Clover’s Cycleways have opened this week on Kent St in Sydney City, providing a separated two way cycle path for bicycle commuters. It provides a clear path for several blocks which were previously pretty hard to negotiate. Which is very nice, but at the moment also pretty lethal.
The biggest danger is the unattentive pedestrian. Because the cyleway is right next to the footpath, it’s pretty much treated as an extension, particularly in the morning crush. I guess understanding the boundary better will come with time.
Another problem (which I think will be harder to overcome) is the fact that peds are trained and almost hardwired to look toward the incoming vehicle traffic before crossing. Trouble is the cycleway is two way - but the peds are only looking one way before trotting out. Hence bikes riding counter to the lane flow are in all sorts of trouble.
On Kent St in particular, there are also a dozen car parks in three blocks which require cars to turn across the path, and so far I’ve hardly seen any cars checking for bikes before making their turn.
Couple that with poorly timed lights (I waited two entire rotations this morning before getting a little green bike) and it’s all a bit of a mess. It’s safer to stay out in the cars for the moment.
But fingers crossed things will improve with traning and time - and hopefully not too many collisions in the meantime.