Do we need cycle specific facilities?

Discussion in 'Cycling Archive' started by Andy Morris, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Andy Morris

    Andy Morris Guest

    Two Things:

    Cyclists - Ride well out into the lane you are using.

    Motor Drivers - Change lane to pass or wait.

    If we could get those two, why would we need all the stuff sustrans, the
    CTC etc tell us we need before anyone normal would ride a bike?

    Andy Morris
    Andy Morris, Nov 22, 2015
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  2. In uk.rec.cycling.moderated on Sun, 22 Nov 2015 18:23:35 +0000
    Because it is a big if.

    Especially the wait one.

    I have had cyclists be visibly and verbally annoyed and do silly
    things to pass me on cycle paths because I was not going fast enough
    for them. It's a big problem on the separated paths in the CBD at
    going home time as soon as the traffic thins a bit.

    If cyclists won't, why will drivers?

    I find on back streets where there's low traffic so passing is easy
    and wait time is short, drivers are generally patient. Also when
    it is outside normal commuting times.

    But otherwise... they get more aggro and take more risks to get past
    the obstacle. Which, I note, they don't do when the obstacle is a

    The way to solve it is to slowly change expectations. With a lot of
    money and time, and a change in the way roads are designed and the
    laws are framed it could be done.

    Possibly even more quickly if every cyclist is given a sealed camera
    which they hand in once a week and the footage therein is checked and
    any lawbreaking drivers prosecuted....

    Zebee Johnstone, Nov 22, 2015
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  3. Andy Morris

    Tosspot Guest

    It's not clear cut. Imho, it really comes down to safe passing
    distance. The 'take your lane' mantra is to force motorists to leave a
    safe passing distance. If they did this anyway, you wouldn't need to
    ride in the lane. Fwiw, on narrow two way roads, I ride out a bit
    farther. It works fine until you meet a car coming the other way. I'm
    amazed how many times I'm forced to give way by a car on the wrong side
    of the rode! Mind you, it's that of the mercy of the NHS.

    Specific cycle facilities are useful, I can think of a couple of narrow
    national speed limit roads that either have a much praised cycle path or
    need one. The Guildford Road springs to mind :-(
    Tosspot, Nov 22, 2015
  4. That's why I like single-track roads in areas where there are a lot
    of them! All drivers have their eyes open and expect to have to stop
    and negotiate - or they rapidly run into something less moveable than
    they are :)
    Where appropriate and where it is feasible, yes. But, far too often,
    a busy, national speed limit road is 'improved' by narrowing the
    all-vehicle lanes and painting a couple of 1.2 metre psychle lanes
    on either side. Because they are separate lanes, motor vehicles
    will pass at full speed right up to the edge of their lane, and
    the law and Highway Code (spit!) encourages them to do so.

    Nick Maclaren.
    Nick Maclaren, Nov 22, 2015
  5. Andy Morris

    kimble Guest

    Because some of us are young, old or disabled and should be able to
    cycle safely without the judgement (or, pragmatically, physical ability)
    to consistently apply the first thing.

    kimble, Nov 22, 2015
  6. As someone who is somewhat disabled, I need to ride in that position
    on an adequately wide and straight roadway, and the provision of
    'alternative facilities' makes it too dangerous for me to do so.

    Nick Maclaren.
    Nick Maclaren, Nov 22, 2015
  7. roadies? on the commute well I see no one genrally since I'm travelling
    early/late from one old London village to another though a fairly
    unknown royal Park.

    But on leisure/pottering rides, into busyier areas such as Richmond Park
    or into central London, even with out bike lanes, it's allways is a
    roadie I find attempting to overtake so close they are partically
    brushing, that and tailgating/drafting.

    I suspect it's what they expect to ride like.
    MTB/hybrids/bmx/recumbants/etc don't.

    at the moment getting fast commuters are worrying about this

    I think their fears are unjustified.

    a) the amount of cyclist that use it in my experance is far lower than
    people think.

    b) most of the time your held up by the volume of cars, if anything my
    guess is passing the odd wandering Boris Bike is unlikely to be slower.

