Dealing with large junctions & Cyclecraft



On 4 Oct 2006 06:37:30 -0700, "David Martin"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>
>Peter Fox wrote:
>> Another thing: If you travel at the same time every day then soon most
>> of the other users who also travel at the same time every day will be
>> used to a cycle on 'their' roundabout which will make it easier for them
>> to deal with.

>
>The biggest problem IMO is having to cope with fast moving traffic in a
>left hand merge lane as you come off the roundabout. This traffic will
>be accellerating just as you want it to slow down so you can safely
>merge across to the LHS.
>
>It is a nasty junction. The best way surely is to be BIG, get a good
>speed up and signal clearly and boldly LEFT I WANT TO GO LEFT LET ME IN
>YOU &*^*%(($
>
>Hopefully someone would let you in.
>
>The difficulty will depend on the traffic flow. Very heavy traffic will
>be slow moving and will allow you to merge, light traffic will
>negotiate with you and allow you in. Fast flowing medium heavy traffic
>will be somewhat unpleasant.
>
>It is a very cyclist unfriendly road design. It could be improved by
>adding a restriction/diversion to prevent car traffic merging from the
>left having a clear run, ie a low build out that will eb unpleasant for
>a car to drive over, altering the max speed for the corner to 20 mph,
>and having a low kerb and hatched area, provides enough space for an
>HGV to use to turn.
>
>If cars are reduced to a 'circulating the roundabout' pace at the
>bypass then it will be safer for all at the merge.
>
>..d


Amazing that people still find riding in traffic scary in the UK where the
top speed limit is 70km/hr. Not disputing it. Just jealous... ;-p

Where I ride, non-interstate traffic has 80-90 km/hr traffic, and yes, I am
not riding those roads (particularly the narrow no shoulder rural roads
where every fool thinks he's driving a road rally).
 
[email protected] wrote:
> On 4 Oct 2006 06:37:30 -0700, "David Martin"
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> Peter Fox wrote:
>>> Another thing: If you travel at the same time every day then soon most
>>> of the other users who also travel at the same time every day will be
>>> used to a cycle on 'their' roundabout which will make it easier for them
>>> to deal with.

>> The biggest problem IMO is having to cope with fast moving traffic in a
>> left hand merge lane as you come off the roundabout. This traffic will
>> be accellerating just as you want it to slow down so you can safely
>> merge across to the LHS.
>>
>> It is a nasty junction. The best way surely is to be BIG, get a good
>> speed up and signal clearly and boldly LEFT I WANT TO GO LEFT LET ME IN
>> YOU &*^*%(($
>>
>> Hopefully someone would let you in.
>>
>> The difficulty will depend on the traffic flow. Very heavy traffic will
>> be slow moving and will allow you to merge, light traffic will
>> negotiate with you and allow you in. Fast flowing medium heavy traffic
>> will be somewhat unpleasant.
>>
>> It is a very cyclist unfriendly road design. It could be improved by
>> adding a restriction/diversion to prevent car traffic merging from the
>> left having a clear run, ie a low build out that will eb unpleasant for
>> a car to drive over, altering the max speed for the corner to 20 mph,
>> and having a low kerb and hatched area, provides enough space for an
>> HGV to use to turn.
>>
>> If cars are reduced to a 'circulating the roundabout' pace at the
>> bypass then it will be safer for all at the merge.
>>
>> ..d

>
> Amazing that people still find riding in traffic scary in the UK where the
> top speed limit is 70km/hr. Not disputing it. Just jealous... ;-p
>
> Where I ride, non-interstate traffic has 80-90 km/hr traffic, and yes, I am
> not riding those roads (particularly the narrow no shoulder rural roads
> where every fool thinks he's driving a road rally).
>
> Erm, that's 70 mph!
 
<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...

> Amazing that people still find riding in traffic scary in the UK where the
> top speed limit is 70km/hr. Not disputing it. Just jealous... ;-p


Do you mean this junction or genereally? Coz the top speed limit here is
70mph, ie about 110kph, and rural single carriageway roads (equiv of your
non-interstates) speed limit is 60mph/100kph.

cheers,
clive
 
On Wed, 04 Oct 2006 09:46:22 -0400, [email protected] wrote:


>
>Amazing that people still find riding in traffic scary in the UK where the
>top speed limit is 70km/hr. Not disputing it. Just jealous... ;-p


Not so. Speed limit on "dual carriageways", which cyclists are
permitted on is 70mph. Or about 112km/h.

