Amsterdam / infrastructure

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pjclinch
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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby pjclinch » 31 Aug 2015, 7:01am

Ellieb wrote:So. What has been the effect of the growth in Cycling infrastructure on cycling KSI stats? That, surely is the important question.

It's very hard to answer, as you don't have a simple before/after with no other changes.

It's also not as important as you might assume. The Dutch average for Doom/distance is about half of the UK's, but the UK's is still low and a little under that for pedestrians. We're not abandoning pedestrianism because it's dangerous.
Also, while the Dutch rate is nationally about 12 deaths / billion Km, in the UK if you split it down by road type you see urban back roads are about 8. OTOH, rural main roads come in at 160. Thus safety changes will vary from relatively pointless by the former and potentially huge by the latter.

Also, that's no measure of pleasantness. I'll take a nice route over a notionally safer one, as long as it's safe enough. I doubt I'm alone there. Same can go for faster, so you're really after more than "safest". It needs to be fast enough, pleasant enough, and safe enough. The existing roads' main failure is pleasantness where the traffic is heavy, and pleasantness and safety where it's heavy and fast.

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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby TonyR » 31 Aug 2015, 8:07am

Ellieb wrote:So. What has been the effect of the growth in Cycling infrastructure on cycling KSI stats? That, surely is the important question.


It depends on the type of infrastructure. For example the injury rate at junctions (which is where accidents mainly occur) can be up to 12 times higher on a "wrong way" cycle track i.e. The direction on a two way track that goes against the flow of the adjacent motor lane. (See figure from a Swedish study of the relative accident risks at a junction)

The most thorough and detailed "before/after" study done around the construction of a new cycle track and lane in Copenhagen found

"The safety effects of bicycle tracks in urban areas are an increase of about 10 percent in both crashes and injuries. The safety effects of bicycle lanes in urban areas are an increase of 5 percent in crashes and 15 percent in injuries. Bicyclists’ safety has worsened on roads, where bicycle facilities have been implemented."


Interestingly a significant part of that increase was found to be from the increased number of cars turning across the cycle facility to look for side street parking because parking was reduced on the road to accommodate the facility

The London experience has not been good either. Bothe the Bloomsbury and Royal College Street segregated cycle facilities have suffered excessive accident rates at junctions. It waits to be seen whether the recent reconstruction of the RCS facility to address this problem has worked

But overall safety should not really be a consideration, although it's usually the reason given for why they are needed, as either way it's still very safe.
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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby aspiringcyclist » 31 Aug 2015, 10:10am

I was under the impression that bicycle infrastructure was being constructed before 1985 which is why I thought it wasn't misleading.

The value of the contribution regulations can be seen in the fact that between 1978 and 1988,
the length of bicycle paths increased from 9,300 km to 16,100 km


http://www.fietsberaad.nl/library/repos ... 201999.pdf

Ok so helmet promotion can decrease cycling usage. We have had low levels of cycling for much longer, so I think much more would still be required than not promoting helmets. It's interesting in the Netherlands the outcry of the danger to children was a catalyst for change which has resulted in far fewer deaths. In that case talking about the danger gave positive results.

I think that there are much better designs than the ones you mentioned. The obvious problem with the Bloomsbury track is the Gordon Square junction which forces drivers to have to deal with traffic from 2-4 different locations at once and from very different directions.

According to David Hembrow, designs such as the Simultaneous Green and the roundabout I showed previously have a good safety record.

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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby TonyR » 31 Aug 2015, 10:42am

aspiringcyclist wrote:I was under the impression that bicycle infrastructure was being constructed before 1985 which is why I thought it wasn't misleading.


It was being constructed since the 1920's so are you going to take that as your start date. Sure there was some dabbling and piloting before 1985 but that is about the time there was a concerted effort with real money behind it to build an integrated network.

