Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

geocycle
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby geocycle » 3 Jan 2019, 2:57pm

Vorpal wrote:Many people posting on this thread sound as if we either campaign for segregation everywhere, or not at all.

To me, it's not an either/or question. It's a matter of creating a good environment for vulnerable users.

In some places that means segregation. In some place that means sharing, but limiting permeability of motorists and making it clear that they are guests. In some places it means banning motor vehicles either for some periods of the day, or altogether.

Eventually, I think we will have to rid ourselves of individually operated moto cars, but I expect that is decades from now, unless there is a revolution.


I do agree that we need different solutions in different places. The other difficulty is that 'cyclists' are such a broad group. I was driving in Buckinghamshire last week and noticed a nice new wide separated path along a main road south of Buckingham. It would have been great for me as a tourist, commuter or when out with the family. But then I came up behind a queue of cars with one going irate because they were stuck behind a 'chain gang' of six club cyclists. I estimate they were moving 20-25 mph. Clearly the drivers thought they should be ion the path (especially as space was taken out of the road), but if they had it would have been dangerous for pedestrians and slower cyclists. I think we should plan for the most vulnerable first but we also need to change driving cultures.

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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby Bmblbzzz » 3 Jan 2019, 3:12pm

Perhaps we also need to build cycle paths which are safe, suitable and attractive for a chain gang at 25+mph. Make them "roads for cycling" rather than "paths".

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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby mjr » 3 Jan 2019, 3:22pm

geocycle wrote:I do agree that we need different solutions in different places. The other difficulty is that 'cyclists' are such a broad group. I was driving in Buckinghamshire last week and noticed a nice new wide separated path along a main road south of Buckingham. It would have been great for me as a tourist, commuter or when out with the family. But then I came up behind a queue of cars with one going irate because they were stuck behind a 'chain gang' of six club cyclists. I estimate they were moving 20-25 mph. Clearly the drivers thought they should be ion the path (especially as space was taken out of the road), but if they had it would have been dangerous for pedestrians and slower cyclists. I think we should plan for the most vulnerable first but we also need to change driving cultures.

Well, the cycleway should have been built good enough to do at least 20mph anyway (like Bmblbzzz says, mini-roads for cycling, which is what all guidance encourages but it's only guidance and mostly unenforced) but, yes, the drivers should be punished for any road rage because there will probably always be cyclists on some carriageways. It shouldn't have been dangerous for pedestrians and slower cyclists if they had used it, but they might have had to slow down sometimes, or switch to the carriageway for busier bits.

If that's the A413 cycleway you're talking about, I've seen it (I've still family near) and it's full of the usual English substandard screwups like
https://mapstreetview.com/#uy9fr_-kxmx_2o.e_-5e43 requiring cyclists to look backwards for traffic accelerating off junctions while crossing the exit. I'd probably use it as a tourist when I mind less waiting or diverting around dodgy crossings by turning left, U-turning a safe distance away, then turning left onto the continuation, but I'm not sure if I would while commuting and I don't see why it's acceptable for families to have to deal with such obstacle courses?

And if you look at the older streetview on parts of the A413, I hope you'd agree that the road was about the same width before (it's a notoriously narrow road connecting Buckingham to the county town of Aylesbury) and the space for the cycleway was NOT taken out of the road, but from the verge and footway, not that it would justify road rage even if it was!
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby Bmblbzzz » 3 Jan 2019, 3:29pm

amaferanga wrote:Countries with a well established cycling culture have something very significant in common and that's a joined up network of safe and convenient cycle lanes. These aren't cycle lanes like the crap that the UK normally build though.

What do you mean by "cycling culture"? It can cover a lot of cultures and it doesn't necessarily mean the same as large numbers of transport/utility cyclists. In the context of this thread it seems safe to assume we can ignore countries with sports cycling culture but what about tourists and leisure cycling?

The key question is whether you're thinking of a culture of cycling for cycling's sake or cycling because it's the most suitable mode of transport. I'd have said that countries like Netherlands and Denmark have the latter - they cycle because it's the most convenient method of getting around, not because they're especially wedded to the idea of cycling. Clearly, the extensive network of segregated facilities are one way they've made it convenient to get around by bike - but they've been installed for reasons like transport logistics, child safety, clean air, rather than because they've had governments of the (local equivalent of ) CTC or UCI. It's noticeable that the Netherlands in particular also has high levels of car ownership and use.

This is in clear contrast to many Asian and African countries, where cycling is common despite the total lack of facilities and the dangerous road conditions, through economic necessity. The same applies to walking of course, and was the case in much of Europe until ~the 1950s.

In terms of countries which have a culture of cycling for cycling's sake - where cycling is common despite lack of convenience and safety and without economic pressure preventing access to other modes - well, it's hard to think of anywhere that this is a national culture, but clearly it exists in sectors of the population around the world (this forum being one expression of its British presence).

