4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News

4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News
4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News Led by John "Cueball" Mackenzie

04 August 2014


In July we saw the start of more so-called upgrades on the dangerous Cook Highway roundabouts to "protect the bicyclists" who use the road.  These so-called "upgrades" began construction in usual Newman fashion - with no consultation with the people who use them.  As the idiocy of the redesign became apparent, both bicyclists and car drivers voiced disgust with the changes.

The redesign has required a slight widening of the road's edge, and then the installation of a >200mm high square kerb to act as a physical barrier between the bicyclists and the cars.

One needs only to look at the kerb on the northbound Machans Beach roundabout to see that, in the course of just two weeks, the kerb has been struck at least a half-dozen times.  A strike that likely leaves the tyre and wheel severely damaged.  With the poor maintenance of the street lighting now rampant across the city (a side-effect from the Newman cost-cutting, not doubt), it's only a matter of time before a car is rolled by this new roadway obstacle.  

This kind of kerbing has been called "a dangerous obstacle for all two wheelers" in the UK, where the standard for roundabout design includes the warning "Cycle lanes on a the circulatory carriageway are not recommended".  

Like the hurried upgrades to the Trinity Beach roundabout after the death of Dr. Hossam El-Shazly in 2009, these upgrades are being done as a public relations exercise with little hope of improving the situation.  So a meeting was hastily organised to paper over the problems, with the bicyclists represented by Colin Gilbert.  The presence of MP Michael "hide the backhoe" Trout and Aquis developer apologist Pat Flanagan as another "concerned cyclist" confirms that FNQ has gotten rolled again by the slick-o's from Brisbane.  And who was representing the motorists?    No one - with the TMR policy on these matters being "divide and conquer".  Why isn't the RACQ in there representing the motorist-member??  

Queensland Department of Main Roads Road Planning and Design manual on roundabouts says: ". . . a separated cycle path, located outside of the circulating carriageway, is the safest design when there are high vehicle flows".  It goes on to say:  "Separate bicycle paths have been found to be safer than a bicycle lane within the road carriageway, particularly at highly trafficked roundabouts".   

The fact is that the geometry, design, and construction of the Cook Highway roundabouts is substandard.  The only roundabout that fully complies with the Austroad and Queensland design rules is the Reed Road (Trinity Park) roundabout - which was the last built, in 2000.  The Smithfield roundabout is functionally broken. With heavy traffic on all four legs it should have been replaced years ago with a proper overpass and ramps.  But this is the nature of Far North Queensland infrastructure - even the safety rules aren't followed and we end up with a dangerous patchwork of roads. 

Witness the Western Arterial at Parkridge/Ramsey Drive.  No way would this shit be built in Brisbane.  TMR has been band-aiding it for years instead of tearing it out and building it the right way.  

And these roundabouts were installed almost thirty five years ago.  The volume of traffic now on the Cook Highway would preclude new roundabouts today.  

And now we have "improvised" designs with car-flipper
kerbing - designs found in NO road design manual.  Dreamt up by TMR lunatic.  Why is Cairns the testbed of unproven designs?  Why aren't we using proven designs that protect the motorist as well as the cyclist???

Even Michael Trout, not the sharpest (stolen) tool in the shed, claims "the roundabouts are only designed for 60km/hr".  So why have the Queensland Police Service signposted them at 40km/hr?

Bicycle spokesman Colin Gilbert calls this a "massive win for us" instead of what it really is, a guarantee of more bicyclist deaths on the Cook Highway.  

These roundabouts need to be replaced with proper road infrastructure, overpasses and dedicated bikeways, if nothing else to support the massive influx of Aquis-generated bus and truck traffic on the highway (and through these substandard roundabouts).


Anonymous said...

Another major design fault is on the new road that runs through City Place. Some idiot forgot to check how much room the busses need to turn and the turning circle is grossly inadequate (check the tyre marks on the edges). So apparently the buses now travel all the way through the intersection, so they can turn around.The super bright lights along the pedestrian crossing are super bright and ugly and look out of place.The whole place looks unfinished and badly designed. That's what you get when you divert funding that was earmarked for the project somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

FFS Hillbilly watch!
If motorists obeyed the law and did not exceed 40kph then they would not collide with the kerbing.
I have no sympathy for anyone that does damage to their car as a result of deliberate law breaking.
Stick to 40kph and you will get around the roundabout safely - and so will a cyclist at the same time.
Just obey the law !!!

Anonymous said...

By cycle spokesman Colin GilButt, when was he voted the spokes person for bicycle riders?

Anonymous said...

Spot on Anon 19:31, and your comment applies to all roads and all drivers everywhere.
Unless the standard of driving is lifted, nothing can change. How to lift the standard? Sixty-dollar question. Maybe more unmarked police cars to get the idiots, and ongoing education for everyone else.

Barry Neall said...

Re FFS 1931hrs,
It is not a requirement under the present law to travel 40kms through the rounabouts, SMITHFIELD EXCLUDED as there is now a 40kms sign there now.
All other roundabouts have a 60kms sign so motorists are not breaking the law.
I do agree however that travelling at 40kms through the roundabouts is probably safer but it is not a requirement.
In regards to the new kerbing a number of cyclists are stating that they are a hazard and will create more problems than exist previously.

Anonymous said...

Can't help but notice how long it has taken for Main Roads to construct these bicycle paths. Gee they better get off their bums if Aquis goes ahead.

shanghai said...

oh by the way the right hand turn into airport drive from lake street looks very tight for big buses good luck boys also I have seen already the rear wheels of a b double bounce off the mounds at Smithfield my tip is a tradie in a 4wd speed into a roundabout at the first rain and come to grieve mark my words I hope not