uncomfortably narrow shared path along the river

Frangible Pinch

Back to the gritty material with more incremental upgrades that only add window dressing to serious deficiencies rather than fixing them. A steady descent around a blind corner briefly reveals the following sign.

lane narrows sign on a bicycle path

Which does warn of the danger approaching, but doesn’t convey the entirety of the obstacle. Looking at a cyclist passing through the hazard starts to reveal the problem as they take the safe line though the bends. Despite the originally wooden posts having now been replaced with softer plastic alternatives this is still far from safe.

uncomfortably narrow shared path along the river

A narrowing to 2000mm (6.5 feet) between the opposing poles ignores all the guidance, particularly the minimum design envelope of 1000mm wide for safe manoeuvring of a cyclist. At low speed on a straight section without any hazards the absolute minimum spacing might be achievable but at the bottom of a hill, on a commuting path, in a chicane, with posts that can catch handlebars, is so far from ideal conditions its comedic.

For more disaster the overhead beam at 1900mm (6 feet 2 inches) above the path intrudes into the desirable clearance of 2500mm, so already the average cyclist pictured below is in danger of hitting their head if they do not duck down from an upright position. To refer back to Vicroads guides a low clearance sign:

shall be included in advance of the structure

In addition to the sign on the structure, and in their standard form both include the measured clearance height in meters. But with such poor design down here, how does the road above which created this problem fare?

comparison of adjacent wide road and narrow shared path

This direction of the road has 4 lanes of generous width, with clearances from the edges of the lanes to the smooth concrete walls along the sides. Cyclists instead get squeezed onto a narrow bidirectional shared path to accommodate this fine example of safety, with serpentine blind corners and poles to catch their handlebars. Truly the second class citizens.


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