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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:13 pm 
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Indeed, spot on.

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It's almost like the local government would rather you to drive than walk or cycle anywhere.


The people that make these decisions have not likely ridden a bike since they were a kid. And the few of them that are avid cyclist probably are in such a minority that they don't have the influence to make things better even for themselves.

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Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:13 pm 


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:02 pm 
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I would agree with you all here, but I'm not going to :twisted:

Admittedly, cycle lanes in the UK are a complete waste of time. Being assaulted by an irritable driver isn't too much fun either. When I visisted Eindhoven in the Netherlands I discovered cycle lanes that were regularly used, wide enough for several bikes and apart from the odd dozy English football fan, nobody walking. Despite it's decent population, there was a noticeable absence of motorised vehicles and hundreds, if not thousands of people on bikes.

You have to bear in mind as well that not everybody cycles at 20 or 30mph. If we're going to take the attitude that the other riders aren't going fast enough then we're not going to win any friends. Country lanes are for speed. Round towns is for everyone, regardless of pace. Cyclists are usually the subject of abuse by motorists for not going fast enough, so if we have to use cycle lanes, we can't bitch at other riders for going too slow.

I don't believe for a moment that cycle lanes are dangerous as I use them as and where I can and other than occcasional stupid designs, they are fine. Accidents happen a lot of the time because of carelessness. If we treat every other person on the road as if they're going to do something stupid, then we're less likely to be surprised by them. Too many times I see cyclists assuming that the motorists are fully aware of them and nearly coming 'a cropper'


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:51 am 
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Shallowhal wrote:
I don't believe for a moment that cycle lanes are dangerous as I use them as and where I can and other than occcasional stupid designs, they are fine.

Well you can either believe your subjective impression, or go look at the figures. Thats the most prominent problem with the cycle paths: they make you feel safer without actually being it. Rather the opposite is true.
London isn't anywhere yet near the percentage of cyclists compared to other major cities on the continent. So why make the same mistake... others have been there, done that, saw it didn't work.

Cycle paths have been designed to keep cyclists off the roads to make car traffic faster. Its a concept as old as 1930ies. Separating traffic from each other doesn't work, the goal is to make cyclists equal to other kinds of traffic in peoples minds, its the only thing that works on a long term basis.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:52 am 
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Shallowhal wrote:
You have to bear in mind as well that not everybody cycles at 20 or 30mph. If we're going to take the attitude that the other riders aren't going fast enough then we're not going to win any friends. Country lanes are for speed. Round towns is for everyone, regardless of pace. Cyclists are usually the subject of abuse by motorists for not going fast enough, so if we have to use cycle lanes, we can't bitch at other riders for going too slow.

I don't believe for a moment that cycle lanes are dangerous as I use them as and where I can and other than occasional stupid designs, they are fine. Accidents happen a lot of the time because of carelessness. If we treat every other person on the road as if they're going to do something stupid, then we're less likely to be surprised by them. Too many times I see cyclists assuming that the motorists are fully aware of them and nearly coming 'a cropper'


I am a commuter as well as a racing cyclist, and would say that I am very considerate to all other road users and at no point assume anything about drivers- I value my life too much.

I also never "bitched" at other cyclists going too slowly, but was making the point that it is safer for me to ride at a similar speed to cars on the road rather than be a hazard on cycle paths.

The fact is that cycle lanes are useful to some, but not all cyclists. The trouble is that by creating them it gives the car driver an expectation that all cyclists should use it regardless of how fit for purpose it is. All literature on sustainable transport suggests that the critical thing is to get more cyclists using roads to make it safer for everybody, and to get people out of their cars in urban areas where they are simply a luxury, not an essential.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:30 am 
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rouleursteve wrote:
The fact is that cycle lanes are useful to some, but not all cyclists.

Nope. I pay great attention to that subject fo a number of years, and the typical accident with severe injuries/death start in 5 out of 6 cases with: "the cyclist was overlooked at a crossing by a lorry/bus/car turning right" and in most cases the road the cyclist followed had a bike lane (right hand traffic here). The message "cyclist followed straight road and was hit from the rear by a passing car" is extremely seldom, and always because someone, car driver or cyclist, made a major error. Accidents with cycle patch can happen "just so".
On a bike lane, the cances for a cyclist of being involved in an accident is between 3x (right hand lane) and 9x (left hand lane) higher than on the road. That involves children and elderly persons as well as other riders. The problem is: you're out of sight, so the motorist isn't aware of your presence.

