Cycle paths unsafe?

George Riches
Posts: 782
Joined: 23 May 2007, 9:01am
Location: Coventry
Contact:

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby George Riches » 29 Oct 2010, 9:35am

tali42 wrote:When we see a major congested 4-lane urban A road transform into a cycling haven through 20mph limits I will take notice.

If it is congested, won't average speeds be far less than 20 mph? Peak would be higher, but a lot of the time the traffic would be stopped.

If the road is urban, where would a cycle path go? On the pavement? What about the junctions and the entrances to properties?

Reference has been made to Earl Shilton earlier. Looking at the google map, this is clearly a case where a by-pass has been recently built around a town. Was is so impractical about reducing the speed limit on the old road through the middle to 20 mph and expecting cyclists to be integrated with the rest of the traffic? The fast traffic will use the by-pass, where I see no objection to having a cyclepath along its side.

ozzage
Posts: 44
Joined: 29 Sep 2010, 11:31pm

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby ozzage » 29 Oct 2010, 11:52pm

Pete Owens wrote:Here is an example of a lorry not encroaching the cycle lane.
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=earl+sh ... .69,,1,7.2
I would not be happy with that little space.
As far as the driver of that truck is concerned then he is in his space and any cyclist in the cycle lane is in their space - just like the truck in my report.
Without a cycle lane they would realise that there was not sufficient space and wait for a gap in oncoming traffic - just like the other truck in my report.


An entire discussion that with segregated facilities wouldn't even have to occur. And yet people still fail to see the problem.

ozzage
Posts: 44
Joined: 29 Sep 2010, 11:31pm

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby ozzage » 29 Oct 2010, 11:55pm

George Riches wrote:If the road is urban, where would a cycle path go? On the pavement? What about the junctions and the entrances to properties?


Have you ever cycled in a Dutch town? I mean that as a genuine question. It's not like these issues haven't been faced before. There are no barriers to proper facilities in UK cities which didn't also exist in cities in other countries where they have managed to introduce decent facilities despite the difficulties.

Pete Owens
Posts: 1903
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby Pete Owens » 30 Oct 2010, 12:05am

ozzage wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:Here is an example of a lorry not encroaching the cycle lane.
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=earl+sh ... .69,,1,7.2
I would not be happy with that little space.
As far as the driver of that truck is concerned then he is in his space and any cyclist in the cycle lane is in their space - just like the truck in my report.
Without a cycle lane they would realise that there was not sufficient space and wait for a gap in oncoming traffic - just like the other truck in my report.


An entire discussion that with segregated facilities wouldn't even have to occur. And yet people still fail to see the problem.


This is a problem caused entirely by a segregated facility.

And however much I illustrate these issues the advocates of segregation still insist that they are a good thing - arguing that real safety is of no concern and that what matters is "percieved" safety.

Pete Owens
Posts: 1903
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby Pete Owens » 30 Oct 2010, 12:43am

tali42 wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:Here we even provide segregated paths alongside residential culs-de-sac while the Dutch would design as a home zone - It is the Dutch that pioneered shared space - with concepts that would be difficult to get past a UK safety audit.

You keep on saying that! Where? How many UK residential cul-de-sacs have a footpath with a bicycle sign on it?

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&q=w ... 20.45,,1,5

It is mandated in the local design guide - pretty much any new built road you see in the UK comes complete with a segregated facility.

snibgo
Posts: 4604
Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby snibgo » 30 Oct 2010, 12:54am

Classic example. The first thing it does is cross a driveway. And in a few years that hedge will grow, making it a blind corner.

Pete Owens
Posts: 1903
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby Pete Owens » 30 Oct 2010, 1:27am

George Riches wrote:Reference has been made to Earl Shilton earlier. Looking at the google map, this is clearly a case where a by-pass has been recently built around a town. Was is so impractical about reducing the speed limit on the old road through the middle to 20 mph and expecting cyclists to be integrated with the rest of the traffic? The fast traffic will use the by-pass, where I see no objection to having a cyclepath along its side.


But there is considerable reason to object to the paths running round the roundabouts at either end with dangerous crossings of the entrance and exit lanes - and also to the severance of the lanes running south from the village.

