Cycle lanes ..



Status
Not open for further replies.
"Ian Walker" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:eek:[email protected]...
>
> I think we need to drop this slightly messianic idea that German cycling infrastructure is
> amazing, or indeed acceptable. I've cycled across
Germany
> whilst on a European tour and I've lived there too*, and frankly the cycling infrastructre is
> dreadful.

snip

Like you, I have lived in Germany for some time (Düsseldorf, Bremen and Luneberg for a total of
nearly 5 years).

If you look back at the parts of my earlier post that you snipped you will see I was being highly
critical of the Dutch paths shown -- because they put cyclists at the position of maximum danger for
a side swipe. The bit you left in was my comment that, because Dutch & German drivers expect
pedestrians and cyclists to be crossing the side road to have priority, (unlike the average British
cager) some of the danger is ameliorated (but not eliminated).

In general, what you say about German cycle provision is correct. It is extensive, it is largely
shared use pavement and some of it is in less than pristine condition. But -- and it is a big but,
you do not see the totally pointless six inch wide strips of green or pink painted gutter that stops
as soon as there is a point of maximum danger (e.g. a road pinch point caused by a central
pedestrian island) in Germany. You rarely see cycle paths so overgrown that you are forced (if you
are stupid enough to use the cycle 'provision') to ride on four inches of broken kerb stone with
juggernauts whistling past your shoulder (and that bit IS a two way cycle path!!). You rarely see a
narrow strip of pink/green paint directing unwary cyclists to ride past cars parked in a 20 minute
shoppers waiting zone in prime 'car dooring' range.

I can point you to several examples of all these horrors and more within 3 miles of my own
front door.

German cycle provision is not great -- for all the reasons you mention. But for shear ****ing
incompetence, stupidity and danger you have to go a long way to beat the products of our own road
planners and engineers.

T

PS - since you have lived in Germany you will appreciate that 'German Efficiency' is a propaganda
lie put about to confuse the terminally stupid
:)
 
Ian Walker wrote:
>>
>
> I think we need to drop this slightly messianic idea that German cycling infrastructure is
> amazing, or indeed acceptable. I've cycled across Germany whilst on a European tour and I've lived
> there too*, and frankly the cycling infrastructre is dreadful.

snipped

and, at least in Leipzig where
> I lived, slippery tramlines that must be crossed over and over leading to falls aplenty. No,
> having cycled a lot in both countries I really think it's better here. Amazingly.
>
> Ian
>
> *yes, and cycled extensively, until someone stole my bike. If in East Germany, look for a green
> Raleigh touring bike and throw bricks at the rider.

Having also lived in Germany for a considerable period I think that Ian's comments do not present a
fair picture of cycling conditions there. German drivers are certainly no worse than British one and
are most probably better because their training is better. In many instances cycle paths do need to
be avoided, for the same reasons as here, and regular cyclists will do so. IME outside towns there
is lower traffic density on the roads than here which makes riding much more comfortable.

In fairness to Ian most of his experience seems to have been collected in Leipzig, in the former
GDR, where the infrastructure probably wasn't (still isn't) as developed as in the West.

German cycling infrastructure might not be amazing but it's certainly acceptable. I am absolutely
certain that you see more people on bikes there than here.
--
Michael MacClancy
 
On Tue, 18 Feb 2003 10:04:32 -0000, Michael MacClancy <[email protected]> wrote:

<snip>

>
> IME outside towns there is lower traffic density on the roads than here which makes riding much
> more comfortable.

This is true.

>
> In fairness to Ian most of his experience seems to have been collected in Leipzig, in the former
> GDR, where the infrastructure probably wasn't (still isn't) as developed as in the West.

I know that East and West Germany aren't comparable, but most of my comments were based on my
experiences of cycling in the West. Don't get me started on the East - mile after mile of cobbled
road, bottomless potholes, etc.

>
> German cycling infrastructure might not be amazing but it's certainly acceptable. I am absolutely
> certain that you see more people on bikes there than here.

Yes, but that's no guarantee that the infrastructure is better; I'd say that was because the society
is better and people are more sensible and less selfish.

Ian

--
Ian Walker, Department of Psychology, University of Bath. Remove the yummy paste in my address to
reply. Homepage: http://www.drianwalker.com
 
On Mon, 17 Feb 2003 22:16:54 -0000, Tony W <[email protected]> wrote:

snip
>
> Like you, I have lived in Germany for some time (Düsseldorf, Bremen and Luneberg for a total of
> nearly 5 years).
>
snip

> In general, what you say about German cycle provision is correct. It is extensive, it is largely
> shared use pavement and some of it is in less than pristine condition. But -- and it is a big but,
> you do not see the totally pointless six inch wide strips of green or pink painted gutter that
> stops as soon as there is a point of maximum danger (e.g. a road pinch point caused by a central
> pedestrian island) in Germany. You rarely see cycle paths so overgrown that you are forced (if you
> are stupid enough to use the cycle 'provision') to ride on four inches of broken kerb stone with
> juggernauts whistling past your shoulder (and that bit IS a two way cycle path!!). You rarely see
> a narrow strip of pink/green paint directing unwary cyclists to ride past cars parked in a 20
> minute shoppers waiting zone in prime 'car dooring' range.
>

True, and please don't think that I'm just knocking Germany for the sake of
it (Ithink it's a great place, and indeed holidayed there last year). But you might see more of the
ridiculous things you mention if the town planners hadn't taken such a blanket approach with
shared-use paths, as your earlier comments about the Dutch lane suggests they might.

