Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

reohn2
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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby reohn2 » 14 Apr 2019, 9:54am

the cycle lanes near me are great :? :- https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.45956 ... 312!8i6656
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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby mjr » 14 Apr 2019, 10:41am

Cugel wrote:Well, I go by my own and very personal experiences. Despite being a very experienced cyclist well-able to control the bike and anticipate road dangers of every kind, I know that a so-called cycle lane in the gutter of the road is a more dangerous place for me than an open road of similar kind and use.

I agree with that. I'd also agree that a good cycle lane is not significantly safer than any other good road layout - but what it is is easier, less stressful, more fun, easier to navigate and more attractive to new cyclists.

There are endless dangers introduced by and hence caused by the white-line demarcated cycling "lane". They've been listed a thousand times.

Listing ideas doesn't prove anything. I also disagree that they're "introduced by" - name one? The popular accusations of increased dangers of left-hooking and right-crossing (which can be mitigated by good layouts but I agree often aren't in the UK - you're more likely to have the dodge of a cycleway stopping either side of a junction) are basically disputing the risk of dangers that already existed. For example, I've been left-hooked with and without cycle lanes - and on the whole, I'd rather have the extra metre and a half of space to react in.

The answer ro safer cycling is not so-called cycling infrastructure but the reining-in of all those dangers (including the bad driving habits) of modern motoring. It will require the current law to be vigorously applied and some new controls.

That's not prevention: it's just punishment after they do it. Why will that happen now when it hasn't in the last 100ish years even when cyclists far outnumbered motorists?

We should begin by adopting the widespread (elsewhere) assumption that any cyclist-with-powered-vehicle "accident" presumes the powered vehicle driver at fault.

Presumed liability is not prevention. It's about simplifying who pays when a motorist spreads a bike across the road. It's usually been introduced long after cycling has increased.

We should continue with a serious reduction in speeding, close-passing and those other behaviours that are known to exacerbate the bad results of "accidents"; or to cause them.

Great. How and how do we get anyone to support such measures?

Cycling infrastructure already exists. It's called "roads" and is a very good cycling facility indeed if the other traffic is prevented from behaving in an irresponsible and dangerous fashion. New so-called cycling infrasturcture is not only more dangerous but incredibly costly. Spend the money on traffic police instead. And on improving the roads, particularly potholes, which are more far dangerous to cyclists than to motorists.

Cycleways are roads too. Nothing you suggest prevents motorists behaving in an irresponsible and dangerous fashion and you ignore that cycleways do actually prevent it: by banning motorists from those roads or parts thereof.

New cycling infrastructure need not be more dangerous or particularly costly: I've been watching the Tour of the Basque Country highlights and it appears that when they repaint a wide road to have narrower lanes (in line with current highway design thinking) then instead of the UK practice of wide hatched areas and wide shoulders, they slew the main traffic lanes right over to one side and paint a wide-enough two-cycleway along the other edge, often with coloured lines and bollards to discourage motorists from entering it. That's a relatively cheap measure which the UK could do overnight for the cost of a few posts if it's done when the white lines are being repainted anyway. It's probably even less controversial than repainting narrower roads on cycle routes into bicycle streets (no centre line, wide advisory lanes along both sides).

Potholes are mostly caused by motorists, especially those cornering too fast. Using the cycling budget on potholes is just spending it on motoring unless steps are taken to stop motorists digging more holes. Last I saw, there was a £9bn backlog of potholes. The money to repair them should be taken from the huge road-building budget, not the tiny cycling one - even if the cycling budget is increased 10x to cover that, there are far better things to spend it on.
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RickH
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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby RickH » 14 Apr 2019, 7:47pm

reohn2 wrote:the cycle lanes near me are great :? :- https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.45956 ... 312!8i6656

And they're nice & freshly repainted (even painted straight over the potholes)! Still no wider though. :? I don't know about you but i just ignore them & ride to the right of the line in the main lane.

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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby reohn2 » 14 Apr 2019, 8:11pm

RickH wrote:
reohn2 wrote:the cycle lanes near me are great :? :- https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.45956 ... 312!8i6656

And they're nice & freshly repainted (even painted straight over the potholes)! Still no wider though. :? I don't know about you but i just ignore them & ride to the right of the line in the main lane.

I noticed they'd been painted since those in the link,and yes I too ride well to the right of the silliness :wink:
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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby Pete Owens » 14 Apr 2019, 8:17pm

reohn2 wrote:the cycle lanes near me are great :? :- https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.45956 ... 312!8i6656


That featured as facility of the month back in 2006:
http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.uk/facility-of-the-month/February2006.htm
Read the linked correspondence to see the traffic engineers attempt to deny the existence of the lane!

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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby reohn2 » 14 Apr 2019, 8:25pm

Pete Owens wrote:
reohn2 wrote:the cycle lanes near me are great :? :- https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.45956 ... 312!8i6656


That featured as facility of the month back in 2006:
http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.uk/facility-of-the-month/February2006.htm
Read the linked correspondence to see the traffic engineers attempt to deny the existence of the lane!

