Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

boliston
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Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby boliston » 21 Aug 2013, 11:58pm

I've recently started using a Brompton as my main bike (previously used an Orbea road bike but it got stolen) so have been making use of some local cycle paths rather than just using the road.

One thing that I find annoying about bike paths are those annoying "tactile" surfaces that keep cropping up near junctions.

What sort of fool decided that the "cycle" side would have "tramline" type grooves parallel to the direction of travel. I've not yet fallen off, but I don't like the way they can make the front wheel slide to one side if you hit it at a slight angle!

I now cross over to the "pedestrian" side if at all possible when I see these surfaces, but it's not always possible when there are peds on that side.

When they get wet I'd imagine they are even more of a hazard.

thirdcrank
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Aug 2013, 6:55am

This has come up before.

It was all thought up by a working party which had no representation from cyclists. The tramline effect was intentional.

(I'll try and find the earlier threads.)

Here's one of several I prepared earlier on this subject

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=5409&p=38778&hilit=tramlines#p38778

Pete Owens
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby Pete Owens » 22 Aug 2013, 9:29pm

While the genuine tramline paving is bad enough they often use the wrong sort of paving - the corduroy rather than the tramline - and this has much deeper narrower grooves which have an even more dangerous wheel grabbing effect. Not only is this more dangerous for us it gives an entirely misleading message to the visually disabled for whom the paving is supposed to benefit.

FMB
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby FMB » 16 Sep 2020, 9:56am

I saw this old post and my child just had a quite bad fall this morning due to one of these tactile surfaces.

The surface was at a pedestrian crossing but also on a cycle path. My child bike started to slide on the tactile surface and he fell quite badly. He was going slowly so no big head injury but both front teeth broken and other bits. Do you know if there is any possibility of bringing this up with the council? I understand that blind people need to cross but it cannot be done by putting at risk young cyclists. Since they installed this surface earlier in the summer, I have never seen a blind person crossing there, but I saw many little bike accidents. So far they were very minor, but today's one changed my mind. Apart from the damage and the many appointments with the GP and the dentist ahead of us to fix his mouth, there is a big road near to the cycle path, so falling means to invade the road and we were very lucky that no cars were passing by. It could have been much worse.

Any information on people who have tried to challenge this before, or help on how to write to council would be greatly appreciated. This cycle path is the way to school so the risk is there every day!

Thank you

Jdsk
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby Jdsk » 16 Sep 2020, 10:27am

FMB wrote:Any information on people who have tried to challenge this before, or help on how to write to council would be greatly appreciated.

1 Find allies: local cycling groups, other parents, Cycling UK, local press etc.
2 See if a local councillor has shown an interest in cycling or public health.
3 Write to them describing what happened and the problem as you see it. No allegations, no emotions, no threats. Get someone else to read it before you send it.

Are you looking for compensation or legal recompense in addition to a response?

Jonathan
Last edited by Jdsk on 16 Sep 2020, 11:33am, edited 1 time in total.

thirdcrank
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby thirdcrank » 16 Sep 2020, 10:56am

FMB

When I first saw this type of feature in the late 1990s when footways were being altered to include cycle tracks, I queried it and was referred to the official guidance referred to in one of my earlier threads. I fear the boat sailed when that guidance was published. The guidance was rubbish then and remains rubbish. I'm sorry that your child has been injured proving me and other critics right.

atlas_shrugged
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby atlas_shrugged » 16 Sep 2020, 11:21am

@boliston and @FMB

Complete sympathies. I also have had two nasty skids provoked by these tramline tactile surfaces and IMHO they are very dangerous.

It is all part of Malicious Autocratic Design (MAD). The deliberate message sent out by County Councils to cyclists is that your safety, and comfort do not matter. This infrastructure should really be classified as 'assault' on cyclists. I know cyclists whose hand joints are now so painful that they can no longer cycle.

For some reason civilised cycling countries such as Germany and the Netherlands have much less of this kind of rubbish infrastructure. That the UK puts this in deliberately on cycle tracks is beyond the pale. Why did LTN 1/20 not ban this rubbish?

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mjr
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby mjr » 16 Sep 2020, 11:33am

Pete Owens wrote:While the genuine tramline paving is bad enough they often use the wrong sort of paving - the corduroy rather than the tramline - and this has much deeper narrower grooves which have an even more dangerous wheel grabbing effect.

The corduroy is only 1mm deeper but has narrower gaps (50mm not 70) and round-topped bars, which does make it worse.

The guidance does at least say the evil things should not be installed within 2.5m of a junction or bend, so falling into a crossroad should not be too much of a concern. Pages 83 and 84 of https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... g-surfaces among others.

