Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

661-Pete-oldversion
Posts: 267
Joined: 2 Nov 2008, 2:59pm
Location: between potholes

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby 661-Pete-oldversion » 10 Jun 2009, 9:04am

stoobs wrote:There is a huge (long) slip lane here, presumably to take the infrequent crowds at Hickstead.
Actually this is not quite true: not the whole picture; that particular exit serves quite a large population area including Burgess Hill and several surrounding towns and villages. No-one disputes that if you construct a motorway or motorway-style road, you need to provide means of getting on and off it at convenient places!

stoobs
Posts: 1307
Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 4:45am

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby stoobs » 10 Jun 2009, 9:24am

My point is that this seems to be about the only slip that is so long on the A23. Hickstead aside, I've never seen it backed up on my frequent travels past, which is presumably the point of such a long slip.

belgiangoth
Posts: 1262
Joined: 29 Mar 2007, 4:10pm

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby belgiangoth » 10 Jun 2009, 12:25pm

anothereye wrote:At the inquest the coroner recommended that proper sign posting, to direct cyclists to a quieter road, should be installed as a matter of urgency.

i.e. she should never have been there in the first place. Two motorists drive dangerously and the victim is blamed for being there in the first place.
If I had a baby elephant I would let it sleep in the garage in place of the car. If I had either a garage or a car. (I miss sigs about baby elephants)

fatboy
Posts: 3346
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 1:32pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby fatboy » 10 Jun 2009, 12:36pm

thirdcrank wrote: 'Although there is no place for cycling on the primary road network.....'


Yes and they built and still build roads to this model. Sections of road a dual carriaged which sever previously cyclable side roads and require often huge detours to avoid. And there is no sign that it's going to stop, near me they've opened the Baldock bypass (A505) which specifically excludes cylcles, now don't get me wrong dual carriageways are not my idea of fun but still to exclude on an A road is wrong IMHO.

It makes me mad!
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

FatBat
Posts: 224
Joined: 20 Feb 2007, 1:06pm

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby FatBat » 10 Jun 2009, 1:54pm

Cyclecraft's recommended method for negotiating off-slips is to stay in the left-hand lane for as long as possible, even if the left-hand lane is signed for traffic leaving the dual-carriageway. Then, when you reach the "nose" of the junction, cross the slip road (giving way to traffic on the slip road) at right angles, then continue on the mainline.

There was a similar tragedy on the A64 near York about 10-15 years ago, when well-known racing cyclist Peter Longbottom was killed. After this, the Highway Agency installed various crazy schemes at all on- and off-slips on the section around York (see http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library2/cbd/cbd-18.asp for sample drawings).

User avatar
anothereye
Posts: 750
Joined: 8 Mar 2009, 4:56pm
Location: Haringey, North London

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby anothereye » 11 Jun 2009, 8:22pm

FatBat wrote:There was a similar tragedy on the A64 near York about 10-15 years ago, when well-known racing cyclist Peter Longbottom was killed. After this, the Highway Agency installed various crazy schemes at all on- and off-slips on the section around York (see http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library2/cbd/cbd-18.asp for sample drawings).
Anything except motor vehicles reducing speed: they are the Gods of today.

Gerry
_______________________________________________________________
http://www.roadusers.net/
reducing danger for all road users

User avatar
anothereye
Posts: 750
Joined: 8 Mar 2009, 4:56pm
Location: Haringey, North London

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby anothereye » 11 Jun 2009, 8:23pm

Update:Tribute to dead cyclist on A23 removed by Highways Agency:
http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/4431244.Tribute_to_dead_cyclist_on_A23_removed_by_council_bosses/
The Argus.co.uk - Brighton,UK

Gerry
_______________________________________________________________
http://www.roadusers.net/
reducing danger for all road users

User avatar
EdinburghFixed
Posts: 2375
Joined: 24 Jul 2008, 7:03pm

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby EdinburghFixed » 11 Jun 2009, 9:03pm

What I don't quite understand is why there is so much focus on telling people about alternative routes. This makes the faulty assumption that main roads are not suitable for cycling, or that people don't want to ride on them. In short, all this noise will do nothing to protect cyclists who, for whatever reason, *are* riding on dual carriageways in future.

Plenty of journeys of any distance in the UK require riding on main roads, or inordinate detours. I rode quite a bit of dual carriageway on my recent LEJOG attempt and found it perfectly satisfactory, with the exception of the slip roads that did require care I got much *more* passing space from drivers than I got on the A roads, and hit at 70mph you are just as dead as if you are hit at 60!

While slip roads do require prudent manoeuvring on the behalf of cyclists, if motorists are failing to drive safely then that is a problem which needs to be addressed, perhaps by prosecuting people who ram into others in broad daylight? It galls me to think that if I was mown down while going to work, the police, CPS, and coroner would all be of the opinion that I should have benefited from some signage, and let the idiot who killed me off with a pat on the back and condolences that they were the unlucky one to hit the misguided cyclist...

