The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes

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

  1. Mseries

    Mseries Guest

    Michael MacClancy wrote:
    > 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

    "former customers tell me what a shame it is that they can't
    shop locally any more" maybe if they made the effort to shop
    locally then the shops wouldn't have closed. Once again we
    see how small minded some folk are. Instead of finding
    another means of travelling such as bicycle or public
    transport, which I presume is one of the intentions of the
    scheme, they chose to go elsewhere - then whinge about it.
     


  2. John Hearns <[email protected]>typed

    > 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.

    That is dead scary for a girl, cycling by herself! I don't
    think the personal security/crime aspect has been considered
    in cycle route planning.

    There's one in London (Somers Town) where there have been
    some truly horrific attacks on cyclists. Police presence
    has been notched up but the advice is still to cycle in
    groups here. This would seriously reduce the utility of any
    bike route.

    > 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.

    Quite! I usually used Dumbarton Road. Crossing the Clyde was
    a problem...

    > Sorry to be so local - but I had to include examples.

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

    Forty minutes from London's Kings Cross is Stevenage, the
    town that taught the Dutch how to do bike paths. You don't
    have to read foreign papers, just go and look. It was
    Stevenage's chief engineer, Eric Claxton, touring the world,
    talking about Stevenage, that led to the idea that you could
    build bike path systems in towns, at least if you built the
    path system first, and then built the town round it.

    I don't know what the bike modal split is in Stevenage
    nowadays. They don't seem to like to talk about it.

    Further up the same line is Cambridge, where the bike
    facilities are few, crummy, and were installed only two
    thirds of a century after the bikes arrived. Cambridge has a
    higher proportion of cyclists than Amsterdam.

    Jeremy Parker
     
  4. Mark Thompson wrote:
    >>| This has always been my greatest fear. That one day the
    >>| buggers will realise that they only need to spend a bit
    >>| more money on cycle farcilities and then vote us off the
    >>| road altogether.
    >>
    >>But why - if the road has no attached cycle way you could
    >>go on the road, if it does it'll be better than the road
    >>(for security anyway). I suppose you might say that
    >>drivers will get used to not having to think about
    >>cyclists so will be worse when they have to share, but
    >>separate lanes will get many more cycling and we just
    >>might end up like Holland and Denmark.
    >
    >
    > It's 'cos impatient/late buggers like me like to get there
    > at more than 12mph. On my (v. short) commute I try and
    > keep my speed at 20mph. There's no way I could do that on
    > most cycle paths and it would be the height of stupidity
    > to do it on a shared use footpath, even if it was deserted
    > enough to be possible.
    >
    > Added to the reduction in speed negotiating junctions
    > would be more time consuming. On the road I can just do a
    > left turn, right turn or go straight ahead at speed (if
    > nothing coming). On a cyclepath I'd have to slow down a
    > lot/stop to let traffic past and check it was clear when I
    > could just sail past with right of way on the road.
    >
    > I don't find the roads unsafe and do find many cycle lanes
    > off the road too slow to bother with. Trundlies may have a
    > different view I s'pose.

    Cycle lanes also have the irritating habit of stoping at
    every road junction. I don't mind cycle lanes, as long as
    they are well designed and recognise that cyclist like to
    maintain momentum.

    I think we need to start educating the car drivers, report
    everyone comes too close or cuts you up. It'd be nice to
    take snaps of the number plate, get home and automatically
    get a list sent to the local police.

    A few producers may get em thinking
     
  5. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Mon, 24 May 2004 18:29:11 +0100, Peter Tillotson
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    >Cycle lanes also have the irritating habit of stoping at
    >every road junction. I don't mind cycle lanes, as long as
    >they are well designed and recognise that cyclist like to
    >maintain momentum.

    Oooh! Where? Where? ;-)

    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
     
  6. "Peter Tillotson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:eek:[email protected]...
    >

    <snip>

    > I think we need to start educating the car drivers, report
    > everyone comes too close or cuts you up. It'd be nice to
    > take snaps of the number plate, get home and automatically
    > get a list sent to the local police.
    >

    There is a thread on u.r.d. regarding villagers being able
    to detect speeders and pass registration no.s to the police
    so they can send out a letter (or summons in extreme cases).
    I think it would be a good idea if road users can report
    incidents like the PP describes to the police and that they
    (at least) send a letter out detailing the incident and what
    should have happened instead. I think the reasonable-but-
    ignorant part of the road user community would respond well
    to that (although I doubt it would have any effect on the
    selfish section of society).

