Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Claud
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Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby Claud » 30 Jan 2010, 6:25pm

There's an ongoing problem in our road - where there are cars parked on both sides then oncoming cars and vans force cyclists too close into the parked cars rather than being bothered to hang back until the cyclist has passed (sound familiar?). Although it's a residential road, it gets used a lot as rat-run, especially during rush hour.

I'm wondering if marking a dashed white line all the way down the middle of the road might encourage drivers to be more considerate or slower, as it'd at least be clear they're partly on the wrong side of the road. Has anyone seen this added into a residential street? Might it work? Or any other ideas for layout changes? We're in discussion with the local councillor at the moment, so there's a chance to change things.

Thanks!

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Cunobelin
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby Cunobelin » 30 Jan 2010, 6:49pm

One way?

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby hubgearfreak » 30 Jan 2010, 8:09pm

Claud wrote:I'm wondering if marking a dashed white line all the way down the middle of the road might encourage drivers to be more considerate or slower


presumably, it's not all the motorists who drive at you and expect you to get out of their way? just a fraction of them - nothing will modify their behaviour i'm afraid :(

my 5 year olds scool is on such roads, and when i go down them, it's at 9 or 3 so i look forward to any ideas to solve the problem, but given that the zigzags outside the school mean nothing more than parking for the late/important/arrogant, i can't see what a dashed white line would do?

Speshact
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby Speshact » 30 Jan 2010, 8:48pm

A few thoughts.

It sounds as though the road is not wide enough for two lanes of parked cars and two lanes of traffic to safely pass each other, meaning that as the vehicles approach each other they have to slow down and one decide to pull over where there's a parking space free?

So, pending changes to infrastructure:
Assuming a cyclist is cycling "the width of a door and a little bit more" away from parked cars then presumably there isn't room for an oncoming car to pass safely at all, or without going very slowly. If they are misjudging that and trying to then I would suggest you adopt an even more assertive position - ie nearer to the middle of the road - so they can clearly see there isn't room to pass. Each side will then have to slow down as they approach each other, move over a bit and get past each other at a safe speed.
Can the local Safer Neighbourhoods Team have speeding/inconsiderate driving as a ward priority for them to address for a while? A few Community Officers pointing radars at drivers with advisory chats and/or tickets might make a difference. Should be easy for a concerned Councillor to force through.

Potential infrastructure changes:
A risk of installing centre white lines may be drivers going faster than they do now, if there are places/times when there are not cars parked, since it is clearer where the middle of the road is and whose side (territory) is whose.
If there's a sensible main route, regardless of whether it is suffering from congestion, then measures to stop the rat-run being used by drivers are sensible. For example, especially if rat-running is only in one direction - ie am rush-hour but not return rush-hour, making one way with an exemption for cycles may be an option.
Making it a 20mph speed limit would help as those drivers who obey it force others behind them to.
Sinusoidal humps are relatively cycle friendly and a much better option than speed cushions.
Why is there the need for so much parking? Are car-clubs being promoted actively enough? Are there club cars near you? Should the area become a controlled parking zone (CPZ)?

psmiffy
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby psmiffy » 31 Jan 2010, 12:16pm

Narrow pinch point/pedestrian crossing with cycle bypasses and one way priority?

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby hubgearfreak » 31 Jan 2010, 2:07pm

psmiffy wrote:Narrow pinch point/pedestrian crossing with cycle bypasses and one way priority?


the bypass will have cars parked blocking the entrance and exit of a path full of dogdirt and glass. and the one way priority business, where it says to the (problem fraction of) motorists give way to oncoming vehicles, they read as give way to oncoming motor vehicles anyhow

the only thing that'll work imho is assumed liability in favour of VRU. and it'll work nationally, not just specific roads..and without the environmental costs involved in concrete and tarmac and signs

but that's just my opinion :?

drossall
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby drossall » 31 Jan 2010, 6:44pm

What speshact said - move to the middle and force them over. It's safer than being run into a parked car. Behave like a car - if there's a gap your side, use it to allow the oncoming car past. If it's their side, move out and force them into it. Most drivers get the idea pretty quickly that you aren't going to be bullied.

reohn2
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby reohn2 » 1 Feb 2010, 9:40am

I doubt any change in infrastructure or priority will take place any time soon,so it has to be the assertive approach, ie straight down the middle,when the chicken run begins(which will only happen with oncoming belligerent drivers as most will understand you're a human being)if the driver shows no sign of slowing,get off the bike and just stand there until he/she does.I do admit that this is a pro active approach and takes a bit of nerve but they do stop.Don't get into any exchange of words,try to remain passive.
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby hubgearfreak » 1 Feb 2010, 9:44am

reohn2 wrote:Don't get into any exchange of words,try to remain passive.


