And another fatality

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Geriatrix
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Re: And another fatality

Postby Geriatrix » 19 Dec 2012, 12:51pm

stewartpratt wrote:Debatable as to whether going via Paynes Road and the station is a significant detour. I would argue it isn't, but it's subjective.

I think the issue is simply awareness of the route. If you're going to West Quay or the docks and you don't know the best route to cycle then you'd quite possibly take the dual carriageway. If you were aware of the alternative then personally I think you'd need a few screws loose to choose the route where the incident occurred.

I'd agree with that because Paynes road was my commute, but it took a few unpleasant journeys on the A33 before I realised I needed a safer route. My first experience of the A33 was before it became my commute and I used it with full touring load to get to the Isle of Weight ferry. Not an experience I would like to repeat. Its easy to choose that route simply because you don't know better.

We can only guess why the cyclist was on the A33, and even if human error is found to be a cause of his death, the fatality could have been avoided with better infrastructure, or better signposted infrastructure.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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horizon
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Re: And another fatality

Postby horizon » 19 Dec 2012, 12:57pm

Geriatrix wrote:We can only guess why the cyclist was on the A33, and even if human error is found to be a cause of his death, the fatality could have been avoided with better infrastructure, or better signposted infrastructure.


If that is your considered and informed view, will you come forward to the coroner at the inquest? Will your views be heard, will recommendations be made, will quick, cheap temporary signs be put up, will the highway authority be represented at the inquest? Will anything actually be done or will everyone just express their satisfaction at the prosecuton of the driver(s)?
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

Geriatrix
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Re: And another fatality

Postby Geriatrix » 19 Dec 2012, 1:00pm

horizon wrote:
Geriatrix wrote:We can only guess why the cyclist was on the A33, and even if human error is found to be a cause of his death, the fatality could have been avoided with better infrastructure, or better signposted infrastructure.


If that is your considered and informed view, will you come forward to the coroner at the inquest? Will your views be heard, will recommendations be made, will quick, cheap temporary signs be put up, will the highway authority be represented at the inquest? Will anything actually be done or will everyone just express their satisfaction at the prosecuton of the driver(s)?

I would be more than willing to participate in the inquest if I knew how.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

stewartpratt
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Re: And another fatality

Postby stewartpratt » 19 Dec 2012, 1:14pm

Geriatrix wrote:Its easy to choose that route simply because you don't know better.


Exactly, that's the nub of the problem (at least on the basis of the limited facts available at the moment).

We have to face up to the fact that dogmatically asserting a right to ride every inch of tarmac would be misguided: some - few, but some - roads are not, and never will be, safe or suitable for cyclists, and the infrastructure has to ensure that cyclists do not venture onto them. Ideally this would be done in a 'passive' way - ie making the cyclists' value judgment inevitable, by providing and adequtely signing better-quality alternatives - rather than active prohibition, but in some cases I think the latter is better than nothing.

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meic
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Re: And another fatality

Postby meic » 19 Dec 2012, 1:23pm

A prohibition would be for 24 hours a day. Many of these bad roads are possibly quite OK at other times.
In answer to the question: "who is out on their bikes at those times?" Me!
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Geriatrix
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Re: And another fatality

Postby Geriatrix » 19 Dec 2012, 1:27pm

stewartpratt wrote:We have to face up to the fact that dogmatically asserting a right to ride every inch of tarmac would be misguided: some - few, but some - roads are not, and never will be, safe or suitable for cyclists, and the infrastructure has to ensure that cyclists do not venture onto them.

I could only agree with that statement if cyclists are provided with usable alternatives for infrastructure that they are banned from using.

A road system must function as a system for all road users. If I wan't to get from A to B by bicycle on a road I don't know, and I can't do so by using the same map as any other road user then the system doesn't work for me.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

stewartpratt
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Re: And another fatality

Postby stewartpratt » 19 Dec 2012, 1:38pm

meic wrote:A prohibition would be for 24 hours a day. Many of these bad roads are possibly quite OK at other times. In answer to the question: "who is out on their bikes at those times?" Me!


Yup, that's precisely my reasoning behind preferring the non-prohibitive approach.

Geriatrix wrote:I could only agree with that statement if cyclists are provided with usable alternatives for infrastructure that they are banned from using. A road system must function as a system for all road users. If I wan't to get from A to B by bicycle on a road I don't know, and I can't do so by using the same map as any other road user then the system doesn't work for me.


I see this argument, but I think it all hinges on what constitutes a "usable alternative". At one end of the spectrum of possible answers, there are already usable alternatives to every route. It's just that for some proportion of users they incur an unacceptable additional distance. At the other end of the spectrum you'd be forcing a parallel cycleway to be built alongside every single bit of cycle-unfriendly road.

Personally I perceive a lot of pro-cycling voices to be a little closer to the latter position than I think is reasonable. The Hindhead tunnel mentioned above is, IIRC, a decent example of this: there was some vocal disapproval on this forum of the fact that the new road prohibits cyclists and no additional cycle path was provided; whereas I personally can't see the problem with it and don't think the existing alternative routes are unacceptable at all.

