Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

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

Postby pjclinch » 29 Apr 2019, 3:56pm

I have yet to see a behaviour change survey that allowed me to tick a box of "I just do what I do because I'm used to doing it and can't summon the energy to change my behaviour right now" (aka "ICBA")

But, TBH, that is the probably the most common reason I don't do stuff, even when I am quite clear it would be to my advantage to change.

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

Postby Cugel » 29 Apr 2019, 4:37pm

Vorpal wrote:Most of the surveys about why people don't cycle are poorly constructed and/or designed to get a particular answer. People will generally pick 'safety' or 'fear of traffic' as the reason when the alternatives are about helmet hair or lack of showers.

I have yet to see a survey that asks questions like, 'if cycling was faster than driving, would you ride your bike to work?' because I'd bet that a significant proportion of the folks who said fear of traffic was why they don't cycle would give a different answer if the questions included speed and convenience. Of if people were helped to get places by bike before they took such a survey.

Surveys of why people don't do things can get poor results when they are reasonably well constructed. When they aren't, they're hopeless.


This is so true - although it's no easy matter to construct any survey that asks truly neutral questions. Every and any kind of question tends to suggest a range of answers supplied by cultural norms. The very language itself is highly suggestive. The "same" question in English might have entirely invoke an entirely different perspective if asked in Chinese.

But if the survey attempts to sidestep the cultural norms by giving a range of alternative non-cliche answers to choose from, that too is supplying a limited range of answers. In fact, it's likely to contain only the perspectives and prejudices of the person constructing the survey.

So, as you intimate, even the choice from N constructed answers will be affected by cultural norms. Habits. Fashions. What I'm supposed to think. What my mate Dick thinks. What my favourite newspap said about "this subject".............

I once did a course exploring all the varieties of rhetoric, inclusive of how to obtain the answer you want by asking questions that suggest that answer. There are a hundred ways...... Every survey I've ever looked at used a number of them, perhaps on purpose or perhaps just accidently, by copying survey-question models of the familiar kind.

Here's one example: "What is your ethnicity".

This presupposes that there is such a thing as ethnicity; that's it's a valid concept; that the person answering recognises it as such; that the person answering will supply one of a culturally-acceptable or familiar set of ethnicities. Personally I don't accept the concept and, even if I did, have no idea what mine is or ought to be.

What to do if surveying then? Questions need to be open to as much as possible, despite the imprecision. For example, rather than "What's your ethnicity" how about "Define who you are"? It'll be no fun sorting out the meaning of the answers, mind. :-)

Cugel

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

Postby drossall » 29 Apr 2019, 5:26pm

Quite. Which makes the survey just as worthless as if it's full of the kind of leading question of which you complain.

To analyse survey results, you have to put them into categories. Either you provide the categories and ask respondants to choose, or you (painfully and slowly) go through each response and apply categories that the respondants possibly wouldn't support.

But without the categories, why do the survey?

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

Postby Vorpal » 29 Apr 2019, 6:26pm

drossall wrote:
But without the categories, why do the survey?

Because they can 'prove' that we need something to get more people on bikes, like segregated infrastructure.
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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby drossall » 29 Apr 2019, 6:31pm

No, without categories, they can't even "prove" that.

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

Postby Pete Owens » 30 Apr 2019, 6:06pm

StephenW wrote:There may indeed be many different reasons for the radical decline in cycling. However, a common finding from numerous surveys and other investigations is that the fear of motor traffic is a very major barrier to cycling in the UK. (https://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/wiki ... rs-cycling).


All you get from these types of survey are the excuses from motorists as to why it is absolutely imperative that they drive everywhere. Of course they are unlikely to click the boxes "because I am a bone idle slob" or "I don't want anyone to think I'm weird" (assuming those boxes were even offered as choices). They know that they cannot justify their unnecessary polluting behaviour on those grounds so they try to come up with a respectable excuse is safety. And once they have their excuse in they will then be asked what should be done about it. Of course they will recommend what motorists have always wanted - for the pesky cyclists to be cleared out of their way - rather than measure implemented that actually make the roads safer by imposing restrictions on motorists.

This sort of nonsense is easy to challenge and I do it repeatedly at work. Whenever my motoring colleagues start to grumble about how hard done by the hard pressed motorists are - how they are stuck in endless traffic jams that need solving by building more roads - how they are being unfairly charged fuel taxes - how speed cameras are just a revenue raising con. I point out that the solution is in their own hands. I say "Just hop on your bike and beat the queues and the tax man and the speed tickets".

Invariably they will come up with your typical survey response as their excuse, but at this point I will whip out my local cycle map and show them a route to work avoiding roads. At this point the response is never "Oh I hadn't realised that - now that the reason I don't cycle has been overcome I will get the bike out of the shed tomorrow". The response is always to come up with the next excuse on the list. It might be they can't cycle to work because they are dropping their kids at school on the way - Or when they are grumbling about the queues on the school run then they can't ride to school with the kids because they are coming to work. One who goes for runs at lunchtime couldn't ride to work because he would get to sweaty. Or the ones who complain they are stuck in rush-hour traffic can't afford the time. Or the weather.

