Tag Archives: road surface

Riders risk being torn to shreds on trial surface

Riders could be torn to shreds by a rough “tyre-shredding” road surface designed to stop “hoons” doing burnouts and drifting, according to an ex-bike cop and now riding instructor.

George Foessel joined Queensland Police in 1983 and became a bike cop and a driver/rider trainer as well as a qualified crash investigator.

“My concern is how the surface will impact on the two-wheeled community in the event of a fall,” says Greg who now trains riders at Motor School.

Greg Foessel is now a rider instructor

Shreds tyres

Brisbane City Council has trialled the special abrasive road surface at known hoon burnout locations in Chuwar and Willawong and will soon release their findings.

The road surface consists of bitumen spray sealed with a highly modified rubberised binder and sharp, angular aggregate stones.

It is designed to have high friction to prevent spinning tyres. If a driver or rider does manage a burnout, the rough aggregate shreds tyres quickly.

Road surface trial shreds tyres and riders
These gloves would be shredded if they hit the road at speed

“I totally understand the need to curtail the activities of a few reckless people and the initiative definitely has merit,” Greg says.

“However, I feel that if the surface shreds tyres then it may also shred motorcycle protective clothing and any exposed skin.  This in itself could impose more severe injures who come into contact with this surface.

“I feel that the surface may need to be re-evaluated whilst in the trial phase to ensure there is not an increased risk to cyclists and motorcyclist who may inadvertently come to grief in these areas.”

Despite his concerns and the fact that BCC has yet to release its findings, the Queensland Liberal-National Party (LNP) already plans to roll out the “tyre-shredding surface” at more burnout spots.

The say the road treatment causes increased tyre wear.

Road surface trial shreds tyres and riders
Close-up of rough surface

“If you are driving normally or are on a push bike or motorcycle you are able to ride over the road surface with no issues,” they say.

Bicycle Queensland CEO Rebecca Randazzo says they were not consulted about the trials but are interested in the results.

Council trials

A Brisbane City Council spokesperson says that during their first 12-month trial on Allawah Road, Chuwar, the number of hooning complaints dropped.

Road surface trial shreds tyres and riders
Burnout marks just outside the trial area

I inspected the Chuwar trial and noticed burnout marks just outside the trial area, so it hasn’t totally stopped “hoon” activity in the area.

“Following its success, Council applied a road treatment to a second trial site at Gardens Drive, Willawong in November 2019,” the BCC spokesperson says.

“We have been working with the Queensland Police Service, analysing crash data, undertaking pavement testing, evaluating survey data and analysing community feedback to evaluate the effectiveness of the trial surface.”

“We expect to release the information next month.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Sydney tests recycled concrete road

Riders concerned about road surfaces and maintenance may be interested in a test Sydney City Council is running with concrete made with recycled material.

Council has installed a short 30m test section consisting of 15m of traditional concrete and 15m of recycled “geopolymer” on Wyndham Street, Alexandria, a heavy use road to the airport.

The geopolymer material is made using industrial waste from coal-fired power stations and steel factories mixed with concrete.

Council seems more concerned about scoring greenie points with their recycling, but riders will be more interested in its traction and wear capabilities.

Concrete concerns

We asked council whether it had been tested for suitability for two-wheeled vehicles, given riders are the most concerned about road surfaces of any road user.

A City of Sydney spokesperson assured us the surface of geopolymer “is just like traditional concrete”.

While concrete usually has good traction in the dry, it can be slippery in the wet.

However, the spokesperson says the road pavement of the Wyndham St trial has been “broom finished”.

Concrete road surface
Workers pour the geopolymer concrete (Image: City of Sydney)

“This finish allows for small ridges in the pavement that increases traction, meaning bike riders’ braking and steering controls are not compromised,” she says.

Depending on how it is laid and the materials used, concrete is often considered longer lasting with better traction (at least in the dry), but also noisier and more expensive.

The latter is the main reason it is not used more extensively.

Use of recycled materials makes concrete a more attractive proposition.

However, concrete is also laid in slabs which can shift and create ridges between them that can destabilise a motorcycle.

In this case, the road is already made of slabs.

Uni monitors

Nine sensors have been positioned under the surface to monitor and compare how the geopolymer material performs.

UNSW Sydney researchers will monitor the road performance for up to five years.

Professor Stephen Foster, Head of School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, describes the trial as “a huge step forward” but he is talking about the recycling component.

“This trial will help drive step change in the industry. Many concrete companies are already doing a lot to change, but this trial really gives it another push,” Professor Foster says.

“Research into geopolymer has been undertaken since the ‘90s, but it’s only now that it’s starting to be commercialised. 

“While we’ll monitor the road performance for up to five years, a lot of the data collected in the first three to 12 months of this world-first trial will be used to confirm our models and strengthen our predictions.”

Geopolymer is made from fly ash and blast furnace slag and generates 300kg of CO2 per tonne of cement, compared with the 900kg from traditional cement production.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com