Letter to the Editor
I absolutely agree that painted on road cycle lanes can actually be more dangerous for cyclists than having nothing at all, they can result in a false sense of security for both cyclists and car drivers alike which can lead to exceptionally poor outcomes in terms of death and serious injury.
However, I am not aware of what the plans are for cyclists in relation to this project, to have cyclists intermingle with cars is not an acceptable answer. Is the thinking that there are close by parallel cycling facilities?
Ideally we should be considering the principles of "movement and place" in terms of transport planning, this is a movement corridor that is travelling through a place, and as such can be challenging for planners and designers.
A standard tool that could be used to inform decision making in this situation would be the Safe System Assessment Framework which will provide a quantitative score for any project option in terms of its safety outcomes.
The option of removing the cycle lanes on Mair Street, I would expect, would have been run through such a framework.
The safest option would be to have completely separated cycling facilities, to not prioritise safety is ethically flawed.
The opportunity to recast the infrastructure on corridors like Mair Street come around very infrequently and the good folk of Ballarat will reap the benefits or count the cost of decisions that are made now for many years to come.
Bryan Sherritt, Auckland.