Monday, 8 February 2016

Council election Saturday 19 March 2016

TBUG surveys all the local council candidates for their views on cycling issues.

Not all candidates choose to respond but we note that next to their names.

The last election survey is here:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/91204128/TRC-2012-Cycle-Survey 

If you have any questions you would like to ask candidates on cycling related issues please send them to Toowoomba BUG at: toowoombabug@gmail.com

Bike Safety Survey

Dear member of Toowoomba BUG,

My name is Athena Ng, and I am a Master of Public Health student at Queensland University of Technology. For my degree, I am doing a thesis about Cyclists' Safety Perceptions of Various Cycling-Supportive Road Treatments at Un-signalised Intersections.

For my thesis, I am asking you to complete a 20-minute online survey about your perceptions of cycling through intersections. The findings of the survey will be reported back to Bicycle Queensland, Queensland BUGs, and the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads. The link to the online survey is http://survey.qut.edu.au/f/186072/25bc/ and attached are further details about the study.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact me at athena.ng@connect.qut.edu.au.

Please note that this study has been approved by the Queensland University of Technology Research Ethics Committee (approval number 1500000945).

Many thanks for your help with this study!

Best regards,
Athena Ng
Principal Investigator
Masters Student
Queensland University of Technology

Dr. Kristiann Heesch
Principal Supervisor
07 3138 5460
Senior Lecturer - School of Public Health and Social Work
Queensland University of Technology

Dr. Ashim Debnath
Associate Supervisor
07 3138 8423
Research Fellow
Queensland University of Technology


Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia PARTICIPANT INFORMATION FOR QUT RESEARCH PROJECT

Cyclists’ Safety Perceptions about Various Cycling-Supportive Road Treatments at Un-signalised Intersections – Quantitative Survey Study of Queensland Cyclists

QUT Ethics Approval Number 1500000945

RESEARCH TEAM
Principal Researcher:         Athena Ng                             Masters Student
Principal Supervisor:          Dr Kristiann Heesch            School of Public Health and Social Work
Associate Supervisor:         Dr Ashim Debnath               School of Psychology and Counselling
                                                                                               Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Description
One of the major issues that can discourage people from cycling on-road is the risk of being involved in a road collision with a motorist. In particular, the road intersection is a high risk location for road collisions between motorists and cyclists. Therefore, cycling facilities and cycling-supportive road treatments at intersections have been recommended and used in Australia to improve on-road cyclist safety. The aim of this study is to investigate which cycling facilities and road treatments do Queensland cyclists perceive to be the safest at un-signalised intersections.

You are invited to participate in this study because you are a member of a bicycle user group and/or a member of Bicycle Queensland. Your cycling experiences will be very useful to this study.

Participation
Participation will involve completing an anonymous online survey. You will be asked about your safety perceptions about the safety of cycling at un-signalised intersections. You will rate your safety perceptions on a scale from very unsafe to very safe. You will also be asked about whether you have experienced a collision, near-miss, and/or single-cyclist accident while cycling, your cycling habits, and your basic demographic information (for example, gender, year of birth).

The online survey should take 20 minutes to complete. Only complete the survey if you are aged 18 years or over. Your participation in this survey is completely voluntary. Your decision to participate or not participate will not impact upon your current or future relationship with QUT. If you agree to participate, you may withdraw from the study without any statement or penalty as long as you do not submit your survey. If you do submit it, you will no longer be able to withdraw from the study because your data is not identifiable and therefore the researchers will not be able to find and delete it.

Expected benefits
It is expected that this study will not directly benefit you. However it will help the researcher gain insight into cyclists’ safety perceptions about un-signalised intersections. The outcomes of this study will be beneficial to future researchers and organisation interested in safety policies, town planning, and road engineering. They may use the findings from this study to assist future studies or make informed decisions on projects.

Risks
There are no risks beyond normal day-to-day living associated with your participation in this study. However, if you have experienced adverse events while cycling (for example, road accident, injuries) or have been impacted by someone close to you who has experienced adverse events while cycling and feel that answering questions about cyclist safety may cause you significant distress, then it is advised that you may prefer not to participate in this study.

QUT provides for limited free psychology, family therapy or counselling services (face-to-face only) for research participants of QUT projects who may experience discomfort or distress as a result of their participation in the research. Should you wish to access this service please call the Clinic Receptionist on 07 3138 0999 (Monday–Friday only 9am–5pm), QUT Psychology and Counselling Clinic, 44 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove, and indicate that you are a research participant. Alternatively, Lifeline provides access to online, phone or face-to-face support, call 13 11 14 for 24 hour telephone crisis support.