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Last edited by martin on Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:00 pm 
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I was not saying cycle lanes are safe, just that some cyclists might find them useful. I agree with the dangers of cycle lanes at junctions, anyone who thinks that the majority of cycle lanes are for the benefit of cyclists and not motorists is misguided.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:50 pm 
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rouleursteve wrote:
I was not saying cycle lanes are safe, just that some cyclists might find them useful. I agree with the dangers of cycle lanes at junctions, anyone who thinks that the majority of cycle lanes are for the benefit of cyclists and not motorists is misguided.


I can see your point and i agree with a lot of it. However, if you think that cycle lanes are good for some but not others, then say that they then create a reason for motorists to get agressive and 'force' cyclists off the road and into the cycle lanes, what do you suggest. There's no way I would consider taking my nine year old niece onto a major road (which is most of them round where she lives) but she really enjoys cycling. Cycle lanes have proved ideal. Admittedly the speed we do would cause a slight obstruction for a faster cyclist. However, we have to be constructive about this and use the options available :D

Martin wrote:
Nope. I pay great attention to that subject fo a number of years, and the typical accident with severe injuries/death start in 5 out of 6 cases with: "the cyclist was overlooked at a crossing by a lorry/bus/car turning right" and in most cases the road the cyclist followed had a bike lane (right hand traffic here). The message "cyclist followed straight road and was hit from the rear by a passing car" is extremely seldom, and always because someone, car driver or cyclist, made a major error. Accidents with cycle patch can happen "just so".


Surely, if the traffic is turning right, and the cycle is in the cycle lane, the motorist has the right of way? Just as if the cyclist were a pedestrian. I'm sorry, but unless shown otherwise, I blame the cyclists for those incidents. as for cyclists on the road, they may not get hit from behind, but I've seen plenty hit because the motorist for whatever reason did not see them. If they were in a bike lane, they wouldn't have been hit as they're off the road. There are arguments both ways!

Martin wrote:
On a bike lane, the cances for a cyclist of being involved in an accident is between 3x (right hand lane) and 9x (left hand lane) higher than on the road. That involves children and elderly persons as well as other riders. The problem is: you're out of sight, so the motorist isn't aware of your presence.


I'd like to see the report that backs that up. Do you have a link?

Martin wrote:
Separating traffic from each other doesn't work


Yes it does, bus lanes (speed up buses), crawler lanes for trucks on hills (allow cars to overtake)..... Plus, if you want all the traffic on the road, where do you draw the line? Old peoples electric wheelchairs, kids bikes, roller skates?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:10 pm 
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Shallowhal wrote:
Martin wrote:
Nope. I pay great attention to that subject fo a number of years, and the typical accident with severe injuries/death start in 5 out of 6 cases with: "the cyclist was overlooked at a crossing by a lorry/bus/car turning right" and in most cases the road the cyclist followed had a bike lane (right hand traffic here). The message "cyclist followed straight road and was hit from the rear by a passing car" is extremely seldom, and always because someone, car driver or cyclist, made a major error. Accidents with cycle patch can happen "just so".


Surely, if the traffic is turning right, and the cycle is in the cycle lane, the motorist has the right of way?

nope. Of course a cyclist passing the crossroads in a straight line has the right of way over vehicles wanting to turn right. Thats the law, no difference what vehicle you're using. The right of way is only determined by the road, or the traffic signs on it. Same for pedestrians,they have a green light there. Same in UK i'm quite sure, for what i've seen when being there :). When you are walking and have a green light, do you have to stop for cars turning left on that crossing?
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Martin wrote:
On a bike lane, the cances for a cyclist of being involved in an accident is between 3x (right hand lane) and 9x (left hand lane) higher than on the road. That involves children and elderly persons as well as other riders. The problem is: you're out of sight, so the motorist isn't aware of your presence.