In any case you don't need to use surveys with leading questions to speculate whether segregation would result in more cycling. We can look at the real world behaviour of people living in the post-war new towns which are planned with segregated cycle networks and compare to traditional settlements. If there was any truth whatsoever in the hypotheses that segregation generates cycle traffic then these would be the cycling hot-spots of the UK. They are not. Without fail these have actually turned out to be the most auto-dependent towns in the country.

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

Postby amaferanga » 30 Apr 2019, 8:59pm

Segregation works in the Netherlands. It works in Copenhagen. Those are real world examples that demonstrate that segregation on some roads does work. It hasn't worked in the UK because there's never been a joined up network that gets huge numbers of people where they want to go. But segregation is just a small part of making cities fit for active travel. Segregation is only necessary on fast or very busy roads. Residential streets can be redesigned to make it clear that they're for people and cars are guests. They do this particularly well all over in the Netherlands.

As I'm sure you know, the Netherlands started building motorways through cities then changed to design cities for people, not cars.

While I agree that some people are just lazy, I know plenty who would cycle if it felt safer. For them, segregation on busy roads is necessary.

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

Postby StephenW » 30 Apr 2019, 9:57pm

Well, I can see that there are some potential issues with surveys. However, if we reject all surveys out of hand, what are we left with? How do we find out what the main barriers to more cycling are? Intuition? Anecdote? Poking a finger in the air? Surely the thing to do is to look at each study in detail, to understand exactly what was done and how the questions are posed, rather than rejecting them all out of hand?

Unless someone has a special secret stash of evidence hidden up their sleeves? :lol:

I do find it striking that there are over 20 studies mentioned at the link I shared, with broadly similar findings. Most of these were undertaken by people whose job it is to do this kind of stuff. Are we saying that all these people are so bad at their jobs that all of the results are rubbish?

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

Postby mjr » 1 May 2019, 12:31am

Pete Owens wrote: If there was any truth whatsoever in the hypotheses that segregation generates cycle traffic then these would be the cycling hot-spots of the UK. They are not. Without fail these have actually turned out to be the most auto-dependent towns in the country.

Firstly, the misleadingness of that claim has been pointed out already this topic a few pages ago at viewtopic.php?f=6&t=129280&p=1347793#p1347793

Secondly, cycle infrastructure might be necessary but not sufficient...
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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby Bmblbzzz » 1 May 2019, 9:09am

If the figures from MK show relatively high levels of cycling but low levels of walking and bus use, and I'm sure I've seen similar figures from the Netherlands compared to other European countries, then that might indicated that increased facility of cycling turns pedestrians and passengers into cycling but does little or nothing to get drivers out of their cars.

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

Postby mjr » 1 May 2019, 9:48am

Bmblbzzz wrote:If the figures from MK show relatively high levels of cycling but low levels of walking and bus use, and I'm sure I've seen similar figures from the Netherlands compared to other European countries, then that might indicated that increased facility of cycling turns pedestrians and passengers into cycling but does little or nothing to get drivers out of their cars.

Distinctly near-average levels of cycling. See earlier post or other official stats. We should also not ignore that having 60/70mph roads within 500m of most homes (it's a 1km grid, more or less, with additional NW-SE motorway and quasimotorway) has an effect.
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Re: Painted cycle lanes may make roads more dangerous for bike riders

Postby Wanlock Dod » 9 May 2019, 9:51pm

An important factor in having relatively high levels of cycling seems to be car journeys over the same kinds of distances (i.e.short ones) being relatively inconvenient. This is certainly a factor in many parts of The Netherlands, and many of the cities in Little Britain which have higher levels of cycling such as Cambridge, London, Lancaster, and Dumfries. In these situations only relatively modest levels of segregation seem to be required, perhaps because driving is already rather constrained through congestion. I am not sure that segregated infrastructure alone is sufficient to encourage much cycling, and this seems to be borne out by Milton Keynes. Simply facilitating driving over short distances seems to be enough to suppress cycling in a relatively affluent society where many can afford to run a car and it is easy and convenient to use. This factor will probably ensure that even moderate levels of cycling are difficult to achieve in most of Little Britain for quite some time to come.

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

Postby scarletnut » 14 May 2019, 8:20pm

I am intrigued as to what a "custom device" is and how it works??? Close passing is a big disincentive and if we have to change driver behaviour maybe knowing that cyclists/undercover police are logging close passing would be great!! If we could also camera the number plate then we could supply local constabulary with info. much like community speed monitoring groups who clock speeds and the number plate and the driver/car owner gets a warning letter!