PRIVACY AND Confidentiality
All comments and responses are anonymous and will be treated confidentially unless required by law.

Any data collected as part of this project will be stored securely as per QUT’s Management of Research Data Policy. Please note the non-identifiable data collected in this study may be used as comparative data in future projects stored on an open access database for secondary data analysis.

Consent to Participate
Submitting the completed online survey is accepted as an indication of your consent to participate in this study.

Questions / further information about the project
If you have any questions or require further information please contact one of the researchers listed below.

Athena Ng                         athena.ng@connect.qut.edu.au
Kristiann Heesch              k.heesch@qut.edu.au                        07 3138 5460
Ashim Debnath                 ashim.debnath@qut.edu.au             07 3138 8423

Concerns / complaints regarding the conduct of the project
QUT is committed to research integrity and the ethical conduct of research projects.  However, if you do have any concerns or complaints about the ethical conduct of the project you may contact the QUT Research Ethics Advisory Team on 07 3138 5123 or email ethicscontact@qut.edu.au. The QUT Research Ethics Advisory Team is not connected with the research project and can facilitate a resolution to your concern in an impartial manner.

Thank you for helping with this research project.  Please keep this sheet for your information.
 


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Toowoomba has suffered from 'cycle experts' in the past, at great cost to tax and ratepayers and with very little concern from our government or council.

 Here (above) we see that $220,000.00 of public money was spent on a white line, called a 'bike lane' but in reality little more than a car-parking lane, since parking is allowed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every week of the year.

And (below) we can see a sight that made TMR Minister Rachel Nolan burst into laughter when she was shown a photograph of the scene.


A 'shared path' is normally for pedestrians and bike riders, but here our 'cycle experts' though it would be more jolly if the power poles were invited to share the path too.

After a little reflection as to the 'wiseness' of such a design, all was resolved with some white paint and a strip of red tape around the poles.

Clever, eh?








Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Ruthven Street - Chalk Drive OCR changes






Above: View from Ruthven Street looking south across Campbell Street (Spotted Cow pub on lefthand corner).

Note the BAZ sign in the shoulder.

TMR have agreed to redesign this area, moving the turn lane over to the left further and adding a green transition bike lane (1500mm) to the right of the shoulder and straight ahead lane line.

TBUG argues that the transition paint must be continued beyond the Campbell St. junction all the way to the traffic lights at Chalk Drive - Ruthven St.








Above: TRC has created a loading zone and four car spaces immediately past the Spotted Cow.

A large, but narrowing, shoulder is evident between the parking space and the 60 kph left-turn only TMR slip lane onto Chalk Drive.

TBUG believes the loading zone and all four car parking spaces need to go, with the space given to a kerb-side bike lane that feeds into the TMR owned Chalk Drive.


Prior to the redesign, BAZ signs were in place, in the shoulder, in this area.

Ample provision for parking and unloading for the Spotted Cow is available in the back lane, Ann Street.






Above: This is the view from the last of the four car parking spots looking towards the increasingly narrow shoulder.

At the end of the chevron space is the traffic island built for an unmarked pedestrian crossing just out of sight of drivers, around the Chalk Drive corner.

Being a TMR road, the road speed is 60 kph, with an advisory speed of 40 kph.







Above: Looking north along Ruthven St. from the traffic island build out towards the four car parking spots.







Above: TBUG has proposed that this traffic island build out be used as a bike lane taking bike traffic around the corner from Ruthven Street into Chalk Drive.

The island needs to be cut back to provide an 1800mm space between the kerb and the traffic island.

This becomes the protected bike lane, with transition paint from the Ruthven St. entry point, through the cutaway area, and past the island through the current chevron marked area going east.

That will provide a safe passage for cyclers not wishing to use the main traffic lane, the slip lane from Ruthven St. into Chalk Drive.

Cyclers who elect to use the main traffic lane will have to ride mid lane, so TBUG proposed having BAZ signs placed along the left hand lane from the Spotted Cow, all the way around into the left hand lane of Chalk Drive, where the road has the OCR eastern flowing lane joining.







Above: Looking west from Chalk Drive towards Ruthven St.

This area to be expanded to 1800mm, treated with transition paint.

This proposal is no different to a Copenhagen Lane, found all over central Melbourne

It also reflects a similar TMR design to be found at Mt. Coot-tha Toowong.

See: Austroads 'Cycling Infrastructure: Selected Case Studies', 5. Left Turn Slip Lane for Bicycle Users, Figure 5.1: Cyclist Slip Lane: Mt. Coot-tha loop, Toowong, Austroads 2014, p.14: https://www.onlinepublications.austroads.com.au/items/AP-T282-14






Above: At the eastern end looking east of the proposed bike lane around Chalk Drive. 