>
>Where I ride, non-interstate traffic has 80-90 km/hr traffic, and yes, I am
>not riding those roads (particularly the narrow no shoulder rural roads
>where every fool thinks he's driving a road rally).
>


Speed limit on "narrow no shoulder rural roads" can be as high as
60mph (96km/h). Often it's 40mph (64km/h).

Shoulders? what's that?


Tim
 
[email protected] wrote:
> On 4 Oct 2006 06:37:30 -0700, "David Martin"
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >
> >Peter Fox wrote:
> >> Another thing: If you travel at the same time every day then soon most
> >> of the other users who also travel at the same time every day will be
> >> used to a cycle on 'their' roundabout which will make it easier for them
> >> to deal with.

> >
> >The biggest problem IMO is having to cope with fast moving traffic in a
> >left hand merge lane as you come off the roundabout. This traffic will
> >be accellerating just as you want it to slow down so you can safely
> >merge across to the LHS.
> >
> >It is a nasty junction. The best way surely is to be BIG, get a good
> >speed up and signal clearly and boldly LEFT I WANT TO GO LEFT LET ME IN
> >YOU &*^*%(($
> >
> >Hopefully someone would let you in.
> >
> >The difficulty will depend on the traffic flow. Very heavy traffic will
> >be slow moving and will allow you to merge, light traffic will
> >negotiate with you and allow you in. Fast flowing medium heavy traffic
> >will be somewhat unpleasant.
> >
> >It is a very cyclist unfriendly road design. It could be improved by
> >adding a restriction/diversion to prevent car traffic merging from the
> >left having a clear run, ie a low build out that will eb unpleasant for
> >a car to drive over, altering the max speed for the corner to 20 mph,
> >and having a low kerb and hatched area, provides enough space for an
> >HGV to use to turn.
> >
> >If cars are reduced to a 'circulating the roundabout' pace at the
> >bypass then it will be safer for all at the merge.
> >
> >..d

>
> Amazing that people still find riding in traffic scary in the UK where the
> top speed limit is 70km/hr. Not disputing it. Just jealous... ;-p
>
> Where I ride, non-interstate traffic has 80-90 km/hr traffic, and yes, I am
> not riding those roads (particularly the narrow no shoulder rural roads
> where every fool thinks he's driving a road rally).


That would be 70mph not 70kph.

On the whole I found riding on country roads in East Texas an
'interesting' ordeal. Slower speed limits, but very few drivers obey
them, most F150 drivers see you as road kill waiting to happen and when
you do get cut up or almost squashed you can't yell back 'cos you know
everyone's armed and stupid. I had one guy pull a 9mm Glock on me after
he almost killed me at a 4 way stop (he failed to stop) and I had told
him to f-off. The fact that he was also drunk didn't help, I escaped by
complimenting him on the 20inch rims on his Titan. (for the Brits,
there's no random stops for drink driving in Texas)

Laters,

Marz
 

> I would never ride that roundabout. It is scary enough in a car.
> It may look less 007 but it must surely be safer to get over to the off
> road cycle track before the garden centre, ride up to cross at the
> ped/cycle traffic lights, and take the pavement cycle track south.
> If you can get the council to smooth and widen the track that would be
> good.And the path south of the roundabout is nowhere near wide enough
> to the next junction.
> Whether you then continue to the next right and cross the road to
> continue over the rail bridge down alfreton road, or get back on the
> road before the next roundabout to head down whittle way depends on
> where you are going.
> I know you have a right to do it and it may take 2 mins longer the
> cycle track way but I would not do that roundabout as a regular commute
> myself.
> I have never seen a cycle club use it either.
> i used tohave the same debate with myself approaching the Elephant and
> Castle.
> Unfortunately the A38 along that stretch is effectively a motorway with
> no hard shoulder and no cycle lane either.
>
> It is very irritating to get off the road but in this case it must be
> safer.
> TerryJ
> TerryJ
> TerryJ



I am aware that I may come across as being too impatient to spend time
taking a obvious 'safer' cycleway route for the want of 5 minutes or so -
that is not my intention.