If the cycle track is at a mid level between footway and carriageway, these things aren't required, which is why London and Cambridge's latest cycleways aren't scarred by these awful things.

One slightly-naughty approach is to point out that pedestrians are allowed to walk on the cycle side (in most cases nowadays) so it's really a shared surface so tramline tiles aren't needed on that side. I believe this was MK's official reasoning for not installing them on Redways that have footways beside, although I suspect the uglinesn of a contrasting colour was another motive.

Please keep on and on at them. Highways departments should feel the pressure from crap work following crap guidance hurting children. It's the best hope of causing change.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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mjr
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby mjr » 16 Sep 2020, 11:34am

atlas_shrugged wrote:That the UK puts this in deliberately on cycle tracks is beyond the pale. Why did LTN 1/20 not ban this rubbish?

Because its authors really want kerbed cycleways IMO.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

atlas_shrugged
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby atlas_shrugged » 16 Sep 2020, 11:50am

Having the visually impaired know not to step onto a cycletrack e.g. by a kerb is a much better idea. The visually impaired do not want to be anywhere near a cycle track because they are more in fear of cycles than they are of motor vehicles because they do not hear the cycles approach.

Warning visually impaired of a cycle track actually on the cycle track is too late. Much better to warn them before stepping onto the track especially since the current warning actually harms cyclists causing skids and injured wrists etc. Amend LTN 1/20 and ban tactile tramline paving!

Pete Owens
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby Pete Owens » 16 Sep 2020, 11:49pm

atlas_shrugged wrote:Having the visually impaired know not to step onto a cycletrack e.g. by a kerb is a much better idea. The visually impaired do not want to be anywhere near a cycle track because they are more in fear of cycles than they are of motor vehicles because they do not hear the cycles approach.

Warning visually impaired of a cycle track actually on the cycle track is too late. Much better to warn them before stepping onto the track especially since the current warning actually harms cyclists causing skids and injured wrists etc. Amend LTN 1/20 and ban tactile tramline paving!


They still need tactile warning at junctions and crossings I assume you are not advocating placing kerbs across the cycle part at every junction.

Basically cyclists should not be riding on the pavement at all. And the other month Grant Shapps promised to put a stop to it - sadly I see no signs of highway authorities returning shared use pavements to exclusive pedestrian use .

merseymouth
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby merseymouth » 17 Sep 2020, 9:05am

good morning, It would appear that little thought has be applied by the grumblers as to why there is a need for tactile surfaces, bordering on selfishness!
With any needed provision there will be winners and losers, in this case the visually impaired have been thought of and given due regard.
So why not learn to approach such provision with a bit more care, much as you would with cattle grids. That way the V.I. folk can get some of the freedom of movement that you demand!
When one of our posters mentioned a 1mm depth on such provision I realised concentration was not at it's sharpest?
As a trike rider I only have issues with those zig-zag block arrangements at supermarkets to limit trolley movement, have to put my dentures in my pocket before attempting entry! IGICB MM

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mjr
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby mjr » 17 Sep 2020, 9:24am

merseymouth wrote:good morning, It would appear that little thought has be applied by the grumblers as to why there is a need for tactile surfaces, bordering on selfishness!
With any needed provision there will be winners and losers, in this case the visually impaired have been thought of and given due regard.

There are other layouts which would not have made any losers. That's the sick thing. Even reversing ladder and tramline would have been better, with the ladder acting as a rumble strip to slow cyclists entering a mixed junction area.

So why not learn to approach such provision with a bit more care, much as you would with cattle grids.

Ah, so it's the victim's fault? The child in this case deserved to have broken teeth? No! This junk has no place on cycleways. It doesn't matter how much care you take, you will eventually skid on some of those tramlines and we shouldn't all have to ride trikes!

When one of our posters mentioned a 1mm depth on such provision I realised concentration was not at it's sharpest?

Do you mean the 1mm difference between corduroy and tramline? It seems your concentration was not at its sharpest. The slots are minimum 5mm deep, which is enough of a rail edge to skid and fall if crossed acutely.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby [XAP]Bob » 17 Sep 2020, 9:36am

The problem is that you can’t now reverse them...

But you can ride appropriately over them... I presume you can see them coming.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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tatanab
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Re: Dangerous "tactile" surfaces on bike paths

Postby tatanab » 17 Sep 2020, 9:39am

merseymouth wrote:So why not learn to approach such provision with a bit more care, much as you would with cattle grids.
Cattle grids run across the direction of travel and so are not a problem. These lines on the cycle part of the shared footway run along the direction of travel and so grab or guide a wheel. Riding slowly, as in the case of a child, just makes them more likely to cause a problem. Why could the lines not run across the direction of travel? Because the "designers" did not think about it and now it is too late to correct.