    Just thinking aloud :)
     
  7. Simon Proven

    Simon Proven Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    > 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

    Yeah. We just got our £2 million bridge over the A14
    installed just outside Cambridge - but if you want to get to
    the local household waste recycling centre/tip with a
    trailer you need to either go around the roundabout the
    bridge is supposed to help you avoid, or cycle all the way
    through Milton and back down the A10 to the junction.
    There's a perfectly good bridge over the A10 but it's got
    barriers that prevent a trailer. *fume*
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    "Simon Proven" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Yeah. We just got our £2 million bridge over the A14
    > installed just outside Cambridge - but if you want to get
    > to the local household waste recycling centre/tip with a
    > trailer you need to either go around the roundabout the
    > bridge is supposed to help you avoid, or cycle all the way
    > through Milton and back down the A10 to the junction.
    > There's a perfectly good bridge over the A10 but it's got
    > barriers that prevent a trailer. *fume*

    When I lived in Milton and worked in cambridge, I wanted to
    get out of the village as fast as possible. The old road to
    Histon would have been perfect for getting onto the A10, but
    somebody put that fence in the way and built that bridge.
    One day I did a little gardening, and as if by magic a
    little cycle route appeared on on the south side of the
    bridge. (chopped some vegetation, converted a ditch/lump
    into something approximately flat). And all was marvellous.
    It became quite a popular little cut. But the day I saw a
    scooter using it I knew it wouldn't last. I left for
    pleasanter places, so wasn't around for a while - but I
    noticed on one of my visits back to the place that somebody
    official had noticed people using the cut, and declared
    'This shall not be used', enforcing it with a big sheffield
    stand like object. Grr. If I still lived there that object
    would not be there... (Apparently at the same time as we
    were there somebody made a couple of the paths in the estate
    more cycle friendly by removing a couple of the irritating
    barriers. Made getting to tescos much easier).

    (dunno how trailer friendly my little cut was - it was
    designed for me, and I didn't have a trailer then :) )

    cheers, clive
     
  9. Steve Peake

    Steve Peake Guest

  10. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

    > Oooh! Where? Where? ;-)

    Guardbridge to St. Andrews. No turns off a few miles where
    the only alternative is a single carriageway A road with
    lots of bends, so you end up causing a procession which
    isn't any fun for anyone. A good example of the sort of
    place a cycle track works well. Similarly up the A9, which
    has several miles between turnoffs.

    Unusual, but they do exist.

    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/
     
  11. Is it my imagination, or has that bus lane only been added
    recently? I go over Blackfriars Bridge if I have cause to
    allow Darth Stuart to relieve me of some of my hard-earned,
    and don't remember seeing it before...

    --

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  12. Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

    > On Mon, 24 May 2004 18:29:11 +0100, Peter Tillotson
    > <[email protected]> wrote in message <[email protected]
    > gui.server.ntli.net>:
    >
    >> Cycle lanes also have the irritating habit of stoping at
    >> every road junction. I don't mind cycle lanes, as long as
    >> they are well designed and recognise that cyclist like to
    >> maintain momentum.
    >
    > Oooh! Where? Where? ;-)

    Found some good ones either side of Easter.

    Alongside the canals in Belgium...

    --

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  13. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <BCD810EC.7DE4%[email protected]>, David Arditti
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > 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?

    Two points: first, one group of people who typically cycle
    fast are utility cyclists: they're getting to their jobs and
    getting about their business and they don't want to waste
    time. If their journeys are slowed, then the economics of
    choosing a cycle are reduced.

    But if we are encouraging cycling either to reduce
    congestion or to reduce pollution then utility cyclists are
    _the_ class we want to encourage. A person who drives to
    work, drives home, and then goes for a cycle in the evening
    reduces neither.

    Second, a cyclist moving at the same speed as the rest of
    the traffic is _much_ safer than one travelling slower than
    the traffic, particularly when changing lanes.

    > 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.

    I disagree most strongly, for the reasons stated above.

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

    The trouble with Simon is that he only opens his
    mouth to change feet. ;; of me, by a 'friend'
     
  14. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    David Arditti wrote:

    <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.

    The real problem comes right on the first word there:
    "effective". I think the CTC's opposition is reasonable
    because it realises that we don't have a setup where it's
    either mechanically or politically feasible to re-engineer
    our roads to accommodate the sort of schemes you can see in
    the NL, and even if you could the crucial element of
    motorist awareness and deference to bikes I noted would
    still be absent.

    > 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.

    I don't think so. The NL had a large cycling population in
    place before personal motor transport became widespread, and
    unlike the UK it has never lost it. Bikes didn't become
    popular because of the fietspads for the simple reason the
    bikes predate them. So you're making something of an
    assumptive leap in saying they would generate cycle traffic
    in huge waves, even assuming we could put in something of
    comparable quality (and experience to date suggests we
    can't). Stevenage and MK do have purpose built segregated
    paths, but I haven't read any reports saying you can't see
    through the clouds of bikes in either town.

    > 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.

    I would point out that it was high levels of cycling that
    lead to the infrastructure being built in the first place,
    not the other way around. I have no idea whether their
    creation did wonders for the safety of cycling in those
    places or not: do you have figures?

    > 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.