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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby Vorpal » 3 Jan 2019, 4:03pm

amaferanga wrote:Countries with a well established cycling culture have something very significant in common and that's a joined up network of safe and convenient cycle lanes. These aren't cycle lanes like the crap that the UK normally build though.

I used to be against protected cycle lanes because "real" cyclists don't need them. But what's urgently needed in the UK is to get large numbers of people riding bikes and I don't think that's possible without building the safe infrastructure. That means segregated lanes, filtered streets and protection through busy junctions (not chucking cyclists out into fast traffic as soon as the space is needed for car lanes which is the UK way). Hopefully Greater Manchester will soon be an example of what's possible.

Of course in rural areas this sort of infrastructure probably isn't necessary. I grew up in a small town in the Scottish Borders where cycling on most roads in the town is still pretty safe and there's a network of quiet roads through the whole of the Borders. Where I live now (a comparable sized town in Greater Manchester) there's hardly a road I'd call safe - every road that goes anywhere is a rat run. Very few people cycle - those that do are mostly "brave" young men. It's sad that just to ride a bike around here you have to be brave.

I don't think that even very good Dutch style facilities are enough to get lots of people on bikes. It may make it easier, and encrouage that folks who would rather cycle, but don't feel safe on the roads, or let their kids cycle. But that's only a small part of the puzzle.

IMO, the key is convenience. People do what is most convenient. Most places in the UK, that means driving for most journeys. Most places in the Netherlands, that means cycling for short journeys. If you look at exceptions, such as Cambridge, driving is just bad, especially going into the centre at peak times. That means many journeys are quicker by bike. The UK has one of the highest rates in Europe for walking for transport. So, the potential is there. We need to disincentivise driving for more trips. Cost (fuel duty?), parking fees, journey time, available alternatives, and more influence these things.

Where I currently live in Norway, parking in the town centre during business hours is fairly expensive and not always easy to find. That means, if it's just me, or me and one child, it's cheaper to take the bus than drive if we are doing anything that takes more an hour or so. During some periods, kids get free fares, if accompanied by an adult, which makes it even cheaper. If the weather is good, we usually cycle. If it's bad, we take the bus.
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby amaferanga » 3 Jan 2019, 6:08pm

When I used the term "cycling culture" I was referring to places like the Netherlands where cycling is seen as the default mode of transport for short distances. Possibly not the right term to use I guess.

And I agree that much more is needed in the UK than just a few segregated lanes. A joined up network is needed, but whole neighbourhoods need to be transformed into people friendly places - by filtering, by removing the clutter of cars everywhere and by reducing the speed that cars can travel in any space shared with cyclists or pedestrians. And ultimately driving needs to be more inconvenient (e.g. the bike or walking route needs to be short and direct, the car route long and around neighbourhoods instead of through) and more expensive. Driving a car is absurdly cheap, particularly with free parking everywhere. Remove free and cheap parking from city centres and public transport or cycling or walking would become the obvious ways to get around.

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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby Bmblbzzz » 3 Jan 2019, 6:45pm

Some studies have shown that rather than restricting city centre (and other destination) parking or increasing the cost of driving, the most effective way to reduce motoring is to restrict residential parking. This dissuades people from owning a car in the first place (or from owning multiple cars per household) and that is the biggest factor in decision to drive.

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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby mjr » 3 Jan 2019, 7:15pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:Some studies have shown that rather than restricting city centre (and other destination) parking or increasing the cost of driving, the most effective way to reduce motoring is to restrict residential parking. This dissuades people from owning a car in the first place (or from owning multiple cars per household) and that is the biggest factor in decision to drive.

What studies are those, please? In the UK, a limit on residential parking just seems to mean that cars get parked on pavements and any tiny bit of green space and there's nothing the police or council will do unless it's completely blocking something and causing an obstruction or they've been foolish enough to park on a cycle track or across markings. We need a law change to make parking on footways an offence outside London as well as driving on them but the "we need to park on pavements" motorists will fight it hard.
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby Bmblbzzz » 3 Jan 2019, 8:12pm

It's something I read in Steve Melia's book. http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/25808/ I can't remember now, you'd have to consult the footnotes to that, sorry. I agree with you on the need to tackle parking on pavements and other non-carriageway areas, but it's not strictly related to parking restrictions - more to do with road width and amount of traffic. The kinds of restrictions I was thinking of would not be yellow lines so much as overall limits on parking, for instance requiring residents permits which can be used to limit the number of vehicles per household. Unfortunately virtually no LA in UK has the guts to really use these - for instance, the limit where I am is 3 cars per household and the costs are not that high either - and they often also serve to legitimise parking in places where visibility is dangerous restricted.

