists staert obeying the road rules you will start to gain some credibility

    1. a red light means “Stop”

    2. footpaths are for pedestrians

    3. you ar enoy allowed to overtake on the inside of traffic or in betweeen traffic

    join the real world and realise that we are not in Amsterdam or Queensland where the weather and topography are better to cyclists – we wil never have many cyclists wanting to use our roads!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    get a brain !!!!

  3. Ruth said

    What ever happened to accommodation and human decency!

  4. gusssto said

    Richard please get a spellchecker when ranting online. It will make reading your opinions easier and give you more creditably when you tell others to ‘get a brain !!!’

    Your post expresses many ‘classic’ misnomers so I thought I’d take the time to set you straight.

    “when you cyclists staert obeying the road rules you will start to gain some credibility” [sic]

    Most cyclists on our roads are obeying road rules, as with any minority the actions of a few black sheep will tarnish the reputation of the whole group. This is the so called ‘volvo driver’ phenomenon, you also see it whenever other types of bigotry, such as racism, happens. On a bike I and everyone I know always stop at red lights and a lot of cyclists get really angry when one of our own flaunts the rules as it reflects badly on all of us.

    “2. footpaths are for pedestrians”
    to answer this I refer to Bicycle Tasmania’s website:
    It is legal to cycle on the footpath in Tasmania, unless signed otherwise. These signs are usually in high pedestrian areas such as Hobart CBD and forbid cycling on the footpath at certain times of certain days of the week. These restrictions are usually daytime hours during weekdays. The situation in other States varies, some allowing adults to ride on the footpath only if accompanying a child under 12.

    “3. you ar enoy allowed to overtake on the inside of traffic or in betweeen traffic” [sic]
    Again Bicycle Tasmania:
    Bicycles can overtake to the left of a vehicle unless:
    the vehicle is signalling to turn left; or
    it is unsafe to do so.
    A cyclist must give way to a vehicle that is signalling to turn left and driving in front of the cyclist.

    I’ve recently moved from Tasmania to Newcastle NSW to continue my education and the climate in Tasmania is actually far more agreeable to cycling than the summer up here. In my reading on this topic the general consensus is that infrastructure and culture make a bigger influence on cycle commuting than either topography or climate. Copenhagen (where is snows in winter!) has the largest measured % of commutes by cycle in the world.

    Considering that the two road rules you stated in your post are blatantly wrong, can I recommend you pick up a copy of the Tasmania road rules at your local Service Tas as I fear you will cause injury to yourself or others in the future. Remember, driving isn’t a god-given right.

    PS. Most cyclists drive cars too. (I own a car and a Motorcycle)

    • Richard Head said

      Good blurb, you have made me think about it and I will try to spell better

      We do need to consider having cycle-ways – I would use one with my child, but not the way this one was put up – it was going to seriously m(f)uck up the traffic flow on Sandy Bay Rd and it is a very heavily used road if you had noticed whilst you go along in your own little self-consumed world

      I am all for riding bikes but get real about not inconveniencing everyone else!!!

      You quote from the road rules from the Bicycle Tasmania website, maybe the Tasmania Police and Transport Tasmania websites might be more authoritive. Bicycle Tasmania may be a bit biased in their view of the rules – i await your next pathetic reply “gussto” – you say you drive a car – i am sure you get annoyed by cyclists too – we need the Gov’ts to spend some serious dollars on this thing – not a cheap fix!!

  5. Daniel Baldwin said

    Well Dick, your clever little name certainly matches your clever little opinions.

    Your batting 1 for 3, do you want to phone a friend? Let me guess, your best mate Arrus Sole :)

  6. James said

    Thanks for the laughs Dick Head.

    • Richard Head said


      no worries about the laughs, you give me heaps too

      can you let the Doctor at the top of this site that we all call him Geoff “Loser” – bad move by him in Denison to side with you losers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.