Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

pwa
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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby pwa » 15 Jan 2019, 8:54am

Vorpal wrote:
pwa wrote:And deep down I wonder whether most people here could be convinced to give cycling a go even if they were given top class facilities. I used to work for a not-for-profit outfit that made shared use tracks on former rail beds and the tracks have proved popular for leisure use. With a wide range of age groups. But few use them to do anything practical. I wonder if outside the big congested cities, where getting about by car is a pain, people will ever turn to utility cycling in large numbers. I think they like being in a warm dry private space when they travel. Even if we remove the fear of being crushed, I suspect the desire to be warm, dry and comfortable is simply too strong for most people.

You are right. People won't cycle whilst driving is more convenient. The Netherlands and Denmark don't just make cycling easier; they also make driving motor vehicles less convenient.

The reason London has (relatively) lots of cyclists is not that riding a bike is so much easier, but that for many journeys, it is faster than driving, taking the bus, etc.

If driving to work takes 20 minutes and you have pay £300 per month to park it, and still walk 400 metres (5 minutes) to your job when you get there, or you can cycle in 25 minutes, park for free, and get a little exercise while doing it, which do you do? If the parking fee is doubled?ycling take 10 minutes, and driving takes 20?

At some point, the difference is a no brainer for most people.

Yes, there is a lot of sense in that. But you overlook one crucial problem. The congestion in London is not something that anyone wanted or voted for. It is an unfortunate reality that has forced some people to cycle as an alternative. But in other towns where congestion doesn't actually make a bike a no-brainer, government would have to adopt punitive measures against car users to get the effect you desire. Elected representatives would have to choose to do that. That means it would need the consent of the public. There is the problem.

reohn2
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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby reohn2 » 15 Jan 2019, 9:15am

RickH wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
The utility cyclist wrote:Obviously fear is a major that is preventing significant portions of people from cycling, however a lot of that is perceived not real, there are many other factors that we can change to redress that and much stems from when people are kids.


You'll have to run that by me again... what exactly is the difference between "real fear" and "perceived fear"?

Pete.

Maybe it be better described as the difference between fear of real danger & fear of (innacurately) perceived danger. The, sometimes, unpleasantness of cycling in heavy traffic does not equate directly to increased actual danger.

No but fear of danger is real for whoever fears that heavy traffic,fear is a feeling of a lack of safety.
If I don't feel safe then I fear for my safety.
Sharing roads with heavy traffic takes some getting used to,some people never attempt it because they're too fearful and so the problem of traffic and fear of it persists.
Ask any non cyclist why they don't cycle and the stock answer more often than not is "the roads are too dangerous",such a perception of mind will never get to cycle because of their fear.
On 20 mile portion of a ride recently I was closely passed 9 times two of which were very close(within approx 0.6m)all with a speed differential of 20mph or more(non were HGV's),the two worst scared me a little and I've been riding all my life,to someone not hardened to heavy UK traffic's unreasonable antics it could frighten them off the roads for good IMO.
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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby Vorpal » 15 Jan 2019, 10:21am

pwa wrote:Yes, there is a lot of sense in that. But you overlook one crucial problem. The congestion in London is not something that anyone wanted or voted for. It is an unfortunate reality that has forced some people to cycle as an alternative. But in other towns where congestion doesn't actually make a bike a no-brainer, government would have to adopt punitive measures against car users to get the effect you desire. Elected representatives would have to choose to do that. That means it would need the consent of the public. There is the problem.

They don't have to be punitive measures. They have to be measures that create an environment that is friendly to vulnerable road users. Pedestrianising shopping areas, expanding pedestrianised areas, reducing speed limits, reducing motor traffic permeability, creating routes where vulnerable users are prioritised, such as quiet ways, and where necessary, introducing segregation. Except for the pedestrianisation, they can all apply equally to rural areas.

It is an unfortunate reality that motoring has created a horrid viscious cycle, hwere people don't want to walk and cycle because it isn't safe, so they drive, making the environment worse for those who do (or must) walk and cycle.

Congestion may not be something that anyone wanted, but everytime they get into their cars they vote for it.

If it takes drastic measures, so be it.

The status quo is killing us.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

pwa
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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby pwa » 15 Jan 2019, 10:27am

Vorpal wrote:
pwa wrote:Yes, there is a lot of sense in that. But you overlook one crucial problem. The congestion in London is not something that anyone wanted or voted for. It is an unfortunate reality that has forced some people to cycle as an alternative. But in other towns where congestion doesn't actually make a bike a no-brainer, government would have to adopt punitive measures against car users to get the effect you desire. Elected representatives would have to choose to do that. That means it would need the consent of the public. There is the problem.