One wonders why they keep on painting a squashed up bike inbetween the kerb and the unbroken line,a width of no more than 45cm :roll:
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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby mjr » 14 Apr 2019, 9:06pm

That featured as facility of the month back in 2006:
http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.uk/facility-of-the-month/February2006.htm
Read the linked correspondence to see the traffic engineers attempt to deny the existence of the lane!

Nothing achieved in 13 years of listing that one. Maybe time to rename the site to Futilty Of The Month?
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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby Vorpal » 14 Apr 2019, 9:10pm

As far as I am concerned cycle lanes have exactly one purpose. To give me space to overtake (undertake) in congestion. They should only be installed on streets that become congested.
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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby Cugel » 15 Apr 2019, 8:28am

Vorpal wrote:As far as I am concerned cycle lanes have exactly one purpose. To give me space to overtake (undertake) in congestion. They should only be installed on streets that become congested.


That's a dangerous thing to do, as I've witnessed many times in Lancaster and other locations where busy town streets have the dreaded white lines and red gutters. There are parked vehicles, unloading goods or people. There are passengers opening doors to get out when the traffic becomes stationary. Vehicles turn left without warning down the many side-streets, entrances and so forth. Vehicles emerge from such places on to the red cycle area of the gutter. The red area is too narrow in many places (as discussed in this thread) and often disappears for a short stretch. Pedestrians wander in to it off the kerb when the pavements are crowded, as they often are in towns.

I cyclded through Lancaster for decades, well before the so-called cycling infrastructure appeared. It was (and still is) much safer to cycle with the trafffic; and to overtake on the right when there's room to do so, not down the gutter.

You can make a case for some cycling infrastructure that's separate from traffic and avoids an otherwise lethal interchange or similar. But even dedicate cycle paths tend to be neglected, full of rubbish and detritus for which cars on a parallel road are often the source. These cycle paths too have various dangerous parts, especially where they intersect with roads at junctions, roundabouts and similar.

Bikes are just traffic. The answer to danger is to learn cycling competancy and for authorities to control the often outrageously dangerous behaviour of motorists. If these two things could be achieved, cycling would both be and appear far less dangerous. Cycling infrastructure either makes cycling more dangerous or routes cyclists off the roads (where they want to go) on to often inadequate paths (where cyclists often become a problem to pedestrians) going via poor routes to nowhere any cyclist wants to go unless it's for a leisure ride.

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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby Bmblbzzz » 15 Apr 2019, 10:29am

mjr wrote:Cycleways are roads too.

Putting to one side the legal definition and concentrating on the practicality, they sometimes are but usually they're more like paths. Unfortunately.

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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby mjr » 15 Apr 2019, 2:11pm

Cugel wrote:
Vorpal wrote:As far as I am concerned cycle lanes have exactly one purpose. To give me space to overtake (undertake) in congestion. They should only be installed on streets that become congested.


That's a dangerous thing to do, as I've witnessed many times in Lancaster and other locations where busy town streets have the dreaded white lines and red gutters. There are parked vehicles, unloading goods or people. There are passengers opening doors to get out when the traffic becomes stationary. Vehicles turn left without warning down the many side-streets, entrances and so forth. Vehicles emerge from such places on to the red cycle area of the gutter. The red area is too narrow in many places (as discussed in this thread) and often disappears for a short stretch. Pedestrians wander in to it off the kerb when the pavements are crowded, as they often are in towns.

I cyclded through Lancaster for decades, well before the so-called cycling infrastructure appeared. It was (and still is) much safer to cycle with the trafffic; and to overtake on the right when there's room to do so, not down the gutter.

!! Overtaking on the right is still dangerous! There are parked vehicles, unloading goods or people. There are passengers opening doors to get out when the traffic becomes stationary. Vehicles turn right without warning down the many side-streets, entrances and so forth. Vehicles emerge from such places on to the side of the road you're using to overtake without their drivers bothering to look in your direction.

About the only thing you can say is that the lane to the right is more usually a good width, but I think we can probably all agree that narrow gutter lanes are undesirable. However, it's really not clear whether the paper mentioned in the opening article was about such substandard junk or - as some here try to apply it to - all cycle lanes. It's from Australia, so probably junk.

You can make a case for some cycling infrastructure that's separate from traffic and avoids an otherwise lethal interchange or similar. But even dedicate cycle paths tend to be neglected, full of rubbish and detritus for which cars on a parallel road are often the source. These cycle paths too have various dangerous parts, especially where they intersect with roads at junctions, roundabouts and similar.

Yes, there are still usually hazards, but at least you're not intersecting with motorists potentially on every metre of the road. Good design can prevent much of motorists' rubbish getting on them. They still need to be maintained, but cycle-only roads are much cheaper to maintain than roads which are getting pounded to dust by motorists in their heavy vehicles.

Bikes are just traffic.

In one way, yes. In another way, no: we're smaller, lighter, more agile vehicles (although not quite as agile as some bad designers seem to think!), travelling at much more similar speeds to each other than motorists do, much less keen on stopping and much more able to negotiate safe passage without lights and road markings. Roads offer better cycling when they're designed for cycle traffic. Let's harness our strengths.

