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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sydney cycle wars

Kent Street

The people of Sydney were furious when bike paths started appearing in 2008.  "We need those lanes for cars, not bikes" we screamed loud and clear at Lord Mayor Clover Moore, but she wouldn't listen.

Critics said the cycleways added 20 minutes to a car trip across the city and we believed them.  Sydney traffic is frustrating enough without having to deal with these young, aggressive people who, because they don't have a registration plate and can't be identified,  get away with blue murder and think they own the road.

Clover Moore is no longer Lord Mayor but she's left her mark.  She had a vision that Sydney natives would one day leave the car at home and ride a bike to work, just like they do in Holland where in some cities, there are more bikes on the roads than cars.  But I can't see it ever happening, we are far too spoiled and lazy to leave the comfort of our cars.

Sydney cyclist Antony Johnson thinks he's above the law.  He was spotted by police yesterday driving through a red light in heavy traffic and fined $66.   If a motorist goes through a red light, it's a $324 fine and loses 3 demerit points.

Antony Johnson

Johnson said it won't stop him breaking the law again.  "At the end of the day you just have to cop it on the chin" he said "But it's not going to stop me doing the wrong thing, it's a couple of beers isn't it? I'll do it again, but probably not in the same place."

But Johnson was offended by the way he was stopped at the busy intersection.  "I don't mind what they are doing but I take offence to being rugby tackled in a busy street when there's a bus in front of me - he could have caused an accident" he said.

The police are finally cracking down on cyclists who use bike lanes like express routes, speeding through red lights and dodging pedestrians at lightning speed.  But for the 14 police officers on bikes yesterday, they were having trouble trying to catch them.