the benefits of congestion

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17205
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby Vorpal » 26 Feb 2017, 11:14pm

reohn2 wrote:You have the luxury in Norway of being able to take your bike on the bus which is great,however you've lived in the UK......

And in the UK, I took my bike on the train, which costs me money in Norway :shock:

But yes, it does require decent alternatives. On the other hand, the weather is better in the UK, and if traffic is bad enough cycling will be quicker than any other mode.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

brynpoeth
Posts: 11020
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby brynpoeth » 27 Feb 2017, 5:42am

atlas_shrugged wrote:I really like that graphic.

I think the distance travelled in 30 mins for the train and bus are too optimistic.

By train:
Not door to door. Train stations are mostly not convenient so need extra travel time to/from stations
Trains need to stop at stations - so 8 mile journey from Cambridge with 1 stop takes 24 mins.

...


What train journey is that at 20 mph?
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life

brynpoeth
Posts: 11020
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby brynpoeth » 27 Feb 2017, 5:50am

horizon wrote:I think it's almost impossible to disentangle what really puts people off cycling. People say it's to do with the danger of traffic and that may be true; but underlying that (or even much more likely in first place) is the dislike of the hassle, the weather and the effort. Even hills aren't the real reason according to some research. I also read once that fear of punctures was the number one reason for some people.

..


Reasons not to cycle

1 weather - too hot
2 weather - too cold
3 weather - looks like rain
4 afraid my bike will be stolen
5 afraid of punctures
6 motor crime
7 need to carry a lot of stuff
8 afraid I will sweat
9 need to wear smart clothes
10 (best reason) I can walk there in 10 minutes
...
More suggestions/alternative facts welcome :wink:
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13760
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby mjr » 27 Feb 2017, 9:38am

brynpoeth wrote:Reasons not to cycle

1 weather - too hot
2 weather - too cold
3 weather - looks like rain
4 afraid my bike will be stolen
5 afraid of punctures
6 motor crime
7 need to carry a lot of stuff
8 afraid I will sweat
9 need to wear smart clothes
10 (best reason) I can walk there in 10 minutes
...
More suggestions/alternative facts welcome :wink:

That "I can walk there quick enough" shouldn't be underestimated. In a survey in King's Lynn (above-average-but-imperfect cycle track network), that was the top reason given for not cycling at 20% after "no interest" (35%). Fear of injury (from motorists/their misdeeds, mainly) was down at 3% - in a similar national survey, dangerous roads was the top reason, given by 39%, though.

Back in Lynn: 12% are indeed scared off by the weather, 14% said they didn't have a working cycle (I think we know from other surveys that a significant chunk of those will have had bikes stolen or suffered mechanicals they couldn't repair or afford to have repaired), whereas 8% didn't know enough about cycle routes and parking. Stuff like sweat, clothing or carrying things didn't figure much, which would be unsurprising if you've seen people here cycling fairly sedately in street clothes on bikes with baskets or saggy shopping panniers. :-)

The main reasons given by King's Lynn cyclists were convenience, health and being faster than alternatives. Part of the reason for that is probably the limited number of motorist river/drain and railway crossings compared to the greater number of lightweight bridges that cyclists can use. This morning, yet another crash has blocked one of the motorist river crossings and it's near one of the major drain crossings - it's better by bike because you can simply use a nearby route, once you know it's there. We still need to do more to sign the routes and promote the maps/satnavs, though, as there are still occasional stories of people cycling a mile out of their way because they didn't realise there was a more direct walking/cycling route.
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.

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby meic » 27 Feb 2017, 9:47am

brynpoeth wrote:
atlas_shrugged wrote:I really like that graphic.

I think the distance travelled in 30 mins for the train and bus are too optimistic.

By train:
Not door to door. Train stations are mostly not convenient so need extra travel time to/from stations
Trains need to stop at stations - so 8 mile journey from Cambridge with 1 stop takes 24 mins.

...


What train journey is that at 20 mph?


The graphic is only credible for a very dense and heavily congested city environment.
Which would mean lots of close stops for the train (like the London Underground) and that brings the average speed down considerably.
Yma o Hyd

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13760
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby mjr » 27 Feb 2017, 9:52am

However, one of the drawbacks of increasing congestion due to the failure to enact any sensible transport policies has been repeated attempts to turn greenway sections of National 1 and other cycle routes into roads for motorists. Sometimes this has come with handwaving like suggesting the lightweight bridges won't need any improvement if it's only for cars, which seems like an obvious fib, especially as even the strongest of those bridges are usually fairly narrow, so where would the people walking and cycling go? Walk unprotected along a busy urban road? Or would they be expected to wait for there to be no cars? Jump off into the water if one comes when they're partway across?

