peletor wrote:In the middle/outer suburbs though there are less buses, less cyclists and it's easier to change in and out of the lane. Once a bus has overtaken it will likely beat the cyclist the rest of the journey, meaning that the amount of friction between the buses will be comparatively minimal.
OK... I can certainly see it from that side, when you say it that way. My concern is the slow moving cyclist climbing a hill in an 80 km/h zone, with the bus behind them.
I saw on the twittersphere that City of Melbourne's Prof. Rob Adams said some great stuff at Bike Futures. One of the quotes was 'We don't need more infrastructure, we just need to use the infrastructure we have, better'.
In this instance, (thinking on my feet here) many of those arterials have very wide carriageways (something I'm always reminded of when I visit Sydney)! So, how about on the uphill there's a separated lane (nice and wide, perhaps by barrier, perhaps by chevron) for cyclists and then there's shared bus lane elsewhere - where the cyclist is not going to impede the bus much.
It's the 80 zones that are difficult. And that's where separating cyclists makes the most sense. 60, 50, 40 and (fingers crossed) 30 zones, the requirement for separation drops accordingly.