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The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes



 
 
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  #21  
Old May 24th 04, 12:21 PM
David Arditti
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Default The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes



[Note: I have not been on Blackfriars bridge, and the article seems
quite
vague on the "problem" with this particular cycle lane....]

Scandal of our deadly cycle lanes snip


Good article, which sounds like it was written by a cyclist, though I think
the figure that UK cyclists are 10 times more likely to be killed or injured
than those in Denmark is probably an exaggeration. Data I have studied (per
person km cycled) indicates the ratio is more like 2 or 3.

The problem on Blackfriars Bridge is essentially the high speeds, the long,
exposed nature of the cycle lane between an ahead and a left-turn lane, and
the way buses have to cross the lanes to stop to the left of the left lane
and then get into the ahead lane again. The design cannot overcome the
inherent conflict between trying to have a priority cycle route running
ahead and a high-capacity left filter for other vehicles on the same road,
and is a prime example of confused thinking about such things.

The article also brings up problems with the position of CTC in the
statements by Geffen and Russell (both of whom I know). The author rightly
attacks the British systems compared to the far better segregated bike
engineering of The Netherlands and Denmark. But CTC has always tended to
oppose the segregating of cyclists and motor vehicles on British roads,
wrong-headedly (in my view) fearing it that creates more danger and
marginalisation for the cyclist - when anyone who looks at the situation in
continental countries can see that exactly the reverse is true - the danger
and marginalisation occur here, where we try to combine cyclists and motors
in the same unsegregated space, not there. Russell saying "most accidents
are caused by motorists not being careful" is a silly statement as it misses
the point. We all know that. The object of cycle engineering is to protect
cyclists from the mistakes of motorists.

David Arditti

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  #22  
Old May 24th 04, 12:48 PM
Helen Deborah Vecht
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Default The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes

David Arditti typed

The object of cycle engineering is to protect
cyclists from the mistakes of motorists.


Which this cycle farcility has evidently failed to do, with tragic
results. Such failures are not uncommon. :-(

--
Helen D. Vecht:
Edgware.
  #23  
Old May 24th 04, 01:26 PM
David Hansen
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Default The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes

On Mon, 24 May 2004 12:21:47 +0100 someone who may be David Arditti
wrote this:-

But CTC has always tended to
oppose the segregating of cyclists and motor vehicles on British roads,
wrong-headedly (in my view) fearing it that creates more danger and
marginalisation for the cyclist


Most figures are against you with regard to danger. Some have been
given in this thread.

As for marginalisation, there are plenty of examples of "get in the
cycle lane" comments from motorists in this group.


--
David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK government
prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
  #24  
Old May 24th 04, 01:53 PM
Peter Clinch
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Default The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes

Velvet wrote:

True, but even so, I'm not sure the majority of tourers that are about
on the roads actually have full-sus.. and I fail to see why I should
have to buy a bike with suspension just to be able to ride on shoddy
tarmac.


You shouldn't, which is why I said "While not in any way disagreeing
with your point". It was just some extra information on bikes, not an
excuse for cycle tracks to be terrible.
But for touring generally, another point of information is that there
are plenty of back roads with as bad to worse surfaces out there, and as
suspension gets more widely available and better (when done properly,
this isn't about Comedy suspension on mug's eyeful gaspipe jobs) it's
increasingly worth considering on touring bikes meant for roads.

But, like you say, a cycle track should be welcoming for any bike likely
to ride along it, including one with narrow, unsuspended wheels.

If they're going to put in cycle facilities then at the very least the
surface should mean all bikes should be able to use them, not just a
sub-set of bikes.


Probably most affected are things like trikes and trailers, which can't
easily get through those little traffic-limiting gates designed to stop
yoofs tearing up and down the things on scooters and mopeds. Which is,
of course, another reason they tend to be a Work of Stan (though kudos
to Fife for turning the one between Tayport and Tay Road Bridge from a
ridiculous invitation to eat loose gravel into a really pretty good
track which is a pleasure to use).

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch University of Dundee
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/

  #25  
Old May 24th 04, 02:07 PM
Peter Clinch
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Default The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes

David Arditti wrote:

The article also brings up problems with the position of CTC in the
statements by Geffen and Russell (both of whom I know). The author rightly
attacks the British systems compared to the far better segregated bike
engineering of The Netherlands and Denmark. But CTC has always tended to
oppose the segregating of cyclists and motor vehicles on British roads,
wrong-headedly (in my view) fearing it that creates more danger and
marginalisation for the cyclist - when anyone who looks at the situation in
continental countries can see that exactly the reverse is true - the danger
and marginalisation occur here, where we try to combine cyclists and motors
in the same unsegregated space, not there.


When one experiences the situation in the NL even if only for a few days
(my Dutch cycling experience) then it's soon remarkably easy to see that
there's probably More To It Than That.
It is an article of faith amongst many that segregation in the NL is
What Makes The Difference, but even where I was on roads shared with
motor transport (which seems to be rather more than the popular view in
the UK holds) it was very clear that I was being given one helluva lot
more attention and thought than is typical in the UK. I felt safer,
despits being on an unfamiliar bike on the "wrong" side of the road with
traffic laws I wasn't familiar with. How can that be, if the real
safety feature is segregation?

are caused by motorists not being careful" is a silly statement as it misses
the point. We all know that. The object of cycle engineering is to protect
cyclists from the mistakes of motorists.


