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-   -   The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes (http://www.cyclebanter.com/showthread.php?t=57910)

David Hansen May 26th 04 12:36 PM

The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes
 
On Tue, 25 May 2004 22:23:30 GMT someone who may be
(Patrick Herring) wrote this:-

I meant a (physically) segregated cycle path is safe from
driver-mistakes


Only if there are effective barriers between the two sorts of road
*and* they never cross. To comply with the latter condition all
buildings would have to have separate entrances onto each type of
road.

It is traffic conditions that comes up most, in conversations I've
had, as the main reason for not starting cycling.


As has been explained, there are a number of excuses for not
cycling. These are wheeled out according to the whims of the person
concerned.


--
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.

David Hansen May 26th 04 12:38 PM

The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes
 
On Tue, 25 May 2004 22:03:34 +0100 someone who may be "burt"
wrote this:-

I can recall reading a synopsis of a report which showed that a new section
of segregated cycle path hadn't increased the number of people cycling, but
existing cyclists changed their route if it was convenient. Southampton?
Plymouth?


I have no doubt that this can be the case. However I am talking
about a network of paths, not just one. The network is fairly dense
and there are more people using them now than there were some years
ago, from my limited observations.


--
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.

David Hansen May 26th 04 12:41 PM

The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes
 
On Wed, 26 May 2004 09:15:14 +0000 (UTC) someone who may be
(Chris Malcolm) wrote this:-

Another unacknowledged factor is snobbery.


I'm not sure that it is unacknowledged. Your posting was certainly
not the first time I have come across this subject.

And a couple I know who recently graduated from
bicycles to motor car as main transport told me how surprised they
were to discover that a lot more of the neighbours started talking to
them, because without a car they were seen as "not quite our sort of
people". The congratulations on the purchase of the car, and the
questions abouts welfare, etc., made it quite clear that their jump in
social status was by becoming car drivers.


The question is then whether the neighbours are worth knowing
better.


--
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.

David Hansen May 26th 04 12:41 PM

The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes
 
On Wed, 26 May 2004 00:16:46 +0100 someone who may be Gawnsoft
wrote this:-

I'd still like to see the details of
the study that concluded this.


As would I.


--
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.

John Hearns May 26th 04 05:34 PM

The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes
 
On Wed, 26 May 2004 11:17:00 +0100, Nick Kew wrote:



You certainly can borrow a bike, but would be
uncomfortable till it gets adjusted to suit you. And they come in
different sizes.


I don't see borrowing a bike as any different in principle to borrowing
a car

Cars are very standardised.
The pedals are in a standardised layout, as are (generally) the controls
on the steering wheel. Manuals cars mostly have the gears in the same
pattern (OK, you have to look where reverse is).
Seats adjust such that the majority of the population can drive the car.


My contention is that most bicycles are more personal - you tend to fit
pedals you like, a saddle which suits you. Frames come in different sizes
depending on how tall you are. Different gear changers. You might have
fitted handlebar ends etc.

I'm stretching an analogy here, but I think bikes could be compared more
to older cars which people restore by themselves (sports, classic cars).


Of course, my argument falls down when you talk about shopper style bikes.



Jeremy Parker May 26th 04 07:42 PM

The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes
 

"David Arditti" wrote

[snip]

So the British just happen to be the laziest nation in Europe,

hence low
cycling levels? I doubt it. I would have thought it was pretty

generally
accepted that the reason more people do not cycle is the

environment.

The interesting thing about Britain is how variable the amount of
cycling is. It ranges from Cambridge, with a higher proportion of
cyclists than Amsterdam [ref EU "Cycling: the way ahead for towns and
cities" 1999] down to places in Wales and Scotland where its pretty
neglegible. The biggest deterent to cycling seems to be hills. This
is complicated by the fact that hilly places tend to be rainy places,
but it does seem to be the hills that do it This correlates with
experience in other countries. The Danes reckon a 50 m hill halves
cycling, and the one hilly part of the nethrelands, down by
Maastricht also does not have so much cycling.

Virtually every household has a bike but few people cycle

regularly. Many
British people on holiday cycle in continental cities when they

would not
dream of cycling at home. If we created the right environment in

British
cities we would get high levels of cycling. A part of that is to

create the
motor traffic-free cycle routes that most people who don't

currently cycle
say are what it would take to get them cycling.


There's some interesting research about what it would take to acheive
the (then) British target of doubling cycling. Building door to door
bike paths for everybody wouldn't, apparently, but paying people 3
per trip would, instantly [ go to www.regard.ac.uk and search for
"cycling and urban mode choice"]

You might say they are lying
- that they are just lazy, and wouldn't cycle anyway. But evidence

of the
few places in the UK where it has been well-done suggests to me

this is
wrong.
Effective networks of cycle tracks encourage a much larger

section of the
population to cycle than we generally see on two wheels in the

UK.

I suppose it depends on how you measure "effective" - you wouldn't
want a circular definition. I would rate the top few effective bike
networks as

1. Stevenage
2. Harlow
3. Milton Keynes
4. Peterborough

I don't think they confirm the theory that effective networks
increase cycling.


