Crap cyclepaths

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horizon
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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby horizon » 25 Aug 2013, 12:35am

This thread has prompted me to start a new one:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=79077

but my main contribution to this one must be this:

dodgems.jpeg
dodgems.jpeg (15.28 KiB) Viewed 704 times



Surely it's what's missing?
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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby Flinders » 29 Aug 2013, 11:37am

Mark1978 wrote:Off road paths on ex railway alignments are a good idea as they go to useful places and are never too steep. But with few exceptions poorly implemented, usually gravel surface which means a large amount of cyclists are excluded right there. A not properly maintained so allowed to narrow such that dog walkers, pedestrians and cyclists come into conflict.

And they still end up giving way to every side road.


In Stafford we have some good ex-railway ones which don't cross roads, but the surface varies from well drained tarmac to rough large gravel, and there can be huge puddles in parts of it. It's badly signed in parts too.
One on/off point takes you all round the houses and includes a right turn across a very busy road with cars parked on it so you can't see to get out safely.

The route through the park is safer than the roundabouts in town, but Mr Flinders won't use it, partly because you have to dismount all the time, abut more because it isn't properly marked as a cycle track except at the ends, so peds using the middle sections hurl abuse at him for using it (though he is a very considerate person) and dog walkers block it, with or without said abuse.

There is also a dangerous point where you can't see emerging peds for a bridge parapet, and there is no indication of who should be giving way to whom.

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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby Mick F » 29 Aug 2013, 1:25pm

I cycled through these roundabouts last week - from bottom left and exited top right.
I didn't follow the crap red cycle zones at all.
I took primary and took charge of my own line.

This sort of thing seems to invite cyclists to take the dangerous route round the outsides of the roundabouts. This pair over the top of the busy A38 is on the approach to the suspension bridge and is a very busy part of town.
Blue Monkey Roundabout.png
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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby thirdcrank » 29 Aug 2013, 1:58pm

Mick F wrote:I cycled through these roundabouts last week -....


At first glance, that arrangement isn't much different from the old arrangement at J27 on the M62, just up the road. IME, one of the biggest problems for all users is that you have to know the routes the regular users will take, irrespective of what is, or isn't signed. After something like four decades of campaigning by local residents, an arrow was eventually painted on one lane indicating a left turn only lane. Within a few month, it had all been re-done differently. :lol:

Unfortunately, the new arrangement has a shared-use path where the combined crossings for pedestrians and cyclists are totally subordinated to the priority of maintaining the flow of motor traffic. Not compulsory for cyclists, of course, but woe betide anybody who exercises their rights. (And I doubt if a copy of the HC at the ready would be a ha'porth of use. :lol: )

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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby Mark1978 » 29 Aug 2013, 2:03pm

Mick F wrote:I cycled through these roundabouts last week - from bottom left and exited top right.
I didn't follow the crap red cycle zones at all.
I took primary and took charge of my own line.

This sort of thing seems to invite cyclists to take the dangerous route round the outsides of the roundabouts. This pair over the top of the busy A38 is on the approach to the suspension bridge and is a very busy part of town.
Blue Monkey Roundabout.png


Looks particularly dangerous whatever you do, even if there weren't cycle lanes. And of course taking the cycle lanes is just as dangerous as left turning drivers are much more likely to drive straight into you, as they aren't expecting you there, or think somehow they have priority so are allowed to kill you.

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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby 661-Pete » 29 Aug 2013, 2:17pm

Mick F wrote:I cycled through these roundabouts last week - from bottom left and exited top right.
I didn't follow the crap red cycle zones at all.
I took primary and took charge of my own line.

I did a bit of browsing round Google maps and figured out, you must have been here. A bit easier to judge in street view.

I agree, roundabouts of this size, you should simply take the same line as you would in a car. So the strips of red tarmac serve no purpose to the experienced cyclist. For the less confident ones, at times when the roundabout is a lot busier than when Google paid a visit (I presume it does get a lot busier at peak times), it would be more problematic, and I'd say, avoid, or if you can't avoid, walk. It's a pity to dole out that sort of advice to cyclists who are looking to build up their confidence, but there are limits to what a beginner can tackle.