They don't have to be punitive measures. They have to be measures that create an environment that is friendly to vulnerable road users. Pedestrianising shopping areas, expanding pedestrianised areas, reducing speed limits, reducing motor traffic permeability, creating routes where vulnerable users are prioritised, such as quiet ways, and where necessary, introducing segregation. Except for the pedestrianisation, they can all apply equally to rural areas.

It is an unfortunate reality that motoring has created a horrid viscious cycle, hwere people don't want to walk and cycle because it isn't safe, so they drive, making the environment worse for those who do (or must) walk and cycle.

Congestion may not be something that anyone wanted, but everytime they get into their cars they vote for it.

If it takes drastic measures, so be it.

The status quo is killing us.

Cardiff city centre is mostly pedestrianised. Streets closed to traffic (other than emergency vehicles) and numerous arcades and malls. It is such an attractive place to walk round that people drive there especially for the pleasure of having a walk around the shops.
https://www.google.com/maps/@51.4792589 ... 6?hl=en-GB

brynpoeth
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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby brynpoeth » 15 Jan 2019, 11:19am

Much easier to get the train or bus into town :wink:
The valleys have great train services, all go to Caerdydd, change for Llantwit major/minor
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pwa
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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby pwa » 15 Jan 2019, 11:25am

brynpoeth wrote:Much easier to get the train or bus into town :wink:
The valleys have great train services, all go to Caerdydd, change for Llantwit major/minor


Very busy on Saturdays, and hell if there is a big sporting event on. Train stops, doors open and you see a wall of people and no room for even a little person. Doors close, train goes. Next train arrives, same result.... Park and Ride for me.

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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby mjr » 15 Jan 2019, 12:30pm

pwa wrote:Where I live the various councils responsible for our infrastructure are cutting back on everything. The nearby seaside town of Porthcawl looks set to lose its last public convenience. We may lose our sports fields because the council no longer feels able to cut grass. Schools are running a deficit. This is not an environment in which significant remodelling of urban streets can happen. Funding that sort of thing will come somewhere low down on a long list that has schools and health services near the top.

That's stupidly short-sighted. Spending on cycling today cuts the amount they have to spend tomorrow on schools (ever bigger car parks and traffic management) and especially health services (thanks to cycling combatting inactivity-related illnesses). Overall, each £1 on cycling returns an average of £5.50 of benefits.

Compare this to HS2. £80bn spent that is now estimated to be so-so whether it delivers £1 of benefit per £1. Some road-building projects are even worse. Why can we afford money for them, but not for cycling?

pwa wrote:And deep down I wonder whether most people here could be convinced to give cycling a go even if they were given top class facilities. I used to work for a not-for-profit outfit that made shared use tracks on former rail beds and the tracks have proved popular for leisure use. With a wide range of age groups. But few use them to do anything practical. I wonder if outside the big congested cities, where getting about by car is a pain, people will ever turn to utility cycling in large numbers. I think they like being in a warm dry private space when they travel. Even if we remove the fear of being crushed, I suspect the desire to be warm, dry and comfortable is simply too strong for most people.

I'm warm, dry and comfortable when cycling. Waterproofs, outdoor clothes and a relaxed bicycle setup.

I hope you're not seriously suggesting that the barrier-infested summer-only-surface mostly-to-nowhere rail trails are "top class facilities". Generally, the UK can't even be bothered converting the whole rail trail and leaves stupidities like long difficult gravel tracks or bizarre no-cycling detours to get between the end of a rail trail and city streets. The Cambridge-Huntingdon rail trail is OK at the Cambridge end at long last (years after it opened), connecting to the river, but the last few miles into Huntingdon involves gates, animals, bad signposting and a no-cycling bridge. There's another more direct and less obstructed route that could be used, except that even Cambridgeshire's government won't spend to make a half mile of road suitable for cycling :roll:
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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby mjr » 15 Jan 2019, 12:39pm

reohn2 wrote:Ask any non cyclist why they don't cycle and the stock answer more often than not is "the roads are too dangerous",such a perception of mind will never get to cycle because of their fear.

Survey results don't completely support that. Even in the most danger-inclined-IMO survey (Mintel's Bicycles in the UK), "too dangerous" is still more often not mentioned than it is (about 40-45% IIRC).

But it's a factor - and one which we could reduce much more cheaply than other transport projects - but it's just one part of a perception that our roads are difficult to cycle on because they're too busy (distinct from danger - this is more about people not wanting to be seen as "in the way" dithering how to tackle a junction by bike or getting it wrong), our cycling infrastructure is inconsistent (and often challenging obstacle courses), cycling route signs are patchy (and I can name the number of cities I've seen put street names at cycleway entrances in two words), then there's insufficient decent cycle parking at key destinations like workplaces.

