The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Bikerider7, May 23, 2004.

  1. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Velvet wrote:

    > True, but even so, I'm not sure the majority of tourers
    > that are about on the roads actually have full-sus.. and I
    > fail to see why I should have to buy a bike with
    > suspension just to be able to ride on shoddy tarmac.

    You shouldn't, which is why I said "While not in any way
    disagreeing with your point". It was just some extra
    information on bikes, not an excuse for cycle tracks to be
    terrible. But for touring generally, another point of
    information is that there are plenty of back roads with as
    bad to worse surfaces out there, and as suspension gets
    more widely available and better (when done properly, this
    isn't about Comedy suspension on mug's eyeful gaspipe jobs)
    it's increasingly worth considering on touring bikes meant
    for roads.

    But, like you say, a cycle track should be welcoming for any
    bike likely to ride along it, including one with narrow,
    unsuspended wheels.

    > If they're going to put in cycle facilities then at the
    > very least the surface should mean all bikes should be
    > able to use them, not just a sub-set of bikes.

    Probably most affected are things like trikes and trailers,
    which can't easily get through those little traffic-limiting
    gates designed to stop yoofs tearing up and down the things
    on scooters and mopeds. Which is, of course, another reason
    they tend to be a Work of Stan (though kudos to Fife for
    turning the one between Tayport and Tay Road Bridge from a
    ridiculous invitation to eat loose gravel into a really
    pretty good track which is a pleasure to use).

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext.
    33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177
    Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     


  2. David Arditti <[email protected]>typed

    > The object of cycle engineering is to protect cyclists
    > from the mistakes of motorists.

    Which this cycle farcility has evidently failed to do, with
    tragic results. Such failures are not uncommon. :-(

    --
    Helen D. Vecht: [email protected] Edgware.
     
  3. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    David Arditti wrote:

    > The article also brings up problems with the position of
    > CTC in the statements by Geffen and Russell (both of whom
    > I know). The author rightly attacks the British systems
    > compared to the far better segregated bike engineering of
    > The Netherlands and Denmark. But CTC has always tended to
    > oppose the segregating of cyclists and motor vehicles on
    > British roads, wrong-headedly (in my view) fearing it that
    > creates more danger and marginalisation for the cyclist -
    > when anyone who looks at the situation in continental
    > countries can see that exactly the reverse is true - the
    > danger and marginalisation occur here, where we try to
    > combine cyclists and motors in the same unsegregated
    > space, not there.

    When one experiences the situation in the NL even if only
    for a few days (my Dutch cycling experience) then it's soon
    remarkably easy to see that there's probably More To It Than
    That. It is an article of faith amongst many that
    segregation in the NL is What Makes The Difference, but even
    where I was on roads shared with motor transport (which
    seems to be rather more than the popular view in the UK
    holds) it was very clear that I was being given one helluva
    lot more attention and thought than is typical in the UK. I
    felt safer, despits being on an unfamiliar bike on the
    "wrong" side of the road with traffic laws I wasn't familiar
    with. How can that be, if the real safety feature is
    segregation?

    > are caused by motorists not being careful" is a silly
    > statement as it misses the point. We all know that. The
    > object of cycle engineering is to protect cyclists from
    > the mistakes of motorists.

    But the problem is that unless you can make segregation
    *total*, which of course you can't, then users of roads
    become less aware of cyclists because they see them less.
    Which is why the junctions between cycle tracks and roads
    are where the nasty accidents happen. And superimposing
    cycle tracks on an existing road network means lots of
    junctions in most cases. You won't get tailgated, but that
    isn't especially common in any case. One thing which almost
    everyone agrees on is that cyclists get safer when there
    are more of them. Difficult to objectively prove /why/ that
    is, but the figures strongly suggest that whatever the
    "why", it is so. If you remove cyclists from roads by
    segregation there become effectively less of them, so
    things instantly get more dangerous on the road when the
    road can't be avoided.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext.
    33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177
    Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  4. "David Arditti" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:BCD7995A.7CA7%[email protected]...
    >
    > The object of cycle engineering is to protect
    > cyclists from the mistakes of motorists.
    >

    But that can only go so far (if you're being
    reasonable). Surely it would be better to stop motorists
    from making mistakes?

    I appreciate motorists are only human and will make mistakes
    - but the vast majority of mistakes seem to be caused
    through ignorance, incompetancy or selfishness - and these
    mistakes shouldn't happen.
     