I'd like to see the report that backs that up. Do you have a link?

i do, unfortunately in german only, like this one: http://bernd.sluka.de/Radfahren/Radwege.html

try [url=http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbernd.sluka.de%2FRadfahren%2FRadwege.html&langpair=de%7Cen&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools]
[/url] for a babelfished traslation :)
Quote:
Martin wrote:
Separating traffic from each other doesn't work


Yes it does, bus lanes (speed up buses), crawler lanes for trucks on hills (allow cars to overtake)..... Plus, if you want all the traffic on the road, where do you draw the line? Old peoples electric wheelchairs, kids bikes, roller skates?

correction: separating traffic of similar speed (most people who don't cycle are surprised how fast a cycle in an urban area really is) doesn't make sense, and the concept has never been to improve safety, but to not hinder the faster traffic. Thats why highways exist. Inside cities, the speed argument almost never exists, and outside no one is hindered.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:53 am 
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ShallowHal- Martin is right, the research suggests that the safest and most sustainable solution is to integrate cyclists with traffic, with a view to increasing cyclist numbers whilst reducing car drivers.

I did some work at Uni on this, my tutor was a guy called Rod Tulley and he edits the book "The Greening of Urban Transport" which is a key reference book.

In terms of a way forward, the solutions are not short term, but it has to centre not on getting cyclists off roads, but getting drivers out of their cars. The new cyclingengland bods have some info here:

http://www.cyclingengland.co.uk/engineering2e.php

Notice how the first priorities are not about cycle specific engineering, but 'invisible infrastructure' that slows traffic, reduces volume and thus makes it safer to cycle. Click on each heading to get a PDF file about each point.

Right, I've done my campaigning bit, back to looking at nice bikes for me!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:17 am 
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rouleursteve wrote:
ShallowHal- Martin is right, the research suggests that the safest and most sustainable solution is to integrate cyclists with traffic, with a view to increasing cyclist numbers whilst reducing car drivers.


Increasing cycle numbers whilst reducng traffic is indeed the way to go, but until we run out of fuel, it will never happen. I'm generally in agreement with many of your and Martins philosophys. However, having two sets of vehicles (i.e. bikes and motor vehicles) at differing speeds on te same roads will no doubt cause frustration and in the end, accidents.

Martin, you're suggesting that cycles are as fast as cars in urban traffic. This is only true for 'athletic' cyclists. As I mentioned before, my 9yr old niece cycles, and she's a lot slower than cars. You cannot use the faster cyclists as the benchmark for road safety, you have to use all speeds of cyclists, and in that case, the slower ones are at a different speed to the motorist.

As for the comment on turning traffic in the UK, all the cycle lanes I have ever used have 'stop' markings at every road junction. Therefore the car has right of way :D

P.S. thanks for the report, I'll enjoy reading it this weekend (hopefully) :D
P.P.S. In case you're wondering, I am a competitive cyclist :wink: (I'm just very opinionated :? )


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:07 pm 
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Fresh from the CTC today, a Danish study:

Cycle facilities encourage cycling but don’t improve safety

Three Danish researchers have published what is probably the largest ever study of the safety impacts of cycle facilities. Based on analysis of 8500 cyclist collisions, 1500 traffic counts and 1000 interviews, the researchers found that cycle facilities do indeed encourage more people to cycle and make cyclists feel safer; yet the reality is that they actually reduce cyclists’ safety, with improvements in cyclists’ safety between junctions being outweighed by increased risk at or near junctions.

http://www.trafitec.dk/publikauk.htm

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:04 pm 
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Shallowhal wrote:
Increasing cycle numbers whilst reducng traffic is indeed the way to go, but until we run out of fuel, it will never happen. I'm generally in agreement with many of your and Martins philosophys. However, having two sets of vehicles (i.e. bikes and motor vehicles) at differing speeds on te same roads will no doubt cause frustration and in the end, accidents.

is that so? are there numbers to back that? i mean, of course we could talk about a separate road net for all different kinds of transport, but lets stay realistic :) when you have cycle lanes, you will have junctions.
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Martin, you're suggesting that cycles are as fast as cars in urban traffic. This is only true for 'athletic' cyclists. As I mentioned before, my 9yr old niece cycles, and she's a lot slower than cars. You cannot use the faster cyclists as the benchmark for road safety, you have to use all speeds of cyclists, and in that case, the slower ones are at a different speed to the motorist.

