please close the pop up cycle lanes

tb
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please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby tb » 1 Oct 2020, 9:54pm

As a lifelong cyclist I insist that these pop up (and any other) public highway closures not be in my name.

Most road users are aware and respectful of the cyclist and this has been my experience for over 45 years. I passed my cycling proficiency test in 1972, I've been a London commuter and I've cycled extensively throughout Europe over these years.
The introduction of restrictive and punitive temporary public highway closures to prevent the constant flow of road traffic throughout UK
city centres seriously needs not to be done in the name of cycling promotion.
These traffic restrictions will simply appear to some public highway users as ''bike versus car'' and will create greater division which is wholly counter productive. There is already evidence of heightened tension between people directly because of public highway closures, highlighted in recent media reports.
In addition the motor vehicle traffic will not conveniently disappear but will be obviously diverted around other local residential roads.
Cycling in the UK has benefitted from a recent renaissance which I applaud and long may this continue but the idea that cycling or
walking is a possible alternative for most motor vehicle journeys is a fantasy which our county councils appear to be buying into.

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gaz
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby gaz » 1 Oct 2020, 10:43pm

tb wrote:Most road users are aware and respectful of the cyclist and this has been my experience for over 45 years. I passed my cycling proficiency test in 1972, I've been a London commuter and I've cycled extensively throughout Europe over these years.

I might agree that most road users are aware and respectful of people who cycle but in my experience a significant number are not. It doesn't matter now many courteous drivers you encounter as an inexperienced beginner it will only take one or two of the other type to scare you off the roads.
tb wrote:The introduction of restrictive and punitive temporary public highway closures to prevent the constant flow of road traffic throughout UK city centres seriously needs not to be done in the name of cycling promotion.

For the most part it's being done as a response to Covid 19 creating a loss of public transport capacity and the resulting need to provide alternative choices as everyone switching to private car journeys will bring carmageddon. Some schemes provide space for people to get around town shops safely whilst keeping the economy going rather than forcing them to crowd together on narrow pavements as a constant flow of road traffic passes by spluttering fumes at them as they go. They are not there for people like yourself who are already happy to cycle despite what are frankly hostile road conditions for the inexperienced beginner.
tb wrote:These traffic restrictions will simply appear to some public highway users as ''bike versus car'' and will create greater division which is wholly counter productive. There is already evidence of heightened tension between people directly because of public highway closures, highlighted in recent media reports.

Doubtless communication from many councils has been poor. They are responding to an emergency and the level of communication is little different to that used when closing a road for a burst water main or gas leak. The media do love to paint a "bike versus car" picture and are happy to fill their papers with whatever gets the most clicks for their advertisers. Truth rarely gets in the way.
tb wrote:In addition the motor vehicle traffic will not conveniently disappear but will be obviously diverted around other local residential roads.

It does disappear, not at once and not completely but traffic evaporation occurs. It is largely residential roads that are receiving closure treatments, they stand to benefit first.
tb wrote:Cycling in the UK has benefitted from a recent renaissance which I applaud and long may this continue ...

There was a brief renaissance during lockdown, when motor vehicle journeys had decreased dramatically. The cars are largely back, the cyclists have largely gone. Correlation in this case is causation.
tb wrote:... but the idea that cycling or walking is a possible alternative for most motor vehicle journeys is a fantasy which our county councils appear to be buying into.

According to TfL prior to lockdown.

14% of car trips were under 1km.
21% were 1-2km.
15% were 2-3km.
10% were 3-4km
7% were 4-5km

So 67% of car journeys in London are under 3.1 miles, suggesting many of those journeys don't need a car is anything but fantasy. I'd anticipate the figures to be similar for most UK towns and cities.

tb wrote:As a lifelong cyclist I insist that these pop up (and any other) public highway closures not be in my name.

Has your name been attached to any of them so far? If the answer is no you can breathe easy and stop worrying about it.
There'll be tarmac over, the white cliffs of Dover ...

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mjr
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby mjr » 1 Oct 2020, 10:49pm

It is always disappointing how many self-proclaimed cyclists are willing to campaign against things that will help cycling because they might upset some motorists.

Diverting motor traffic onto other roads is not a massive problem. In fact, it's the cornerstone of the "unravelling of modes" which some say is a key feature of good cycling/walking network management, for example https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2012 ... ing-modes/
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby PH » 1 Oct 2020, 11:41pm

tb wrote:As a lifelong cyclist I insist that these pop up (and any other) public highway closures not be in my name.

Which of the great cycling successes over the last 45 years have been in your name?

pwa
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby pwa » 2 Oct 2020, 9:13am

I haven't seen any of these pop-up cycle lanes. There are none in the two nearest towns to me and I haven't ventured into the nearest city, Cardiff, since March. So this is a bit academic for me. It is something that affects other people.