  5. Peter Clinch <[email protected]>typed

    > When one experiences the situation in the NL even if only
    > for a few days (my Dutch cycling experience) then it's
    > soon remarkably easy to see that there's probably More To
    > It Than That. It is an article of faith amongst many that
    > segregation in the NL is What Makes The Difference, but
    > even where I was on roads shared with motor transport
    > (which seems to be rather more than the popular view in
    > the UK holds) it was very clear that I was being given one
    > helluva lot more attention and thought than is typical in
    > the UK. I felt safer, despits being on an unfamiliar bike
    > on the "wrong" side of the road with traffic laws I wasn't
    > familiar with. How can that be, if the real safety feature
    > is segregation?

    I call it the respect/contempt issue. Cyclists in the
    Netherlands are respected and numerous. Cyclists in Britain
    are hated and not numerous.

    I don't know what will change the numbers. I don't have a
    clue what will induce the Brits to accord more respect to
    cyclists. Some cycle farcilities are definitely counter-
    productive here (and there's a large feature in the local
    rag entitled 'Cycle lane has hit profits, angry traders tell
    minister')

    I think it's a chicken & egg problem.

    --
    Helen D. Vecht: [email protected] Edgware.
     
  6. On Mon, 24 May 2004 14:51:35 +0100, Helen Deborah Vecht wrote:

    >
    > I call it the respect/contempt issue. Cyclists in the
    > Netherlands are respected and numerous. Cyclists in
    > Britain are hated and not numerous.
    >
    > I don't know what will change the numbers. I don't have a
    > clue what will induce the Brits to accord more respect to
    > cyclists. Some cycle farcilities are definitely counter-
    > productive here (and there's a large feature in the local
    > rag entitled 'Cycle lane has hit profits, angry traders
    > tell minister')
    >

    Here's a link to the story: http://tinyurl.com/3ezt3

    --
    Michael MacClancy Random putdown - "I didn't attend the
    funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
    - Mark Twain www.macclancy.demon.co.uk www.macclancy.co.uk
     
  7. In article <[email protected]>,
    bikerider7 <[email protected]> wrote:
    >[Note: I have not been on Blackfriars bridge, and the
    >article seems quite vague on the "problem" with this
    >particular cycle lane....]

    For the edification of urc, I've put up a few pictures of
    the cycle lane in question. I happened to be in London
    yesterday walking along that bit of the Thames...

    http://www.kantaka.co.uk/blackfriars_bridge/

    The traffic lanes as painted on the road look appallingly
    dangerous to
    me. I cannot believe any sane traffic engineer could
    possibly have thought that this was a good idea.

    It would be very easy for a cyclist to be caught in the
    blind spot of a large vehicle which, on realising that it
    was in the wrong lane would move across the cycle lane
    without ever realising that the cyclist was there. This is
    compounded by the fact that the road is uphill making it
    very difficult for even a very fit cyclist to keep up with
    the traffic.

    Interestingly, you can see on the photographs that the blue
    sign which presumably echoed the road layout appear to have
    been covered over. Anyone know what these said? I have a
    suspicion that the left lane was designated a bus lane Mon-
    Fri at peak times, putting the cycle lane *in between* a
    pair of bus lanes. Mad.

    Phil

    --
    http://www.kantaka.co.uk/ .oOo. public key:
    http://www.kantaka.co.uk/gpg.txt
     
  8. Steve Peake

    Steve Peake Guest

    On 23 May 2004 12:35:07 -0700, bikerider7 wrote:

    > [Note: I have not been on Blackfriars bridge, and the
    > article seems quite vague on the "problem" with this
    > particular cycle lane....]
    >
    > Scandal of our deadly cycle lanes

    Same story was on bbc local news tonight on tv. May be
    repeated later after 9 if anyone missed it.

    I'll encode it if wants it.

    Steve
     
  9. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Philip Armstrong wrote:
    >
    > For the edification of urc, I've put up a few pictures of
    > the cycle lane in question. I happened to be in London
    > yesterday walking along that bit of the Thames...
    >
    > http://www.kantaka.co.uk/blackfriars_bridge/
    >

    Just realised I've cycled that loads of times and didn't
    think twice about it (I had Blackwall Tunnel ingrained in my
    mind for some reason). Like the cyclist just visible in the
    flowers photo I stay in the left hand bus lane until I am
    well past the solid separator before moving right into the
    straight ahead cycle lane. By the time I move over, all the
    buses that are going to swap over will have.

    Mind you, maybe without my helmet now I will be simpering in
    the gutter there.

    Tony
     
  10. Right I'm really confused by this layout[1]. Am I right in thinking that the
    layout is:

    Left turn lane | Cycle Lane | Bus Lane (ahead only?) | Ahead
    (& right turn?) only lane

    Then why the need for a bus lane & a seperate cycle lane?

