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

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

Postby Vorpal » 21 Dec 2018, 10:09am

The problem is not campaigning for segregated facilities.

The problem is the utter **** that some of the highwaymen think ticks the box.
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mjr
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby mjr » 21 Dec 2018, 11:26am

Vorpal wrote:The problem is not campaigning for segregated facilities.

The problem is the utter **** that some of the highwaymen think ticks the box.

Personally, I think a bigger problem is the utter **** that the "safety auditors" allow through - or sometimes have even insisted upon! Most highwaymen are quite capable and willing to design for cycling as wheeled vehicles roughly 1.2m wide x 2.8m long with reasonable turning radii, stopping sight distances and so on, but the safety auditors sometimes object to them doing so and insist on mad stuff like (to cite two local examples) that a cycleway must merge into the carriageway within metres of a mini-roundabout instead of becoming an arm on that mini-roundabout, or that a cycleway must terminate on the corner of a T-junction instead of continuing across it (in any form, with or without priority) into advisory lanes.

Such interventions from "safety auditors" result in junction layouts that look like this. Please excuse the typewriter art (arrows are normal flow, double lines are give-way, x marks a spot with crossing flows), but imagine if all these lanes were motor traffic, rather than the messed-up one being limited to cycling. Too often side roads crossing cycleways (whether lanes or tracks, protected or not, shared with walking or not) are built with traffic joining the adjacent carriageway emerging with poor visibility to wait obstructing the cycleway, like so:

Code: Select all

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
<<<<<<<<xx<<<<<<<<<
        =-
>>>>>>||^v|>>>>>>>>
<<<<<<<|^v||<<<<<<<
        ^v
        ^v

which would of course be built for motor traffic as either waiting before crossing BOTH left-hand lanes:

Code: Select all

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
<<<<<<<<xx<<<<<<<<
<<<<<<<<xx<<<<<<<<
        =-
        ^v
        ^v

or if both are two-way, then giving way and waiting before crossing EACH one:

Code: Select all

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
<<<<<<<<xx<<<<<<<<<
        =-
        ^v
        -=
>>>>>>>>xx>>>>>>>>>
<<<<<<<<xx<<<<<<<<<
        =-
        ^v
        ^v

IMO the "safety auditors" should object to the first layout, but instead they've been objecting to the others! :evil: It's time to reform or replace them.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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thirdcrank
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby thirdcrank » 21 Dec 2018, 11:34am

It's simply a two part policy and the first part is so much easier to deliver.

Part 1: Get cyclists out of the road.
Part 2: Make decent provision for cyclists.

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

Postby Barks » 21 Dec 2018, 12:28pm

I live in a small town and while we do have a couple of shared path sections around one of the secondary schools it is in practice irrelevant. The town is a drivers nightmare and congested most of the day with three significant bottlenecks and particularly suffers from through traffic rather than from those wishing to use the town facilities. There is no space for segregation but it just doesn’t need it - bikes travel into and across the town at least as quickly as any cars and due to on-road car parking for long stretches you can only cycle in primary to be outside of the door zone and where the roads are too narrow to accommodate car parking they are so narrow cars can not overtake a bike in any case. I can see that segregation can work in big cities and alongside major trunk roads but no need for it at all here. The last thing we need is to make it any easier for cars to move around, if anything make it harder and put them them off trying to use it as a ‘short’ cut rather than the very marginally longer routes around it.

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

Postby mjr » 21 Dec 2018, 12:41pm

thirdcrank wrote:It's simply a two part policy and the first part is so much easier to deliver.

Part 1: Get cyclists out of the road.
Part 2: Make decent provision for cyclists.

Whereas no cycling group is campaigning for "Part 1" and plenty are campaigning against it.

The more I read about the history, the more it seems that the initial motives for 1930s cycleways were basically friendly "make decent provision" ones (opponents of cycling were discussing banning it rather than confining it) but they made some obvious-in-hindsight goofs, such as bad surfaces and discontinuities across some junctions, then there was a war and when the late-1940s review proposed improving the designs, a faction including the Met's Assistant Commissioner Sir Herbert Alker Tripp CBE seems to have seized on them primarily as a way to enable "fast motor traffic".

You can often tell whether "decent provision" or "fast motor traffic" is dominating the design by what happens at junctions. If the protection increases at hazardous locations like junctions, it's probably an attempt at decent provision. If it decreases or totally evaporates, it's probably junk. In some ways this is strangely useful, because if the cycleway is missing at the first junction they arrive at, cyclists are less likely to notice it while waiting at the junction and thereby might not suffer some of the junk ones.