For a very large roundabout (say, twice the size of the ones illustrated) then all cyclists have problems, because motorists seem to have a problem following a cyclist around a wide arc. Personally, I see no sense in constructing such huge junctions which are so often death-traps, but sadly there are plenty of them around (e.g. Elephant and Castle; Hanger Lane).
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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby Mark1978 » 29 Aug 2013, 3:06pm

It's all very well in theory, but there are far too many motorists who permanently have the attitude of MUST OVERTAKE CYCLIST NOW, regardless of the road situation or what the cyclist is doing.

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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby Mick F » 29 Aug 2013, 3:29pm

661-Pete wrote:I did a bit of browsing round Google maps and figured out, you must have been here. A bit easier to judge in street view..
Spot on!

Note:
The Blue Monkey was a pub there on the Old A38 before the coming of the dual carriageway. There was a big roundabout there nicknamed Blue Monkey Roundabout. Blue Monkey burnt many years ago and is still a derelict site.

Although you're correct in seeing better in StreetView, I was actually illustrating that where the "red area designers" think that cyclists should be, it's actually NOT the best place to be.

On that pair of roundabouts, I took this line as recorded on my Garmin 705 in 1sec recording.
In at bottom left, and out at top right. The area is clear of buildings and trees, so it's quite accurate.
Looking at the recording, I was doing 15mph through the roundabouts.
Screen shot 2013-08-29 at 15.25.30.png
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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby mjr » 29 Aug 2013, 4:04pm

Tonyf33 wrote:The red route in MK is just poor all round and both were designed to ensure motorised traffic took precedence in terms of getting from A-B quickly, as a consequence the cycle lanes don't and the residents use their cars as it is far easier. EPIC FAIL :evil:

Citation required, as they say on Wikipedia! What's your source for that?

I used to have some of the original 1960s plans and I'm pretty sure MK's Redways were designed to allow direct routes to/from/between district centres by bike and foot instead of the residential-link-grid-link-centre road journeys. They did indeed do obvious silly things like give way to every road, but by far their biggest failing was that they lacked a good conceptual geographic model, while everyone knew the numbered Vertical and Horizontal grid of the roads.

It was far easier to remember that I needed to follow V4 and turn left when I got to H6 for the city centre than it was to remember that I needed to ride through Galley Hill, Fullers Slade, Two Mile Ash, Loughton and a couple of other districts whose names I forget - and one missing sign meant you probably got lost. Once grid-road-style route numbers and long-distance destinations were added to the signs and a few extra grid-road-paralleling paths were built in the early 1990s, it became a bit easier to find your way, but by then the city was overrun with cars.
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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby mjr » 29 Aug 2013, 4:19pm

Si wrote:Next problem: can we send it right from our start point to our destination? No we can't because the pavements are too narrow and crowded, and there is a narrow railway bridge we can't get under. We have had suggestions of making the road one way, of making it tidal, of cyclist contraflows, etc...all of which would work, but the council is made up of many layers, and although the planners working with us might suggest such things, further up someone will veto them.

And this would be the point where I would walk away and look for a flagship that's actually achievable. There's two big problems with continuing:

The obvious one is that there is someone further up a hierarchy who does not really agree with doing things to get people on bikes. If you need compulsary purchase for any of it, it's probably going to be blocked. If you want path permissions, it's probably going to be a slow process done with a low priority. The new route may be last in line for maintenance budget, leading to vegetation encroachment, poor surfaces and signs not getting replaced - I've seen that happen more than once. New street furniture will be installed in the middle of the path because someone doesn't care enough to stop them. Basically, even if you don't fail now, it'll probably be condemned to a slow lingering death later.

The second problem is that sometimes the "further up someone" doesn't even exist and some people on the initial working group are just second-guessing in case they do. Propose the best solution first and if it gets knocked back, at least you find out if there is a "further up someone" who - in the long term - you need to get rid of. Then alter it to address the objections and try again.