    To me it seems like just two lanes (one for all left
    turners, one for all ahead traffic) would be better :-S

    Could you or someone else who knows the area enlighten me?
     
  11. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

  12. "Steve Peake" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On 23 May 2004 12:35:07 -0700, bikerider7 wrote:
    >
    > > [Note: I have not been on Blackfriars bridge, and the
    > > article seems quite vague on the "problem" with this
    > > particular cycle lane....]
    > >
    > > Scandal of our deadly cycle lanes
    >
    > Same story was on bbc local news tonight on tv. May be
    > repeated later after 9 if anyone missed it.
    >

    Thanks to the unique way the BBC is funded ;-)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/realmedia/news/tvnews.ram

    The report in question is at 5:20.

    Note this will be updated around 22:45 with the 10
    o'clock bulletin.
     
  13. Nathaniel Porter wrote:

    > "Steve Peake" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >> On 23 May 2004 12:35:07 -0700, bikerider7 wrote:
    >>
    >> > [Note: I have not been on Blackfriars bridge, and the
    >> > article seems quite vague on the "problem" with this
    >> > particular cycle lane....]
    >> >
    >> > Scandal of our deadly cycle lanes
    >>
    >> Same story was on bbc local news tonight on tv. May be
    >> repeated later after 9 if anyone missed it.
    >>
    >
    > Thanks to the unique way the BBC is funded ;-)
    >
    > http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/realmedia/news/tvnews.ram
    >
    > The report in question is at 5:20.
    >
    > Note this will be updated around 22:45 with the 10 o'clock
    > bulletin.

    Good report, I think. Good ole' BBC.

    --
    Keith Willoughby http://flat222.org/keith/ Mae bys Mari-Ann
    wedi brifo
     
  14. Simonb

    Simonb Guest

  15. Peter Clinch wrote:
    >If you remove cyclists from roads by segregation there
    >become effectively less of them, so things instantly get
    >more dangerous on the road when the road can't be avoided.
    >
    This is a crucial error in thinking by UK cycle campaigners,
    and has been for many years. It came up in a discussion I
    had with with Kevin Mayne, Director of of CTC, and I have
    been thinking about it since then. It exactly analogous to
    the old belief by traffic planners that building bypasses
    will reduce traffic on roads in towns because traffic will
    transfer from one road to another. We know that what
    actually happens is that (motor) traffic expands to fill the
    space made available and that the increased capacity
    generates increased motor traffic. It is strange that cycle
    campaigners who see the truth of this then argue that
    creating cycle tracks and paths removes cyclists from the
    road: a parallel wrong idea. What one observes everywhere
    where effective off-road or segregated cycle networks are
    created in towns is that, in addition to generating cycle
    traffic on these tracks, you get **more cycling on the
    normal roads as well**. You see this in the Netherlands,
    Denmark etc but it is a detectable effect in certain British
    towns and even in parts of London.

    Effective networks of cycle tracks encourage a much larger
    section of the population to cycle than we generally see on
    two wheels in the UK. They then inevitably spill over onto
    all the other roads, creating the critical mass on those
    roads which makes cycling there safer and changes the
    perception and behaviour of drivers. The road conditions in
    Holland that Peter has experienced and commented upon are a
    consequence of this mechanism.

    Simon Brooke wrote:
    >No, you're completely and diametrically wrong, as research
    >done in both Holland and Denmark has shown. In both those
    >countries (as in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New
    >Zealand) studies have shown that cycle paths are
    >substantially more dangerous than the roads.

    >We've been through this argument again and again; it's like
    >helmets. Common sense says that cycle paths should help,
    >and everyone initially assumes they do and that experienced
    >cyclists are just being pig-headed about this. We're not.
    >Initially we all thought as you do, but we've read the
    >research, and our minds have been changed.

    Believe me, I have looked into this issue. All sorts of
    contradictory research gets quoted on this subject.
    Sometimes it is good research, sometimes it is bad,
    irrelevant or mis-applied, sometimes it gets mis-quoted,
    taken out of context or mis-translated. Unfortunately most
    that is relevant is not in English. For example, a few years
    ago a study was quoted all over the UK cycling journals
    claiming that research in Holland had proved that there were
    more accidents at junctions when cycle tracks were built
    than when they were not. I looked at that and had it
    translated from the Dutch. All the British reports were
    based on the English summary, which it turned out had a
    crucial error in it, which invalidated everything that was
    being said. The raised accident levels applied to
    motorbikes, not bikes.

