Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

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ScotchEgg
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Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby ScotchEgg » 17 Dec 2013, 12:58pm

Here are a few things I've been thinking about:


1. Dedicated cyclist only paths through all city centres of any sizable population. No pedestrians or any other non motorized vehicles allowed. Paths policed and offenders fined.

2. Perhaps a national bike track repair and maintenance scheme (paid for by sponsorship, Wiggle ect). It wouldn't take much as they don't exactly suffer heavy wheeled traffic. Two or three teams working nationwide could easily maintain the network.
The paths I use have not been maintained in the twenty years they've been built.

3. Proper system of traffic lights and signage for exit/entry from road carriageways.

4. All routes to be available on GPS mapping sites and clearly signed with distances between locations.

5. A cycle route warden system to protect and educate all users (perhaps a part volunteer system, the CTC membership would be ideal). I would also like to see a voluntary (eventually mandatory) proficiency test for any cycle network users, this might cit down on the number of egits currently abusing the system. Adequate training for Cycle Wardens.

6. Adequate lighting and equivalent safety measures as normal road users expect. I'm fed up riding in total darkness.


What are the forum members takes on improvement to the Network?
Last edited by ScotchEgg on 17 Dec 2013, 5:07pm, edited 1 time in total.

BV1961
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby BV1961 » 17 Dec 2013, 1:13pm

I agree with most of your suggestions. Personally though I have no problem with sharing wide cycle paths with pedestrians in cities - it would be different if I had several miles to cover quickly but city centre journeys tend to be short so not such a problem. I also think sharing is the way to go with proper respect and regard for other users - the development of roadways or pathways with exclusion of others fosters disrespect and the problems we cyclists have on some roads today.

In major cities we need local authorities to spend serious money on well engineered schemes on busy junctions. Many millions have been spent in London on Crossrail and only loose change on a few pots of paint for cyclists...how can that be!

Totally agree about training by the way.....I would make it mandatory.

ChrisPAmbulance
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby ChrisPAmbulance » 17 Dec 2013, 1:16pm

I like a lot of this, I only have one problem with the suggestions really.

ScotchEgg wrote:I would also like to see a voluntary (eventually mandatory) proficiency test for any cycle network users.


My issue with this one in that it would prevent younger cyclists using the network. There is a difference here between bike and car users. When you take your children in a car, you are the only driver and have full responsibility. If you accompany your children, they each ride their own bike.

If you have any sort of test with an age limit, either specifically stated, or implicit because there is a lower age limit below which you couldn't really expect children to do a test, then you proscribe the cycle networks from a lot of users. Many of which are at the prime age to get addicted to cycling.

Perhaps the longer distance routes could be controlled (like motorwats are closed to learner drivers), but there would also need to be provision for accompanied children riders.

Another issue with this is that any kind of test/certification would incur a cost. A lot of lower income people rely on bikes to get to work and from place to place when the cost of a car is prohibitive. Adding cost to cycling would stop some doing it.

ScotchEgg
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby ScotchEgg » 17 Dec 2013, 1:22pm

It might stop the idiots freely abusing cycle networks, but I think a test can only improve the overall respectability and public profile of cyclists and cycling general. It needn't be expensive at all, and could easily be part funded by sponsorship. The Halfords Cycle Route Proficiency Test.

Its time to start thinking out the box on the Cycle Network problem, because the current approach is getting us nowhere.

snibgo
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby snibgo » 17 Dec 2013, 1:23pm

Some interesting ideas there. I hate to pour on any cold water but:

1. "No pedestrians" would need some serious changes to the law which I don't think would ever happen.

2. I think you underestimate the maintenance requirements. Not much resurfacing, true, but plenty of vegetation cutting, leaf clearing, snow clearing, de-icing, etc.

3. Okay.

4. Yes please.

5. Volunteer wardens? Professionals "protect and educate" road users. Why would amateurs be better?

ScotchEgg wrote: I would also like to see a voluntary (eventually mandatory) proficiency test for any cycle network users, ...

There is currently a voluntary proficiency test: Bikeability. You want this to be mandatory? Seriously? Why? Who polices it? How will they know who is qualified?

6. Yes.

iviehoff
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby iviehoff » 17 Dec 2013, 1:47pm

ScotchEgg wrote:6. Adequate lighting and equivalent safety measures as normal road users expect. I'm fed up riding in total darkness.

Well get some proper bicycle lights then. Have two independent systems of lighting so one can fail and you are still lit. I am content that the street I live on has no street lighting, and that the lanes from my house to the railway station are unlit is simply normal for that class of road. My local council has been decommissioning some street lights particularly on rural A-roads, which I approve of.

