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Unite Against Cycle Paths!



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 11th 04, 04:13 PM
Steve McGinty
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Default Unite Against Cycle Paths!

The West of Scotland Cyclists' Defence Committee exists to maintain
the cyclists right to the road and to educate public opinion to the
futility of cycle paths.

Want to join? Sorry - too late.

I found this in the Scottish Amateur Cycling Assosciation Handbook
from - - - 1938!

Regards!
Stephen
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  #2  
Old August 12th 04, 01:36 AM
JFJones
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Default Unite Against Cycle Paths!

Steve McGinty wrote in message . ..
The West of Scotland Cyclists' Defence Committee exists to maintain
the cyclists right to the road and to educate public opinion to the
futility of cycle paths.

Want to join? Sorry - too late.

I found this in the Scottish Amateur Cycling Assosciation Handbook
from - - - 1938!


It doesn't take long to lose that right as Dutch cyclists have found out.


Regards!
Stephen

  #3  
Old August 12th 04, 03:49 AM
mark
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Default Unite Against Cycle Paths!


"JFJones" wrote..

It doesn't take long to lose that right as Dutch cyclists have found out.


When did Dutch cyclists lose that right, and become compelled to use cycle
paths where they exist? I remember being ordered off the roadway and onto
the bike path by a Dutch cop in 1972.
--
mark



  #4  
Old August 12th 04, 02:24 PM
A. Paterson
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Default Unite Against Cycle Paths!


the bike path by a Dutch cop in 1972.
--
mark

LOL, I was born that year.!


  #5  
Old August 15th 04, 08:05 AM
Eric Veltman
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Hello everyone,

I happened to see this ( somewhat old ) thread and couldn't help responding.
I'm a Dutch cyclist and I'm very satisfied with the Dutch cycle path system.
I don't understand why any cyclists would want to unite _against_
cycle paths ??? In my experience, cycling on cycle paths is much
more relaxing, both for the motorists and for the cyclists.

Personally I find it very unpleasant to drive on the same
part of the road where vehicles drive with speeds that are
for example 4 to 6 times as high as my own speed.
It feels unsafe.

Being a motorist as well, I find it very unpleasant to
drive when there are many cyclists on the road. If I approach
cyclists and there's other traffic coming from the opposite direction,
I have to slow down to cyclist speed, wait, accelerate and take over.
This takes more fuel, is less relaxed driving and wouldn't be necessary
if there would be proper cycle strips on the sides of the road.

Also, in the Netherlands, you can get anywhere you want
by bicycle, without cycling on roads you're not allowed
to cycle on. There's a separate system of sign-posts,
so you don't end up on the highway if you don't use a map.
This is a feature of the Dutch cycle paths that I missed a lot
when I cycled in the UK.

So what are the reasons for disliking cycle paths ?
And are there any plans in the UK for a separate cyclist
sign-posting system, like in the Netherlands ?

Best regards,

Eric
  #6  
Old August 15th 04, 09:20 AM
Tony Raven
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Eric Veltman wrote:

So what are the reasons for disliking cycle paths ?


Safety aside (see Dutch experience below), they are fine if all you want
is a leisurely cycle but if you actually want to cycle at a reasonable
speed or get from A to B they are a mess. One of the key problems is
interruptions. You complain about having to slow down, wait and
accelerate in your car. All that is doing is taking a few easy
movements of one foot while the engine does all the work. For a
cyclist, every time the cycle track crosses a side road you have to slow
down, wait and accelerate with you doing all the work. On the main road
that isn't the case. Therefore cyclepaths are a lot of extra effort for
a cyclist - and more dangerous.