    In all other cases I have looked at, the safety case against
    segregation being claimed by some in the UK cycling world
    was not really supported by what the studies were saying.
    Pretty well everything John Franklin quotes on his site
    comes into this category.

    I only know one thing for certain, as it is based on
    official figures. Studying the cycling statistics of various
    countries shows a very clear three-way correlation between
    the provision of quality segregated infrastructure, high
    levels of cycling, and high levels of safety. I suggest that
    this cannot be co-incidental.

    If we take this kind of thing, quoted by Patrick Herring in
    this thread:
    >Traffic safety of cycle tracks in Danish cities. Before and
    >after study of 105 new cycle paths in Denmark, introduced
    >1978-81, totalling 64km. Cyclist casualties increased 48%
    >following introduction of paths.
    one kind of wonders why all the cyclists in Denmark and The
    Netherlands have not been wiped out by now, since they have
    both continued to built more segregated tracks since then.

    People who hold this view need to explain why these
    localised studies, if correct, seem so out of kilter with
    the overall national statistics of cycling deaths and
    injuries. Why is it so safe in Denmark and The Netherlands
    in reality?

    I suggest the problem is that the "micro-studies" do not
    represent the large-scale, long-term realities of the
    changes produced by the cycle engineering "styles" of
    various states and regions. The Dutch/Danish patterns of
    design do introduce their own issues at junctions, but other
    changes occur in the overall environment due to the
    increased cycling generated by an attractive cycling
    environment so that the overall result is danger reduction
    on the large stale, averaged over all roads, the "treated"
    and the "normal".

    Most roads in cycle-friendly towns remain, and will always
    remain, "normal", but the benefits of good cycle design
    elsewhere spill over onto them in terms of more cycling and
    better respect by motorists there as well.

    As Patrick Herring says,
    >separate lanes will get many more cycling and we just might
    >end up like Holland and Denmark.

    In a nutshell.

    The people who might not like it, in some places, might be
    a few cyclists who like to cycle very fast (20+ mph) in
    towns. But should they be allowed to do this anyway -
    consider the poor pedestrians? There is a very widespread
    call for motor speeds to be limited to 20 in towns. We need
    to be consistent. We shouldn't make roads policy for
    speeding drivers, and we shouldn't make cycling policy for
    fast cyclists.

    David Arditti
     
  16. In article <[email protected]>,
    Simonb <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Philip Armstrong wrote:
    >> In article <[email protected]>, Philip
    >> Armstrong <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>> http://www.kantaka.co.uk/blackfriars_bridge/
    >>
    >> 195.92.67.67 - - [24/May/2004:19:26:33 +0100] "GET
    >> /blackfriars_bridge/ HTTP/1.1" 200 2061 "-"
    >> "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT
    >> 5.1)"
    >
    >Not got mine, then?

    :)

    You were third I believe:

    81.2.107.192 - - [24/May/2004:19:30:31 +0100] "GET
    /blackfriars_bridge/ HTTP/1.1" 200 2061 "-"
    "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT
    5.0)"

    $ whois 81.2.107.192 ... person: Simon R Bennett ...

    The first two hits were from energis webcaches, so
    presumably are freeserve users.

    Phil
    --
    http://www.kantaka.co.uk/ .oOo. public key:
    http://www.kantaka.co.uk/gpg.txt
     
  17. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Mon, 24 May 2004 21:17:41 +0100, David Arditti
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <BCD810EC.7DE4%[email protected]>:

    >>If you remove cyclists from roads by segregation there
    >>become effectively less of them, so things instantly get
    >>more dangerous on the road when the road can't be avoided.

    >This is a crucial error in thinking by UK cycle
    >campaigners [...] exactly analogous to the old belief by
    >traffic planners that building bypasses will reduce
    >traffic on roads in towns because traffic will transfer
    >from one road to another. We know that what actually
    >happens is that (motor) traffic expands to fill the space
    >made available and that the increased capacity generates
    >increased motor traffic. It is strange that cycle
    >campaigners who see the truth of this then argue that
    >creating cycle tracks and paths removes cyclists from the
    >road: a parallel wrong idea.

    Why? The major deterrent to additional car journies is
    congestion. The major deterrent to more cycling is laziness.
    Bulding new roads spreads out the congestion; building cycle
    paths does not amke people less lazy.

    >Effective networks of cycle tracks encourage a much larger
    >section of the population to cycle than we generally see on
    >two wheels in the UK.

    Evidence? Edinburgh spent large sums and the number of
    utility cyclists apparently dropped.

