Dealing with large junctions & Cyclecraft



In article <[email protected]>, Terry Duckmanton wrote:
>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.


Yes, I've been hit twice on roundabouts, once when cycling, once in
a car (but without significant injury in either case).
In both cases the driver pulled on to the roundabout while looking
to the right - the one who hit me on the bike actually said "sorry,
I was looking for cars", the one who hit me when I was driving
hadn't seen the car to her left pull onto the roundabout when there
wasn't a gap forcing me to brake so had assumed I would be clear.


>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.


I've seen earth banks designed to restrict sight lines at roundabouts.
(To slow motorists while leaving a smooth flow rather than bring them
to a complete halt.)
 
Hi

I've followed this thread with interest. I'm a
slightly-scared-of-traffic recreational cyclist; I go to work
occasionally on my bike but spend more time doing track/towpath/pleasant
cycling than battling with traffic. The rest of my time I contribute to
the traffic myself in a car!

A lot of what's said in this thread sounds familiar. Near me there's
what's known as the 'Stretford Gyratory' which is difficult enough to
come out of alive at the best of times in a car; basically, the
dual-laned A56 curves round and continues north in a roundabouty manner;
the southbound three-laned A56 bypasses it.

It's this junction:

http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&z=17&ll=53.441778,-2.311378&spn=0.003189,0.010064&t=h&om=1

The thing is, the A5181 Barton Road joins it and I live just north of
this junction. There's two lanes coming on to the 'roundabout' from
Barton Road; the left hand lane for people wanting to go north on the
A56 and the right for the south. From there you have to cross the two
lanes of traffic, curve round and then join the southbound A56 in the
right hand lane - it's technically a 40mph area but it's a fast road.
From there, you have to somehow cross three lanes of traffic to get
over to the far left hand side. Consequently, if I want to go south on
the A56 (which is actually reasonably provisioned for bikes as there's a
cycle lane clearly marked on the road) I feel I have to take my life
into my own hands and risk being squished.

It's bad enough in the mornings in a car when the traffic builds up
massively and people cut you up by coming down the left hand lane and
then cutting across in front of you towards the slip road going south;
even then, in a car, you have to traverse three lanes if you want to
join the motorway going East (which is what I do normally each morning).

I'm nervous about navigating this on my bike and have, several times,
given up and walked across the junction because I'm never sure how to
cope with it on my own. I only ever attempt it on my bike when the roads
are clearly reasonably quiet... anything more than a car every few
seconds and I abandon the idea!

I'm not sure how I can apply the hints in this thread to this
junction... it's all very well appearing confident in crossing lanes and
owning the lane and such but I still have the problem of crossing three
lanes of 50mph vehicles bearing down on me from behind. On one occasion
I was beeped when crossing at that point, which I thought most unfair as
I'd left plenty of room - unfortunately the beep put me off completely
and I wobbled far more than I would have done otherwise!

I suppose this is the sort of thing that puts me off cycling in
Manchester. I think this junction's the worst one I come across on my
bike - or in my car, come to that - but combine bad road design with
Manchester drivers and I think my decision not to tackle it is
frequently the safest option.

Does anyone else have anything to add please?

Ta

Peter

<><

--
http://www.scandrett.net/lx/
http://www.scandrett.net/bike/
 
Peter Scandrett wrote on 15/10/2006 18:45 +0100:

>
> I'm not sure how I can apply the hints in this thread to this
> junction... it's all very well appearing confident in crossing lanes
> and owning the lane and such but I still have the problem of crossing
> three lanes of 50mph vehicles bearing down on me from behind.


Looking at the map can you not go down Chapel Lane and then cross the
A56 to the center and then to the far side as traffic allows. You are
then on the left of the A56 joining the roundabout.

Otherwise as best I can tell from Googlemaps, I would stay right until
past the chevrons and then you only have two lanes to cross. If you
stick in the middle of the lane you will have a car stuck behind to
protect you and then look across and back to the inner lanes to move
across. Usually the car will see what you are trying to do and wait but
if they beep, just wave a hand to acknowledge them and carry on with
your manoeuvre. Best bet though is to get someone confident that knows
the junction to show you how to do it.

> On one
> occasion I was beeped when crossing at that point, which I thought
> most unfair as I'd left plenty of room - unfortunately the beep put
> me off completely and I wobbled far more than I would have done
> otherwise!
>


I've been know to come to a stop in front of someone that has beeped me
and start inspecting my bike, then give them a "I'm not sure what you
were beeping for, I can't see anything wrong" shoulder shrug and cycle off.

--
Tony

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