I am interested in the theory - in practice I way up time constraints,
hazard & risk to decide which route to take . The purpose of my post was to
discuss how people deal with such junctions. A lot of sources tell you how
to deal with them in a technical way, which i can understand, though
crossing them reguraly still feels like the odds are against me!

There are a few round-a-bouts that I would never ride, (even if it means
trudjing through wet grass and climbing over crash barriers) mainly where
they are of such a size that traffic can be travelling at 60mph round them.
This roundabout is not that fast, it has a fairly tight inside lane which
slows traffic down. Without the free flow lane, the roundabout would simply
be un-pleasant. When using the junction at a quiet time of day (admittedly
0300hrs!! lol), it does not pose too much of a problem so long as you
practice vehicular cycling & and have reasonable speed.

Whilst the cycleway is a passable option and if I was commuting that way, I
probably would use it most of the time, I still belive it is worth having
the ability to deal with this sort of junction . There may be anouther
junction simlar with no cycleway, i may be on the tandem or have a the
trailer on which also makes it more difficult to navigate cyclepaths such as
this one.

Your point about contacting the council is a good one, I am gradually
becoming more aware that I have the ability to speak up just as anyone else
does. Sadly though it takes time to make a good case and I am guilty of not
making enough time to do something about such problems. Sometimes I prefer
to curse the darkness than try to light a candle !


Colin
>
 
On Wed, 4 Oct 2006 14:53:15 +0100, "Clive George"
<[email protected]> wrote:

><[email protected]> wrote in message
>news:[email protected]...
>
>> Amazing that people still find riding in traffic scary in the UK where the
>> top speed limit is 70km/hr. Not disputing it. Just jealous... ;-p

>
>Do you mean this junction or genereally? Coz the top speed limit here is
>70mph, ie about 110kph, and rural single carriageway roads (equiv of your
>non-interstates) speed limit is 60mph/100kph.
>
>cheers,
>clive


OK, sorry, I stand corrected. I was just googling on UK speed limits and it
appeared to be 70km.

my bad. ;-)
 
On Wed, 04 Oct 2006 14:57:39 +0100, Tim Hall
<[email protected]> wrote:

>On Wed, 04 Oct 2006 09:46:22 -0400, [email protected] wrote:
>
>
>>
>>Amazing that people still find riding in traffic scary in the UK where the
>>top speed limit is 70km/hr. Not disputing it. Just jealous... ;-p

>
>Not so. Speed limit on "dual carriageways", which cyclists are
>permitted on is 70mph. Or about 112km/h.
>
>>
>>Where I ride, non-interstate traffic has 80-90 km/hr traffic, and yes, I am
>>not riding those roads (particularly the narrow no shoulder rural roads
>>where every fool thinks he's driving a road rally).
>>

>
>Speed limit on "narrow no shoulder rural roads" can be as high as
>60mph (96km/h). Often it's 40mph (64km/h).
>
>Shoulders? what's that?


Haha. I swear, after hearing so many people talking about riding cross
country, I've been trying to broaden my scope, but there's one road near
here that I've reconned about three times in my car over the last two years
and I -still- can't imagine cycling safely there. Narrow, curvy, hills,
speeding delivery trucks and larger trucks (cement mixers). It was mildly
frightening in a car, lol.

I can imagine being squished like a bug around some blind corner and have
some truck driver say 'what was that?' as he drives on whistling to the
radio.

The worst are Bus drivers. The only time I thought I was going to be killed
for sure was taking a bus from my college to my girlfriends over roads like
these.


>
>Tim
 
in message <[email protected]>, Tim Hall
('[email protected]') wrote:

> On Wed, 04 Oct 2006 09:46:22 -0400, [email protected] wrote:
>
>>Amazing that people still find riding in traffic scary in the UK where
>>the top speed limit is 70km/hr. Not disputing it. Just jealous... ;-p

>
> Not so. Speed limit on "dual carriageways", which cyclists are
> permitted on is 70mph. Or about 112km/h.
>
>>Where I ride, non-interstate traffic has 80-90 km/hr traffic, and yes, I
>>am not riding those roads (particularly the narrow no shoulder rural
>>roads where every fool thinks he's driving a road rally).

