A few problems with the government’s new median barrier announcement

The government in partnership with the Green party have made some transport announcements which appear on the face of things to be very pro-bicycle, bus and train and very anti-car. Their plans to massively increase the number of median barriers are problematic.

The first issue is one that will make riding on the roads more dangerous for bicycles and will slow cars to a crawl.

Median barriers will make it impossible to follow the law. The law states that the recommended minimum distance motor vehicles should give cyclists is 1.5m of clearance when passing. Median barriers will make it impossible to pass cyclists while giving them the required 1.5 metres of clearance. If we can’t legally pass them we will be forced drive at 15 kph behind the cyclist assuming that they can at least pedal that fast.

Issue two is related to median barriers on our state highways. Most of our highways are two lanes (one each way) so median barriers would prevent drivers from passing slower drivers. This will result in holiday traffic crawling behind caravans and trucks. A total nightmare.

Issue three will result from the problem caused by the median barriers. The government will find that it needs to spend millions of dollars creating new passing lanes at frequent intervals so that cars will be able to pass slower traffic.

A fourth issue is that the barriers will also make it impossible for milk tankers and rural delivery vans to cross the road. Tourists who overshoot something on their side of the road that is of interest like a cafe or B &B, for example, will also be prevented from doing a U turn.

A fifth issue to consider is the need to make sure that farmers all have access to their farms and homes. If we have solid lines of median barriers they will be unable to turn into their roads and driveways on the other side of the road.

This also raises the issue of the movement of livestock. When farmers need to move livestock from one paddock to the next they often herd them out onto the road. Median barriers may prevent them from getting their animals easily to the other side of the road.

These are just a few of the possible issues that this attempt to make our roads safer will cause. It is an ill thought out policy and an attempt by the Green party to wrap motorists in cotton wool and place them inside a protective plastic bubble.

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