i do that, in fact. Even my 67 year old mother is as fast as a car on distances up to 5km in the city. Not much difference between a competitive cyclist and a commuter between two red lights...
Outside cities where cars go faster, there isnt much difference whether a car passes a racer who goes 30km/h or a tourist who goes 22km/h, either. both situations aren't exactly very dangerous, as statistics show.
I agree that on a coutry road, a *well made* cycle lane might be preferable to use, if its a good one. unfortunately, almost no cycle lane is well made :( thats why most cycling advocats object the mandatory cycle lane usage laws. A good cycle lane will be used anyway.
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As for the comment on turning traffic in the UK, all the cycle lanes I have ever used have 'stop' markings at every road junction. Therefore the car has right of way :D

Such lanes wouldn't be mandatory to use in germany, as the law says they have to be "accompanying a road" (if thats the correct term, german word is "eine strasse begleitend"), and one criteria for that is, that the cycle lane can't be treated differently in the right of way. I know such signs exist, but i haven't seen them in cities.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:31 pm 
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martin wrote:
is that so? are there numbers to back that?
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Certainly, in the UK. The number of vehicles on the road and driving licences is increasing every year, not decreasing.

Martin wrote:
i do that, in fact. Even my 67 year old mother is as fast as a car on distances up to 5km in the city
.

I don't mean to be rude, but either your mother is very quick or the cars are very slow. The 60 something age riders I know all average around 12-15mph. On town roads I average 20-40mph in my car?

Martin wrote:
Not much difference between a competitive cyclist and a commuter between two red lights...


That's a strange comment. True if the lights are twenty feet apart. Completely untrue if they're a mile or more apart.

Martin wrote:
Such lanes wouldn't be mandatory to use in germany, as the law says they have to be "accompanying a road" (if thats the correct term, german word is "eine strasse begleitend"), and one criteria for that is, that the cycle lane can't be treated differently in the right of way. I know such signs exist, but i haven't seen them in cities


The laws obviously vary depending on the country. In England cycle lanes aren't mandatory either but they also don't have to be part of the road. One of the cycle lanes I have used in my local town is at least ten metres away from the road.

Don't get me wrong, I think the cycle lanes in England are rubbish, but I would rather have good cycle lanes, than no cycle lanes. (or in an ideal world, no cars and all bikes :twisted: )


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:23 am 
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Shallowhal wrote:
Martin wrote:
i do that, in fact. Even my 67 year old mother is as fast as a car on distances up to 5km in the city
.

I don't mean to be rude, but either your mother is very quick or the cars are very slow. The 60 something age riders I know all average around 12-15mph. On town roads I average 20-40mph in my car?

Must be a strange town without crossings or redlights then :) Average speed for cars in cities is abut 22km/h (travelling speed without parking etc.). If you look at time needed to get from A to B, including walking to your car, finding a parking spot, and getting from there to your final destination, its even worse.

Martin wrote:
Not much difference between a competitive cyclist and a commuter between two red lights...


That's a strange comment. True if the lights are twenty feet apart. Completely untrue if they're a mile or more apart.
[/quote]
was talking about cities here.
Quote:
Martin wrote:
Such lanes wouldn't be mandatory to use in germany, as the law says they have to be "accompanying a road" (if thats the correct term, german word is "eine strasse begleitend"), and one criteria for that is, that the cycle lane can't be treated differently in the right of way. I know such signs exist, but i haven't seen them in cities


The laws obviously vary depending on the country. In England cycle lanes aren't mandatory either but they also don't have to be part of the road. One of the cycle lanes I have used in my local town is at least ten metres away from the road.

Don't get me wrong, I think the cycle lanes in England are rubbish, but I would rather have good cycle lanes, than no cycle lanes. (or in an ideal world, no cars and all bikes :twisted: )

unfortunately, the criteria for a cycle lane i'd call good (rideable and safe) is almost impossible to acccomplish. And i like my car, how would i get from here to Ötztal in 3hrs otherwise wihout getting wet :)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:41 pm 
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I see, one point we're crossing wires on is between towns and cities. If I had my way I would ban cars from every city centre in the UK. Fortunately for me, in the north east of England, we don't have many cities, the nearest one to me is around an hours drive away, but we have plenty of towns. As far as the traffic light issue is concerned, I can get from my house, to the centre of my nearest town, without actually going through a traffic light :twisted:


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