>
> Speed limit on "narrow no shoulder rural roads" can be as high as
> 60mph (96km/h). Often it's 40mph (64km/h).


It's /normally/ 60mph (96km/h) and only rarely 40mph. I agree it would be
better if it were lower, but around here there ate plenty of roads where
the tarmac surface is 12 feet or less wide, and the speed limit is 60mph.
Most local traffic doesn't go that fast, but in the summer you get idiots.

> Shoulders? what's that?


Where the sleeves attach on your jacket.

--
[email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

;; When all else fails, read the distractions.
 
David Martin wrote on 04/10/2006 14:37 +0100:
>
> The biggest problem IMO is having to cope with fast moving traffic in a
> left hand merge lane as you come off the roundabout. This traffic will
> be accellerating just as you want it to slow down so you can safely
> merge across to the LHS.
>


I don't think its necessarily as bad as all that - I regularly cycle one
that is similar. Assuming I have read it correctly and the trip is from
Alfreton Road into Ford Road my approach would be to move over to the
centre of the second lane on the approach to the roundabout to allow the
left turning traffic free flow up the inside. The way to get there is
to drift slowly out without looking until the traffic finally realises
it is having to go too far right to pass and slows down behind you. Much
easier to do a drift takeover of a lane when the traffic is busy than quiet.

From there cycle across to about a metre out from the edge of the
roundabout, looking to your right as you do so to eyeball any drivers
approaching from the right. Once you get past the Abbey Hill exit,
start to concentrate on the traffic on the outside land of the Abbey
Hill joining road. The aim is to eyeball them to a stop with cycling
that says you are coming through. Any sign of uncertainty will not stop
them so you have to ride like you mean it but be prepared to stop if you
fail. Once you have that car stopped its relatively easy to transfer
the same technique to the left lane so you can cross it to the inside
ready to turn left onto Ford Lane.

HTH

--
Tony

"Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using
his intelligence; he is just using his memory."
- Leonardo da Vinci
 
Tony Raven wrote:

> From there cycle across to about a metre out from the edge of the
> roundabout, looking to your right as you do so to eyeball any drivers
> approaching from the right. Once you get past the Abbey Hill exit,
> start to concentrate on the traffic on the outside land of the Abbey
> Hill joining road. The aim is to eyeball them to a stop with cycling
> that says you are coming through. Any sign of uncertainty will not stop
> them so you have to ride like you mean it but be prepared to stop if you
> fail. Once you have that car stopped its relatively easy to transfer
> the same technique to the left lane so you can cross it to the inside
> ready to turn left onto Ford Lane.
>
> HTH
>

Don't think that is the path the OP is taking. I think he's approaching
from the north and leaving at the south.

The problem is getting into the LH lane after you've left the
roundabout. If you just drift left then you will get cars overtaking on
both sides. If you hold the centre of the RH lane, every time there is
a gap to move left the car behind you will pull into it and undertake
you. Your only chance is a car in the LH lane that pulls up beside the
car behind you and lets you cross over.

I have exactly the same problem here:

http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=51.655226~-0.387847&style=h&lvl=18&scene=4235586
When approaching from the east and wanting to go north.

I have no problems doing a U turn at this roundabout:
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=51.651485~-0.385471&style=h&lvl=19&scene=4235586
because a) lots of cars want to do a U-turn so the traffic is going
fairly slowly and I can get into the RH lane and b) I can exit the
roundabout in the LH lane.

Tim.
 
[email protected] wrote on 04/10/2006 18:28 +0100:
>
> Don't think that is the path the OP is taking. I think he's
> approaching from the north and leaving at the south.
>


You are right - I read the Alfreton Road approach and assumed it was the
prominently marked one from the South and passing the West bound A38.