Cycleway that is obvious at a junction: https://mapstreetview.com/#v2hm0_2z3s_1n.i_-cf43

Cycleway ahead exists but doesn't cross junction and is IMO not worth using: https://mapstreetview.com/#v2kf5_3577_5f.a_-7f43 also https://mapstreetview.com/#v2kj2_33qt_37.a_-bf43 and even better further west, if you let yourself be filtered off after leaving Hills Road then you end up in a dead end at https://mapstreetview.com/#v2le6_2yex_7q.l_-3f43 where the only legal options seem to be dismount or U-turn!

Berks wrote: I can see that segregation can work in big cities and alongside major trunk roads but no need for it at all here. The last thing we need is to make it any easier for cars to move around, if anything make it harder and put them them off trying to use it as a ‘short’ cut rather than the very marginally longer routes around it.

Yes, in a lot of towns, 20mph and measures to discourage/divert rat-runners would be better than classic cycleways on most streets. IMO the main reasons for cycle-only facilities in such towns would be to allow cyclists to bypass queues of road users who are hogging 2½m width of road even when travelling alone and to enable more bridges of obstacles like waterways and railways which are much cheaper to provide for only lightweight traffic.
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Barks
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby Barks » 21 Dec 2018, 12:51pm

Yes, in a lot of towns, 20mph
no need in our town as the traffic rarely gets above 10mph at best through the central parts, to be honest the cars just get in the way of the bikes most of the time.

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

Postby mjr » 21 Dec 2018, 1:00pm

Barks wrote:
Yes, in a lot of towns, 20mph
no need in our town as the traffic rarely gets above 10mph at best through the central parts, to be honest the cars just get in the way of the bikes most of the time.

One big flaw in that thinking is that navigation software without traffic data will forecast drivers can average 25mph or more on a 30mph straight, so it'll direct more cars there than it would if it were 20mph limit. Even with traffic data, some people plot routes the night before, when the roads may be quiet and near-30 is possible, then send them to in-car devices without live updates.
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby mattheus » 21 Dec 2018, 1:16pm

mjr wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:It's simply a two part policy and the first part is so much easier to deliver.

Part 1: Get cyclists out of the road.
Part 2: Make decent provision for cyclists.

Whereas no cycling group is campaigning for "Part 1" and plenty are campaigning against it.



I find myself agreeing more with the former statement.

It may well be that all serious campaign groups are pushing for APPROPRIATE provision (which will include segragation), the message that gets heard - and rebroadcast by simple-minded broadcasters/journos - tends to be
"We need more cycle lanes!"

... which in the mind of Mr Toad becomes:
"Yes, get them out of my way! As long as I can't see them, great! Gets my vote."
(not caring that they are in some muddy tunnel somewhere, or in fact gave up on the local infra and got back into the cars that form the Q just in front of Mr Toad .. )

And then he bullies the next cyclist he sees "delaying" him, justifying it with "Why don't they use the cycle paths?!? Toot-toot! "

p.s. @mjr i completely agree with the comments here about how crap much of UK provision has been, and how such [inappropriate word removed] gets green-lighted by planners on a weekly basis. It's depressing and astonishing!

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

Postby Vorpal » 21 Dec 2018, 1:32pm

mjr wrote:
Vorpal wrote:The problem is not campaigning for segregated facilities.

The problem is the utter **** that some of the highwaymen think ticks the box.

Personally, I think a bigger problem is the utter **** that the "safety auditors" allow through - or sometimes have even insisted upon! Most highwaymen are quite capable and willing to design for cycling as wheeled vehicles roughly 1.2m wide x 2.8m long with reasonable turning radii, stopping sight distances and so on, but the safety auditors sometimes object to them doing so and insist on mad stuff like (to cite two local examples) that a cycleway must merge into the carriageway within metres of a mini-roundabout instead of becoming an arm on that mini-roundabout, or that a cycleway must terminate on the corner of a T-junction instead of continuing across it (in any form, with or without priority) into advisory lanes.

I htink this sort of thing is quite specific to the people, contractors etc., but lets not forget that the 'safety auditors' are part of the same culture, and often the same organisations. Even 'independent' auditors work for, or are contracted to the agency that is expected to deliver/oversee a project (on-time, budget, etc.).

Also, my experience in Essex was that the contractor to the county council produced dangerous ****, and the safety auditor (who, I believe worked for Essex CC) forced them to make it less dangerous, but still ****.
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby mjr » 21 Dec 2018, 2:02pm

mattheus wrote:p.s. @mjr i completely agree with the comments here about how crap much of UK provision has been, and how such <i>[inappropriate word removed]</i> gets green-lighted by planners on a weekly basis. It's depressing and astonishing!

I feel a big part of the problem is that there is generally no requirement for provision even to be green-lighted by planners and we could avoid some of the worst poop in some places by requiring the final version to get a green light from a serious review panel.

Highways schemes and highways elements of development plans routinely get approved on an understanding that the faults will be fixed later (they often aren't, as what's the incentive to do so?*), plus the few good-when-approved schemes are often changed for the worse after approval, often due to budget overruns on the motoring parts of the scheme, and normally the only people to review the crap provision with power to order changes are the "safety auditors" who agreed to the changes (or sometimes ordered the changes) before they were built and they rarely say "we got that wrong - fix it".

* - Most cyclists injured by substandard crap won't claim for damages (most cycling advocates who have been doing it a few years probably even know of cyclists injured by motorists who won't claim for damaged bikes because they fear being blamed by the police), most of those that do won't win and the few that do will probably win such small amounts that it's cheaper to keep building crap when it's cheaper. So financial damage doesn't currently work. What about reputation damage? Well, you can also see the ineffectiveness of trying to embarrass councils that built crap by how many of Mr Owens's "farcility of the month" examples remain in place for years. June 2001's grating is still not turned 90 degrees or replaced with a # pattern one, December 2007's unreflective concrete bollard in the middle of the lane is still an unreflective concrete bollard in the middle of the lane and May 2008's tree-filled cycle lane still directs you into trees. All of those have been harming cyclists for more than a decade!

What would I do? Hmm. Probably increase both penalties: allow cycling organisations to formally report hazardous cycleways and fine the council £x for ones that aren't fixed within N months, within limits, maybe with the fine going into a cycling grants fund with awards decided by the organisations, so maybe some of those who suffered damage from unreported collisions might get some restitution through bike repair charities and so on; and require the highway authorities to publish a full list of reported defects so that anyone injured can claim damages without hoping that it's been reported on one of the public sites like fixmystreet, CUK's fillthathole or some council sites.
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby mjr » 21 Dec 2018, 2:07pm

mattheus wrote:It may well be that all serious campaign groups are pushing for APPROPRIATE provision (which will include segragation),

Other than motorways, I disagree that appropriate or decent provision includes segregation. Protection or separation yes, but segregation no. If the cycleway isn't good enough to attract users on its merits, it's not good enough.
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby mattheus » 21 Dec 2018, 2:27pm

mjr wrote:
mattheus wrote:It may well be that all serious campaign groups are pushing for APPROPRIATE provision (which will include segragation),

Other than motorways, I disagree that appropriate or decent provision includes segregation. Protection or separation yes, but segregation no. If the cycleway isn't good enough to attract users on its merits, it's not good enough.


Hey, it's not ME who's campaigning for it (however you spell it!) ;)

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

Postby mjr » 21 Dec 2018, 3:03pm

mattheus wrote:
mjr wrote:
mattheus wrote:It may well be that all serious campaign groups are pushing for APPROPRIATE provision (which will include segragation),

Other than motorways, I disagree that appropriate or decent provision includes segregation. Protection or separation yes, but segregation no. If the cycleway isn't good enough to attract users on its merits, it's not good enough.


Hey, it's not ME who's campaigning for it (however you spell it!) ;)

Indeed, which is why I wanted to highlight the limits of what I feel "all serious campaign groups" are campaigning for. Segregation is rarely included and would many really want the likes of the Avonmouth Bridge unsegregated?
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby Bmblbzzz » 21 Dec 2018, 4:50pm

@mjr: I wasn't confusing you with anyone else, nor where you live -- I didn't mention you at all. You were simply in the nested quotes. If you read my whole post, you'll see (hopefully) I was talking about a disconnect between intended and received messages, from speaker to receiver.

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

Postby mjr » 21 Dec 2018, 5:33pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:@mjr: I wasn't confusing you with anyone else, nor where you live -- I didn't mention you at all. You were simply in the nested quotes. If you read my whole post, you'll see (hopefully) I was talking about a disconnect between intended and received messages, from speaker to receiver.

You replied to my message with a paragraph including "As a utility cyclist in an urban area you tend to do a lot of riding on busy roads [...]" so I hope you can understand why I thought you meant me.

Never mind!
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