Be careful what you wish for. We need to get more people cycling first, else increased congestion will just lead to our greenways being ripped up, or back to the mid-20th-century approach of flattening historic buildings and landscapes to make space for cars (Bristol Queen Square, anyone?)

If it's part of a deliberate policy, to accept that private cars will have to queue on roads away from where people live/work to wait for some to leave before they can enter a town, that could work, but I don't expect anywhere in the UK to adopt such a policy yet.
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.

reohn2
Posts: 35920
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby reohn2 » 27 Feb 2017, 10:29am

Vorpal wrote:
reohn2 wrote:You have the luxury in Norway of being able to take your bike on the bus which is great,however you've lived in the UK......

And in the UK, I took my bike on the train, which costs me money in Norway :shock:

But yes, it does require decent alternatives. On the other hand, the weather is better in the UK, and if traffic is bad enough cycling will be quicker than any other mode.


I agree it can be quicker in heavily congested traffic,but if cyclists fear the traffic they're trying get out of/overtake/beat then for the vast majority cycling doesn't even get a second thought,motors are big bikes are small and their riders are unprotected,that's how they're perceived by the wo/man on the street.
In congested areas such as city and town centres,private vehicles should be stopped from entering,if only for pollution levels alone,and the space given over to green public transport,cycling and other alternative transport means,folding bikes,electric scooters and monowheels,etc.Handy vehicles that can easily fit into a small space,under a desk or in a car boot.

Deliveries in such conurbations should be carried out either by small green LGV's and or outside of heavy footfall times say between 7pm and 7am,with the least disruption to people.
I'm convinced transport hubs outside of major conurbations just off arterial routes,with public transport or dedicated alternative transport 'roads' into centres,are the only way to make cities and large towns better for human beings to go about their daily lives.

To make cycling and other vulnerable transport alternatives acceptable to the general public they have to be separated from motor traffic and given priority over it,I'm convinced that asking people to cycle alongside motor traffic on the same congested roads is a non starter,and that motor use needs curbing in these situations as they're ruining city life as their numbers increase.
I'm also convinced rigidly enforced 20mph speed limits should be firmly in place for any vehicles that has exceptions to enter such areas
The political will is another matter but,if the public are consulted properly I believe they'd be willing to accept such curbs on motors,the thrust would have to on greatly reducing pollution and convenience for people within the densely populated areas.
It's radical but it needs to be to make city/large town living better for all concerned,problem is people don't like change,and politicians fear it even more.
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

Ruadh495
Posts: 413
Joined: 25 Jun 2016, 11:10am

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby Ruadh495 » 27 Feb 2017, 12:19pm

+1 for that, Reohn2

Then link the cities with railways that actually work, and carry bikes (maybe charge up your e-bike too) and there wouldn't be much reason for most people to own cars...

Then what would replace the revenue from car sales, VED, fuel tax, VAT on fuel tax, congestion charges, parking, etc? Maybe that explains the lack of political will?

There's an assumption that cyclists are not affected by congestion, which is only really true when there is adequate protected infrastructure. On most of my usual routes there is no room to filter and cycles also have to wait. Cars used to be narrower, remember, while roads haven't got any wider.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17205
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby Vorpal » 27 Feb 2017, 12:37pm

Ruadh495 wrote:+1 for that, Reohn2

Then link the cities with railways that actually work, and carry bikes (maybe charge up your e-bike too) and there wouldn't be much reason for most people to own cars...

Then what would replace the revenue from car sales, VED, fuel tax, VAT on fuel tax, congestion charges, parking, etc? Maybe that explains the lack of political will?

There's an assumption that cyclists are not affected by congestion, which is only really true when there is adequate protected infrastructure. On most of my usual routes there is no room to filter and cycles also have to wait. Cars used to be narrower, remember, while roads haven't got any wider.

Even without protected infrastructure, cyclists often have alternative routes that car drivers cannot use, such as using town centres where motor vehicle are not permitted, bus lanes, contraflow cycling, bridle ways and byways, back lanes that are inconvenient for motor vehicles, short routes between residential areas, or even getting off and walking. That we can be either pedestrians (or pedestrian-like), or the operators of vehicles is the greatest advantage of cycling.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Ruadh495
Posts: 413
Joined: 25 Jun 2016, 11:10am

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby Ruadh495 » 27 Feb 2017, 12:48pm

True, and all of those are better than sitting in the traffic. Becoming a pedestrian is a option we often neglect.