The more pertinant question to ask was how could you possibly justify spending EIGHTEEN MILLION POUNDS (30% of Cycling England's budget assuming no cost overrun) on a bypass for a road that no longer has any strategic significance. Even if it does mean another 3 miles of rural A road are provided with a segregated cycle facility. If you zoom out out you will see that Earl Shilton already has a bypass - the M69 runs parallel to the A47, and within half a mile of the new bypass - so there should be no significant through traffic in the village. Presumably the whole thing has been sitting on the local highway departments wish list from the days when the A47 was the main route from Leicester to Coventry.

So downgrading the road through Earl Shilton could be justified without the bypass - and would achieve the supposed aims of the scheme at a tiny fraction of the cost. And for another tiny fraction of the cost you could downgrade the rural section too. Say rename it the B4007 - reduce the speed limit to 40mph and remove all the white lines. Then you would still have 17.9 million pounds left to make further similar improvements throughout the county.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 18474
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby Vorpal » 30 Oct 2010, 9:25am

The way development planning is done in the UK and Netherlands is completely different. Although it generally takes longer to obtain planning approval in the Netherlands, it includes extensive community consultation, and follows strict standards. Additionally, Dutch civil engineers are *trained* in how to accomodate cyclists' needs, and are much more likely to be cyclists themselves.

The approach to development planning; flexibility of guidelines (or lack of enforcement); lack of knowledge, not only among the design engineers, but also the engineers who complete inspections and risk assessments; lack of community engagement (in most cases); and finally the prioritisation of needs are all huge barriers in getting consistently good cycling facilities of any sort in the UK.

To begin with, developers are usually responsible for the specifics of a design. The developers who design cycle paths are specialists in highways, housing estates, shopping centres, and anything *except* cycle facilities. When possible*, they follow guidelines. If you're lucky, they'll run them past the [only] County Council engineer who is trained in the design of cycle facilities, then ignore most of what s/he says.



*possible = doesn't interfere too much with cars traffic going faster, or cost too much.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

ozzage
Posts: 44
Joined: 29 Sep 2010, 11:31pm

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby ozzage » 30 Oct 2010, 11:30am

Pete Owens wrote:
ozzage wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:Here is an example of a lorry not encroaching the cycle lane.
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=earl+sh ... .69,,1,7.2
I would not be happy with that little space.
As far as the driver of that truck is concerned then he is in his space and any cyclist in the cycle lane is in their space - just like the truck in my report.
Without a cycle lane they would realise that there was not sufficient space and wait for a gap in oncoming traffic - just like the other truck in my report.


An entire discussion that with segregated facilities wouldn't even have to occur. And yet people still fail to see the problem.


This is a problem caused entirely by a segregated facility.

And however much I illustrate these issues the advocates of segregation still insist that they are a good thing - arguing that real safety is of no concern and that what matters is "percieved" safety.


There is no real segregation there nor perception of safety. I don't view a line of paint (which isn't even mandatory) which forces cyclists to ride in a space which is actually needed for the roadway as segregation. The truck can still ride on top of the cyclist if they choose to - they are NOT segregated from the cyclist. That road (or that section at least) is the most classic of classic examples of where proper infrastructure could be created, but instead they've thrown cyclists in with the traffic.

With white cycle lane line or without, if that road is your option for cycling you're never going to increase modal share. A new path is needed next to the road because the road width is needed for lorries already.

George Riches
Posts: 782
Joined: 23 May 2007, 9:01am
Location: Coventry
Contact:

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby George Riches » 30 Oct 2010, 6:08pm

ozzage wrote:Have you ever cycled in a Dutch town? I mean that as a genuine question. It's not like these issues haven't been faced before. There are no barriers to proper facilities in UK cities which didn't also exist in cities in other countries where they have managed to introduce decent facilities despite the difficulties.

In August 2008 I went on a Study Tour of Dutch cycling facilities organised by David Hembrow:

comparison.jpg


The chances of getting much in the UK to the standards considered normal in the Netherlands seem to be almost zero. Where in the UK are there cycle paths on both sides of the carriageway? Where in the UK do cyclists on a path have priority over motorists entering or leaving the main carriageway?

The Netherlands has always had more cycling than the UK. By the 1970's the difference was marked. So when the oil price shock illustrated the folly of basing urban transport entirely on the car, the Dutch regarded the bicycle as a realistic alternative. Money could be found for decent segregated facilities. In this country the most we got was tokenism - aided by those who thought that segregation, no matter how bad, was always better than integration.
Last edited by George Riches on 30 Oct 2010, 6:32pm, edited 1 time in total.

George Riches
Posts: 782
Joined: 23 May 2007, 9:01am
Location: Coventry
Contact:

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby George Riches » 30 Oct 2010, 6:31pm

Pete Owens wrote:If you zoom out out you will see that Earl Shilton already has a bypass - the M69 runs parallel to the A47, and within half a mile of the new bypass - so there should be no significant through traffic in the village. Presumably the whole thing has been sitting on the local highway departments wish list from the days when the A47 was the main route from Leicester to Coventry.

So downgrading the road through Earl Shilton could be justified without the bypass - and would achieve the supposed aims of the scheme at a tiny fraction of the cost.

Prior to the M69 the main Coventry <--> Leicester road was the A46. Now downgraded (but still with 50 mph speed limit) to the B4114 plus B4065. At the southern end of the M69, the A46 still has its old name, but is now a dual carriageway by-passing all towns and villages for 60 miles to meet the M5 just north of Cheltenham/Gloucester. A motorway by the back door.
The A47 is mostly about traffic between Nuneaton/Hinckley and Leicester. It's a fair amount, Nuneaton/Hinckley having a population of more than 100,000 and Leicester 300,000. But, as you point out the traffic could be channeled though the A5 /M69 and the train service improved from its current level of about two trains per hour in each direction during peak periods.

My point was that given that there is a by-pass, the opposition to "downgrading" (ie improving it from the viewpoint of residents and cyclists) the old road shouldn't be so great.

ozzage
Posts: 44
Joined: 29 Sep 2010, 11:31pm

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby ozzage » 30 Oct 2010, 8:39pm

George Riches wrote:
ozzage wrote:Have you ever cycled in a Dutch town? I mean that as a genuine question. It's not like these issues haven't been faced before. There are no barriers to proper facilities in UK cities which didn't also exist in cities in other countries where they have managed to introduce decent facilities despite the difficulties.

In August 2008 I went on a Study Tour of Dutch cycling facilities organised by David Hembrow


Can't argue with that answer :)

I suspect then that you are not opposed to proper segregated facilities with all that entails in a Dutch sense. It's more that you don't see it happening here at all?

Do you actively oppose segregation because of that? Or just bad facilities?

George Riches
Posts: 782
Joined: 23 May 2007, 9:01am
Location: Coventry
Contact:

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby George Riches » 30 Oct 2010, 8:48pm

I support cycle paths when they are of a good enough standard.

And even when they are a good enough standard for myself (a CTC doderer who typical takes two hours to cover 25 miles), I'd support the right of faster cyclists to use the carriageway. Cycle paths should be good enough to entice cyclists off the carriageway, not only good enough to please the know-it-alls sitting behind a car windscreen.

nigel_s
Posts: 362
Joined: 18 Mar 2007, 9:52am
Location: Near Bath, Somerset

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby nigel_s » 31 Oct 2010, 11:41am

In the unlikely event of a non-cyclist stumbling upon this thread, you lot have done a good job of putting them off cycling for keeps.

The vast majority of the British public have rejected cycling as transport because they don't want to mix with motor traffic on a bike. The CTC and its acolytes largely reject segregation on the Dutch model because they say it's dangerous, in spite of overwhelming evidence - not just in the Netherlands - of the success of the Dutch model's success in making cycling mainstream.

With cycling advocates like the CTC who needs cycling detractors.

Well done. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns...

As an Amsterdam resident said about this thread on Twitter this morning "when you're still debating elementary infrastructure you might as well join the Flat Earth Society."

George Riches
Posts: 782
Joined: 23 May 2007, 9:01am
Location: Coventry
Contact:

Re: Cycle paths unsafe?

Postby George Riches » 31 Oct 2010, 12:33pm

nigel_s wrote:The CTC and its acolytes largely reject segregation on the Dutch model because they say it's dangerous, in spite of overwhelming evidence - not just in the Netherlands - of the success of the Dutch model's success in making cycling mainstream.

No. The view of most CTC members is that they reject segregation on the British model. They have seen it and know it doesn't work.