But one day I may return to visiting cities and, as a consumer of what those places have to offer, I will be happy to see traffic kept further from pedestrians. The constant roar of traffic makes being a pedestrian unpleasant. In Cardiff I have always enjoyed walking around the pedestrianised areas and have been less keen to visit shops near to traffic. So while I don't know enough to say that every pop-up cycle lane should persist, I do think that more thought should be given to people who have got out of their cars or who didn't arrive in cars. Park and Ride is part of the answer. Get people out of their cars before they get to city centres, and do it by creating a cheap and convenient alternative that doesn't seem like an imposition.

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Si
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby Si » 2 Oct 2020, 9:20am

I sometimes think that 'experienced cyclists' are one of the major handicaps in promoting cycling as a viable means of transport.

The problem arises when an experienced cyclist gets into the mindset that because they feel fine cycling on a certain road then everyone should. This is not the case. As an extremely experienced cyclist (bikeability instructor, ride leader, etc) I ride on all sorts of roads but I know from my experience with learners, children, returners, etc that many would never feel comfortable on such roads and would be inclined to give up cycling rather than use them (why do you think we have so many pavement cyclists in our towns and cities?).

Then comes the comment: well, they just have to learn vehicular cycling. No. As an experienced cycling instructor I can tell you that this doesn't work for many people - even if they know and can deploy the techniques to make them selves safer they often still do not enjoy cycling on busy roads and will give up.

Of course, some pop up cycle lanes are of a better design and implementation than others. But what logical course of action does this lead us to? To get rid of all of them no matter how good they may be? Or to improve the poor ones and bring them up to a higher standard? And then build on these to created a joined up network.

The local popup lane to me links the shopping centre/cafes with the large urban park. It allows new/inexperienced cyclists to ride around the large urban park and then pop into town and use the cafes and shops (thus supporting the local economy). It allows them to breach the multi lane ring road that protects the town centre from cyclists and pedestrians. It shows them how easy it could be to get around by bike. It is good enough for children of an L2 standard to use by themselves....would we rather that such children have to ride along a three lane carriageway and switch lanes just so that we can appease the motorised traffic and give them one more lane to use?

The point is that these facilities are not being put in in the name of 'lifelong' cyclists. They are being built in the name of normal people who would like to cycle but are deterred by road conditions, they are being built in the name of all of those kids in the inner cities who are on the way to suffering life long health issues because of pollution, they are being built in the name of the NHS that has to sacrifice so many of its resources countering the effects of an inactive population, they are being built for those low paid key workers who no longer feel safe using public transport. And if they make it difficult to use cars in our town and city centres for short journeys then in my book they are working.

Sure there will be some kick back from motorists. This is where we have the choice: humbly doff our caps and utter vague platitudes: "sorry sir, won't do it again sir, didn't mean to upset you sir.", or do we view it as the start of the revolution against a heavily car-centric society where we might have to suffer a little to gain so much?

"Oh won't somebody think of the children?"

Jdsk
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby Jdsk » 2 Oct 2020, 9:57am

Well said.

Thank you

Jonathan

pwa
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby pwa » 2 Oct 2020, 10:02am

I see myself as a motorist, a cyclist and a pedestrian, but what I want from a city is a nice place to be, getting the balance right. Motorists don't usually live in their cars, they get out of them at some point, then they are either on foot or mobility scooter of whatever. And when you are not in a car it is much nicer to be away from traffic, while you visit shops and cafes or pop into the council offices or whatever. Being close to traffic is not great for anyone when they are not in a car, even if they arrived by car themselves. So it doesn't need to be "Them and Us", it is just making places better for people. And taking traffic away from places where there are a lot of people not in cars tends to work out better for all of us.

But these things must always be taken case-by-case, and measures that push traffic off one street and onto another could potentially create more problems than they solve. I do see that.

Tangled Metal
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby Tangled Metal » 2 Oct 2020, 10:11am

Can I just point out that whether beginners or experienced cyclists people can all feel intimidated in traffic when cycling. We can all be put off using our bikes for utility use by traffic and a feeling of being unsafe on UK roads.

I think pop up lanes aren't for you if you do not feel a sense of uneasiness in traffic when cycling. To ask for them to be taken down because of your feelings on a bike is a sign that you've not understood this principle. You are asking for what suits you not what suits the more vulnerable cyclists. Even if the reality is they aren't more vulnerable than you but just feel so.

I hope the OP never gets his wish with any such pop up facility, ever. I bet the removal of such facilities will corellate with a drop off of cyclists. That I think would be a shame for the sake of a few who don't like these facilities.