Either walking up the pavement (assuming there is one) or taking to a bridleway (6-12" deep mud) will really affect your journey time though. It can be a slow as the jammed cars. So you can't really claim to be unaffected.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2824
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby Bmblbzzz » 27 Feb 2017, 12:58pm

Yes, some people will be prompted by congestion to take alternative journey modes, whether bike, walking, train. But where does that congestion come from? It is, obviously, the result of too many motor vehicles, mostly private cars, on the roads already. So if we say that congestion prompts some people to cycle, we have to admit that it is because more people are driving.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13760
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby mjr » 27 Feb 2017, 1:13pm

Ruadh495 wrote:True, and all of those are better than sitting in the traffic. Becoming a pedestrian is a option we often neglect.

Because it's inconvenient for you (slower, possibly muddy and so on, as you note) and it's often inconvenient for others - someone walking with a bike is wider and can easily occupy the entire width of a pavement, with pedals sticking out ready to bash shins and calves. It seems better if cyclists keep riding, even on footways, as long as they give way to walkers.

I also feel fairly likely to drop a fully-laden bike if I try pushing it far because it's not really designed to be balanced when the motive force is way off to one side, so I tend to keep riding at walking pace (or stop if many walkers are passing) rather than dismount. Then there's cyclists who aren't physically capable of walking and pushing their cycles past obstructions, plus other users of cycle tracks like wheelchairs and mobility scooters - any cycling route that's relying on a cyclist "becoming a pedestrian" is discriminating against people with disabilities.
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.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby thirdcrank » 27 Feb 2017, 1:31pm

There must be times when congestion makes useful movement impossible but my impression is that an awful lot of drivers will accept this - ie up to the usual point when it's crawling and they didn't know it would be gridlock, by which time it's too late. My impression is that the only general factor which will deter somebody from using their car for a commuting-type journey is the certain absence of parking at their destination.

Whether that encourages people to cycle is another matter. I as good as gave up cycling - not totally but greatly reduced - after I was married and resumed when I was working shifts under Leeds Town Hall. Cycling was the only realistic alternative. I wavered when Woy introduced free bus travel for the police, helped by having starts no earlier than 7-00am, but the first time I missed the 11pm last bus home and walked the five miles or so, it was back to cycling.

There's a huge difference between discouraging people from driving and encouraging them to cycle.

It seems to me that to get somebody cycling, they have to be personally motivated to do it. If anybody wanted to research this properly, I fancy the first survey might usefully be among people who bought a bike and gave it up PDQ - my hobby horse about the number of bikes at the back of garages.

Back to Leeds Town Hall, I'm reminded of a colleague who was so taken by seeing me ride in that he decided to do the same. I'd have advised him to try it out before shelling out on a new bike but he didn't ask and arrived on a posh Peugeot (a road bike in today's lingo) looking uncomfortable having ridden the short (2-3 miles), mainly downhill distance from Leeds 9. He told me later that he struggled to get home and threw the bike down the cellar steps having vowed never to ride it again.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2824
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby Bmblbzzz » 27 Feb 2017, 4:09pm

I wonder whether, if you're someone who commutes or otherwise regularly travels around town by bike, you become less accepting of congestion than people who are regularly stuck in it? I'm not regularly out at "commuting times" but when I am, I'm amazed at how people accept it.

Thirdcrank raises a good point above, that discouraging people from driving is not the same as encouraging them to drive. From a "campaigning/public policy" PoV, I'm not that fussed (heresy alert!) if people switch to, say, walking rather than cycling; I'm happy that they've stopped driving and therefore slightly reduced pollution, road occupation, danger, resource consumption, etc, while also making themselves a little bit fitter and hopefully happier.

brynpoeth
Posts: 11020
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: the benefits of congestion

Postby brynpoeth » 27 Feb 2017, 5:25pm

mjr wrote:However, one of the drawbacks of increasing congestion due to the failure to enact any sensible transport policies has been repeated attempts to turn greenway sections of National 1 and other cycle routes into roads for motorists. Sometimes this has come with handwaving like suggesting the lightweight bridges won't need any improvement if it's only for cars, which seems like an obvious fib, especially as even the strongest of those bridges are usually fairly narrow, so where would the people walking and cycling go? Walk unprotected along a busy urban road? Or would they be expected to wait for there to be no cars? Jump off into the water if one comes when they're partway across?

Be careful what you wish for. We need to get more people cycling first, else increased congestion.. .


Thanks for the info about the Hanseatic City of Kings Lynn, it could be the new Amsterdam but more fun to visit, A is too big

I disagree about increasing cycling first! Motoring must be reduced first. It would be best if many drivers stayed at home and did not upgrade to cycling

When I go into town I leave my bike on the edge of the CBD and walk to my various destinations. I cycle11 km and walk 2-3 km. Many, surely most trips use two modes. Except the walking only trips, they are legion
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life