How to improve safety at a junction

Adnepos
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How to improve safety at a junction

Postby Adnepos » 18 Jun 2018, 11:40am

There is a collision hotspot in Ely Cambs that particularly affects cyclists. Priority is with straight up and down the hill (we are talking fen hill here but you can easily get up 20 mph on a cycle!) with a side-road at the foot of the hill. Motor drivers don't look properly when turning into and out of the junction. They frequently cut up downhill cyclists.

Highways acknowledges the problem and wants to throw a shed load of money at a solution. They want to put in a 'raised table'. Allegedly this special treatment of the highway alerts road users of the dangerous circumstances and Highways is quick to point out that it will force downhill cyclists to slow down to negotiate the ramp.

Whenever I encounter a ramp, my first thought is to think badly of the idiot who intentionally installed a hazard that may buckle my 16-spoke (not really :D) front wheel and then I prepare to do a hop over the hazard (I have no Drummond blood in me :lol:). If the motor driver thinks I am going to slow down for said hazard and cuts in front of me, the alleged solution makes the problem worse.

Do you know of evidence for 'raised platforms' helping or making worse of similar collision hotspots?

chris_suffolk
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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby chris_suffolk » 18 Jun 2018, 12:36pm

How about a raised table on the joining side road to slow joining traffic down. We have just such an example on my commute to work which seems to do the job. Through traffic continues as it always has, albeit a little more safely.

Bez
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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby Bez » 18 Jun 2018, 12:56pm

Using a raised table the way they appear to have suggested seems somewhat bizarre. Do you have a Google Maps link to the junction?

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mjr
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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby mjr » 18 Jun 2018, 1:25pm

I'm guessing it's the junction of Broad Street onto Back Hill in Ely. I've done some shouting there. Is the cycle lane directing you into secondary position across the junction mouth still there?

I agree with the OP. Slowing cyclists down is probably not the solution there. Instead we need to slow the motorists who are jumping the give-way so that they are more likely to look! I agree with Chris - a table across the mouth of the side road (maybe with pedestrian priority?) seems a far better idea.

It seems absurd to attempt to reduce casualties by installing a possible crash hazard at a dangerous junction. Maybe it's worth asking whatever fool said it would slow cyclists why it might slow them, what would happen if they don't slow and whether they feel that's likely to reduce casualties?
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Barks
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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby Barks » 18 Jun 2018, 1:28pm

Classic anti cycling policy - slow the bikes down rather than inconvenience the cars.

Adnepos
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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby Adnepos » 18 Jun 2018, 1:30pm

Bez wrote:Using a raised table the way they appear to have suggested seems somewhat bizarre. Do you have a Google Maps link to the junction?

Here you go
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Ely ... d0.2665389

As mjr points out, this the the junction of Back Hill/Station Road with Broad Street
Last edited by Adnepos on 18 Jun 2018, 1:45pm, edited 1 time in total.

Adnepos
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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby Adnepos » 18 Jun 2018, 1:39pm

mjr wrote:I'm guessing it's the junction of Broad Street onto Back Hill in Ely. I've done some shouting there. Is the cycle lane directing you into secondary position across the junction mouth still there?...

There is the usual paint on the road on either side of the junction, attempting to coral cyclists into the gutter. At the junction there is a dashed line of continuation. So if cyclists do as Highways intend, they are making themselves less conspicuous and putting themselves in a particularly dangerous place for being hit by traffic coming out of the side road (Broad Street).

Adnepos
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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby Adnepos » 18 Jun 2018, 1:44pm

mjr wrote:I'm guessing it's the junction of Broad Street onto Back Hill in Ely. I've done some shouting there... Maybe it's worth asking whatever fool said it would slow cyclists why it might slow them, what would happen if they don't slow and whether they feel that's likely to reduce casualties?


Highways commissioned an independent agency (Mott MacDonald) to come up with this 'solution'. I have the report -a lot of work went into it but in my opinion, the report didn't involve anybody who 'engages brain' or has knowledge of cycling matters. Must have cost a lot...

This plan is going out to public consultation later this summer.

Adnepos
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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby Adnepos » 18 Jun 2018, 2:05pm

chris_suffolk wrote:How about a raised table on the joining side road to slow joining traffic down. We have just such an example on my commute to work which seems to do the job. Through traffic continues as it always has, albeit a little more safely.


I'd like a 'No Entry' from priority road (Back Hill/Station Road) into the side road (Broad Street). The Southern Bypass will one day be opened (it's delayed but should open in the Autumn) and ought to both take traffic off this priority road and provide reasonable options for accessing the side road from the other end. But I can see what a rumpus that would cause with the motoring community.

