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

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

Postby Vorpal » 9 Jan 2019, 10:50am

Bmblbzzz wrote: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.

I will grant that this is true, but that is mainly due to a culture that has prioritised motor traffic. Even when there are are (potentially) good routes available for cyclists, motor traffic is prioritised.

For example, when the new A120 was built from Braintree to the M11, cyclists were banned on the basis that there are very good alternatives for cyclists on the Flitch Way and the old A120 (now B1256). The Flitch Way is mostly a good leisure route; some sections are okay for commuting, but it is not an ideal utility route. The B1256 would be perfect. It is an old Roman road, straighter and flatter than the new one. Except that when the traffic moved to the new A120, it meant cars would go 70 mph on there. When I contacted Essex CC to ask them to reduce and enforce the speed limit, I was given a wishy washy answer that included the phrase 'still an important route for commuter traffic'. Of course they meant *motor* traffic.

If it were my responsibility, I'd put gates or bollards in the road in a few strategic locations (ones that let pedal cycles, trailers, wheelchairs, etc through and are openable by the drivers of buses & emergency vehicles) and reduce the speed limit to 30 mph, then signpost it as a cycling route. That would give access for businesses and homes, but get rid of the through traffic. If they needed temporarily to reroute traffic due to an emergency, or road works, it is a simple matter to leave the gates open/bollards down and put up signs that through traffic is permitted temporarily and should be careful around non-motorised users.
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby mjr » 9 Jan 2019, 11:22am

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

No-one has yet posted a link to a credible group of these folks. They are much less dangerous than the vehicularists opposing all cycleways and lanes who have at times in the past infested some large cycling campaign groups.

Bmblbzzz wrote: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.

Bypasses and other road "improvement" projects seem to be undoing that in many places. King's Lynn to Norwich is now 75km by the fastest car route (along the A47 and A11), but 74km by mostly-50mph B roads, back roads and cycleways along the river valleys (via Gayton, Swaffham, Shipdham, Southburgh and Bawburgh) or 70km if you don't mind steeper hills and riding through a bigger town (via Gayton, Castle Acre Tulip Hill, Dereham and Bawburgh).

Once the A47 between Honingham and Easton is dualled as planned, the shortest cycle route should drop to 68km and be more on cycleways but that's a very expensive way to shorten it. Of course, the dualling is primarily for motorists, but their route will get longer because the current 60mph Honingham and Hockering single-carriageway bypasses are being bypassed with a 70mph dualled one that bends further away from the villages (while the stretch into Easton is planned to be close to the current alignment).
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby brynpoeth » 9 Jan 2019, 11:31am

I am in favour of universal segregation :)
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras & STOP signs

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

Postby thirdcrank » 9 Jan 2019, 11:33am

... who have at times in the past infested some large cycling campaign groups. ...


Such a subtle use of language.

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

Postby mjr » 9 Jan 2019, 11:59am

brynpoeth wrote:I am in favour of universal segregation :)

Really? Even on a 20mph dead-end residential-access-only road?
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby brynpoeth » 9 Jan 2019, 12:14pm

mjr wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:I am in favour of universal segregation :)

Really? Even on a 20mph dead-end residential-access-only road?

Yes
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras & STOP signs

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

Postby pwa » 9 Jan 2019, 12:58pm

brynpoeth wrote:
mjr wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:I am in favour of universal segregation :)

Really? Even on a 20mph dead-end residential-access-only road?

Yes

I wonder if Jeremy Clarkson would also support universal segregation. He would perhaps phrase it "no cycling on the road" but it amounts to the same thing. And once they have got rid of the cyclists they can turn their attention to the caravans, and old people who drive too slowly. :D

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

Postby Vorpal » 9 Jan 2019, 1:04pm

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

No-one has yet posted a link to a credible group of these folks. They are much less dangerous than the vehicularists opposing all cycleways and lanes who have at times in the past infested some large cycling campaign groups.

TBH, I think it more a matter of language and (mis)understanding in most cases, but I have met campaigners who sat at both ends of the segregation / vehicular cycling spectrum. One of the folks who was fairly early onboard with the Cycling Embassy of Breat Britain insisted to me at a conference workshop that full segregation everywhere was the only way to make cycling safe & get more people on bikes. I don't know if that person has revised their opinion, but at least CEoGB have clarified their stance on the matter.
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby pwa » 9 Jan 2019, 1:13pm

Complete segregation where I live would mean no cycling. I live in a village surrounded by very pleasant to use lanes. There will never be off-road cycle tracks.

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

Postby mjr » 9 Jan 2019, 2:12pm

pwa wrote:Complete segregation where I live would mean no cycling. I live in a village surrounded by very pleasant to use lanes. There will never be off-road cycle tracks.

