kwackers wrote:People who are anti-cycle path (and with good reason I might add) have valid points, but they don't address the problem.
Everyone I mention cycling to, or who is 'interested' but won't do it, always give the same reasons.
The roads are too dangerous.
That is only because they feel the need to justify themeselves.
I often get into discussions at work - usually when people start moaning about congestion or petrol prices and point out that they are only bringing it upon themselves. When I suggest they consider cycling they will usually say the roads are too dangerous "if ony there was a cycle path..." - so I bring in the cycle map and show them traffic free routes virtually to their doorsteps - then their reasons for not cycling mysteriously change.
When pressed they always come back to the same issue - volume of traffic/speed.
So reduce the speed limits and actually make the roads safer.
Getting rid of cycle paths may make the roads safer for cyclists but it doesn't decrease the perceived danger to potential recruits. Having cycle paths does.
On the contrary, it is the existence of cyclepaths that fuels the perception that the roads are dangerous - and gives the council the excuse to ignore the needs of cyclists riding on the road.
Looking back through my local rags (Warrington), all the reported cycle deaths I can find happened on roads - not cycle paths or junctions with. These are the reports that potential recruits are reading.
There was a chap last year who rode off a cycle path into a ditch near Westbrook and died of a head injury - a few years ago there was one in Birchwood.
Have you not noticed how few cycles you see in the new town areas, which have comprehensive path networks, compared to the traditionally planned areas. A few years ago, for one of the LTP progress reports, the council surveyed the travel modes of people in the main shopping districts. I cannot remember the exact figures but there was an order of magnitude greater proportion of cyclists at Stockton Heath and the Town Centre than at Westbrook or Birchwood. They also regularly counted traffic on the radial routes into the town centre. The lowest proportion of cyclists was always found on Sankey Way.
Warrington provides strong evidence that cycle paths do nothing to encourage cycling - whatever people claim is their reason for not doing so.
Doesn't matter what the reality is, cycling needs to be seen to be safe in order to get people doing it.
Quite, and building paths gives the impression that the roads are dangerous - just in the same way that promoting helmets does.