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squeaker
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby squeaker » 17 Dec 2013, 1:55pm

iviehoff wrote:I am content that the street I live on has no street lighting, and that the lanes from my house to the railway station are unlit is simply normal for that class of road.
+1 :)
"42"

Mark1978
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby Mark1978 » 17 Dec 2013, 2:01pm

Take the Dutch infrastructure manual - implement it. There's no need to faff on dreaming up schemes, it's all there, been done.
Last edited by Mark1978 on 17 Dec 2013, 3:17pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pugwash
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby Pugwash » 17 Dec 2013, 3:14pm

ScotchEgg wrote:I would also like to see a voluntary (eventually mandatory) proficiency test for any cycle network users, .

Great idea if you want to stop children cycling, my youngest starting cycling on the road ( our cul de sac ) at 3.

ScotchEgg
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby ScotchEgg » 17 Dec 2013, 3:28pm

I think if you actually read the thread title - Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network, I'm calling for suggestions on how to improve a clearly flagging and in some parts very dangerous Cycle network. Please kee p your carping to a minimum.

Re: the Dutch system, it is a completely different demographic and atypical terrain. What is needed is some specificity to the conditions, weather and general road user unruliness which we find in the UK.

This is a supposed to be a positive, forward looking forum :D

snibgo
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby snibgo » 17 Dec 2013, 3:41pm

My favourite idea is to put bollards across every residential and shopping street, making them no-through-road for motorists.

Mark1978
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby Mark1978 » 17 Dec 2013, 3:51pm

ScotchEgg wrote:Re: the Dutch system, it is a completely different demographic and atypical terrain. What is needed is some specificity to the conditions, weather and general road user unruliness which we find in the UK.


No it isn't, that's just another excuse. You're asking for 'blue sky thinking' but are already putting the constraints on as to why it can't happen.

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mjr
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby mjr » 17 Dec 2013, 3:56pm

Good start. I'd support all except the wardens and tests.

1. Dedicated cyclist only paths through all city centres - OK but I don't mind sharing with pedestrians, especially if they obey the highway code rules 2 and (EDIT)56 as if it's a road, just not open to motors. Even sharing with infrequent buses at times would be OK, although some are road hogs.

2. national bike track repair and maintenance scheme - good idea. Highways Agency Cycleways Division, anyone? But don't underestimate the damage done by tree roots, plus a backlog of 20+ years of councils allowing vegetation to encroach from the edges and grow up through cracks. I suspect it may cost a bit to bring things back from the brink.

3. Proper system of traffic lights and signage for exit/entry from road carriageways - YES. This should probably be number 1.

4. All routes to be available on GPS mapping sites and clearly signed with distances between locations. - We do the mapping on sites like http://OpenCycleMap.org already and CTC has power to erect signs already but doesn't currently use it.

5. A cycle route warden system [...] a voluntary (eventually mandatory) proficiency test for any cycle network users, this might cit down on the number of egits currently abusing the system. - you mean like the driving test has cut down on the number of bad drivers??? Sorry, I don't agree with either of these moves. They're unsustainable unpaid labour and a bureaucratic barrier to entry. Do any famous high-cycling countries have either?

6. "Adequate lighting and equivalent safety measures as normal road users expect. I'm fed up riding in total darkness." - I agree up to a point. Right now, I think the biggest step forwards in lighting would be to get wiggle etc to start importing decent German-standard battery and dynamo lights and sell them as all-you-need starter packs. I was quite a fan of my Cateye 500 and it's still one of the better widely-available-in-the-UK lights but the Axa HR+Pico+Riff Steadies set was still a leap forwards for not much more money.

On the Dutch system comment... it's definitely not different to the fens or levels that are scattered around England. Their designs could nearly all work here. Did you know Holland is also the name of a part of Lincolnshire? ;-)
Last edited by mjr on 17 Dec 2013, 11:36pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jonbott
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby jonbott » 17 Dec 2013, 4:20pm

cyclepaths not the token white line on the side of the road :(
maintained paths,so you can actually ride in them not try and avoid overgrown plants and car passengers rubbish
we can dream....... :(
the lighting bit would cost way too much,I like riding in the dark
I`m def too old for this!

ScotchEgg
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Re: Suggestions for a Better Cycle Network

Postby ScotchEgg » 17 Dec 2013, 4:28pm

I dont think lighting is at all too much to ask for - we ask for too little with too small a voice as it is!!!

Re Holland, it is nothing like the UK. Total population only 16.5m, London alone has more citizens in itself. The biggest two cities Amsterdam and Rotterdam, only 770k and 660k peoples. Nothing in comparison to our demographic, plus 31% of the land is in low lying tidal areas, ie at sea level.

We need a UK specific architecture and ideas!!

This is not going to be easy, but if you dont think and you dont ask and rely on other countries to blueprint our own - you dont get!!!