Maybe I've misunderstood. If you proposed the best solution but had to water it down in the interests of getting something rather than nothing on a key route, there's less shame in that and at least we have another cycling capacity-expansion/improvement project ready to go when funding is available.
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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby Si » 31 Aug 2013, 9:26am

The problem is that the route is pretty typical of most in the city. If you walked away every time that you were forced to compromise then you'd never do anything.
And over all, as a flag ship scheme it has achieved some of it's goals - the city was awarded £17m (match funded up to £24m) for cycling based mainly on this project demonstrating that it did achieve results. The project is also acting as a blue print for rolling out similar schemes in other areas of the city.

Another interesting success of the project is the demographic of the participants. I've led a number of rides for it where the majority of riders were female and of ethnic minority backgrounds, especially Asian.....how many cycling groups/clubs can boast this? Seeing all of these paths being built and knowing that they can ride on them away from the traffic (as well as the free adult cycle training) is what has tempted a lot of these new riders to try out cycling.

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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby mjr » 31 Aug 2013, 7:48pm

Si wrote:The project is also acting as a blue print for rolling out similar schemes in other areas of the city.

A blueprint for rolling out compromised less-than-ideal routes? I'm not sure that's a good thing :-S
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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby Si » 1 Sep 2013, 10:20am

mjr wrote:
Si wrote:The project is also acting as a blue print for rolling out similar schemes in other areas of the city.

A blueprint for rolling out compromised less-than-ideal routes? I'm not sure that's a good thing :-S


Why are they less than ideal when, as already explained, they get people cycling and the alternative is no route (and thus not getting so many people cycling)? Yes, for all the high and mighty words about fully segregated, wide , direct, priority over side roads, type cycle paths I've yet to see anyone do it successfully in this country. At the current time, with the current restraints, it won't happen....unless you know better...in which case tell me where you live and I'll come and learn from the ones that you have successfully had put in. On the other hand, if we actually build something that will help to get more people cycling then we get more support for continually upgrading facilities.

Also, I would draw your attention to the fact that I stated that it was the project that inspired the new funding. As already explained, the paths are only a part of the overall...they integrate with the rest and add to it, but would not have had a similar impact in isolation....this is something else that everyone forgets in their desire to build paths for the few experienced cyclists rather than the millions of potential cyclists.

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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby TonyR » 1 Sep 2013, 10:49am

Si wrote:
Why are they less than ideal when, as already explained, they get people cycling and the alternative is no route (and thus not getting so many people cycling)?


Because your premise is false as debated before? There is no evidence that cycle facilities get more people cycling. The best you can show is that some people already cycling may change their routes to use them but that's not more people cycling.

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Re: Crap cyclepaths

Postby Si » 1 Sep 2013, 11:46am

TonyR wrote:
Si wrote:
Why are they less than ideal when, as already explained, they get people cycling and the alternative is no route (and thus not getting so many people cycling)?


Because your premise is false as debated before? There is no evidence that cycle facilities get more people cycling. The best you can show is that some people already cycling may change their routes to use them but that's not more people cycling.



If you think that that is my premise then I'm afraid that you've not been paying attention. I've already explained in detail the part that they play in getting people cycling, and the evidence is, as I've said, all of the people who have started cycling with the project that I work with. Fair enough, you could have taken my short hand of "they get people cycling" to mean that "they, solely by themselves and with no other mechanisms in support, get people cycling" , and perhaps I should have said that "they, as part of a larger integrated scheme, get people cycling" but I've said that so many times that I'd have thought that I wouldn't have to explain it any more..
Furthermore, what I have never suggested is that those who already cycle change their routes to use them. What I have also not said is that cycle paths alone get people cycling.
Really, if you are going to argue against me, then at least argue against something that I have said :wink:

Let's turn it the other way round...where is your proof that cycle facilities which may not be up to Dutch standards, but which are used as an integrated part of projects such as the one I work with, are not a key aspect in getting people cycling?