    Because cycling was pretty safe to begin with, and something
    being dumb is hardly a precedent for not doing it any more.
    Just look at the "farcilities" that the UK imposes on its
    cyclists. Despite everybody knowing that a narrow lane
    painted down the gutter doesn't really help anyone, they're
    still being put in. I'm afraid the above argument relies on
    "common sense", which is certainly not common and isn't
    necessarily sensible.

    > 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've given you a possible answer, and that is the motorists
    show a great deal more awareness of and deference to cycles.
    With that as a common attitude it's not surprising to find
    fewer collisions between the two.

    > 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".

    Again, the high levels of cycling were there before the
    engineering. The paths didn't create the cycling culture, it
    was the other way around.

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

    > In a nutshell.

    I have yet to see any figures produced that show Stevenage
    and MK have vastly greater cycling uptake than anywhere else
    in the UK, though I'm willing to be proven wrong if you have
    the figures. If all it took was purpose built segregated
    bike tracks then those places should show such a thing. And
    even if they do I don't really see how you're going to get
    comparable quality across the UK as a whole, either
    technically or through basic political will.

    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/
     
  15. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:

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

    > Cite, please? I don't disbelieve you but would like to be
    > able to quote this.

    The link is on my PC at home, but you may well be able to
    find it by Googling. There was a big report (PDF) which
    contained that and other data, IIRC, and I think it was
    prepared by Strathclyde Uni. But ICBW.

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

    Victory is ours! Down with Eric the Half A Brain!
     
  16. Round here, (Queensbury, Brent, but close to Barnet, Harrow
    and London NW9 frontiers) cycling is very much a minority
    activity. Cyclists are seldom given the road space they need
    let alone any (un)common courtesy. Car ownership & use are
    high and few kids walk to school.

    The Local Authorities valiantly try to buck the traffic
    trend and are met with hostility.

    I wish we could do something to change the culture but the
    local residents have not cycled as kids. The girls and women
    never ride bikes. Cars are seen as liberation...

    --
    Helen D. Vecht: [email protected] Edgware.
     
  17. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Mon, 24 May 2004 21:36:58 +0100 someone who may be "Just zis Guy,
    you know?" <[email protected]> wrote this:-

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

    I find this difficult to believe, but am amenable to
    convincing. The North Edinburgh path network, for all its
    faults, seems to have encouraged a fair number of people to
    try cycling.

    I'm not convinced that the red paint in other parts of the
    city has been that effective.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number
    F566DA0E I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK
    government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  18. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Tue, 25 May 2004 09:01:28 +0100 someone who may be Peter Clinch
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >Guardbridge to St. Andrews. No turns off a few miles where
    >the only alternative is a single carriageway A road with
    >lots of bends, so you end up causing a procession which
    >isn't any fun for anyone. A good example of the sort of
    >place a cycle track works well.

    Except for the golf balls. When asked about this the
    official of Fife Council claimed that all cyclists should
    wear helmets.

    I agree that the cycle path you describe is good, but Fife
    Council spoilt their copybook by the cycle track through
    Guardbridge, which is a good example of a farcility.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number
    F566DA0E I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK
    government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  19. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Mon, 24 May 2004 19:22:11 +0100 someone who may be
    [email protected] (Philip Armstrong) wrote this:-

    >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.

    ISTM that such lanes can be useful in the right place, but
    this is not the right place, not the least because of the
    gradient. It is unlikely that the mess can be sorted out
    easily, except by removing the thing, but a coloured surface
    would be an (inadequate) first step.

    There are similar lanes in Edinburgh and most of them are
    fairly well thought out.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number
    F566DA0E I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK
    government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  20. Simon Brooke <[email protected]> writes:

    >in message <BCD810EC.7DE4%[email protected]>, David
    >Arditti ('[email protected]') wrote:

    >> 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?

    >Two points: first, one group of people who typically cycle
    >fast are utility cyclists: they're getting to their jobs
    >and getting about their business and they don't want to
    >waste time. If their journeys are slowed, then the
    >economics of choosing a cycle are reduced.

    But how much are their journeys slowed? People get the
    subjective idea that if something slows them down, like a
    bicycle or a speed limit, thry're losing valuable time, get
    annoyed, get perception of having been slowed down a lot.
    But in the typical urban environment the actual amount of
    time you spend in excess of 20mph is sufficiently small
    that if there were a 20mph limit the difference in total
    journey time would be negligible. What contributes most to
    your average speed are the times you are stopped or going
    very slowly.

    I speak from practical experience. My cycle commute includes
    some long steep hills on which I used to approach 30mph
    going down. Then I decided to limit myself to 20mph in the
    interests of staying alive and uninjured for longer (it's
    the maximum speed at which my reflexes, bones, etc., still
    do a good job of injury avoidance). I was surprised to
    discover that it was very hard to spot a drop in average
    journey times.

    >> 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.

    >I disagree most strongly, for the reasons stated above.

    Have your pursued these reasons into the empirical
    arithmetic of actual journey times?
    --
    Chris Malcolm [email protected] +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
     
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