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horizon
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Re: And another fatality

Postby horizon » 19 Dec 2012, 2:04pm

meic wrote:A prohibition would be for 24 hours a day. Many of these bad roads are possibly quite OK at other times.
In answer to the question: "who is out on their bikes at those times?" Me!


A prohibition is one answer to the problem. It may be the best answer or a very poor answer - improving the road in question may be a much better option. A prohibtion would also stir up debate.

However what is extraordinary is that while we on this forum debate the issues and look for solutions like prohibition (i.e. what will prevent another death), the coroner and police will seek to apportion blame and punish the drivers. The inquest may end with an exhortation to drivers to be kind to other road users or for cyclists to wear helmets or other such platitudes. What will not happen is that the coroner will call witnesses to provide evidence on the road layout, signage, speed limits, etc and instruct the Highway Authority to put these in place immediately if necessary. The cause of the accident will be limited to the actions of the driver. Given that the driver may have been in a difficult position (a collision was inevitable given the cirumstances), the punishment will be light. And nothing comes of it.
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

Geriatrix
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Re: And another fatality

Postby Geriatrix » 19 Dec 2012, 2:22pm

stewartpratt wrote:I see this argument, but I think it all hinges on what constitutes a "usable alternative". At one end of the spectrum of possible answers, there are already usable alternatives to every route. It's just that for some proportion of users they incur an unacceptable additional distance. At the other end of the spectrum you'd be forcing a parallel cycleway to be built alongside every single bit of cycle-unfriendly road.

Personally I perceive a lot of pro-cycling voices to be a little closer to the latter position than I think is reasonable. The Hindhead tunnel mentioned above is, IIRC, a decent example of this: there was some vocal disapproval on this forum of the fact that the new road prohibits cyclists and no additional cycle path was provided; whereas I personally can't see the problem with it and don't think the existing alternative routes are unacceptable at all.

It all depends on the context of your journey. If I'm on tour, I deliberately choose longer quieter roads. If I'm on the daily slog, effort, distance and time matters.
The A33 in this instance is a good example of a road which it functions as a major national thoroughfare but where it enters urban boundaries it also services shorter urban commutes. I would not expect a parallel cycle route over it's whole distance but If I can't use it where it serves urban commuters then I would expect a usable alternative.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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horizon
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Re: And another fatality

Postby horizon » 19 Dec 2012, 3:35pm

Geriatrix wrote:
horizon wrote:
Geriatrix wrote:We can only guess why the cyclist was on the A33, and even if human error is found to be a cause of his death, the fatality could have been avoided with better infrastructure, or better signposted infrastructure.


If that is your considered and informed view, will you come forward to the coroner at the inquest? Will your views be heard, will recommendations be made, will quick, cheap temporary signs be put up, will the highway authority be represented at the inquest? Will anything actually be done or will everyone just express their satisfaction at the prosecuton of the driver(s)?

I would be more than willing to participate in the inquest if I knew how.


It needs an email to the coroner's office in Southampton (I can PM you the exact email address if you like). The coroner can decide to call you as a witness. He/she can then make a recommendation based on what you say/write or request a report (all under Rule 43). AFAIK Rule 43 does have some weight. It may be that an inquest isn't the best place to do this but it is the only place at the moment I presume.

In the meantime we can continue to discuss what may be the best answer to avoiding a repeat of this accident on Mountbatten Way.
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

Geriatrix
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Re: And another fatality

Postby Geriatrix » 19 Dec 2012, 3:40pm

horizon wrote:It needs an email to the coroner's office in Southampton (I can PM you the exact email address if you like).

Thanks. I'll see if I can find the e-mail details myself. If not I'll PM you.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

tonythompson
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Re: And another fatality

Postby tonythompson » 19 Dec 2012, 8:17pm

Geriatrix wrote:
horizon wrote:It needs an email to the coroner's office in Southampton (I can PM you the exact email address if you like).

Thanks. I'll see if I can find the e-mail details myself. If not I'll PM you.

Maybe this is an area that the local CTC can get involved in. Not just in this case but whenever there is a fatal accident. Courts tend to like something that looks like it is a professional body.

If you go down that route Geriatrix and need any help pm me.
Crossed Oz Perth to Adelaide to highlight Barrett's Disease http://www.tonystravels.com

Geriatrix
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Re: And another fatality

Postby Geriatrix » 19 Dec 2012, 10:25pm

tonythompson wrote:If you go down that route Geriatrix and need any help pm me.

Pm'd
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

Anglian
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Re: And another fatality

Postby Anglian » 2 Jan 2013, 4:21pm

horizon wrote:As things stand, none of this will happen: ..., the Highway Authority will laugh itself silly and the next death will happen.


What on Earth do you mean?

What a patently ridiculous thing to say.

What grounds do you have for asserting that the Highway Authority will laugh about the death of a cyclist?

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horizon
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Re: And another fatality

Postby horizon » 2 Jan 2013, 5:46pm

Anglian: how do you feel they do react?
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher