TheJollyJimLad wrote:Segregation is the only way you are going to get a modal shift from motoring to cycling in this country.
That is certainly the mantra of UK highway engineers over the past 30 years - before that they didn't even try to pretend that segregation was for our benefit.
You will see what looks like impressive statistics from Transport for London, LCC and CTC until you realise what it all actually equates to. It's still nowhere near the figures for the Netherlands and Denmark.
And that is because In the Netherlands and Copenhagen they follow the hierarchy of provision - reducing traffic volumes, reducing speeds, and generally prioritising the needs of vulnerable road users their towns, while here in the UK where the car is king we are segregated out of the way of important traffic - right down to residential culs-de-sac.
You ask any UK local authority what they are doing for cyclists and they will reel off a list of segregated facilities.
Watch Jan Gehl talk about Copenhagen - yes cycle lanes do feature, but they only form a minor part of the overall vision.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rstEWMD89L8
You see cyclists in cycle lanes, on roads, on pedestrian priority roads - an early example of shared space, and lot of reallocation of real-estate from vehicles to people.
This is what the CTC is pressing for - which is why the authorities prefer to talk to the likes of Sustrans who are promoting the "Segregation is the only way" argument.
85,000 people turned up for the London Sky Ride last Sunday. If you provide a traffic free faciltity, they will come.
That is like looking at the London Marathon and arguing that pedestrians would run 20 miles to work if only we provided pavements.
Alas, this country is incapable of producing traffic free facilities
That is the only thing this country is capable of producing.
Haven't you seen the blue signs all over the place?
as, if they were properly designed to a Dutch or Danish model,
The significant difference between those places and here is not the design of facilities but the measures they take to make the street environment inherently attractive for all vulnerable road users. Those places are safe and attractive for pedestrians for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the design of cycle lanes.
Many examples you see of cycle lanes operating in Holland (say round the periphery of a roundabout) can only be remotely safe because the geometry of the roundabout forces the low traffic speeds. Look at any new UK roundabout and you will see cycle paths round the periphery. These are lethal because UK roundabout geometry encourages high speed. Both examples are equally segregated.
it would mean motorists having to cede a little bit of space and we can't have that, apparently.
We have lost maybe a generation (even two) that have never really experienced the joys of cycling due to the increased perception of danger on the roads and I think that's another unpalatable truth for organisations such as CTC.
I think the fear-mongering of the likes of Sustrans who exagerate danger in order to promote funding for their paths.
Nobody used to think that cycling on the roads was anything unusual - it is only recently with cycle paths becoming ubiquitous that people are becoming afraid of the roads. And the more cycle paths that are built the greater the fear. This is one of the reasons why the places with the most comprehensive networks of segregated cycle paths see the lowest levels of cycling.
We can delude ourselves that one day we will reach parity with the motor car whilst continuing to achieve mediocre cycling levels or we start campaigning for decent traffic free paths. We need to Copenhagenize and NOT Sustranise!
In which case we need to unite in campaigning for segregation to be the measure of last resort (as is the case in Holland and Copenhagen) rather than the only measure that they are willing to contemplate (as is the case in the UK).
We have books and websites (including my wonderful blog
) dedicated to highlighting the awful standards of facilties provided in this country #
Indeed - but however awful they are they do segregate. Which they claim is the only thing that will get people cycling. They look at facility of the month and don't see the irony. So long as people argue that segregation is the only thing that matters they will continue to be awful.