And that's why I oppose it, although my village has a cycleway along its A road. Often lower speed limits and motoring access restrictions are better tools IMO.
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby pwa » 9 Jan 2019, 3:50pm

mjr wrote:
pwa wrote:Complete segregation where I live would mean no cycling. I live in a village surrounded by very pleasant to use lanes. There will never be off-road cycle tracks.

And that's why I oppose it, although my village has a cycleway along its A road. Often lower speed limits and motoring access restrictions are better tools IMO.

Yes, a flexible approach based on precise local circumstances.

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

Postby Bmblbzzz » 9 Jan 2019, 11:01pm

Vorpal wrote:
Bmblbzzz wrote: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.

I will grant that this is true, but that is mainly due to a culture that has prioritised motor traffic. Even when there are are (potentially) good routes available for cyclists, motor traffic is prioritised.

For example, when the new A120 was built from Braintree to the M11, cyclists were banned on the basis that there are very good alternatives for cyclists on the Flitch Way and the old A120 (now B1256). The Flitch Way is mostly a good leisure route; some sections are okay for commuting, but it is not an ideal utility route. The B1256 would be perfect. It is an old Roman road, straighter and flatter than the new one. Except that when the traffic moved to the new A120, it meant cars would go 70 mph on there. When I contacted Essex CC to ask them to reduce and enforce the speed limit, I was given a wishy washy answer that included the phrase 'still an important route for commuter traffic'. Of course they meant *motor* traffic.

If it were my responsibility, I'd put gates or bollards in the road in a few strategic locations (ones that let pedal cycles, trailers, wheelchairs, etc through and are openable by the drivers of buses & emergency vehicles) and reduce the speed limit to 30 mph, then signpost it as a cycling route. That would give access for businesses and homes, but get rid of the through traffic. If they needed temporarily to reroute traffic due to an emergency, or road works, it is a simple matter to leave the gates open/bollards down and put up signs that through traffic is permitted temporarily and should be careful around non-motorised users.

To take your last paragraph first, I'm also quite enthusiastic about filtered permeability in both urban and some rural situations. Maintaining access for all types of vehicle but blocking through access for motorised vehicles.

As for your other point - and mjr makes the the same point - yes, new bypasses and so on do increase the total distance of the main route for motorists. But of course the original route usually remains open to them. More to the point, the new road becomes the main or default route because even though further it is usually quicker and easier, more convenient - for cars, lorries and buses.

But really those are special cases. In most cases, where you have a choice between an A or B road and an unclassified lane, the unclassified is further, bendier, narrower, involves more junctions at which you have to give way, and is hillier (though the last might not apply in the areas mjr typically cycles :wink: ).

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

Postby Vorpal » 10 Jan 2019, 8:08am

Bmblbzzz wrote:But really those are special cases. In most cases, where you have a choice between an A or B road and an unclassified lane, the unclassified is further, bendier, narrower, involves more junctions at which you have to give way, and is hillier (though the last might not apply in the areas mjr typically cycles :wink: ).

I began with 'I will grant that is true'. :) Although the unclassified route is still sometimes better. Even commuting, I have sometimes chosen a slightly longer, hillier route for the sake of quiet, scenic beauty, or just a change. I have also used an A route because it was faster, or because I thought there'd be ice on the other routes.

That said, my point partly was that cyclists should/need not be relegated to the winding, hilly routes. With a choice between an A road, a B road, and an unclassified lane, if the unclassified lane is too long and hilly to be the best route, then the B road should be prioritised for cyclists.

Prioritising the A road for motor traffic and the B road for non-motorised traffic should be a default condition. And before anyone replies, I know that's not possible everywhere. It's also not necessary everywhere. But it works in a great many locations, and exceptions should be carefully considered, and provide *convenient* alternatives for non-motorised traffic.
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Re: Why we shouldn't be too eager to campaign for segregated cycling facilities

Postby Bmblbzzz » 10 Jan 2019, 9:39am

Yes, we ought to have a choice between the quiet, windy, hilly, beautiful back lane and (a safe facility alongside) the fast, flat, direct (but noisy and smelly) main road. Of course in an ideal world the main road would not be noisy or smelly but...

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

Postby mjr » 10 Jan 2019, 11:21am

Bmblbzzz wrote:But really those are special cases. In most cases, where you have a choice between an A or B road and an unclassified lane, the unclassified is further, bendier, narrower, involves more junctions at which you have to give way, and is hillier (though the last might not apply in the areas mjr typically cycles :wink: ).

Out on the fens, the minor roads tend to be shorter and straighter, too, because they follow drains and huge field edges, but the few bends they do have are often very sharp. The upgraded A roads tend to have long sweeping curves instead, making them longer.

I'm not sure it's limited to here, though, as the route to Norwich is mostly Breckland, not fens. Some simplistic searching suggests that the quieter route is now often shorter and usually within 10% of the fastest motor route, except where two towns/cities are reasonably close together and the main roads have no/incomplete cycleways - Ely and Cambridge being a famous example, even if the most famous sign showing the difference in cycle route and main road distances is actually an error.
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