Good grief: Bike lanes down the middle of the road!

Road maggot can’t even ride on the correct sharrow lane. Needs to hold Mum’s hand! Photo credit: Scott Hammon. Stuff.

I’m not sure what goes on in the heads of some of the people employed by councils that are tasked with engineering our roads.

Some brilliant engineering mind down in Blenheim has come up with a new super dangerous cycle lane on Beaver St, and there is even a ridiculous new name for the markings.

What we have here apparently, are not just a picture of an old school bike with some chevrons above it, they are in fact ‘sharrows’! Sharrows are defined as ‘share arrows’. Supposedly when you are driving your car down the road and you see these weird markings on the road, it is supposed to remind you that the road is narrow and you should keep a look out for cyclists who have been encouraged to ride down the middle of the road, ‘claiming their lane’.

The theory is that because they have dropped the speed limit down temporarily permanently to 30km/h, the bikes can now roll along at the same speed as the traffic and we can all share the roadway like civilised human beings.

The problem is, no one has told the cyclists to speed up to 30.

That is a reasonably fast clip to maintain on a bike on a flat road like this one in Blenheim so unless the lycra clad wombles and kids on their way to school are really pushing it along, they are actually just going to be tootling down the middle of the road, holding everybody up.

It seems however that there is nothing remotely legal about the road markings and as most motorists will have no idea what they are supposed to be for, there seems to me to be a far higher risk of cycle crashes than before.

In fact, the road code tells us that when a road is not marked in lanes, one must keep as close to the left-hand side of the road as practicable, so it may well be that these sharrows fly in the face of the actual legislation.

But no common sense could ever stop the cycling mad boffins in Blenheim. They have even managed to remove all the roadside parking spaces down one side of nearby Eltham St in order to make a two-way cycle lane at the edge of the road.

Head on bike crashes coming soon to a street near you. Photo credit: Scott Hammond. Stuff

What could possibly go wrong? And note how the raised kerbs create an issue for people who might like to turn into their driveway without swinging onto the incorrect side of the road. But as long as the cyclists are safe!

All this is just the start so as a public service I would like to offer a few pointers for the good roading engineers of Blenheim so they can get a good head start on making cycling safer for everyone in their region.

When designing cycle lanes, you should always remember that bikes are very manoeuvrable so there will be no problem if you just leave trees in the middle of the bike lane.

Cyclists can duck around obstacles easily.

Sometimes cyclists let their concentration levels drop so every now and again it is desirable to create little reminders for them that they should be keeping their mind on the job.

Random barrier placement keeps cyclists on their toes

Whenever possible, place cycle lanes along tram lines. Cyclists love the fun of forcing electric trains to stop suddenly when they have ridden their skinny tyres into the tracks and have laid down to have a rest.

Cyclists love tram lines, it helps them keep the bike heading straight.

But best of all you can create new names for bike lanes. Personally, I like ‘Lycra Clad Warrior Lane’ and ‘ Preferential Virtue Signalling Lane’ best.

I think this is where you are supposed to put your unused doors for collection!

But please remember, Roading Engineers are here to help you, they are never wrong and always come up with the best solutions.

Roading engineers are among our best council minds

Also please be aware that cycling can be dangerous to your health, some afflictions are very contagious, and we don’t want the lovely bikists of Blenheim to catch anything nasty.

Typical inner city cyclist.

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