Ok so helmet promotion can decrease cycling usage. We have had low levels of cycling for much longer, so I think much more would still be required than not promoting helmets. It's interesting in the Netherlands the outcry of the danger to children was a catalyst for change which has resulted in far fewer deaths. In that case talking about the danger gave positive results.


Really? The obesity and health epidemic in children is in a large part a result of the fear of letting them play out in public spaces because of traffic and stranger danger.

[quoteI think that there are much better designs than the ones you mentioned. The obvious problem with the Bloomsbury track is the Gordon Square junction which forces drivers to have to deal with traffic from 2-4 different locations at once and from very different directions. [/quote]

So name some good examples in the UK. There is a large number of candidates for Cycle Facility of the Month. But the Cycling Embassy good facilities site has very few examples from the UK and its hard to come by good examples in the UK that are parallel routes rather than new route options.

But the reality on the ground that we have to deal with is Bloomsbury and RCS and a whole range of even worse interventions. I suspect the E-W Superhighway in London is probably about to join them. Its supposed to handle one cyclist every two seconds per direction

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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby pjclinch » 31 Aug 2015, 12:44pm

TonyR wrote:
aspiringcyclist wrote:It's interesting in the Netherlands the outcry of the danger to children was a catalyst for change which has resulted in far fewer deaths. In that case talking about the danger gave positive results.


Really? The obesity and health epidemic in children is in a large part a result of the fear of letting them play out in public spaces because of traffic and stranger danger.


apsiringcyclist said "in that case".
On the urban residential street my brother-in-law stays on in Den Haag there is no shortage of kids playing on the street. Thanks to the pople (as opposed to motor) centric planning most of the traffic that passes them is cycles

TonyR wrote:So name some good examples in the UK. There is a large number of candidates for Cycle Facility of the Month. But the Cycling Embassy good facilities site has very few examples from the UK and its hard to come by good examples in the UK that are parallel routes rather than new route options.


If you just want individual examples it's completely trivial. For example, https://goo.gl/maps/pZmmC is between a primary school and a housing scheme that's part of its catchment. So we can have primary school kids crossing a busy dual carriageway (and you go there a bit before 9 and it is busy, as one of the main routes in to the city centre), or they can do what they do and take a shared-use, car-free underpass. It's not remotely earth-shaking or exciting or the sort of thing people bother putting on web sites because it's so ordinary, but it does involve deliberately avoiding the roads using a parallel route, and it has the issues you might associate with shared-use paths. But no matter how many stats you want to quote I very much doubt you'll convince either the children or their parents that they're better off taking the road the whole way every day.

For the umpteenth time, it's not all or nothing paths or roads, and continuing to pretend it is is deliberate point-missing of a pretty high order.

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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby mjr » 31 Aug 2015, 2:47pm

TonyR wrote:
Ellieb wrote:So. What has been the effect of the growth in Cycling infrastructure on cycling KSI stats? That, surely is the important question.


It depends on the type of infrastructure. For example the injury rate at junctions (which is where accidents mainly occur) can be up to 12 times higher on a "wrong way" cycle track i.e. The direction on a two way track that goes against the flow of the adjacent motor lane. (See figure from a Swedish study of the relative accident risks at a junction)

See the figure, but don't you dare look at the rather difficult-to-obtain 1987 study from Lund University which doesn't really support this blanket (ab)use of those figures against all infrastructure.

The most thorough and detailed "before/after" study done around the construction of a new cycle track and lane in Copenhagen found

"The safety effects of bicycle tracks in urban areas are an increase of about 10 percent in both crashes and injuries. The safety effects of bicycle lanes in urban areas are an increase of 5 percent in crashes and 15 percent in injuries. Bicyclists’ safety has worsened on roads, where bicycle facilities have been implemented."

Yes, let's quote a bit and not link to the study http://trafitec.dk/sites/default/files/ ... 0lanes.pdf which shows that those percentages are against the researcher's expectations (an approach that even the author calls a "second-best methodology" and I feel that second is ranking it a bit high) and not the pre-implementation figures.

Interestingly a significant part of that increase was found to be from the increased number of cars turning across the cycle facility to look for side street parking because parking was reduced on the road to accommodate the facility

That is interesting but just goes to show what many activists have always said, that it's all connected. There's often no good reason to reduce parking when building a cycle facility: that's a choice of the highway designers and it's unfair to scapegoat the cycleway for it.

The London experience has not been good either. Bothe the Bloomsbury and Royal College Street segregated cycle facilities have suffered excessive accident rates at junctions.

Prove it. Last time I remember that claim being made in viewtopic.php?p=864724#p864724 there seemed to be no evidence for RCS.

But overall safety should not really be a consideration, although it's usually the reason given for why they are needed, as either way it's still very safe.

I agree that overall safety shouldn't be a reason for them and I don't think it is by most people who engage their brain. TfL proposes its "superhighways" (I agree, they're misnamed, but marketing is part of the battle) primarily to "provide a clear and convenient route for cyclists" along with a raft of secondary reasons such as "to encourage the large numbers of people who would like to cycle, but currently feel unable to" and to "draw cyclists away from other routes in central London which are less suitable for them".

Anyway, I would like to thank TonyR for the continual exhortations that infrastructure is necessary but not sufficient and again invite anyone to show anywhere that has a modal shift to cycling without cycling-friendly infrastructure of some sort.
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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby mjr » 31 Aug 2015, 3:16pm

TonyR wrote:Yes we're our own worst enemy. But we can as cyclists stop banging on about the dangers and the need to deal with them and start talking about the pleasures and benefits instead. Where do you think people get the perception that cycling is an extreme death wish to be avoided at all costs?

Far and away the biggest source is the road "safety" establishment of government and certain charities and industry groups which mainly seem to consist of different types of victim-blaming, often masquerading under the ideas that cyclists must wear personal protective equipment, can somehow make themselves "be seen" and should avoid all busy roads for safety reasons. A loose coalition of walking and cycling groups in Norfolk are now working on this, but it's going to take some effort to overturn the bad deeds of decades.

There is a smaller problem that the biggest and best-funded cycling organisations in this country aren't the transport or touring cycling groups but the extreme sports ones hammering around roads in tight formation, taking unnecessary risks and usually requiring their members to wear crash helmets and so on... but really, cyclists are enough of a minority that any local cycling organisation is dwarfed by a medium-sized council's road safety department.

TonyR wrote:Back to the same old reprise of at least the last 20 years. "Sorry the facility we campaigned for turned out ****, but it'll be better next time, honest!" When are we going to learn it almost certainly won't? Those who fail to learn the lessons of history.........

Actually, I think we're finally building some decent stuff. It's an ongoing struggle and it doesn't take many mistakes to screw up any road design, whether cycling or mixed: Norfolk County Council recently got a barrage of complaints for a bad carriageway layout at a roundabout; Tesco's had about a year of abuse for two of its local stores having road layouts that cause unnecessary queues that block their neighbours.

But what's the alternative to keeping up pressure on highway authorities? Would anyone rather we continued the ineffective past CTC approach of saying no-no-no-ride-on-the-roads and watch motorists keep bullying people out of cycling? Probably only those who won't learn the lessons of history, indeed!

The essence of Dutch and Danish cycling as I understand it is much much wider than segregated cycle facilities but here the predominant perception seems to be that Dutch is all about segregated cycle facilities and that if we can just build those, everything cycling will come up rosy - just look at the LCC Go Dutch approach.. We've got to get away from that perception and blinkered focus and start to develop a British approach that works with British culture and transport landscape.

In case anyone hasn't realised to check any unsubstantiated claims, LCC's "Love London Go Dutch" wasn't "all about segregated" but more about using international best practice to develop a London approach that achieved certain key aims. It's evolved into space4cycling (the "British approach" that TonyR seems to be calling for!) but you can still see LLGD for now at http://lcc.org.uk/pages/key-principles-full
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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby mjr » 31 Aug 2015, 3:34pm

TonyR wrote:It can also be achieved in a few years rather than decades and for a fraction of the cost. Think how much TV peak time advertising you could buy for the price of the Embankment "superhighway".