> I Approach from Alfreton road to take the 2nd exit where the A38 has a free
> flow lane on to Alfreton Road (now the A61)


In which case I would pass the first two lanes of the A38 and then wait
up in front of the island in the cross hatched area until there was a
gap to ride across the free flow lane rather than trying to merge across it.



--
Tony

"Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using
his intelligence; he is just using his memory."
- Leonardo da Vinci
 
On Tue, 3 Oct 2006 17:10 Rob Morley wrote:
>
> ... Remember that motorists will often spend more time
> looking sideways or backwards than looking ahead when
> negotiating a roundabout.


??? You mean, looking anywhere outside a +/- 15 degree arc around
dead ahead? Bizarre!

ISTMT most motorists don't use mirrors (except for inspecting hair and
makeup, or for checking kids in the back seat). Now that the weather
is cooler, one can see aspects of this relatively clearly: this
morning I've seen two cars pull out into the paths of other vehicles,
with the side windows completely unwiped (so having the effect of
being "obscure" glass). On Tuesday I noticed a car where only the
front quarter of the driver's side window had been cleared.

Remember the motorist's mantra for making things OK: "Sorry mate,
didn't see you". If they don't look, they _can't_ see you!

To be fair, the amount going on in many road situations is such that
many motorists don't have enough attention available to deal with more
than the action in that 30 degree sector, plus their mobile, their
in-car entertainment, etc, etc.

--
Tim Forcer [email protected]
The University of Southampton, UK

The University is not responsible for my opinions
 
Tim Forcer wrote:

> Remember the motorist's mantra for making things OK: "Sorry mate,
> didn't see you". If they don't look, they _can't_ see you!
>
> To be fair, the amount going on in many road situations is such that
> many motorists don't have enough attention available to deal with more
> than the action in that 30 degree sector, plus their mobile, their
> in-car entertainment, etc, etc.


For survival reasons, human peripheral vision is very sensitive to
movement - but a steady increase in size (as you ride straight towards
someone) doesn't trigger it. So look behind and move to the right as
you approach. They are more likely to see a move sideways in the field
of vision, and you have more of a safety margin.

Up to now it's always worked for me!

Colin McKenzie

--
No-one has ever proved that cycle helmets make cycling any safer at
the population level,
and anyway cycling is about as safe per mile as walking.
Make an informed choice - visit www.cyclehelmets.org.
 
Colin wrote:

> However when presented with a large multilane round about connecting
> dual carridgeways with a freeflow lane on my exit I feel less safe(no
> suprises!).


> I would be interested to hear what other cycle commuters do with large
> junctions such as this.


It's a difficult one, if there really is no other way round.

I would always prefer to maintain my position on the road, but if I
genuinely felt my safety was at risk, I would walk round or use the
cycle path.

The problem is that I'm not at all convinced that that is any safer.
Considering the large roundabout that I drive round every day, which
has a cycle path round the outside, with right-angle crossings over
all roads entering/leaving the roundabout - with no signalisation for
cyclists or other protection - I actually feel safer remaining on the
road than taking my chances crossing the roads sideways!

--
Stevie D
\\\\\ ///// Bringing dating agencies to the
\\\\\\\__X__/////// common hedgehog since 2001 - "HedgeHugs"
___\\\\\\\'/ \'///////_____________________________________________
 
Colin wrote:

> Anyways,here is the link,
>
> http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&h...2.955722,-1.457534&spn=0.006127,0.026951&om=1
>
> I Approach from Alfreton road to take the 2nd exit where the A38 has a free
> flow lane on to Alfreton Road (now the A61)
>
> The roundabout has 3 lanes & part time (rarely) traffic signals.


At that junction, I would be inclined to wait at the island until
there was a gap in the traffic using the by-pass lane then scoot
straight across, rather than continue with the potential for traffic
to pass on both sides.

That's not too bad here, because there is a physical island that you
can wait by - at some roundabouts, where the by-pass lane is separated
only by hatching, I don't think I would feel comfortable doing the
same.

--
Stevie D
\\\\\ ///// Bringing dating agencies to the
\\\\\\\__X__/////// common hedgehog since 2001 - "HedgeHugs"
___\\\\\\\'/ \'///////_____________________________________________
 
I have now been 'unseated' twice whilst negotiating a roundabout. in
both cases my bike was written off and I sustained physical injury which
prevented me from cycling for a significant period of time. I still
use the roundabout (yes it was the same one both times!) but I am now
ultra cautious when doing so.