The answer to danger is to learn cycling competancy and for authorities to control the often outrageously dangerous behaviour of motorists. If these two things could be achieved, cycling would both be and appear far less dangerous. Cycling infrastructure either makes cycling more dangerous or routes cyclists off the roads (where they want to go) on to often inadequate paths (where cyclists often become a problem to pedestrians) going via poor routes to nowhere any cyclist wants to go unless it's for a leisure ride.

:lol: It doesn't have to be that way with good design, plus the carriageways remain available for those who will use them. We've been unable to achieve authorities controlling the often outrageously dangerous behaviour of motorists for about a century and it's unlikely to work at the moment - we need more people cycling first, then we stand more chance of achieving that, so how do we do that from our current starting point? Good cycling infrastructure!
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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby Vorpal » 15 Apr 2019, 2:37pm

Many cycle lanes in the UK are poorly designed. That can make over/undertaking unsafe. But the act itself isn't necessarily so. If I am overtaking, I will make a judgment for myself about which side is safer, and when I need to rejoin a general traffic lane. I generally prefer to filter between lanes. However, if there are long queues, a cycle lane may be the better alternative.

Bus lanes, cycle lanes, and (in some places) multi-occupancy lanes are designed to allow the vehicles using them to make progress when general traffic lanes are congested. IMO, there is no other good purpose for them.

If separation is needed for safety, on a dual carraigeway A road, for example, then cyclists should be fully segregated from traffic on the main carriageway, with physical separation of a few metres and/or barriers.
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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby Cugel » 15 Apr 2019, 3:11pm

Vorpal wrote:Many cycle lanes in the UK are poorly designed. That can make over/undertaking unsafe. But the act itself isn't necessarily so. If I am overtaking, I will make a judgment for myself about which side is safer, and when I need to rejoin a general traffic lane. I generally prefer to filter between lanes. However, if there are long queues, a cycle lane may be the better alternative.

Bus lanes, cycle lanes, and (in some places) multi-occupancy lanes are designed to allow the vehicles using them to make progress when general traffic lanes are congested. IMO, there is no other good purpose for them.

If separation is needed for safety, on a dual carraigeway A road, for example, then cyclists should be fully segregated from traffic on the main carriageway, with physical separation of a few metres and/or barriers.


If a town LH cycling lane was wider than the gutter, well demarcated, continuous and otherwise better designed than virtually all those I've ever seen, it might be a decent place for cyclists to pass stationary traffic. I'd still be very wary of the usual hazards of using it though. Unless the cycling within it is thick & continuous, pedestrians, unloaders and car passengers will still go into it without thinking or looking.

I know of one segregated cycle path by a road that's quite good. It's on the road from Blaennenarch towards Aberporth - but it lasts only about 400 metres. The reason it's quite good is that it's separated from the road by a grass verge and kerb, quite wide and ..... very little used, as is the road next to it.

It's a shared path for pedestrians too - but I've never seen one when going down it. Nor have I seen any other cyclists. As a result, it's in quite good condition. The only hazard is a spread of stones, some quite large, gradually tossed there from the wheels of passing cars on the parallel road. Some of these are large enough to cause a bike wheel to jump sideways if one hits it. They and the various smaller gravel detritus never get swept off.

This seems to be the general fate of cycling infrastructure. It sometimes gets built well - but rarely. When it does, it only stays good(ish) if not much used. Even then, it tends to be neglected in terms of keeping it swept, drained and otherwise maintained.

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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby Bmblbzzz » 15 Apr 2019, 6:21pm

mjr wrote:
Bikes are just traffic.

In one way, yes. In another way, no: we're smaller, lighter, more agile vehicles (although not quite as agile as some bad designers seem to think!), travelling at much more similar speeds to each other than motorists do, much less keen on stopping and much more able to negotiate safe passage without lights and road markings. Roads offer better cycling when they're designed for cycle traffic. Let's harness our strengths.

I agree with all that except the bolded bit. On most roads, motor traffic is limited in speed by the speed of the vehicle in front and by whatever the local attitude to speed limits is. This means it all tends to go at around the speed limit, or lower in congestion and a big higher on certain roads such as motorways. Whereas cycle traffic is limited in speed primarily by the legs and lungs of the rider. Speed limits do not apply and congestion is much less of a factor than for motor vehicles. Even on a motorway, the fastest cars might be doing a bit less than double the speed of the slowest lorries: 90 to 50 – whereas the fastest cyclists on a wide cycle path might easily be doing three times the speed of the slowest: 30 to 10.

My comment on reluctance to stop is: Idaho stop! Conserve momentum and use our all-round visibility. If only we had such a law as the enlightened, er, USA!

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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby mjr » 15 Apr 2019, 8:11pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:I agree with all that except the bolded bit. On most roads, motor traffic is limited in speed by the speed of the vehicle in front and by whatever the local attitude to speed limits is. This means it all tends to go at around the speed limit, or lower in congestion and a big higher on certain roads such as motorways.

I bow to your wider knowledge of roads. Out here in the fields, I watch out for wheels, from loaded tractor-pulled wagons at 15 to numpties doing 70 on 60mph back roads.
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