But the problem is that unless you can make segregation *total*, which
of course you can't, then users of roads become less aware of cyclists
because they see them less. Which is why the junctions between cycle
tracks and roads are where the nasty accidents happen. And
superimposing cycle tracks on an existing road network means lots of
junctions in most cases. You won't get tailgated, but that isn't
especially common in any case. One thing which almost everyone agrees
on is that cyclists get safer when there are more of them. Difficult to
objectively prove /why/ that is, but the figures strongly suggest that
whatever the "why", it is so. If you remove cyclists from roads by
segregation there become effectively less of them, so things instantly
get more dangerous on the road when the road can't be avoided.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch University of Dundee
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/

  #26  
Old May 24th 04, 02:23 PM
Nathaniel Porter
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Default The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes


"David Arditti" wrote in message
...

The object of cycle engineering is to protect
cyclists from the mistakes of motorists.


But that can only go so far (if you're being reasonable). Surely it would be
better to stop motorists from making mistakes?

I appreciate motorists are only human and will make mistakes - but the vast
majority of mistakes seem to be caused through ignorance, incompetancy or
selfishness - and these mistakes shouldn't happen.


  #27  
Old May 24th 04, 02:51 PM
Helen Deborah Vecht
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Default The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes

Peter Clinch typed


When one experiences the situation in the NL even if only for a few days
(my Dutch cycling experience) then it's soon remarkably easy to see that
there's probably More To It Than That.
It is an article of faith amongst many that segregation in the NL is
What Makes The Difference, but even where I was on roads shared with
motor transport (which seems to be rather more than the popular view in
the UK holds) it was very clear that I was being given one helluva lot
more attention and thought than is typical in the UK. I felt safer,
despits being on an unfamiliar bike on the "wrong" side of the road with
traffic laws I wasn't familiar with. How can that be, if the real
safety feature is segregation?


I call it the respect/contempt issue.
Cyclists in the Netherlands are respected and numerous.
Cyclists in Britain are hated and not numerous.

I don't know what will change the numbers.
I don't have a clue what will induce the Brits to accord more respect to
cyclists. Some cycle farcilities are definitely counter-productive here
(and there's a large feature in the local rag entitled 'Cycle lane has
hit profits, angry traders tell minister')

I think it's a chicken & egg problem.

--
Helen D. Vecht:
Edgware.
  #28  
Old May 24th 04, 03:03 PM
Michael MacClancy
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Default The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes

On Mon, 24 May 2004 14:51:35 +0100, Helen Deborah Vecht wrote:



I call it the respect/contempt issue.
Cyclists in the Netherlands are respected and numerous.
Cyclists in Britain are hated and not numerous.

I don't know what will change the numbers.
I don't have a clue what will induce the Brits to accord more respect to
cyclists. Some cycle farcilities are definitely counter-productive here
(and there's a large feature in the local rag entitled 'Cycle lane has
hit profits, angry traders tell minister')


Here's a link to the story:
http://tinyurl.com/3ezt3



--
Michael MacClancy
Random putdown - "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter
saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain
www.macclancy.demon.co.uk
www.macclancy.co.uk
  #29  
Old May 24th 04, 03:05 PM
Simon Brooke
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Default The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes

in message , David Arditti
') wrote:

The article also brings up problems with the position of CTC in the
statements by Geffen and Russell (both of whom I know). The author
rightly attacks the British systems compared to the far better
segregated bike engineering of The Netherlands and Denmark. But CTC
has always tended to oppose the segregating of cyclists and motor
vehicles on British roads, wrong-headedly (in my view) fearing it that
creates more danger and marginalisation for the cyclist - when anyone
who looks at the situation in continental countries can see that
exactly the reverse is true


No, you're completely and diametrically wrong, as research done in both
Holland and Denmark has shown. In both those countries (as in the UK,
US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) studies have shown that cycle
paths are substantially more dangerous than the roads.

We've been through this argument again and again; it's like helmets.
Common sense says that cycle paths should help, and everyone initially
assumes they do and that experienced cyclists are just being pig-headed
about this. We're not. Initially we all thought as you do, but we've
read the research, and our minds have been changed.

--
(Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
; ... of course nothing said here will be taken notice of by
; the W3C. The official place to be ignored is on www-style or
; www-html. -- George Lund

  #30  
Old May 24th 04, 06:29 PM
Peter Tillotson
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Default The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes

Mark Thompson wrote:
| This has always been my greatest fear. That one day the buggers will
| realise that they only need to spend a bit more money on cycle
| farcilities and then vote us off the road altogether.

But why - if the road has no attached cycle way you could go on the
road, if it does it'll be better than the road (for security anyway).
I suppose you might say that drivers will get used to not having to
think about cyclists so will be worse when they have to share, but
separate lanes will get many more cycling and we just might end up
like Holland and Denmark.



It's 'cos impatient/late buggers like me like to get there at more than
12mph. On my (v. short) commute I try and keep my speed at 20mph. There's
no way I could do that on most cycle paths and it would be the height of
stupidity to do it on a shared use footpath, even if it was deserted enough
to be possible.

Added to the reduction in speed negotiating junctions would be more time
consuming. On the road I can just do a left turn, right turn or go
straight ahead at speed (if nothing coming). On a cyclepath I'd have to
slow down a lot/stop to let traffic past and check it was clear when I
could just sail past with right of way on the road.

I don't find the roads unsafe and do find many cycle lanes off the road too
slow to bother with. Trundlies may have a different view I s'pose.


Cycle lanes also have the irritating habit of stoping at every road
junction. I don't mind cycle lanes, as long as they are well designed
and recognise that cyclist like to maintain momentum.

I think we need to start educating the car drivers, report everyone
comes too close or cuts you up. It'd be nice to take snaps of the number
plate, get home and automatically get a list sent to the local police.

A few producers may get em thinking
 




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