A tiny fraction of the time that the superhighway will be there for? Good, well-used infrastructure is the most cost-effective advertising.

[1] Leeds University studied that option and found that a ubiquitous segregated cycling network would only increase cycling by 50% from its current levels. So an extra 1% cycling in the UK. So much for even the utopian dream getting people to cycle.

Rather than repeat my rebuttal of that, let's just link viewtopic.php?p=888252#p888252 and note that another Leeds University study found "it is essential that the urban environment is made safe for cyclists and pedestrians. This requires the provision of fully segregated cycle routes on all arterial and other busy roads in urban areas. It is clear from the research that most non-cyclists and recreational cyclists will only consider cycling regularly if they are segregated from traffic, and that pedestrians are hostile to pavement cyclists." (To be clear: I don't completely agree with either study!)
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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby Vorpal » 31 Aug 2015, 3:49pm

mjr wrote:Anyway, I would like to thank TonyR for the continual exhortations that infrastructure is necessary but not sufficient and again invite anyone to show anywhere that has a modal shift to cycling without cycling-friendly infrastructure of some sort.

What do you mean by cycle-friendly infrastructure? I think most of the journeys by bike in Cambridge are, and have long been down mainly to convenience. A more cycle-friendly approach is fairly recent. The same is true of Madison, WI (which also effectively has a ban on student-owned cars int he city), where cycling was a popular means of transport long before initiatives to design for cycling.

China has long had a tradition of the bicycle as primary personal transport. While I suppose that one could say that in places where bicycle modal share is so high, the infrastructure was designed for bicycles, the reality is that even where bicycle modal share tops the charts, motor traffic dominates, and many Chinese cities are belatedly having to rethink their infrastrucutre design. They have hired Dutch and Danish consultants to help improve the road environment for millions of cyclists.
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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby mjr » 31 Aug 2015, 4:25pm

Vorpal wrote:
mjr wrote:Anyway, I would like to thank TonyR for the continual exhortations that infrastructure is necessary but not sufficient and again invite anyone to show anywhere that has a modal shift to cycling without cycling-friendly infrastructure of some sort.

What do you mean by cycle-friendly infrastructure?

Any of the usual suspects: not only protected spaces, but also except-cycles, 20mph, greenways and whatever.

I'm not sure Cambridge ever stopped riding and so it couldn't really shift to cycling either because it was already cycling. I don't know about Madison WI or the motor-dominated bits of China: what sort of shift have they seen and how?
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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby aspiringcyclist » 31 Aug 2015, 6:33pm

I understand 'stranger danger' may make things more difficult, but there have been real changes. Cars have become faster, larger, and more numerous, driving kids away from many streets. We don't have sufficient filtered permeability to make playing on streets pleasant. On my road, which is an entrance to a series of residential roads, you have drivers going through all the time. Many of them are very fast. There is no way you could play. The only other entrance is filtered, which makes that side much more peaceful. I have seen kids play there ( although in this case the green space is more attractive).

Our pedestrian environment is also terrible. Roads with speeds far too high and crossings that are inconvenient and slow.

The cycle tracks on main roads are essential to allow more people cycling as most have voted with their wheels and will not cycle on them. These are the direct and convenient routes. The vast majority of other roads do not need them, the through traffic just needs to be tamed.

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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby TonyR » 31 Aug 2015, 8:30pm

mjr wrote:
TonyR wrote:The London experience has not been good either. Bothe the Bloomsbury and Royal College Street segregated cycle facilities have suffered excessive accident rates at junctions.

Prove it. Last time I remember that claim being made in viewtopic.php?p=864724#p864724 there seemed to be no evidence for RCS.