Tony

Safety effects of bicycle facilities

Wegman, Dijkstra. SWOV, Netherlands, 1992.
Originally presented to Roads and Traffic 2000 conference, Berlin, 1988;

In built-up areas cycle tracks 25% safer than unsegregated road between
junctions, but 32% more dangerous at junctions. Cycle lanes 36% more
dangerous between junctions, 19% safer at junctions. Seriousness of
accidents greater if tracks or lanes present compared with no
facilities. Cycle lanes narrower than 1.8m particularly hazardous.
Outside towns, cycle track safety depends on car and cycle numbers.
New cross-town routes in Den Haag and Tilburg had produced no safety
gain and had not encouraged much new cycling.
  #7  
Old August 15th 04, 12:53 PM
Jeremy Parker
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"Eric Veltman" wrote in message
...
Hello everyone,

I happened to see this ( somewhat old ) thread and couldn't help

responding.
I'm a Dutch cyclist and I'm very satisfied with the Dutch cycle

path system.
I don't understand why any cyclists would want to unite _against_
cycle paths ???


I have an interesing article here by the well known Dutch cycling
author, Rob Van der Plas, "Some call it Paradise: Bicycling in
Holland". This, amongst other things, comments on how the increase
in bike paths has made travel times ever longer throughout his life

Britain's Cyclists Touring Club reported that the last Dutch National
bike Master Plan had a target to cut journey times by 20%. That
implies to me that Dutch cyclists felt that something had increased
cycling times by 20%, or perhaps more. Certainly a target like that
would be unimaginable in Britain or France.

Not much seems to have happened as a result of the Dutch target.
There's a bit in the Dutch design manual, "Sign up for the Bike"
about something it calls the "detour factor". This is irrelevant to
anything, since it carefully avoids comparing the detour factor using
bike paths to any other possible detour factor

There's also a paper that emerged from the philosphy department of
Maastricht University, "Speed and Mobility: The Relative Slowness of
Bicycles in Dutch Urban Transport", by Peter Peters, which blames the
relative slowness on red traffic lights, and politically motivated
setting of the length of the red phase. It neglects to consider,
though, the fietsapartheid policy which requires all those traffic
lights.

Amsterdam seems to have solved the red light problem in its own way.
It's the only place I've seen where red light running is worse than
the USA, and mopeds do it too.

What is impressive about the Netherlands is the town planning that
has managed to get most destinations within about three kilometres of
most origins, thereby enabling use of bike type for which three
kilometres is about its maximum range.

Jeremy Parker


  #8  
Old August 15th 04, 01:28 PM
martian
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"A. Paterson" wrote in message o.uk...

"......I was born that year.!"

You and a lot of others. It isn't news BTW.

M
  #9  
Old August 15th 04, 10:12 PM
Stevie D
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Eric Veltman wrote:

[I should add that I have never cycled in the Netherlands, so I can
only comment on British cycle paths]

I'm a Dutch cyclist and I'm very satisfied with the Dutch cycle path
system. I don't understand why any cyclists would want to unite
_against_ cycle paths ??? In my experience, cycling on cycle paths is
much more relaxing, both for the motorists and for the cyclists.


Sometimes it is relaxing - sometimes it is as stressful as anything.

Some paths are shared with pedestrians (whether there is a line down
the middle dividing it into one section for pedestrians and one
section for cyclists makes *absolutely no difference* to this) -
pedestrians who walk six-abreast down the path, who turn round and
walk straight across in front of you with no warning, pedestrians who
have dogs running round trying to make you fall off, pedestrians who
have small children who are less predictable and have less common
sense than the dogs - cycling on these paths is about as far from
relaxing as you get on a bike.

Personally I find it very unpleasant to drive on the same part of the
road where vehicles drive with speeds that are for example 4 to 6
times as high as my own speed. It feels unsafe.


It might feel unsafe, but that doesn't mean that it *is* unsafe.

Numerous studies in this country and others have shown that it is
usually safer to ride on the road than on cycle paths.

This is because of a number of factors:

• The aforementioned pedestrians, children and dogs.