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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby brynpoeth » 3 Jan 2019, 8:19pm

It is a bit late, illegal parking crime has been tolerated for many years, in the inner suburbs pavements are blocked, where could the vehicles be kept? What would happen if the authorities suddenly started enforcing the law, towing away: revolution? :wink:
Maybe people could be forced to have smaller vehicles, that would make a difference over a decade or so :?
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby mattsccm » 8 Jan 2019, 9:35pm

Been meaning to post this thought for a while on either this thread or others with a similar theme. Should the not be, maybe in the title, a reference to urban cycling? Apart from an occasional mention of driving standards etc none of of this applies to the rural cyclist. I have never used a paved cycle way in 45 years on the bike. Nor an ASL for that matter. For my purposes the most important thing would be to persuade, with both carrot and stick, motorists to treat cyclists like medieval peppers, staying as far away as possible from them. Infrastructure to my mind treats the symptom not the illness. Its not viable in the country anyway.

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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Jan 2019, 9:42pm

... medieval peppers ....


Just the sort of thing that gets up 661-Pete's nose :wink:

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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby Vorpal » 9 Jan 2019, 9:09am

mattsccm wrote:Been meaning to post this thought for a while on either this thread or others with a similar theme. Should the not be, maybe in the title, a reference to urban cycling? Apart from an occasional mention of driving standards etc none of of this applies to the rural cyclist. I have never used a paved cycle way in 45 years on the bike. Nor an ASL for that matter. For my purposes the most important thing would be to persuade, with both carrot and stick, motorists to treat cyclists like medieval peppers, staying as far away as possible from them. Infrastructure to my mind treats the symptom not the illness. Its not viable in the country anyway.

First of all, some of the folks who campaign for segregation, want it *everywhere*.

Secondly, infrastructure is infrastructure, whether it is a cycle path, a dual carriageway motorway, or a rural lane. Infrastructure whatever it's nature has to be the main part of the cure, because there will always be a minority of motorists who just don't get it. These should, of course, not be allowed to drive. At all. But even if that gets fixed in the UK, a few will manage to survive or get through the various filters in the system. This happens even in countries that are much more strict about enforcement.

However, the solution in rural areas is not necessarily segregation. Quiet lanes where only local & non-motorised traffic are a much better solution. Reduced speed limits, limited permeability, and traffic calming designs can contribute to a cycling environment that even an 8 year old can enjoy. Would you not prefer that fewer cars and

That said, segregated cycle routes in the countryside are likely more viable than you think. I have, for example used BOATs that would make decent cycle routes if they were maintained to a reasonable standard, and excellent cycle routes if a paved path were installed. Similarly, bridleways could be better maintained, and where suitable have mixed surfaces; half paved for cycle traffic and half packed gravel, suitable for equestrian traffic.

These things have simply not been prioritised in the UK. Motor traffic is considered more important :twisted:
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 9 Jan 2019, 9:24am

Yep. Most campaigning has been centred around urban areas and there the twin-track solution of segregation on main roads, plus filtered permeability on residential streets, is more appropriate. Rural solutions need to be different.

But that will still mean off-carriageway provision on many roads, simply because there are main roads in the countryside too and often they're the only way of getting anywhere. Near where I live there's quite a good example - the Hanborough/Eynsham area (map: https://cycle.travel/map?lat=51.8114&lo ... 86&zoom=13). Off-carriageway paths are set to be built in the next few years for Hanborough Station—Bladon, Hanborough Station—Eynsham, and Eynsham—Oxford, plus upgrades on the two existing paths (Witney—Eynsham—Oxford and Witney—Hanborough), because these are all important utility routes and there's no quiet-lane alternative. Generally these will be shared-use rather than bike-only because the distances are such that walking isn't common.
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby Bmblbzzz » 9 Jan 2019, 10:17am

Richard Fairhurst wrote:Yep. Most campaigning has been centred around urban areas and there the twin-track solution of segregation on main roads, plus filtered permeability on residential streets, is more appropriate. Rural solutions need to be different.

But that will still mean off-carriageway provision on many roads, simply because there are main roads in the countryside too and often they're the only way of getting anywhere. Near where I live there's quite a good example - the Hanborough/Eynsham area (map: https://cycle.travel/map?lat=51.8114&lo ... 86&zoom=13). Off-carriageway paths are set to be built in the next few years for Hanborough Station—Bladon, Hanborough Station—Eynsham, and Eynsham—Oxford, plus upgrades on the two existing paths (Witney—Eynsham—Oxford and Witney—Hanborough), because these are all important utility routes and there's no quiet-lane alternative. Generally these will be shared-use rather than bike-only because the distances are such that walking isn't common.

Just picking up on the bolded phrase: even where there are quiet lane alternatives, they tend to be longer, slower and often hillier -- great for leisure routes but not so good when time is important, as commuting.