Evidence? Edinburgh spent large sums and the number of utility
cyclists apparently dropped.

The evidence is very clear. The OECD international study published

in 1998
"Safety of Vulnerable Road Users" (doc. no

DSTI/DOT/RTR/RS7(98)1/FINAL)
shows how the age and gender profiles of cyclists vary from country

to
country. This evidence was summarised in my & Paul Gannon's article

in the
October 2002 London Cyclist. It shows how those developed

countries with
high cycling levels, which are universally those with

well-developed cycle
networks, all have an almost equal distribution of men and women on

bikes
and a smooth linear decline of cycling with increasing age. Those

places
with low cycling levels (like the UK) have a very large imbalance

between
men and women cycling and fewer children and old people cycling. It

becomes
obvious


Not to me, it doesn't.

There are many possible resons for this, of which I quoted half a
dozen or so when David and Paul first wrote their article.

studying this that the only way we can substantially increase
cycling in the UK is to increase the uptake in the

under-represented groups:
women, children and older people, and therefore we have to address

their
concerns about the safety and pleasantness of the cycling

environment,
rather than make policy for the group who already cycle here (the

young men
between ages 20 and 30).


I'm 62. What do plan to do for me?


What I am advocating primarily are urban on-road but segregated

cycle tracks
on the Dutch pattern.


What the Dutch say about this idea is, "Evaluations, however, showed
that although a good infrastructure for bicycle traffic is a basic
condition, it hardly leads on its own to an increase in cycle use."
see McClintock, "Planning for Cycling" 2002, p197, the article by Ton
Welleman of the Dutch Cycling Council

There are none of these in Edinburgh (so far as I am
aware)


Edinburgh has several disused railway paths within the city

....and few in the UK, so discussions of UK cities (including

Stevenage &
Milton Keynes) are of limited relevance to my argument.


I don't follow this. We shouldn't look at Stevenage and Milton Keyes
because they are different from other places? Is David saying that
Stevenage and MK are so good that we couldn't acheive similar results
elswhere?

Surely the important point about these cities are that they are the
best networks acheivable. If a solution doesn't work there, it won't
work anywhere. It is surely true that no matter how much money is
spent in London's Camden or Edgware the resulting bike networks are
bound to be ***vastly*** inferior to those of Stevenage or Milton
Keynes

There is a long-term high
user base in these countries.

No, usage in 1950 was similar in the UK. The divergence has

occurred since
then and corresponded to a divergence in planning policy.


Not true. Usage varies greatly now in the UK, and always did.
Cambridge beats Amsterdam now, and may well always have done. There
is little Cycling in Cardiff now, and there probably always was
little. I first saw the bike paths of Denmark and the Netherlands in
the 1940s, more than half a century ago. Denmark and the Netherlands
were already renowned as cycling countries then. It was generally
agreed that they had lots of bike paths because they had lots of
bikes, and that they had lots of bikes because they were flat. The
evidence still points to that.

In other places,
some Italian towns and cities particularly, in recent years a high

level of
usage has been built up through appropriate planning measures where

there
was not a high level of cycling before.


Turning "appropriate planning measures" back from newspeak into plain
English. I think David is saying that they made use of competing
modes difficult to impossible.


My friend Arnold is Dutch and rides 15 miles per day in the
UK; his view is that the cycle paths here are a disaster because

we
lack the Dutch laws of presumed fault, and we lack Dutch levels

of
cycling so the drivers for the most part aren't properly aware of
cyclists, and we lack Dutch planners who know how to deal with
junctions fractionally better than we do, and we lack the Dutch
commitment to putting bikes first.


He is right that there are various elements to it. There are

attitudinal
changes needed that take a long time. But it is possible to get the

details
of the engineering right with the right expertise and sufficient

money
immediately.


I continually go to meetings of cycling officers where the principle
subject is to bemoan the inability of the bureaucracy to spend the
money they have, although, to their great pride and astonishment,
they did manage it this year. As for engineering, and expertise, I
imagine London gets the pick of what is available (although they
don't employ me, thank goodness) Aren't the results wonderful.

The knowledge exists, and we should be using it.


To do that requires project managers who can distinguish knowledge
from nonsense.


John Hearns wrote:
Speed limits don't apply to bicycles

Well perhaps they should, but actually, I don't think speed as such

is a big
issue.


That seems to be a common view among those who advocate and design
facilities.

I will agree that we need leisure routes too, eg. along the Thames

and
the Waterlink Way etc. in London, which will probably get used by
beginning commuters.
But there's no way people in (say) SE London will commute up to

the West
End if they cannot use the Old Kent Road.


I don't advocate preventing cyclists from using any route they want

(and in
Holland they are allowed to use all roads other than those of

motorway
standard, just like here, and they do).


Not true. Cycle tracks are not roads.

But also, I don't accept the
equation between cycle tracks or paths and "leisure use", or indeed
"beginning commuters". If they are well enough done they are

"universal
use", for leisure and commuting, and suitable for all cyclists of

almost all
levels of experience and fitness.