Still, I suppose it's good to know that if I myself want to 'off' someone, I can just run them over on their bike and leave them for dead - after all, just *carrying* a pointed object in your pocket carries a mandatory jail term.

661-Pete-oldversion
Posts: 267
Joined: 2 Nov 2008, 2:59pm
Location: between potholes

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby 661-Pete-oldversion » 11 Jun 2009, 11:40pm

anothereye wrote:Update:Tribute to dead cyclist on A23 removed by Highways Agency:
http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/4431244.Tribute_to_dead_cyclist_on_A23_removed_by_council_bosses/
The Argus.co.uk - Brighton,UK

Gerry
That's disgusting. Just because it's an embarrassment - a bicycle in a setting where the HA would prefer it if bicycles and cyclists didn't exist....

There was a floral tribute attached to a tree, in a country lane near me: for well over a year it was there undisturbed by the powers-that-be, now and then fresh flowers would be placed there so evidently there was someone who cared. I cycled past it many a time. But there was a difference. This was a victim of a car accident, a passenger in the car, and people who ride - and get killed - in cars, are ordinary guys like us aren't they, not some cycling weirdos we would prefer to have on another planet. And the driver who killed that young lad - there is no other way of putting it - was just out for a drive like all decent folks wasn't he!? No matter that he drove like a homicidal maniac before wrapping his car round that tree. No matter that his passengers were screaming at him to be let out moments before the crash (according to evidence given at the trial), after all he was a good driver wasn't he, why should he? No matter that he got off scot-free at the trial, on a technicality. After all he was a motorist, so that's ok then...

Sorry about the rant. Some things just get to me...

Oh and I love this comment someone added to that news story in the Argus:
So, do you think the Cenotaph should be knocked down? After all, it's a memorial and it's right in the middle of a road...

workhard

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby workhard » 12 Jun 2009, 10:52am

EdinburghFixed wrote:What I don't quite understand is why there is so much focus on telling people about alternative routes.


When this tragic accident happened last year my first reaction was "OMG astonishing were they thinking of cycling there?" I'm a local, the A23 is my local trunk road and I spend a lot of time driving on the Crawley- Brighton stretches of it in a car. That junction can be tricky to deal with in a car and accidents there are not unknown as the slip lane is not a familiar configuration for many road users and this seems to cause people to do all manner of stupid things. micturate poor design in my view.

Once, by mistake, I ended up on a bike on a stretch of the A23 southbound carriageway just north of where the accident occurred and it honestly was the most terrifying 20 minutes of my cycling career to date. Vehicles routinely cruise at 85 mph on that section; and knowing I had a legal right to be there felt like pretty crap protection from the cars. I got lucky and was able to get off the A23 at the junction where the accident happened and carried on my way via the cyclepath that runs along side.

Marie Vesco's death was tragic, the way the local press reported it was a disgrace, the failure to prosecute those who killed her a shambles, and the removal of the ghost bike placed there in her memory to act as a warning to others is an insult to the memory of EVERY cyclist killed on our roads.

stoobs
Posts: 1307
Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 4:45am

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby stoobs » 12 Jun 2009, 12:14pm

I'm with you, workhard.

Picking up on previous posts, I drove past yesterday, looking for the bike. To no avail as I now understand. The Highways Agency is quite a piece of work, removing "dangerous" roadside distractions, while putting up their own, because "nanny knows best". Signs such as "xx deaths here over the past yy years"

My favourite yesterday was a large sign on the M23, I think, saying "Drug driving kills". What a waste of an expensive sign, and complete scope creep.

Perhaps they could also put up useful snippets such as "Don't catch your winkie in your zip when you're taken a whizz - It hurts and you might have to go to hospital with it hanging out"

or other useful advice such as "Plant your corn early"

The M1 yesterday was closed for hours because of a man who climbed onto an overhead gantry. I always find these signs give no useful information. If the gantry weren't there, or properly designed, he couldn't have got there.

But no, HA knows best. Roadside flowers and memorials kill, unlike the proliferation of road furniture provided by them, or the advertising all around.

I ask you :roll: :roll: :roll:

Oh yes, and nothing distracting like a landing craft on the Holmbush roundabout in Shoreham!

If you want to know where budget cuts might come from on these squeezed times, 10% could easily come off the HA, and you wouldn't even notice. Not in a negative way, anyway.

