Priority to on coming traffic with cycle lane - how does this work?

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paddingtonbear
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Priority to on coming traffic with cycle lane - how does this work?

Postby paddingtonbear » 18 Jun 2019, 4:34pm

Hi all. I have a simple question. Take a look at this traffic calming chicane (see link below)

https://goo.gl/maps/ywErjwHBnc4e1NNZ9

Does the give way instruction apply to cycles, or are they expected to continue on their way via the cycle lane on the left?

I assumed that on a cycle I should give way just like everyone else. But then I don't understand the point of the cycle lane. Is it just so I don't have to steer around the road island? The cycle lane only exists over short distance either side of the island...

Coming the other way, almost nobody seems to be prepared to give way to me on a bike. This suggests that most people are expecting me to use the cycle lane as a contraflow.

Would be interested to hear your input!

Paddington

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mjr
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Re: Priority to on coming traffic with cycle lane - how does this work?

Postby mjr » 18 Jun 2019, 5:37pm

paddingtonbear wrote:Does the give way instruction apply to cycles, or are they expected to continue on their way via the cycle lane on the left?

Both! The give way lines apply to everyone (there is no cycle lane bypassing it), but the priority-to-oncoming doesn't apply, so if you can reach the cycle lane without getting in an oncoming user's way, there's no need to stop.

Generally, it's a dog's dinner of a layout, from the substandard cycle lane width almost filled with double-yellows down to the misphrased ("ON COMING") non-standard plate under the priority sign. Interestingly, the cycle lane is solid-line, so no motorists should be driving in it, but the paint is so faded that I suspect it's not enforced.

We have some similar but slightly better layouts in King's Lynn and one of the fen villages. Most of the time I ride through such a slalom if there's nothing around because it's a smoother better surface, but I'll use the bypass when it avoids conflict with motorists unless I can see the bypass is full of crap.
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Priority to on coming traffic with cycle lane - how does this work?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 18 Jun 2019, 5:53pm

It's certainly a dog's dinner! If the cycle lanes were a decent width and clear of glass etc it might work but that isn't the case. I think the priority to oncoming vehicles does apply to cycles because, regardless of the position of the sign, it logically applies at the give way line. As to vehicles giving you priority in the other direction, I wonder how much they're influenced by the presence of the cycle lane? I suspect they're likely to behave in the same way even without it.

paddingtonbear
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Re: Priority to on coming traffic with cycle lane - how does this work?

Postby paddingtonbear » 18 Jun 2019, 7:27pm

Thanks for the thoughts, it's good to check I'm not misreading it.

It always feels wrong when I use the cycle lane and then find oncoming traffic swinging out to meet me head on. Usually they aren't expecting a bike to be there, or can't see me because of the vehicle in front, and some people swing out further than others.....

And if the traffic is flowing in the same direction as me then we find ourselves on convergent courses as I emerge from the cycle lane which is also pretty unrelaxing. At least the difference in speed is generally lower then.

The alternative is I use the car route and hold everyone up. I cannot see any way of riding through this thing at busy times of day that makes me feel safe and doesn't heighten the road rage and racing antics which already prevail even with no bikes in the mix....

Paddington

pwa
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Re: Priority to on coming traffic with cycle lane - how does this work?

Postby pwa » 18 Jun 2019, 7:38pm

mjr wrote:The give way lines apply to everyone (there is no cycle lane bypassing it), but the priority-to-oncoming doesn't apply, so if you can reach the cycle lane without getting in an oncoming user's way, there's no need to stop.



Yes, so in practice you are not likely to need to stop at the give way line but you may need to hesitate around the narrow bike channel to avoid getting in the way of an oncoming vehicle. It's a matter of getting the timing right.

eileithyia
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Re: Priority to on coming traffic with cycle lane - how does this work?

Postby eileithyia » 19 Jun 2019, 9:55am

I'd just give way and not even consider using that debris filled not fit for purpose strip of cycle 'lane'.
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Re: Priority to on coming traffic with cycle lane - how does this work?

Postby PH » 19 Jun 2019, 10:09am

What others have said, basically use with caution.
However if we look at the other side of the junction;
https://www.google.com/maps/@51.4367101 ... 384!8i8192

A vehicle travelling the other way should not be crossing the solid white line of the lane you are in and at the end of that lane you have priority on that side of the road. Not that that helps you if you find yourself in a conflict situation or worse.

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Re: Priority to on coming traffic with cycle lane - how does this work?

Postby peetee » 19 Jun 2019, 10:21am

A poor attempt to reduce the speed of traffic that often causes inpatient drivers to take risks and intimidate other road users where the problem rarely happened before. I agree with previous posts that the road markings indicate priority for cyclists but the width of the road is inedequate and the worn lane markings are testament to vehicles swerving around the obstacle at speed.
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mjr
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Re: Priority to on coming traffic with cycle lane - how does this work?

Postby mjr » 19 Jun 2019, 10:40am

eileithyia wrote:I'd just give way and not even consider using that debris filled not fit for purpose strip of cycle 'lane'.

That's wonderful if you've got infinite time to ride. Do you doff your cap as your betters pass, too? :twisted:
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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althebike
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Re: Priority to on coming traffic with cycle lane - how does this work?

Postby althebike » 19 Jun 2019, 11:18am

It looks as if there is danger from behind also, if traffic swings out to the middle of the road, then pulls back in when it is past the island, potentially it could hit a cyclist travelling in the cycle lane going the same direction. As a motorist, your eyes would be looking everywhere except checking the road markings for cycle lanes.

wjhall
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Re: Priority to on coming traffic with cycle lane - how does this work?

Postby wjhall » 21 Jun 2019, 3:22pm

althebike wrote:It looks as if there is danger from behind also, if traffic swings out to the middle of the road, then pulls back in ....


Agreed, if this had been designed to allow cyclists to pass through the priority marking then it should have had the cycle lanes on both sides continuing behind long islands to keep swerving traffic away, then leaving only the problem of resuming flow with traffic that is parallel to you, not necessarily a trivial problem. Use with care at all times. Less extreme diagonal alignments would have been useful. At least there are cycle bypasses both sides. There used to be a single sided one in Ison Lane, Henbury, Bristol, where the problem was that it threw oncoming traffic towards the side with neither bypass nor obstruction build out.

I suspect that in some circumstances, if you can get stay the centre of the approach lane, going through the main gap might be advantageous, thus keeping following traffic under control until a time of your choosing.