    C) a few years ago I swapped my town bike from a light road SS to a old
    MTB that I'd retired from active duty, panniers addded etc, while it's
    true I no longer can hit >30mph on the flat only getting into the low
    20's point a to point b across urban/suburban is unchanged.
    I find on the edge of london before 7am traffic can be bit frisky but
    after that it's genrally resigned to it's fate.
    Roger Merriman
    Roger Merriman, Nov 22, 2015
  8. Andy Morris

    Peter Clinch Guest

    I don't need extras... but then again I've been doing it for years and
    am experienced enough to formally teach you how to do it on behalf of
    Cycling Scotland. That's not "normal".

    However, IMHO you shouldn't have to be at least 12 (the recommended
    *minimum* age for National Standards level 3, which includes anything on
    fast and/or busy roads) to qualify as "normal". In NL it is entirely
    normal for primary school children to ride unescorted to school. It's
    sort of sometimes normal here, *if* the roads are quiet enough, but that
    conditional goes straight out of the window in NL, because there *will*
    be a route from local housing to the school that an under-10 can easily
    and safely negotiate on their own. Those routes are built in to the
    basic fabric: new houses *will* mean connected cycle routes to local
    amenities, and so on.

    So aside from the fact that "if we could get these two", particularly
    the second, is a bit like saying "if Jeremy Hunt had a Clue..." and
    hoping a Clue will show up, one needs to realise that UK cycling is
    dominated by Enthusiasts who are willing to mix it with fast and/or
    heavy traffic. "Normal" people, apparently, aren't happy to do that. As
    to why, ask them, not us. With my "Workplace Cycle Instructor" hat on
    most of my clients state that they're afraid of the roads as they are
    and need extra confidence, though they also state they're happy on
    separate paths. They are often pleasantly surprised at how easy mixing
    it with traffic can be when we have a lesson, but it takes a formal
    lesson with an instructor to get them to try, and there isn't a big
    queue wanting to try despite my services being free to Tayside's largest
    employer and in a city where the traffic is actually remarkably benign
    compared to places like Embra and Glasgow or London.

    Peter Clinch, Nov 23, 2015
  9. Andy Morris

    Andy Morris Guest

    How is riding in the middle of a wide lane harder than negotiating the
    wide variety of cycle facilities found even in dutch heaven, while
    looking out for doors opening, cars pulling out from side roads and all
    the other joys of 'dutch style' cycling?

    Andy Morris
    Andy Morris, Nov 23, 2015
  10. Andy Morris

    Andy Morris Guest

    On 23/11/2015 08:48, Peter Clinch wrote:.
    I would think the sort of road that an under 12 year old child can ride
    is the sort of road that it is safe for them to walk along unaccompanied
    and cross without lights. No child should have to be walked or driven to
    school at that age, but thats not a cycle facilities problem its an
    urban planning problem. Building barriers round roads that slice thru
    communities is not a solution, its an excuse.
    There is a whole industry telling people that its really unsafe to ride
    on a normal road, because cars and lorries will hunt you down and squash

    If you must ride on the road, you must try and keep out of the way of
    traffic at all costs after all, that's what bike lanes tell you.

    So having absorbed the lessons taught to them by sustrans and the CTC is
    no wonder the average person thinks cycling is suicidal.

    Andy Morris.
    Andy Morris, Nov 23, 2015
  11. Andy Morris

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Ah, you seem to think "cycle facilities" and "urban planning" are
    somehow disconnected. That too many people in urban and cycle planning
    in the UK share that misconception is the basic problem here.
    I have no idea where you got the idea that the CTC think you should keep
    out of the way of traffic. Perhaps you can highlight something on their
    web pages to that effect for us?