    >I suggest the problem is that the "micro-studies" do not
    >represent the large-scale, long-term realities of the
    >changes produced by the cycle engineering "styles" of
    >various states and regions. The Dutch/Danish patterns of
    >design do introduce their own issues at junctions, but
    >other changes occur in the overall environment due to the
    >increased cycling

    Which pre-dates the cycling environment. There is a long-
    term high user base in these countries. And the fietspads
    were in some cases (certainly in Germany) originally built
    for the benefit of motorists.

    >The people who might not like it, in some places, might
    >be a few cyclists who like to cycle very fast (20+ mph)
    >in towns.

    Eh? My view is that every road in every town, with very few
    exceptions, should be easy for cyclists to use, however fast
    they want to ride. My friend Arnold is Dutch and rides 15
    miles per day in the UK; his view is that the cycle paths
    here are a disaster because we lack the Dutch laws of
    presumed fault, and we lack Dutch levels of cycling so the
    drivers for the most part aren't properly aware of cyclists,
    and we lack Dutch planners who know how to deal with
    junctions fractionally better than we do, and we lack the
    Dutch commitment to putting bikes first.

    >But should they be allowed to do this anyway - consider the
    >poor pedestrians? There is a very widespread call for motor
    >speeds to be limited to 20 in towns. We need to be
    >consistent. We shouldn't make roads policy for speeding
    >drivers, and we shouldn't make cycling policy for fast
    >cyclists.

    1/2 mv^2

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  18. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Mon, 24 May 2004 21:17:41 +0100, David Arditti wrote:

    > widespread call for motor speeds to be limited to 20 in
    > towns. We need to be consistent. We shouldn't make roads
    > policy for speeding drivers, and we shouldn't make cycling
    > policy for fast cyclists.
    >
    Don't agree.

    Speed limits don't apply to bicycles - I'm sure you know
    that, and so does the group.

    However, more relevantly, if we restrict out discussion to
    London and other big cities, the comparison should be made
    between cycling and other forms of transport. We're looking
    at the door-to-door times and the convenience of cycle
    commuting reasonable long distances - by that I mean
    distances people would commute on the Tube. Let's (say) take
    an hour's commute, door-to-door, people should be aware they
    can do the same commute on a bike.

    I will agree that we need leisure routes too, eg. along the
    Thames and the Waterlink Way etc. in London, which will
    probably get used by beginning commuters. But there's no way
    people in (say) SE London will commute up to the West End if
    they cannot use the Old Kent Road.

    Think of Glasgow - to get from the West End to
    Partick/Yoker/Clydebank/Dalmuir by your argument you would
    commute via the cycle track along the old railway. I would
    say wrong - OK for a leisure journey, but for a regular
    commute it will take longer than Dumbarton Road, lead to
    more punctures and probably a half brick or two sailing in
    your direction.

    Sorry to be so local - but I had to include examples.
     
  19. Mike Gayler

    Mike Gayler Guest

    David Arditti <[email protected]> writed in
    news:BCD810EC.7DE4%[email protected]:

    snip snip
    >
    > Effective networks of cycle tracks encourage a much larger
    > section of the population to cycle than we generally see
    > on two wheels in the UK. They then inevitably spill over
    > onto all the other roads, creating the critical mass on
    > those roads which makes cycling there safer and changes
    > the perception and behaviour of drivers. The road
    > conditions in Holland that Peter has experienced and
    > commented upon are a consequence of this mechanism.
    >
    lots of snipping
    > David Arditti
    >

    I wonder if we are comparing chalk and cheese. Cycle paths
    as constructed as part of the Stevenage scheme in the ?1930s
    are a long, long way from those constructed in Milton
    Keynes, or anywhere else in recent times. Properly thought
    out routes like Stevenage, I am sure *will* encourage
    cycling, even Milton Keynes type routes had the potential to
    do so, but are let down by poor maintenance and some very
    bad design flaws, in the newer sections. Typical 'facility'
    construction by local authorities in the last 10 years comes
    not within a thousand light years of even the poorest of
    these (maybe slight exageration). The problem is that
    construction of good quality (Stevenage style) cycle
    facilities is very expensive and land-hungry as it involves
    wide lanes, underpasses and good quality bridges, not to
    mention lighting, signposting and maintenance. I seriously
    beleive that good quality, voluntary, segregated facilities
    have the potential to increase cycling significantly. But,
    we will never see them in the UK. We will continue to see
    the half baked, cheap (and dangerous) schemes that seek to
    marginalise the cyclist. The big difference on the roads (as
    opposed to facilities) in places like France, Denmark and
    The NEtherlands, is that the typical middle aged car driver,
    had, in his younger days been a typical cyclist!

    Mike - Leicester
     
Loading...
Loading...