Our studies have shown that there is a higher than average number of accidents on the street. There have been 17 accidents on Royal College Street within a 3 year period up until February 2012. This includes 2 serious and 15 slight accidents. 15 of the accidents involved cyclists and 2 were pedestrians. The vast majority of the accidents occur at junctions with side roads and many involve cyclists heading southbound colliding with vehicles turning out of a side road. Our evidence suggests that drivers are not anticipating southbound cyclists as they turn onto Royal College Street.

Camden consultation on the modifications to RCS https://consultations.wearecamden.org/c ... provements

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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby mjr » 2 Sep 2015, 12:21pm

TonyR wrote:
mjr wrote:
TonyR wrote:Bothe the Bloomsbury and Royal College Street segregated cycle facilities have suffered excessive accident rates at junctions.

Prove it.


Our studies have shown that there is a higher than average number of accidents on the street. There have been 17 accidents on Royal College Street within a 3 year period up until February 2012. This includes 2 serious and 15 slight accidents. 15 of the accidents involved cyclists and 2 were pedestrians. The vast majority of the accidents occur at junctions with side roads and many involve cyclists heading southbound colliding with vehicles turning out of a side road. Our evidence suggests that drivers are not anticipating southbound cyclists as they turn onto Royal College Street.

Camden consultation on the modifications to RCS https://consultations.wearecamden.org/c ... provements

Both the mentioned serious collisions (accidents, indeed :roll:) were at the Pratt Street junction around the time that the cycleway immediately north of there was closed as a consequence of National Grid's building site taking the footway, pedestrians being diverted into the cycleway and cyclists being sent unprotected head-on into motor traffic (which the consultation says averaged nearly 30mph in that 20mph limit). The "temporary" layout of that junction was a complete dog's breakfast of overlapping markings - the layout when I rode it a few months ago wasn't much better, with cycles still directed to swerve out unprotected into the carriageway, but at least only in the direction of traffic now. I love Camden's opportunism in citing those two collisions as part of the reasons to build a second segregated cycleway but it would be better if they managed construction sites properly and stopped them playing fast-and-loose with cycleways in a way that is rarely allowed with carriageways.

Ultimately, Camden don't substantiate "higher than average" in that consultation and simply repeating a claim doesn't make it correct. Nearby Bayham Street also had 2 serious cyclist-involved collisions in a 3 year period to July 2012 and that's a parallel street without any similar infrastructure.
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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby Bmblbzzz » 2 Sep 2015, 12:34pm

Going back to the New! East!-West! London! Cycling! Super! High! Way! and its contentious width, the video from Cyclegaz clearly shows it to be wide enough at that point for cycling three abreast, and therefore, I'd feel, for two-way traffic in single-file. Near the start of the video we see one cyclist pull out to move alongside another (oddly giving a signal, or just stretching his arm perhaps, after he's alongside) then while the two are chatting, Cyclegaz overtakes both of them. Whatever the width may be there, 1.5m each way is a lot more than almost any painted on-road or on-pavement lane I've ever found (in the UK).

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Re: Amsterdam / infrastructure

Postby TonyR » 2 Sep 2015, 3:17pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:Going back to the New! East!-West! London! Cycling! Super! High! Way! and its contentious width, the video from Cyclegaz clearly shows it to be wide enough at that point for cycling three abreast, and therefore, I'd feel, for two-way traffic in single-file. Near the start of the video we see one cyclist pull out to move alongside another (oddly giving a signal, or just stretching his arm perhaps, after he's alongside) then while the two are chatting, Cyclegaz overtakes both of them. Whatever the width may be there, 1.5m each way is a lot more than almost any painted on-road or on-pavement lane I've ever found (in the UK).


Just to note that 1.5m is the absolute minimum recommended width for any cycle lane in the Government guidance. I find it odd that after all the years of complaint about cycle lanes being built to that minimum, suddenly because its called a superhighway and its segregated, its defended as good.

For comparison the Dutch guidance for such a cycle lane would be 4m wide per direction or 8m total width.