cyclists navigating between two tall pillars built in the shared path

Solid Slalom

Not content with pinching down path widths wherever it would be inconvenient for other infrastructure the Main Yarra Trail takes it to new appalling levels of fright with this pair of cement columns scolloped into the bidirectional shared path.

cyclists navigating between two tall pillars built in the shared path

The base of the columns are 2500mm (8 foot) apart but then lean inward further narrowing the already inadequate width while also preventing a view of any oncoming users. Looking to a single direction of the road above which creates this problem we see again no compromises spared there in provisioning wide lanes with clear vision distances and comfortable clearance to the smooth edge barriers.

comparison of adjacent wide road and narrow shared path

Watching the video should make the exuberant angles of the cyclists clear:

With the lazily meandering path taking sharp corners through the solid hazards average cyclists passing each other are left with 200mm (8 inches) of clearance between each other and to each side, compared to the guides:

on paths designed for commuting and major recreational activity a minimum lateral clearance of 1000mm is required between opposing bicycle operating spaces because of the high relative speed which exists when cyclists approach one another from opposite directions at speeds of 30 km/h or more (i.e. closing speed of 60 km/h)


Where both the areas beside the path and the path alignment are both relatively flat a lateral clearance of at least 1000mm (500mm absolute minimum) should be provided between the edge of any path for cycling and any obstacle, which if struck may result in cyclists losing control or being injured. However, on high-speed paths it is most desirable to have a clearance considerably greater than 1000mm.

Actually considering a pair of the “bicycle operating spaces” (used to ensure adequate dimensions for all users) would have the same ridiculous 200mm to be shared between both sides and the middle. 2 minutes down the path the same road opens up into a gargantuan span swallowing the shared path with ease:

spacious cavern under an elevated road swallows a narrow shared path

Yet due to the sharp corners with fences encroaching into the path width even this everyday cyclist riding gently uphill in an upright position on a town bicycle chooses to swing widely out around the hazard. But if such spans are possible it begs the question of what cost saving measure trumps the basic safety of shared path users?


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