and if you do both end up stopped, remind them that whilst their vehicle is equipped with a reverse gear, yours isn't :twisted:

stoobs
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby stoobs » 1 Feb 2010, 10:41am

reohn2 wrote:I doubt any change in infrastructure or priority will take place any time soon,so it has to be the assertive approach, ie straight down the middle,when the chicken run begins(which will only happen with oncoming belligerent drivers as most will understand you're a human being)if the driver shows no sign of slowing,get off the bike and just stand there until he/she does.I do admit that this is a pro active approach and takes a bit of nerve but they do stop.Don't get into any exchange of words,try to remain passive.


+1

Claud
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby Claud » 1 Feb 2010, 10:59am

Thanks for the feedback so far.

A bit more detail needed then .........

Yeh, I know what you mean about "adopting an even more assertive position" - and that's exactly what I do. My worry is for less experienced cyclists, like my kids when they go to secondary school in a couple of years time (maybe to start with they can use the narrow pavement, but that can't and won't last). I'd say 20% of motorists wait until I'm past, 60% carry on but slow down, and 20% aggressively carry on at the same speed. Gets a bit wearing when it happens everyday - and several times a day along my whole route.

- It's already a 20mph zone - but generally ignored.
- Speed cushions were recently put in, but are worse than useless, and my guess is that alternative humps would only help if they're severe enough to stop most drivers using the road at all.
- There's no obvious preferred direction for the rat-runners.
- It's already a controlled parking zone, and it wouldn't work to reduce the no. of spaces (fine by me, but will need support from neighbours!).

I'm sceptical that "pointing radars at drivers with advisory chats" would make a difference - they do that occasionally with parking on zig zags at the school round the corner, but when the officers are gone the next day nothing's changed :cry:

I doubt central white lines would increase speeds cos there are enough parked cars at all times down the whole road (on either both or one side). And it's not a long road (400m with two 45deg bends).

Any more ideas?

Thanks a lot!

ChrisPeck
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby ChrisPeck » 1 Feb 2010, 12:17pm

Ask for a stopping up order with cycle access permitted.

Quite an ask but this is really the way to get quiet streets and provide priority for cyclists. It's called 'filtered permeability'.

Several London boroughs have done some work on this, closing off rat runs to car but preserving cycle access. It really is the best approach possible - the very top of the Hierarchy of Provision.

In Hackney the council has been reintroducing cycle access into streets previously stopped up.

skrx
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby skrx » 1 Feb 2010, 5:56pm

I cycle along these roads for a good proportion of my route.

One has cars on both sides. This is intentional (I found the council documents planning it), as it slows down the traffic (20mph limit) and reduces the appeal of the route as a rat-run. If there's a car coming towards me I pull to the side and can go past safely, if there's a bus coming I usually give way (buses are too wide to squeeze past). I think all the bus drivers recognise me now, they usually wave back :-).

Another road has cars on one side, and a brick wall on the other side. I pull in if there's a space, or continue if the oncoming driver has a space. Sometimes the oncoming driver doesn't pull in, in which case I squeeze past slowly. They'll learn.

I've found van drivers are the most courteous. Perhaps they don't care about being delayed, but I think it's more likely they wish people would give way to them more often. Or maybe it's because my cheap hat + jacket makes me look like a builder! (Apparently...)

Alan D
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby Alan D » 3 Feb 2010, 4:59pm

I have a similar problem on my estate. Leaving in the morning I have the priority on a chicane style 'calming measure' that blocks off the other side of the road. There's even big notices on each side. But somehow some motorists do not think this priority applies to cyclists. I would favour the stop in the middle and put both feet down approach and am still working up the courage to do this. If they see that the cyclist is stationary, will a motorist really knowingly run them down?

Alan

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: Residential Rat-Run - White Lines or .....

Postby EdinburghFixed » 3 Feb 2010, 6:49pm

Virtually nobody will intentionally ram you - the possibility is so small as to be discounted. So really it comes down to whether you are up for the aggro of stopping in the way.

When you have priority, I would be approaching at a very assertive distance from the side and then, if a car proceeds against you, simply do a quick stop and dismount your right foot (so that you're even more of an obstacle). Either they will stop, in which case you can proceed, or they won't, in which case I would try to fold in their wing mirror. Anyone who actually tries to communicate with you, you can point out they were supposed to give way.

These days I have some nasty recumbent tricks but I'm assuming they won't apply here...