> I can point you to several examples of all these horrors and more within 3 miles of my own
> front door.

As can I...

>
> German cycle provision is not great -- for all the reasons you mention. But for shear ****ing
> incompetence, stupidity and danger you have to go a long way to beat the products of our own road
> planners and engineers.
>
> T
>
> PS - since you have lived in Germany you will appreciate that 'German Efficiency' is a propaganda
> lie put about to confuse the terminally stupid
> :)
>

My favourite example of this was the commuter trains that my colleagues and I used. They always left
the station *exactly* on time, but then stopped 200m up the track and waited for 10 minutes. I
suppose our "system" of having the pointless 10 minute delay actually at the platform has some
advantages... :eek:)

Ian

--
Ian Walker, Department of Psychology, University of Bath. Remove the yummy paste in my address to
reply. Homepage: http://www.drianwalker.com
 
> Personally, it would not worry me if cycle lanes were abolished -- cycle paths are somewhat
> different but most of them could go too.
>
> However, I appreciate that to encourage new or returning cyclists they do offer a psychological
> fig leaf without which the newbie may not get started.

However, it seems that as the number of bike lanes go up, the number of cyclists goes down.

Jeremy Parker
 
Micheal McClancey says:

> German cycling infrastructure might not be amazing but it's certainly acceptable.

It's so good that it has to be compulsory. You have no option but to accept it.

Jeremy Parker
 
Jeremy Parker <[email protected]> wrote:

> >
> > However, I appreciate that to encourage new or returning cyclists they do offer a psychological
> > fig leaf without which the newbie may not get started.
>
> However, it seems that as the number of bike lanes go up, the number of cyclists goes down.

Of course, "traffic" is only counted on roads, as bike lanes and paths increase more "part time"
cyclists move to where they aren't going to be counted. There are more fulltime rally cars now in
the UK than there ever have been, they won't be counted in census's ( censi?) because they are kept
in garages now where they used to be dual use , so ther are "less rally cars"
 
Jeremy Parker <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
>
> However, it seems that as the number of bike lanes go up, the number of cyclists goes down.

I believe you agree with me, Jeremy, that much of our "cycling provision" acts as a powerful
disincentive to cycle. Experienced cyclists find it unpleasant if not downright dangerous, and
inexperienced cyclists get scared silly trying to use it.

--
Dave...
 
Dave Kahn wrote:
> I believe you agree with me, Jeremy, that much of our "cycling provision" acts as a powerful
> disincentive to cycle. Experienced cyclists find it unpleasant if not downright dangerous, and
> inexperienced cyclists get scared silly trying to use it.

Someone's just posted the solution to this on rec.sport.unicycling:
http://www.unicyclist.com/gallery/albums/albuo94/bike021903_004.jpg

--
Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny ) Recumbent cycle page:
http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -
Thomas Paine
 
Dave Kahn says:

>
> I believe you agree with me, Jeremy, that much of our "cycling provision" acts as a powerful
> disincentive to cycle. Experienced cyclists find it unpleasant if not downright dangerous, and
> inexperienced cyclists get scared silly trying to use it.

Indeed. Installing the infrastructure doesn't make sense if the gov't wants to make cycling safer
and more convenient, because it doesn't acheive that.

However, it does make sense if they want to tell the ignorant that cycling is terribly dangerous
(when it's safer than walking, for goodness sake)

Making cycling seem dangerous has two advantages

- it results in fewer cyclists on the road

- it implies that most accidents are the cyclists' fault, just for being there.

Actually, I think this is too much of a cunning plan for the politicians and bureaucrats to have
brains enough to have thought of it. It's just a coincidence.

What really happens, I think, is that any good manager puts his smartest project manager in charge
of the biggest and most expensive project, his second smartest in charge of the second most
expensive, and so on. By the time they have worked down to the small, cheap, bike projects they are
left with the people they haven't actually managed to fire yet.

Jeremy Parker
 
Marc says:

>
> Of course, "traffic" is only counted on roads, as bike lanes and paths increase more "part time"
> cyclists move to where they aren't going to be counted.

Actually, with the move by traffic engineers towards mechanical counters, and away from people
standing by the side of the road to count, it's getting to be the other way round. Most car counters
won't count bikes, so to count bikes requires an extra counter, one in each lane.

With the general presumption by traffic engineers that bikes need a cycle track like trams need a
tram track, the bike counters tend to get installed on bike paths (if at all).

Jeremy Parker
 
Status
Not open for further replies.