The main problem appears to be the fact that motorists do not look
straight ahead when approaching roundabouts since the main sources of
danger to a motorist are the other motorised vehicles coming round from
the right.

In my first 'off' I was stationary at the end of a road waiting to enter
the roundabout when I was hit from behind by a car whose driver felt
that there was enough space for her to enter the roundabout if she did
not slow down on entry.

In my second 'off' I was actually traversing the roundabout and was
passing the end of a feeder road when I was struck on the left side by a
car whose driver had not registered the fact that I was there and had
continued, thankfully at not too great a speed, into the roundabout.

I think the answer to such problems is to build the roundabout in such a
way as to make the motorists stop before they enter the roundabout,
possibly by restricting their view of traffic on the roundabout until
they reach the stop lines. This should be combined with an entry angle
that necessitates a reduction in speed in order to negotiate the turn.
 
Terry Duckmanton <[email protected]>
writes:

> I think the answer to such problems is to build the roundabout in
> such a way as to make the motorists stop before they enter the
> roundabout, possibly by restricting their view of traffic on the
> roundabout until they reach the stop lines. This should be combined
> with an entry angle that necessitates a reduction in speed in order
> to negotiate the turn.


The technology exists[1] to solve this problem: enforce a limit of
20 km/h on small roundabouts, 30 km/h on bigger ones, with cameras
and a very high chance of conviction. People will comply[2], and
slowing to 30km/h on a roundabout (for <10secs) is far less an
imposition (given that you have to be in a position to stop before
entry) than, say, staying below the speed limit for your whole
journey.

Roundabouts would function better (or no worse) for motorised
traffic, and be safer for cyclists.

Brendan

[1] Or could be developed easily enough.
[2] With a great deal of moaning, but comply nonetheless if
detection is likely.
--
Brendan Halpin, Department of Sociology, University of Limerick, Ireland
Tel: w +353-61-213147 f +353-61-202569 h +353-61-338562; Room F2-025 x 3147
mailto:[email protected] http://www.ul.ie/sociology/brendan.halpin.html
 
On Sun, 08 Oct 2006 17:13 Terry Duckmanton wrote:

[cut]

> I think the answer to such problems is to build the roundabout
> in such a way as to make the motorists stop before they
> enter the roundabout,


AIUI, the whole point of the roundabout concept is to _avoid_ stopping
as far as possible.

> possibly by restricting their view of traffic on the roundabout until
> they reach the stop lines.


Nice idea, but ISTMT many (most?) motorists would not appreciate just
how little view they had, and would (as usual) grossly overestimate
their ability to stop within a few feet.

> This should be combined with an entry angle
> that necessitates a reduction in speed in order to negotiate
> the turn.


Chicanes?

With a by-pass for bendy buses?

Many apologies for negativity.

In Southampton, there are few roundabouts - this area breeds traffic
lights just as Swindon breeds roundabouts. Those it does have
generally give me little or no problem on the bike - I make a point of
"claiming my lane" and making it absolutely clear where I'm going.

<http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=50.910536~-1.400915&style=h&lvl=18&scene=4318739>
has traffic lights on the entries, and spiral-out lane markings.

<http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=50.949695~-1.370786&style=h&lvl=17&scene=4314426>
has traffic lights on the entries from the M27 slip roads.

Neither of the above have ever given me trouble.

OTOH, I've only been across this one once, and it was not at all easy:
<http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=50.91754~-1.456142&style=h&lvl=18&scene=4318492>
Note that there are some cyclepaths, which DO have chicanes. It also
some "taking first exit bypass" lanes, which create problems for
cyclists coming onto those exits trying to get across to the inside
lane (as per OP's problem). Traffic shown on the pic is not at all
typical. It is very heavy at many times during the day and night, not
just at rush hours. I'm sure some here are more familiar with this
junction - what do they do there?

--
Tim Forcer [email protected]
The University of Southampton, UK

The University is not responsible for my opinions