Cycle paths unsafe?

Vorpal
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby Vorpal » 8 Sep 2010, 9:49am

If you really want to see an improvement in infrastructure conditions for cyclists, two things are required: a change in the way improvements are measured, and a change in the design guides used by infrastructure planners and engineers.

Numerous business models show us that people behave the way they are measured. Currently, authorities receive funding and meet targets for crap facilities, so they will continue providing crap facilties. Until there are minimum standards established which must be exceeded in order to obtain funding/meet targets, nothing will change.

Right now, the DfT cycle infrastructure design guide* has a heirarchy of considerations. They are listed below in order of consideration, first to last (i.e. traffic volume reduction is the first to consider; conversion of footways the last).

Traffic volume reduction
Traffic speed reduction
Junction treatment, hazard site treatment, traffic management
Reallocation of carriageway space
Cycle tracks away from roads
Conversion of footways/footpaths to shared use

The other infrastructure design guides & checklists direct project managers to do cycle audits & reviews which are intended--at the design stage--to highlight certain situations that may make things worse for cyclists.

If, instead, the various design guides took a comprehensive risk assessment approach to design, we would avoid implementing facilities that increase the risk for cyclists (or other road users).

As for getting more people cycling; people do what's convenient. More people cycle where cycling is comparable in convenience to other modes of transport. This is typically a combination of conjestion, cycling facilities, availability of parking, etc.

That's my 2 penn'orth.

*Cycle Infrastructure Design, Local Transport Note 2/08; Department for Transport, Scottish Executive, Welsh Assembly Government; © Queen’s Printer and Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 2008; available from http://www.tsoshop.co.uk
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

thirdcrank
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Sep 2010, 10:27am

Vorpal

I'm sure you are right, although I think the present culture is so deeply entrnched among highwaymen that more drastic steps are needed. I've said for years that the only way to get change would be to ensure that the decisionmakers - the big misters - understood that the size of their next Christmas turkey depended on a massive increase in the numbers of cyclists, but I think it's more fundamental even than that. Something on the lines of the Cultural Revolution - clear out the lot and start again.

TheJollyJimLad
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby TheJollyJimLad » 8 Sep 2010, 10:59am

By the time local cycle campaign groups are consulted on a proposed scheme, the design has usually been signed off and the works already programmed. But the Council can at last claim that they have 'consulted' cyclists.

It is interesting that Cycle Infrastructure Design gives Conversion of footways/footpaths to shared use for pedestrians and cyclists as a last resort. I guarantee that West Sussex County Council never even fleetingly considered reallocation of carriageway space, despite the roads being wide enough for these gems:

http://lofidelitybicycleclub.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/crap-cycle-lane-i/
http://lofidelitybicycleclub.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/crap-cycle-lane-ii/
http://lofidelitybicycleclub.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/crap-cycle-lane-iii/

Sorry. I get so angry about this! Provide decent segregated routes built to a Dutch style and people will use it and will negate the need for any high-viz/helmet/speed camera/mobile using when driving debate. There certainly does need to be a Cultural Revolution.

Vorpal
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby Vorpal » 8 Sep 2010, 1:51pm

The design guide is just a guide. And local interpretation around here, seems to be...

Traffic volume reduction ; not a chance
Traffic speed reduction ; er, they mean increase, right?
Junction treatment, hazard site treatment, traffic management ; what, lights and things? to stop the cars? are they serious?
Reallocation of carriageway space ; and take up valuable space?
Cycle tracks away from roads ; too expensive, but we can make developers install some in new housing estates
Conversion of footways/footpaths to shared use; Good one. that only costs us a bit of paint and some blue signs
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

wildnorthlands
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby wildnorthlands » 8 Sep 2010, 2:06pm

james01 wrote:[quote="TheJollyJimLad]

. We need to Copenhagenize and NOT Sustranise!

.[/quote]



Interestingly the UK National Cycle Network was modelled on the Danish Cycle Network. The signage, tendency to bring you into towns on nice quiet routes through parks, veer off to look at interesting places nearby etc, is the same (but the Danish don't seem to have many disused railway lines.) The difference, the Danes don't compromise on design quality. Having said that, it's of course easy to find examples of poor design on the UK NCN, but there is 12,000 miles of it, two-thirds on-road, and there are lots of examples of good design as well.

TheJollyJimLad
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby TheJollyJimLad » 8 Sep 2010, 2:28pm

You're right WNL.

However that difference in design standards is the difference between a modal shift to cycling and laughing stock. It's a lot easier to find bad examples of cycling infrastructure in this country than good ones (as Warrington Cycle Campaign's 'Facility of the Month' will testify).

thirdcrank
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Sep 2010, 2:54pm

Vorpal wrote:The design guide is just a guide. And local interpretation around here, seems to be...Conversion of footways/footpaths to shared use; Good one. that only costs us a bit of paint and some blue signs


IMO An excellent summary, and if you had said some blue signs saying "CYCLISTS DISMOUNT" it would have been 10/10

TheJollyJimLad
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby TheJollyJimLad » 8 Sep 2010, 2:59pm

Vorpal wrote:The design guide is just a guide. And local interpretation around here, seems to be...

