kwackers wrote:There's just too much traffic for any non-cyclist to consider the roads to be safe.
Stange, since the roads have never been safer.
This perception only started to take hold once they started to build cycle paths - and indeed those seeking funds to build the paths agressively marketed them on the grounds of safety and in the process hyped up peoples fear of the roads. just like those who would have us wear helmets.
Of course the purpose of cycle paths in the minds of those who build them is and always has been to prevent us from impeding the flow of "proper" traffic.
To get people cycling you simply have to have cycle paths and address other perceived safety issues.
When safety argument becomes untennable, since the paths are much less safe than the roads they are trying to force us off, they then move on the the "perceived" safety argument.
Though it is rather bizarre to tackle even percieved danger by implementing things that increase the hazards.
Traffic calming etc would probably also be seen to be effective.
But they won't do that while they can get away with painting a white line on the pavement.
Making it properly illegal to park (or drive) in a cycle lane would also help.
Or better still removing the cycle lanes altogether and recognise us as legitimate road users.
Once they're cycling then all but the most timid will *probably* move over onto the roads.
If there was a case of someone who didn't cycle on the road because they thought it was too dangerous they are hardly going to be encouraged by an enviornment that is less safe still.
It's important imo that we realise we need both paths to encourage people to start and safe roads for our (obvious) safety.
It is important that we get away from the myth that cycle paths encourage cycling. there are plenty of places that have gone down this route. They are the new towns which were built in the 70s when the segregation dogma reached its height. Milton Keynes, Runcorn, Skelmersdale, much of Warrington and the like. In all these places cycling is less popular than the nearby towns.
Hardly surprising really. If you make cycling slower, less safe, less convenient and less comfortable you will put people off.