• Paths are often too narrow, with insufficient space and visibility
at bends and junctions, and often have bollards across them to stop
cars using them, or gates partly or fully blocking the path.

• Instead of having priority at junctions by being on the main road,
you have to cross roads at right angles - sometimes very frequently
- often at places where motorists won't expect you to cross.

It is also entirely possible that the people who use cycle paths are
more prone to accidents than those who cycle on roads.

Being a motorist as well, I find it very unpleasant to drive when
there are many cyclists on the road. If I approach cyclists and
there's other traffic coming from the opposite direction, I have to
slow down to cyclist speed, wait, accelerate and take over. This takes
more fuel, is less relaxed driving and wouldn't be necessary if there
would be proper cycle strips on the sides of the road.


I would rather have other cyclists where I can see them and predict
what they will do (within reason). There are a heck of a lot of idiots
on bikes out there, and if they are going with the flow of traffic,
you can see them and see where they are going. If they are appearing
out of paths at the side of the road, you can't tell what they are
doing as easily.

Also, in the Netherlands, you can get anywhere you want by bicycle,
without cycling on roads you're not allowed to cycle on. There's a
separate system of sign-posts, so you don't end up on the highway if
you don't use a map. This is a feature of the Dutch cycle paths that I
missed a lot when I cycled in the UK.


If that was the case here, it would be a lot better - but it isn't.

*Some* routes are signposted, but not many.

On Saturday, I headed off down N62 - which *is* well signposted - and
was somewhat perturbed by the state of the route. Bearing in mind that
this is part of the National Cycle Network ... the first 2 miles were
on rough dirt track, with potholes and puddles galore. The next mile
was on a semi-paved farm track, but the concrete was so bad that it
was more comfortable to cycle on the grass down the middle. Then it
passed through a village, and onto a pavement path alongside the A63
(busy main road, 60mph) facing oncoming traffic, with nothing but a
kerb between the path and the road. Then through another village, onto
a gravel track, through some undergrowth and thistles, onto a grass
track for a couple of miles, including two gates where not only do you
have to get off the bike but because they are built on raised bits, it
is hard work opening the gate then getting your bike through before it
slams shut again. Then it goes back onto a very quiet tarmac lane, and
is fine after that.

It is easier and quicker to ride straight down the main road than
negotiate this kind of obstacle course.

A lot of cycle paths are signposted but not in a helpful way, so
unless you already know where you are going, they are no use.

So what are the reasons for disliking cycle paths ?


How many more do you want?

The other biggy is that they are usually a very long way round.

The N62 that I was moaning about above - by road, it is 10km from
Hemingbrough to Howden, by cycle route, it is 11km - 10% further. When
you are pedalling all the way (and on a rougher surface), that's
significant.

Selby to Snaith - 16km on N62, or 12km on A1041.

York to Stamford Bridge - 16km on N66 (including some nasty junctions
across busy A-roads), or 13km on A166


If you're just going for a leisurely potter, a ride round the
countryside for a bit of exercise and fresh air on a Sunday afternoon
with the kids, that's fine. But if you want to cycle as an alternative
to driving or going on the bus - if you want to actually get somewhere
- they are not anywhere near as helpful.


Don't get me wrong - not all cycle paths are this bad. Some of them
are good. The ones that take over disused railway lines are often very
good - N65 between York and Selby is a prime example of this. It is
straightish, flattish, pretty well unobstructed and crosses roads on
or under bridges - which covers most of the problems that other cycle
paths have.

It does suffer from poor signposting though - it's fine if you are
going from Selby to York or vice versa, but if you want to only go
half-way and then turn off for, eg, Escrick or Naburn, there are no
signs to tell you which exit to take - and from the cycle path, they
do look pretty similar!

--
Stevie D
\\\\\ ///// Bringing dating agencies to the
\\\\\\\__X__/////// common hedgehog since 2001 - "HedgeHugs"
___\\\\\\\'/ \'///////_____________________________________________
 




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