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Your views: on dehumanised cyclists, free city buses, and council voting on a "climate emergency"

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on a study in which motorists equated cyclists with cockroaches, discuss the city’s free bus service versus inner-city trams, and question the impact of council factions.

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Commenting on the story: Cyclists “less than human” to many motorists: pilot study

Great article and one I was not surprised by. I am 62, fit and bike ride twice a week.

I cop abuse every time I ride, I have vehicles drive close by me, cars pass and cut in quickly.

I ride very defensively but it’s getting scary now. – Neil Fitzgerald

I used to ride my bike from Hectorville to the city very day for work. I did not wear a helmet until the compulsory helmet law came in and straight away I noticed an immediate change in the way I was treated by many motorists.

Things got a lot harder immediately. I can only put this down to me looking less “human” and maybe less vulnerable than when I did not wear a helmet.

Whatever the reason, there was a definite change in the attitude of car drivers toward me on my bike once I had a helmet on. – Don Morrison

As a person who rides a bike each day to and from work, I am constantly watching out for aggressive or oblivious drivers.

Most of the issues I encounter from drivers are from those who are completely oblivious to the existence of a person on a bike sharing the road with them.

The most dangerous action they take is turning across in front of you across a bike lane. The other one is they don’t slow down when you indicate your intent to veer across a lane to turn right; instead some drivers either blow their horn at you or speed up to get past you.

I appreciate there are some people who ride their bikes aggressively on the road. However, this is not every cyclist, just like not every driver is aggressive or oblivious to people on bikes.

I cycle and I drive and we all need to learn to share the road which we all pay taxes towards building and maintaining. – Craig McCallum

Every person who rides a bike has experienced the bigoted attitude of some drivers on repeated occasions. I have had abuse, eggs, beer cans and other stuff hurled at me while riding.

The study cites deliberate cut offs and obstructions as common, and they are so common that I dismiss them as simply mindless behaviour.

We can wonder why some drivers feel so hostile toward people on bikes. Perhaps they forget that for every cyclist is one less car to clog the roads.

We don’t cause congestion, we don’t cause pollution nor climate change and we don’t cause disease, yet we are called cockroaches as if we were pathogenic.

Maybe it is their sense of entitlement offended that bugs them, or perhaps our free and easy lifestyle they are jealous of. To be a committed cyclist  you need a thick skin.

But it’s not all bad.  In a NZ study, 68% of respondents cared for cyclist safety and thought we deserved our own turf. 

Street urchins we are because we have to share with cars and pedestrians with no place to call our own.  Our own turf is the only answer. – Tim Eisemann

Commenting on the story: Free city bus funding under review: State Government

Both the city council and the State Government are considering cutting funding for the free Adelaide Connector bus service which operates on two loops around the city and North Adelaide.

The State Government in its pre-election public transport policy promised that it would introduce new inner-city tram services, including one serving North Terrace, Hutt Street, Angas and Gouger Streets, areas that are serviced to some extent by the Adelaide Connector bus service. 

Any thought of removing the bus service prior to introducing inner-city tram services would be patently inconsistent with their policy. 

The City of Adelaide is considering whether or not it should continue its support of the Adelaide Connector bus service.

Perhaps it is not interested in supporting a proposal for new inner-city tram services which would eventually at least partly replace that bus service. It would seem so in the light of it not wanting to provide tram passengers with a traffic-delay free tram trip on the existing tram route along the very wide King William Street South!

Other streets proposed for new inner-city tram services are narrower, so it is likely that with the council’s lack of support for an effective existing tram service, any new tram route is even more likely to be delayed by the almighty motor car! – Tom Wilson

Commenting on the story: SA councils split on “climate emergency” vote

Like many who live and work in the Adelaide City Council area I was disappointed to see that the climate emergency motion was amended beyond recognition, and rendered impotent.

My disappointment only grew when I saw who voted to amend to motion. Like so many motions introduced during this term, the so-called ‘Team Adelaide’ voted en bloc to rip the heart out of the motion.

Five of the seven members of this faction are card carrying Liberals, including its apparent leader, Deputy Lord Mayor Abiad. This gives a political party effective control of our city council.

In South Australia, local councils are designed to give power back to the community. They function best when every member is free to scrutinise one another. It is tragic to see a faction seize control of the ACC and I fear what damage is being done by the reduced independence. – Declan Price-Brooks

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