We can tackle any of these. They'd all help. Creating/encouraging recommended HGV delivery routes where they don't have to mix with cyclists is just one of them.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby pwa » 15 Jan 2019, 2:47pm

mjr wrote:I'm warm, dry and comfortable when cycling. Waterproofs, outdoor clothes and a relaxed bicycle setup.

I hope you're not seriously suggesting that the barrier-infested summer-only-surface mostly-to-nowhere rail trails are "top class facilities". Generally, the UK can't even be bothered converting the whole rail trail and leaves stupidities like long difficult gravel tracks or bizarre no-cycling detours to get between the end of a rail trail and city streets. The Cambridge-Huntingdon rail trail is OK at the Cambridge end at long last (years after it opened), connecting to the river, but the last few miles into Huntingdon involves gates, animals, bad signposting and a no-cycling bridge. There's another more direct and less obstructed route that could be used, except that even Cambridgeshire's government won't spend to make a half mile of road suitable for cycling :roll:


Just to pick up on those specific points.

You and I know that with our choice of clothing, bike and bags we have a system that works for us even when the sun ain't shining. But Mr. and Mrs. Average don't expect to feel comfortable on a bike in the rain, when they could instead be listening to Radio 2 in a heated cabin. They look at you and me out of their windows and think we are daft for cycling in the rain. That is a barrier to utility cycling.

Not all cycle tracks are very useful for utility cycling. That is true. But I know of one that connects a residential area with a town centre and is mostly good standard, yet I don't see swarms of commuters or folk with shopping in trailers on it. The route makes sense as a utility route but still doesn't have huge numbers of takers. It is mostly free of motor traffic, with a couple of short sections of quiet road to connect off-road sections. Good surfaces, no gravel. I could be mis-identifying commuters as leisure riders, but even if that were the case we don't see the volume of cycling you get in the Netherlands on that track. There is something other than concern about safety stopping people using that potentially useful track.

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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby Vorpal » 15 Jan 2019, 3:16pm

pwa wrote:You and I know that with our choice of clothing, bike and bags we have a system that works for us even when the sun ain't shining. But Mr. and Mrs. Average don't expect to feel comfortable on a bike in the rain, when they could instead be listening to Radio 2 in a heated cabin. They look at you and me out of their windows and think we are daft for cycling in the rain. That is a barrier to utility cycling.

Not all cycle tracks are very useful for utility cycling. That is true. But I know of one that connects a residential area with a town centre and is mostly good standard, yet I don't see swarms of commuters or folk with shopping in trailers on it. The route makes sense as a utility route but still doesn't have huge numbers of takers. It is mostly free of motor traffic, with a couple of short sections of quiet road to connect off-road sections. Good surfaces, no gravel. I could be mis-identifying commuters as leisure riders, but even if that were the case we don't see the volume of cycling you get in the Netherlands on that track. There is something other than concern about safety stopping people using that potentially useful track.

It's not something, it's somethings. And those things are, more or less in order:
-convenience
-motor centric culture
-lack of understanding

The last one can change, just by getting folks on bikes. When I worked in the UK, I waxed enthusiastic about cycling to work, and even talked a couple of other people into trying it. They talked a couple more into it. When I started, there were a handful of us. When I left the company the bike racks were regularly full, at least when the weather was nice. At guess, that was from 5 people cycling to 20. That's still a tiny minority of the people working there, but it's definitiely a case of every little bit helps.

The motor centric culture will only change gradually. It's had a couple of generations to establish itself, and will likely take at least one to unwind.

The convenience factor, unfortunately cannot change without either congestion becoming very much worse, or investment in cycling. And the issue of congestion is a difficult becuase it is (falsely) ingrained that the cure for congestion is more & bigger roads.

I can only hope that as more people cycle & demand better infrastructure, others will see how much better it is for congestion, pollution, health, the road environment, and the greater environment.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby mjr » 15 Jan 2019, 4:41pm

pwa wrote:You and I know that with our choice of clothing, bike and bags we have a system that works for us even when the sun ain't shining. But Mr. and Mrs. Average don't expect to feel comfortable on a bike in the rain, when they could instead be listening to Radio 2 in a heated cabin. They look at you and me out of their windows and think we are daft for cycling in the rain. That is a barrier to utility cycling.

That's a barrier, but I wouldn't say it's the desire to be warm, dry and comfortable that's the barrier: it's the flipside, based on ignorance, a myth that cycling in winter rain means being wet, cold and uncomfortable, which it doesn't necessarily, although you might not guess it from the "skin is waterproof" masochists (and walking suffers similar IMO).

pwa wrote:Not all cycle tracks are very useful for utility cycling. That is true. But I know of one that connects a residential area with a town centre and is mostly good standard, yet I don't see swarms of commuters or folk with shopping in trailers on it. The route makes sense as a utility route but still doesn't have huge numbers of takers. It is mostly free of motor traffic, with a couple of short sections of quiet road to connect off-road sections. Good surfaces, no gravel. I could be mis-identifying commuters as leisure riders, but even if that were the case we don't see the volume of cycling you get in the Netherlands on that track. There is something other than concern about safety stopping people using that potentially useful track.