    You have also rather missed the point that it's not just about safety
    keeping people off bikes, but about how *nice* it is (or rather how nice
    it isn't) to participate in traffic with HGVs, even if they're well
    driven and leave you space (as has been noted, a pretty big if). I'm an
    experienced vehicular cyclist, I teach other people how to do it, I know
    I'm reasonably safe, I mainly cycle in a town I regard as having benign
    traffic, but when I'm riding along and clock a bus or a truck behind I
    can't help thinking "I hope this one doesn't shake me as it goes by".
    How do you think that acts as an advert to sceptical observers that it's
    something they really want to do? And if that's solved by proper
    overtaking, that's great. You just get that sorted and I'll be very
    pleased, but I'll not be holding my breath in the meantime.

    Peter Clinch, Nov 24, 2015
  12. Andy Morris

    Peter Clinch Guest

    I think you really need to go to NL and find out what "Dutch style"
    cycling actually is.

    "Dutch style" is a planning regime that affords cycles high priority,
    convenience and safety, not something where you throw fietspads at
    everything. That wouldn't work any more than a vehicular cycling
    strategy for everyone works here (and that you and I can do it doesn't
    mean it works, or our modal share wouldn't be an order of magnitude
    lower than NL's).

    How is riding in the middle hard? Because you still get a proportion of
    motors overtaking you far too close for comfort. You're still probably
    safer there because you've got room to move left and the numpty would
    have given you feeler gauge width in any case, but it's very difficult
    for anyone, never mind inexperienced cyclists, to feel happy about being
    well out when people are overtaking closely.

    Your thesis founders by relying on "I can do it, so anyone can do it".
    Whether they can is immaterial if they don't want to and won't 'cause it
    looks like it might be a bit shit.

    Peter Clinch, Nov 24, 2015
  13. That is correct, but it's actually worse in many places here, where
    the de facto policy is to maximise conflict between motorists and
    cyclists, and treat all incidents as being the cyclist's fault until
    proved otherwise. From my limited experience of the country as a whole,
    Cambridge is nearly as bad as it gets and central London is nearly
    as good as an urban area gets.
    But what you are omitting is that they may feel safer hugging the kerb,
    but are at least an order of magnitude more endangered. The common
    view that cycling is dangerous isn't just a delusion to be corrected,
    but is unfortunately true. Except, of course, that it's not cycling
    as such that is dangerous, but that our transport 'strategy' and
    practice makes it so.

    The Mammonites in gummint no longer publish any data, but the CTC's
    site says that cycling is no more dangerous than walking per mile.
    Well, that's something like four times as dangerous per hour or per
    trip. My slapdash survey of colleagues indicated that may be an
    underestimate in Cambridge. But, if cycling is ever to be a viable
    alternative to DRIVING (as it is in Holland), it's essential to promote
    it for trips that aren't simply walkable.

    Nick Maclaren.
    Nick Maclaren, Nov 25, 2015
  14. Andy Morris

    Ian Jackson Guest

    The ones you see hugging the kerb are only those that are left after
    you eliminate all the ones who are put off because hugging the kerb is
    horribly scary and unpleasant.
    Ian Jackson, Nov 25, 2015
  15. Andy Morris

    David Hume Guest

    I have a feeling when cycling far from the kerb that motorists may
    become agressive because they feel I am being deliberately
    obstructive. This is partly based on experience of aggressive
    motorists. Particularly the case when approaching a pedestrian refuge in
    the middle of the road. I can hear them behind me and I know there is a
    chance they will overtake and then swerve left to get through the
    gap. But if I stay left they will overtake going through the gap. It's a
    lose lose.
    David Hume, Nov 25, 2015
  16. Andy Morris

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Peter Clinch, Nov 25, 2015
  17. AFAIK Continental cycle routes alongside major roads have priority over
    side roads... and this priority is respected by drivers.
    David Damerell, Nov 25, 2015
  18. Yes. That is why I am so opposed to all psychle farcilities, and
    all policies that cause extra conflict between motorists and cyclists.
    When I cycle now, I take routes that are often 50% slower, just to
    avoid most of the roads polluted by psychle farcilities and the
    conflict they cause. Even doing that, most of my problems occur
    where they are and are caused by their existence.

    Nick Maclaren.
    Nick Maclaren, Nov 25, 2015
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