Traffic volume reduction ; not a chance
Traffic speed reduction ; er, they mean increase, right?
Junction treatment, hazard site treatment, traffic management ; what, lights and things? to stop the cars? are they serious?
Reallocation of carriageway space ; and take up valuable space?
Cycle tracks away from roads ; too expensive, but we can make developers install some in new housing estates
Conversion of footways/footpaths to shared use; Good one. that only costs us a bit of paint and some blue signs


:D

The first four can certainly be classified as 'War On The Motorist'

thirdcrank
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Sep 2010, 3:32pm

wildnorthlands wrote:... of course easy to find examples of poor design on the UK NCN, but there is 12,000 miles of it, two-thirds on-road, and there are lots of examples of good design as well.


Perhaps we need something like the Warrington Cycle Campaign website but in reverse which would illustrate these wonders. A couple of ground rules: illustrations only to include things which have been specifically done on the NCN which improve things for utility cyclists to get from A to B i.e. contributing towards a change of travel mode. Things which enable roof rack cyclists to get from Y to Z don't count. Signs pointing down perfectly good roads which have been altered in no other way don't count either.

I'll offer one but I have no photo: conversion of the railway bridge over the River Ouse at Naburn near York makes things a million times better for cyclists wanting to reach Bishopthorpe. No streetview of the actual bike path so here's the pleasant approach from Naburn. The cycle route goes over that railway bridge.

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&sourc ... 41.55,,0,5

Fasgadh
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby Fasgadh » 8 Sep 2010, 8:40pm

"blue signs saying "CYCLISTS DISMOUNT""

Don't knock them, how else would we know we were on a cyclepath?

(They absolutely infuriate me).

Steady rider
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby Steady rider » 8 Sep 2010, 8:54pm

Yes they are a national disgrace.

Motion for CTC AGM 2011 that such signs are unsuitable and should be withdrawn. Request DfT to dispense with sign and make more appropaite arrangements.

TheJollyJimLad
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby TheJollyJimLad » 9 Sep 2010, 9:04am

thirdcrank wrote:
wildnorthlands wrote:... of course easy to find examples of poor design on the UK NCN, but there is 12,000 miles of it, two-thirds on-road, and there are lots of examples of good design as well.


Perhaps we need something like the Warrington Cycle Campaign website but in reverse which would illustrate these wonders. A couple of ground rules: illustrations only to include things which have been specifically done on the NCN which improve things for utility cyclists to get from A to B i.e. contributing towards a change of travel mode. Things which enable roof rack cyclists to get from Y to Z don't count. Signs pointing down perfectly good roads which have been altered in no other way don't count either.

I'll offer one but I have no photo: conversion of the railway bridge over the River Ouse at Naburn near York makes things a million times better for cyclists wanting to reach Bishopthorpe. No streetview of the actual bike path so here's the pleasant approach from Naburn. The cycle route goes over that railway bridge.

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&sourc ... 41.55,,0,5


Funnily enough TC, after the last time this debate cropped up, I contacted Kevin Mayne and Roger Geffen by email making the suggestion of a map showing best and worst practice in the same style of 'Fill That Hole'. That way, people could upload photos (maybe for others to comment), Local Authorities might get to see what cyclists actually think and it would work with CTC's Benchmarking scheme. It would also help RtR reps and Sustrans Rangers too, in my opinion.

As ever for a cycling project (and I'm not having a dig at CTC in any way) there are plans afoot but it's a case of as and when the funding becomes available.

George Riches
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby George Riches » 9 Sep 2010, 9:23am

TheJollyJimLad wrote:As ever for a cycling project (and I'm not having a dig at CTC in any way) there are plans afoot but it's a case of as and when the funding becomes available.

Doesn't the Cambridge Cycle Campaign have something (cyclestreets) that allows something called geotagging? I.e. linking a photo and some sort of blog/forum like commenting system to a map?

With unemployment forecast to increase, won't there be enough people with the appropriate skills and time to set something like that up on an unpaid basis?

TheJollyJimLad
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby TheJollyJimLad » 9 Sep 2010, 9:32am

I've just read the email back from Roger and he said that it's in the ideas pot, resources permitting.

I assume that includes some funding issues too but I'm sure that there certainly is the volunteer base to make it work.

thirdcrank
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Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby thirdcrank » 9 Sep 2010, 11:34am

I didn't mean to suggest anything labour or resource intensive. If it's a case that excellent design features for cyclists are as abundant as the rubbish we all chunter about, the only problem for somebody editing "brilliant cycle facility of the month" would be selecting the best. LOL I'll even invent a new acronym TOL = tears of laughter.