Thursday, March 2, 2017
Cycling and Walking Road Rage 72 yo Male Pedestrian ‘rammed’ on Fairfield Pipe Bridge, Melbourne in random Cyclist attack Pedestrian Safety Cycling Safely "Cyclists Dismount" Inadequate Signage Preston Leader March 3rd 2017
A PENSIONER allegedly rammed and abused by a cyclist in a shocking daylight attack says more needs to be done to protect pedestrians.
Jim McDonald, 72, and his friend Dorothy Aboudara were crossing a bridge in Fairfield’s Yarra Bend Park on Sunday afternoon when a cyclist approached them from behind and demanded they move aside.
The bridge is marked as pedestrian only and cyclists must walk bikes across.
Mr McDonald said he told the cyclist he had to dismount on the bridge, when the cyclist allegedly rammed Mr McDonald from behind with his handlebars.
“He said, ‘f--- off’ and rode away. He was six foot plus and built like a weightlifter so I wasn’t going to say anything else,” Mr McDonald said.
Mr McDonald was not seriously injured but said he feared elderly pedestrians may not be so lucky.
Fairfield Pipe Bridge spans the Yarra River along the Main Yarra Trail and is notorious among locals for its narrow width and frequent near misses between cyclists and pedestrians.
Mr McDonald said something had to be done to improve safety on the bridge.
“There are some signs telling cyclists to dismount but they are faded and need to be fixed, you can barely see them,” he said.
Mr McDonald called for physical barriers to force cyclists to slow down and dismount.
A 2001 report by Parks Victoria recommended that the bridge be widened to prevent collisions.
But major changes to the 83-year-old bridge could be difficult due to its complex ownership structure.
Leader was unable to determine ownership of the bridge after speaking with a number of authorities.
Water retailer Yarra Valley Water said it owned the pipe suspended alongside the bridge, but said Parks Victoria owned the bridge itself.
Parks Victoria was unable to confirm whether the bridge was under its control.
And Melbourne Water would have veto power over any proposed changes, because it spans the Yarra River.
The water authority said it had no record of applications for bridge works.
Yarra Council spokeswoman Brooke Colbert said the council would work with Parks Victoria to review signage.