That's probably a definition of "well done", and a fairly good one
too. If a substantial group - any substantial group - of cyclists
complain about a cycle facility then it is not well done. Some cycle
facilities mange to harm even those cyclists who don't use them.
That perhaps is the ultimate in badness.


I regularly cycle a journey of about 13 miles, Edgware to the City.

I need
to do it quite quickly. The quickest way in the middle section is

to use the
largely segregated Somers Town cycle route in Camden. I also use

some
sections of segregated track in Islington. These are actually

beneficial to
the faster cyclist since they allow one to avoid the congestion and

larger
number of controlled junctions on the main roads, as well as being

obviously
more pleasant to use for beginners. In the outer-London parts of my

journey,
where there are no cycle facilities at all, I see few other

cyclists, and
they are all fast. In south Camden, where cycle facilities are

present, the
jump in cycling levels is very striking, and also the sudden spread

of types
of cyclist, fast, slow, young and old, male and female.

My experiences suggest to me that cycling uptake is a tremendously

localised
phenomenon (on a scale of 1-2 miles) and depends in a very detailed

way on
the quality of the environment (and not much on social factors such

as race
or class). This is because people like John and I will always be a

small
minority. Most people only want to cycle a couple of miles. I agree

that we
should not do anything that gets unnecessarily in the way...


I don't like that word "unnecessarily". It seems to imply that David
knows that his vision must, necessarily must, do things that
necessarily get in the way.

of those who do
want to cycle further and faster, and I believe good design would

not do
that.

David Arditti




David Hansen May 27th 04 11:04 AM

The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes
 
On Wed, 26 May 2004 19:42:47 +0100 someone who may be "Jeremy
Parker" wrote this:-

The interesting thing about Britain is how variable the amount of
cycling is. It ranges from Cambridge, with a higher proportion of
cyclists than Amsterdam [ref EU "Cycling: the way ahead for towns and
cities" 1999] down to places in Wales and Scotland where its pretty
neglegible.


I think your comparison is English-centric. Wales and Scotland are
rather larger than Cambridge. Scotland is in fact 1/3 of the land
mass of the UK. Within both countries there are large variations in
the amount of cycling, just as in England.


--
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.

Peter Clinch May 27th 04 11:20 AM

The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes
 
David Hansen wrote:
On Wed, 26 May 2004 19:42:47 +0100 someone who may be "Jeremy
Parker" wrote this:-


The interesting thing about Britain is how variable the amount of
cycling is. It ranges from Cambridge, with a higher proportion of
cyclists than Amsterdam [ref EU "Cycling: the way ahead for towns and
cities" 1999] down to places in Wales and Scotland where its pretty
neglegible.


I think your comparison is English-centric. Wales and Scotland are
rather larger than Cambridge.


Read again. Jeremy said places /in/ Wales and Scotland.

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/


Michael MacClancy May 27th 04 11:29 AM

The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes
 
On Thu, 27 May 2004 11:04:30 +0100, David Hansen wrote:

On Wed, 26 May 2004 19:42:47 +0100 someone who may be "Jeremy
Parker" wrote this:-

The interesting thing about Britain is how variable the amount of
cycling is. It ranges from Cambridge, with a higher proportion of
cyclists than Amsterdam [ref EU "Cycling: the way ahead for towns and
cities" 1999] down to places in Wales and Scotland where its pretty
neglegible.


I think your comparison is English-centric. Wales and Scotland are
rather larger than Cambridge. Scotland is in fact 1/3 of the land
mass of the UK. Within both countries there are large variations in
the amount of cycling, just as in England.


Yeah, Jeremy showed really his prejudices there. He could just have easily
written, "It ranges from Cambridge....., down to places where it's pretty
negligible". (Fewer words, therefore more easily written, in fact.)

Still, I suppose he didn't make the mistake of lumping Northern Ireland
into Britain.
--
Michael MacClancy
Random putdown - "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his
friends." -Oscar Wilde
www.macclancy.demon.co.uk
www.macclancy.co.uk

Michael MacClancy May 27th 04 11:34 AM

The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes
 
On Thu, 27 May 2004 11:20:28 +0100, Peter Clinch wrote:

David Hansen wrote:
On Wed, 26 May 2004 19:42:47 +0100 someone who may be "Jeremy
Parker" wrote this:-


The interesting thing about Britain is how variable the amount of
cycling is. It ranges from Cambridge, with a higher proportion of
cyclists than Amsterdam [ref EU "Cycling: the way ahead for towns and
cities" 1999] down to places in Wales and Scotland where its pretty
neglegible.


I think your comparison is English-centric. Wales and Scotland are
rather larger than Cambridge.


Read again. Jeremy said places /in/ Wales and Scotland.

Pete.


Yes, but it's still evidence of a bias. I'm sure there are places in
England where there's very little cycling.

--
Michael MacClancy
Random putdown - "I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's
nothing trivial." - Irvin S. Cobb
www.macclancy.demon.co.uk
www.macclancy.co.uk


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