I suspect we may have done this dance before, but which one is it? Fresh eyes might spot the reason... or it might just be in an area with low propensity to cycle for other reasons, like the belt near me that is near enough to the town centre that non-cyclists say they don't because "everywhere is either near enough to walk to or connected by bus/train from the stations that are near enough to walk to".
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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby pwa » 15 Jan 2019, 5:06pm

It is the link between Bridgend centre and north to meet NCN4, which effectively links an area called Sarn to Bridgend. Sarn has lots of housing and the route comes out beside a medium sized Tesco at the Bridgend side.
https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5334139 ... 3?hl=en-GB
Here, looking north, you see where it emerges onto a couple of hundred metres of quiet road before going onto a "traffic free" section again.
https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5090541 ... 3?hl=en-GB
Here it is as it nears the centre of town. Tesco is around the corner to the left.
https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5181039 ... 6?hl=en-GB
Bridge put in by my former employer, with help from a big crane.

Okay, a few barriers there you might object to, but even so... Most are now gone anyway.


Have a root around on Streetview, See what you think. I'd probably use it if it lined up with any jobs I had to do.
Last edited by pwa on 15 Jan 2019, 5:19pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby reohn2 » 15 Jan 2019, 5:14pm

mjr wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Ask any non cyclist why they don't cycle and the stock answer more often than not is "the roads are too dangerous",such a perception of mind will never get to cycle because of their fear.

Survey results don't completely support that. Even in the most danger-inclined-IMO survey (Mintel's Bicycles in the UK), "too dangerous" is still more often not mentioned than it is (about 40-45% IIRC).

But it's a factor - and one which we could reduce much more cheaply than other transport projects - but it's just one part of a perception that our roads are difficult to cycle on because they're too busy (distinct from danger - this is more about people not wanting to be seen as "in the way" dithering how to tackle a junction by bike or getting it wrong), our cycling infrastructure is inconsistent (and often challenging obstacle courses), cycling route signs are patchy (and I can name the number of cities I've seen put street names at cycleway entrances in two words), then there's insufficient decent cycle parking at key destinations like workplaces.

We can tackle any of these. They'd all help. Creating/encouraging recommended HGV delivery routes where they don't have to mix with cyclists is just one of them.

Every non cyclist I've spoken to complains that the roads are too dangerous to cycle on,their next fear is punctures along with a fear of getting wet
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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby The utility cyclist » 15 Jan 2019, 7:23pm

mjr wrote:
The utility cyclist wrote:Sorry but waiting for segregated lanes is dreamland pie in the sky thinking for the vast majority of the UK, IMHO 'we' are too late to change things in any significant way, 30-40 years too late. At least legislation in the form of speed regulation for motors by installing devices that force motorists to adhere to limits, AI devices, better training, changing traffic light phases, changing things like parking/driving around schools and providing more cycle parking facilities in towns, cities, work places and retail parks can have an influence whilst we're waiting.

Sorry but thinking that any government in the forseeable is going to clamp down on lawbreaking motorists in any significant way is the real "dreamland pie in the sky thinking" - I reckon there's more chance we get another Eric Pickles who encourages cars to be dumped irresponsibly with no real risk of a parking ticket because he bans enforcement with even 1990s tech like mobile CCTV.

It's not too late, though - we can build more cycleways so that cyclists don't have to share at motorists at the troublespots, unless they're masochists who enjoy that sort of thing.


And yet it's having an effect on the roads already, more so than non existent segregated infra. So far from you saying my thinking is pie in the sky, there's already movement in that direction. Maybe you think stuff like the close pass initiative that police forces have rolled out does not exist?? Maybe you think CUK and others efforts re chnages aren't worth following up because it's all 'pie in the sky'? It's having a bigger effect than where there is no segregated infra and where there will continue to be no segregated infra for the foreseeable future, isn't it!

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Re: Trucks Do Not Have Cyclist-Obscuring Blind Spots

Postby The utility cyclist » 15 Jan 2019, 7:27pm

pjclinch wrote:
The utility cyclist wrote:Obviously fear is a major that is preventing significant portions of people from cycling, however a lot of that is perceived not real, there are many other factors that we can change to redress that and much stems from when people are kids.


You'll have to run that by me again... what exactly is the difference between "real fear" and "perceived fear"?

Pete.

I meant in terms of the actual danger that is perceived is not real, it's far less than most people think it is. The perceived fear isn't as real as the danger from a factual POV is what I should have said.