Cycling in Melbourne Australia
I ride from Prahran to Nicholson St, E Melb on a cruiser. As I had just moved to Melbourne I didn't realise the bike paths were so...bad...and it would be very..bumpy..unfortunately after only a month of cycling to and from work I fell off after my bike hit a bumpy bit of bike path and injured my knee.
Anyway, I still partake in the Russian roulette that is riding to work because I prefer less the claustrophobia of the crush of the trains (and well, I like the exercise). But I could use some help on making it less difficult.
My first problem is where to cross after chapel st. I think going down the stairs at the Chapel St/Church St bridge takes too long so ride until the next bridge, but the bike path on the southern side of the Yarra is very bone jarring.
I then go up the bike path along Batman Ave, go across Flinders then up Spring St (is there an easier way?). Another problem I face is where Spring St becomes Nicholson St. The bike path continues up Nicholson St but I have noticed cars constantly cut me off here to the point that its very dangerous. I've seen a rider signal right but I am confused, as the path and the main road is going this way and cars are indicating left to turn off from here, why should I be indicating right? usually instead I cross earlier and ride up the footpath the short distance left to work. But pedestrians give me the dirties.
Another thing that annoys me is whenever I need to cross at a pedestrian crossing pedestrians stand in front of my bike forcing me to be stuck behind them. Clearly I cross the road faster than them? I just read it is illegal to cross at pedestrian crossings on a bike, but what am I meant to do on a bike at the bottom of say, Flinder St/Spring St and the top of the Batman Ave bike lane to get across to Flinders St.
I feel like cyclists are caught in some rage sandwich between pedestrians and drivers here.
Any help would be great.
I roughly know the area you're referring to and agree on the stairs. I think there is a bridge there that you're supposed to walk over. A bit like having a section of road where you have to lift your car over a log and then push it over a bridge.
Anyway, in general my opinion is that often you need to make a choice between consequences.
Be legal and risk being run over, or be less legal and risk getting fined.
What's the big deal if you cross at a crossing and don't upset anyone?
Yeh I'll get told off by the "you're giving cyclists a bad name" mob for saying this.. whatever.
When you refer to the cars cutting you off where Spring St becomes Nicholson St - do you mean that the cars are turning left, (which is actually straight) and continuing on Spring St when you are staying on Nicholson? If you look at the map, you can see that it is actually a right bend into Nicholson. Even though the road essentially does continue as you say, a lot of traffic wants to leave Nicholson here to enter the CBD. I know of other similar intersections and it is a difficult one. Other cyclists would be signally here to make it clear to motorists that they are not also turning left. Even so, be extra careful here. Unfortunately the entire route for you is not a pleasant one in terms of road cycling. Would you perhaps be better off crossing over Spring St and turning left at Lansdowne instead, and cycling up through the middle of the park? its not the most direct route but its not too much of a detour. Then you can turn left at Albert St and turn right at Nicholson, do a hook turn here, don't try and turn from the middle of the road. Or alternatively, continue straight up to and cross Victoria and then use back streets to get the rest of the way, this way you avoid having to cross over the huge Nicholson/Victoria intersection.
Sometimes the quickest and most efficient way to get from A to B on a treadlie is mainly the safest.
You'll notice that the route doesn't go over the Yarra, until Anderson Street, where the crossing over the river is a bikes only bridge - Awesome!
Then when you get to Swan Street, head north - crossing Swan Street as a pedestrian, then throw the leg back over the bike on the other side of Swan Street, and ride along a bike path heading north, past Hisense Arena, a foot/cyclebridge over Jolimont railyards, past the MCG, and you're in East Melbourne.
Come out at the intersection of Wellington Parade and Clarendon Street; head north on Clarendon Street, alongside the Fitzroy Gardens, turn left at Albert Steet, and you have the safest cycle lane in Melbourne for the last stretch to Nicholson Street.
All the best
So I have noticed in the past few weeks they have changed the junction of Spring St and Nicholson so the bike lane goes both ways left and right and made the bend wider for cyclists there so I can indicate that I am going up Nicholson without being mowed down...mostly. And Chapel st seems to be getting an upgrade where they are paving over the cobblestones in the northern end close to the river so cyclists don't have to go on the footpath there. Now all they need to do is shorten the really wide flinders rd footpath so cyclists can ride on the road near the intersection of Exhbition st and Flinders, I always have people abusing me for the 20 m I am on the footpath there but there is no room for cyclists on the road.