TBUG proposes the green transition paint continues through this chevron zone, runs adjacent to the left hand turn lane seen in the distance and joins the left hand traffic lane of Chalk Drive at the end of that left hand turn lane.






Above: Contrary to the assurances found in a letter to TBUG from the Minister's office, TRC has made no provision for any bike lanes on the new OCR.

TRC has provided a shoulder on each direction, of about 1500mm. This remains a shoulder only.

TRC has mode no provision with BAZ signs on the OCR.

A cycler on the OCR, travelling east from Russell Street and wishing to continue east along Chalk Drive, is given no assistance through road markings to move from the kerb side lane to the straight ahead lane to cross Ruthven St.






Above: The OCR going west from Ruthven St.

The 1500mm shoulder clearly visible.






Above: Looking north up Ruthven St at the OCR - Chalk Drive intersection.

A large space adjacent to the kerb available for a bike lane for the straight ahead cycler.

TBUG proposes the green transition painted lane (continued on from the other side of Campbell St) for the straight ahead rider terminates at this point in a green holding box ahead of the straight ahead lane arrow visible here. It needs also to extend to include the adjacent right hand turn lane, to allow riders entering the OCR to go west the opportunity to get ahead of right turning traffic when moving off from a red-green change.








Above: Another shot of the same area showing the amount of vacant space available for bike infrastructure - had it been included at the initial design phase.








Above: TRC continues to advertise the 'end' of the bike lane.

This is the bike infrastructure TMR have previously insisted never existed along Ruthven St.








Above: Remnant BAZ sign marking the start of the trail of BAZ signs down Ruthven St that culminate in the 'end' sign featured above (see also the first photograph for the same BAZ sign).

Scant, if any, regard has been paid to the TMR policy to be found here:
Cycling Infrastructure Policy (PDF, 161 KB)









Tuesday, 15 January 2013

A good article from SQ Law on the state of cycling in Toowoomba.

Click on the article to get it full size.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Toowoomba to Allora return ride

The ride left the Art Gallery Gardens at just after 8.00 am, having waited for Noel to fix his first puncture on his new bike. As we left, Margaret's changer fell off and had to be repaired by Justin of Bikeline, as he sat having his breakfast at the Metro cafe. Dedication Justin, dedication. The day was hot and windy, all the way to Allora while being punctuated with excitement, such as the Angry Mower at the Cambooya pub and the personal views of cyclists from the Sheriff of Clifton. Snaps supplied not by Andrew 'Lord Snowdon', who had to work that weekend, but by Rob.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

20mph: A snapshot of the evidence

A new survey commissioned by Sustrans shows that 70 per cent of British people want the speed limit to be dropped to 20 miles per hour in residential areas to make them safer. But it’s not just public opinion that supports an area-wide roll out of 20mph - the evidence of the safety, health and economic benefits is irrefutable. Safer streets There were 405 pedestrian and 111 cyclist deaths in Britain in 2010, yet we know that reducing speeds saves lives. When the Transport Research Lab (TRL) reviewed 250 20mph schemes across Great Britain they found that accidents per year fell by 60%1, and a recent British Medical Journal study showed that the introduction of 20mph zones was associated with 42% fewer road casualties. Younger children were the main beneficiaries in this reduction in causalities, and serious injuries and fatalities also dropped significantly. A better place to walk and cycle High vehicle speeds are the greatest deterrent to walking and cycling. Reviews show that reducing speeds to 20 mph (30 km/h) encourages more people to walk and cycle3. A 20 mph speed limit in built-up areas allows for the safe mixing of motorised and non-motorised modes of transport, and makes it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy the same direct and safe routes for their journeys as motorists. Smoother traffic flow, reduced congestion and cheaper fuel When 30km/h zones were introduced in Germany, car drivers changed gear 12% less often, braked 14% less often and required 12% less fuel4. Research also showed that driving at a steady 30 kph reduces vehicle emissions as braking and accelerating between junctions and other obstacles decreases. Sociable places Heavy traffic damages communities – and the speed of traffic plays a key role. A study from the Commission for Integrated Transport found that where cities have 20 mph speed limits covering between 65% and 85% of the street network, they are transformed “from being noisy, polluted places into vibrant, people-centred environments.” Economic benefits There are clear financial benefits to 20mph. In 2010, the estimated cost to the economy of collisions in Britain was around £15 billion.7 Conversely, area-wide 20mph limits are low cost and high benefit. For example, Portsmouth converted 1200 streets in the city to 20mph for a cost of just over half a million pounds whilst Transport for London (TfL) estimates that the 20mph London’s zones are already estimated to be saving the city more than £20 million every year by preventing crashes.