User avatar
anothereye
Posts: 750
Joined: 8 Mar 2009, 4:56pm
Location: Haringey, North London

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby anothereye » 12 Jun 2009, 1:08pm

stoobs wrote:I drove past yesterday, looking for the bike. To no avail as I now understand.
Hey stoobs; where the pictures still on the posts and were there any flowers there? Last week I transplanted an Orange poppy from my garden (used to be Maries' garden as well), I hope it will come into flower and spread itself over time.
Do you drive that way often? If you do I would appreciate if you could keep us posted.

thanks

Gerry
_______________________________________________________________
http://www.roadusers.net/
reducing danger for all road users

workhard

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby workhard » 12 Jun 2009, 1:24pm

anothereye wrote:
stoobs wrote:I drove past yesterday, looking for the bike. To no avail as I now understand.
Hey stoobs; where the pictures still on the posts and were there any flowers there? Last week I transplanted an Orange poppy from my garden (used to be Maries' garden as well), I hope it will come into flower and spread itself over time.
Do you drive that way often? If you do I would appreciate if you could keep us posted.

thanks

Gerry


I'm on that stretch in a car most weeks in winter en route to reffing some rugby match or other. will keep an eye out too.

User avatar
EdinburghFixed
Posts: 2375
Joined: 24 Jul 2008, 7:03pm

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby EdinburghFixed » 12 Jun 2009, 1:28pm

workhard wrote:
EdinburghFixed wrote:What I don't quite understand is why there is so much focus on telling people about alternative routes.


Once, by mistake, I ended up on a bike on a stretch of the A23 southbound carriageway just north of where the accident occurred and it honestly was the most terrifying 20 minutes of my cycling career to date. Vehicles routinely cruise at 85 mph on that section; and knowing I had a legal right to be there felt like pretty crap protection from the cars. I got lucky and was able to get off the A23 at the junction where the accident happened and carried on my way via the cyclepath that runs along side.


Okay, so it felt scary, but what do you think is protecting you from a 70mph rear impact on a "normal" road, which is absent in an 85mph impact on a dual carriageway? On the face of it, the outcome will be the same either way - but on a "normal" road you have blind summits, corners, oncoming traffic, all sorts of distractions that might contribute to the likelihood of a crash in the first place.

We cycle a four-lane road as part of our commute, it's a 40mph limit with common vehicle speeds of 50mph and above (there's no central reservation but otherwise it's just like a bona fide dual carriageway). Initially I hated it but over the last year, I can look back on no issues or "near death experiences" whereas there have been no shortage of problems on the 30mph "normal" roads at either end. It seems much easier for drivers to manoeuvre appropriately around cyclists when there are no sudden surprises or distractions.

Of course, suddenly realising you need to change lanes onto a slip road over the same ground that a cyclist is occupying, that is both surprising and distracting and does have tragic consequences. Maybe if motorists were prosecuted for causing death in these circumstances they would take greater care? Who knows.

661-Pete-oldversion
Posts: 267
Joined: 2 Nov 2008, 2:59pm
Location: between potholes

Re: Ghost bike for Marie Vesco

Postby 661-Pete-oldversion » 12 Jun 2009, 6:13pm

EdinburghFixed wrote:Okay, so it felt scary, but what do you think is protecting you from a 70mph rear impact on a "normal" road, which is absent in an 85mph impact on a dual carriageway?
The point. Cycling on a dual carriageway itself, between junctions, presents no more hazard than a fast single carriageway. If you're struck from behind by a vehicle going at 60mph, you're dead. If you're struck behind by a vehicle going at 80mph, you're dead. No difference. And I know plenty of single carriageway roads where cars routinely (albeit illegally) do 80mph plus. So where's the safety for cyclists in that?

In fact D/Cs can be safer, in that it is more likely that a following motorist can overtake you safely, seeing as there's more room. On a S/C there's always the risk of a motorist seeing a cyclist and an oncoming vehicle, thinking he can squeeze past regardless (after all "a cyclist doesn't take up any room"). We all know the consequences.

It's at junctions that special care is needed. If the cyclist is staying on the D/C and a car is leaving by a left-hand slip road, then it goes without saying that the car must not endanger the cyclist. That means: no overtaking and then cutting across. No undertaking and clipping from behind (one of these must have happened in poor Marie's case: I do not know which). You slow down and make the turn (onto the slip road or whatever) when you can do so safely, showing consideration for any other road user in the vicinity. That's all. These simple rules ought to be drummed into every driver when they're still at the L-plate stage. Repeat after me. "Do-not-overtake-a-cyclist-and-turn-left". "Do-not-undertake-a-cyclist-too-close-and-turn-left". Simple.

But of course the cyclist can take measures to improve his or her safety, as has been outlined above.

We cycle a four-lane road as part of our commute, it's a 40mph limit with common vehicle speeds of 50mph and above (there's no central reservation but otherwise it's just like a bona fide dual carriageway).
In fact some sections of the A23 used to be like that, before it was upgraded (though it had a 60mph limit). I often used to cycle along it when it was like that. I didn't feel particularly threatened, though it was a far from pleasant ride.