How odd… as I was riding along North road this morning I was thinking that I really should write back to VicRoads and thank them for their of the use of the bus lanes. Less than a minute later I had to bite my lip to stop from laughing as a VicRoads maintenance vehicle drove out of a side-street, safety orange light busy spinning around on the roof, assorted warning signs all sitting in the back… and the driver chatting away on THE MOBILE PHONE. Bloody typical. Debated jotting down the details to forward them to VicRoads for comment, but then it all went out the window, and out of memory, in a frantic bid for self-preservation.

The driver of the Grenda’s route 900 bus, rego. 6###-A01 then tried to run me off the road. Blasting on the horn as he went flying past without pulling out, forced me completely out of the lane and onto the 20cm wide, debris-filled concrete kerb. When I caught him at the Dandenong road intersection he told me that it was “bus lane, you not allowed to ride in it.” I informed him I had been told by VicRoads that I could and was told “You not allowed to ride after 8:30.” I informed him again that VicRoads had told me that it was legal for cyclists to use the bus lane at all times and he changed his words to “I just letting you know I was there.” I pointed out that I was fully aware of his presence and that his actions were aggressive, dangerous and unnecessary. He told me I should not ride on the road (at all). At this point I realised it was pointless to continue attempting to discuss it with him, and as per the recommendations of the two other cyclists at the intersection, I recorded the details of his vehicle.

I’ve written to Grenda bus lines, with Cc to Bike Vic. and VicRoads, asking for their response to this drivers actions, and what they intend to do to prevent it recurring. I have asked that they not introduce specious arguments to the effect that I should use off-road cycle paths, as under no circumstances do their presence, however unsuitable they may be for commuter cycling, excuse road rage in other vehicle operators.

…as for the “bicycle path”, well it still isn’t finished, and it still has all the design problems that make it appear more of an after-thought designed from a viewpoint of getting bicycles off the road and not with any view of providing all road users, be it by car, bicycle or bus with a safe and effective route.

So far this year I’ve seen about twenty people cycling along North road, in all cases they’ve chosen to ride on the road, since it appears that the incomplete and unsuitable “bicycle path” doesn’t provide any advantages — and in many ways, its presence reinforces the dangerous belief in many people’s minds that cyclists have to get off the roads.

Footnotes

1 [] — Damn! Just saw on my scribble pad notes that although I’d written 6###-A0, in the letter I’ve written to Grenda I typed 9###-A0, probably because it was route 900 at 9 o’clock.