How about a proper two-way cycle (non of this shared use stuff) lane up the entire length of the priority road (Back Hill/Station Road) along the west side? This would allow cyclists to stay away from traffic at the nasty junction (cyclists have an alternative route from both the top and the bottom of the hill to gain this side road) but would involve perhaps closing a very quiet side road on the other side. There are plenty of other positives... The negatives are that 1) the space left for motors would be tight (make them drive more carefully), 2) that such a cycle lane would cost money and 3) the issue would be only partially addressed because cyclists heading south would need to cross the road (but on the flat) further along.

brynpoeth
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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby brynpoeth » 18 Jun 2018, 6:32pm

STOP signs are the solution here too
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cjchambers
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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby cjchambers » 18 Jun 2018, 8:56pm

Just had a look out of curiosity. The current cycle lane is an excellent example of infrastructure that encourages cyclists into dangerous situation. I would be terrified to ride that close to a kerb on approach to a junction and I certainly wouldn't pass give way markings so close . . . recipe for being T-boned, with absolutely no warning, nowhere to go and possibly into the path of oncoming or overtaking vehicles.

How about chipping off the useless cycle lane and repainting it right in the middle of the lane where cyclists would be most visible to drivers giving way?

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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby MikeF » 18 Jun 2018, 11:24pm

Possible options:-
Remove the cycle lane altogether and narrow the mouth of the junction
Make Broad Street one way if that's possible.
Introduce a 20mph speed limit.

Cycles don't travel fast compared with cars. Why does Highways want to slow the slowest vehicle? Humps/platforms should be designed to slow motor vehicles not cycles.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

PT1029
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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby PT1029 » 19 Jun 2018, 7:11am

Using a raised table specifically to slow down cyclists is daft, and suggests motorcentric highway engineers/planners/consultants.
However, if a raised table junction (not just across the side road entrance) slows down the motor traffic, then it sounds a good thing to me.
Concure with the points about narrowing the side road entry as well/raised pedestrian crossing, plus tighten kerb radii to slow down turning vehicles.

Cheers.

Adnepos
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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby Adnepos » 19 Jun 2018, 11:37am

PT1029 wrote:Using a raised table specifically to slow down cyclists is daft, and suggests motorcentric highway engineers/planners/consultants.
However, if a raised table junction (not just across the side road entrance) slows down the motor traffic, then it sounds a good thing to me.
Concure with the points about narrowing the side road entry as well/raised pedestrian crossing, plus tighten kerb radii to slow down turning vehicles.
Cheers.

I'm not clear how any ramp is going to have a beneficial effect on traffic turning right off the priority road into the side road. It isn't the speed of motor vehicles that's the problem -the driver just do not twig that he/she is cutting up a cyclist. The same applies to both to a raised platform or raised pedestrian crossing or even narrowing the side road. In fact these installations might make matters worse by distracting drivers.

The kerb radii can't be made smaller. Long vehicles currently struggle to get in and out of this junction. In fact, part of the proposed changes would be to 'relax' the angle...

Pete Owens
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Re: How to improve safety at a junction

Postby Pete Owens » 20 Jun 2018, 1:38am

Burn off the cycle lane and use the remainder of the cash to implement a 20mph across the whole of Ely.

However, raised junctions are an effective traffic calming device and controlling speed is the single most effective way to improve the safety of our streets. It is particularly beneficial to pedestrians - as effectively the motors are crossing the pavement rather than pedestrians crossing the street. They are usually deployed as part of a scheme to slow traffic over an area rather than at a single junction. If they are keen on implementing a junction table the key issue for cyclists is that the ramps are very gentle.

And for those arguing that somehow speed is not the issue it is just a matter of those giving way to look more carefully - this is exactly the argument of the Association of Bad drivers against speed limits - Why shouldn't they blast down the high street at 90 mph it is just a matter of teaching pedestrians to look before they cross the road. The key issue in making the roads safer is making it easy to avoid crashes in the first place - not simply pointing the finger at one persons mistake. The drivers pulling out (or cyclists or pedestrians trying to cross the road for that matter) may be responsible for failing to look carefully enough, but the slower the approaching vehicles the more chance they have to look, the easier it is to judge whether it is safe and also the more chance that the approaching driver has to avoid a collision if someone else makes a mistake.

It is unfortunate that the UK allocates priority to the main road, rather than safer priority to right system used on the continent (it would be left here). This leads to the attitude among motorists (and sadly some cyclists here) to think that because they have priority at some junction then they have no responsibility to drive cautiously - it is simply everybody elses responsibility to keep out of their way.