In Christchurch and in other regions, with the government funding for cycleways in recent years, we have seen attention given to the safety of cyclists on the roads, which here is particularly with the separated cycle lanes that have controversially been built in a number of areas. Whilst these cycle lanes improve the safety for cyclists by preventing drivers on the road itself from cutting through the lane, there are still issues, unsurprisingly, with driveways crossing over the lanes. Here, we see that the “king of the road” mentality a lot of drivers have hasn’t improved at all. During times of peak demand especially, drivers will bully cyclists and pedestrians to get through a gap crossing over a shared cycle path, in just the same way as they used to do on the road itself when crossing over from a car lane into the painted cycle lanes that are still prevalent on many of our roads.
This concern is widespread around the city and the common sense approach is for cyclists to travel at a speed where they can be ready to stop if a car pulls in front of them, because this happens everywhere with cycle lanes. At the same time, cyclists should consider fitting a handlebar camera so they can report any obvious traffic violations such as these which are occurring.
Here is a report that highlights the issues at the Cranford Street Shared Path, which are unsurprising and predictable. These are of course the same problems that we see every day on roads, especially at busy times when motorists get impatient of waiting for gaps in traffic and take unreasonable risks. The Council cannot do very much about it unless they were willing to install cameras on every driveway and prosecute infringers.