Tangled Metal
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby Tangled Metal » 2 Oct 2020, 10:16am

PS my partner used to cycle for an hour to get to work once a week (home working other days). She's an experienced cyclist who's cycled on road and off road. She's done some very adventurous cycle tours in areas that hadn't at that time seen any European least of all a European woman cycling.

Despite her experience she's still very uneasy on British roads. She simply likes riding but not on UK roads. She does like good cycling facilities and even these sorts of facilities over cycling with traffic.

merseymouth
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby merseymouth » 2 Oct 2020, 10:20am

Morning, Let us be clear about "Cycle Provision on the road".
One thing is quite evident about most of the infrastructure put in place and that is insufficient thought has been given to the needs of the different cycling community, which should by law also include such wonders as the "Hen and Chicken Cycles" of old, not that I have one. But my C.V. does include such treasures as a 1886 Singer Tricycle, solid tyres and all, not a compact cycle, but we have the right to ride such machines.
The cycle planners should also take into account possible consequences of their installations, which they clearly don't!

In recent times we have seen a dash for the government cash which brings about death trap facilities, I jest not. All lawful groups must be considered, but also thought might be given to the suitability of many vehicles to use our overcrowded roads, after all one can't say a vehicle such as a Humvee is suitable for the narrow highways and byways, nor should juggernauts have unfettered access at the consequence of ruining the ground the roll over?
Just as "Smart Motorways" ain't clever nor are facilities that actually deter folk from cycling. MM
P.S. TM, If I have to find another route into Liverpool City Centre because of the dangerous installations, then I would have to use even more dangerous routes? The roads where the Liverpool Pop-Ups been installed did not need them, but now they are dangerous!
I can't use a bicycle, so unless the PUL's have been designed with wider cycles in mind, then I would be excluded from the delights of safe cycling.
As many car ads emphasise the freedom & pleasure of near reckless driving, we the vulnerable will always get short measure in safe provision.
Last edited by merseymouth on 2 Oct 2020, 10:27am, edited 1 time in total.

tatanab
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby tatanab » 2 Oct 2020, 10:24am

Tangled Metal wrote:Can I just point out that whether beginners or experienced cyclists people can all feel intimidated in traffic when cycling. We can all be put off using our bikes for utility use by traffic and a feeling of being unsafe on UK roads.
This is true. Cyclists have long modified their routes to avoid certain junctions. Commuting in 1980 that was true for me, even if it was only a short diversion to reach a traffic light controlled junction instead. More recently, 2005, I would make a 3 mile detour because it was absolutely impossible to cross the main road at any closer point (except perhaps at 2 a.m.)

However, facilities (be they cycle lanes on existing roads or trails) absolutely must be maintained and cleared of snow and ice etc otherwise they may become more hazardous than riding amongst the motor traffic. Is that likely to happen? Flying pigs comes to mind.

axel_knutt
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby axel_knutt » 2 Oct 2020, 12:40pm

I've been saying this for years, cycle paths just create more conflict by giving tribes their own territory to defend.

They're another safety fanatic's religion like seatbelts and helmets. They fuel the attitude that cyclists have no right to use the road, they're less safe, and they're a PITA to use. They way to address the problem is to make cars the least practical and most expensive option, then leave people to find their own alternatives, be they walk, bike, bus or train. Once you price/ration cars off the road and raise lots of revenue in the process, the timid cyclists who opt for imagined safety over real safety have quieter roads to ride on, and cycle paths just become a redundant waste of public funds.

The day is coming when cycle paths will become compulsory, then once there's a captive market cyclists will have no choice but to ride in any daft corner they get banished to, and will have succeeded in making themselves the refugees instead of the motorists.
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martinn
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby martinn » 2 Oct 2020, 3:12pm

Like a lot of things pop up cycle lanes can be both good and bad.
There have been quite a few in Bristol, some of which I use and some of which I dont. But this should be down to the choice/ experience of the road user.
One of which now has a sign which compels you to use the new lane. At least I think this is a compulsion sign, its a red Square with white writing.
The problem I have with the lanes is a feeling of being penned in, and I have had a few pedestrians step out into them without looking. Now I've always managed to spot them doing so, and taken the appropriate action.
The "compulsory" lane, I have had a couple of near misses, as when it ends, the motor vehicles simply move across to the left hand lane. (The bit by Browns for those that know Bristol).
However I have seen a lot more people riding in the lanes, so on the whole I think they are a positive step in the right direction, apart form the Compulsion sign, and having 4 children all who ride I would like to see more of them

Martin N

tatanab
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Re: please close the pop up cycle lanes

Postby tatanab » 2 Oct 2020, 3:31pm

martinn wrote:One of which now has a sign which compels you to use the new lane. At least I think this is a compulsion sign, its a red Square with white writing.
it is another variety of warning/information sign. No compulsion. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... -signs.pdf