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Filter lanes and ASLs - an idea.

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Pete, 14 Feb 2008.

  1. Pete

    Pete Guest

    I return to one of my pet topics - mainly because I have a prime example on my commute and it can be a danger! The scenario is always a truck or other large vehicle waiting correctly before the first ASL, me coming up the inside on the painted filter lane, or alternatively overtaking on the right, or alternatively hanging back which is the only safe option, but loses me time...

    Trouble is, I don't know when the lights are about to change as I approach: I can't see the lights facing the other way at that point. If they change while I'm filtering I then don't have much time!

    Overtaking on the right can be dodgy too, since this is a T-junction for motorists, and large vehicles are often turning into my road. I go straight on along a cycle path.

    My mind, today, after being faced with just such a situation (I hung back :smile:) - wandered across to France where they have these small 'repeater' traffic lights at eye level - mainly as a courtesy to motorists who don't have to crane their necks to see the main lights. But useful to cyclists too. My thought is, why not position some sort of small repeater light, but on a separate pillar alongside the filter lane, five to ten yards back from the main cluster (so that the leading motorist can't see them) - and timed to show red-and-amber five seconds before the main lights change. Sort of to give the cyclist an early warning that he is approaching a dangerous situation. In fact you wouldn't need the full red-amber-green set, just a single amber light lit at a suitable time to warn the cyclist.

    Does this make sense to anyone?
     
  2. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    Makes perfect sense. Don't believe it'll happen though.
     
  3. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    It does make perfect sense Pete. That kind of forewarning could really help cyclists like us, who engage our brains before diving down the sides of large vehicles. They would do nothing to help the majorit of cyclocommuters I see, who seems to have the spacial awareness of a small outer solar system planet.
     
  4. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    sounds too complicated to me, people barely manage the junctions as it is

    if it ain't safe to pass vehicles in traffic, don't
     
  5. Pete

    Pete Guest

    I'm minded to say, with Ken earmarking £400million for London's cycling revolution, how much dosh is there for a bit of street furniture that could save a life? Maybe try it out experimentally at a few 'hot spots' - places where cyclists have already been KSI'd by a left hook. There are sadly many well publicised cases on record. Rather like the criteria used for erecting speed cameras - minimum number of fatalities on a stretch of road and all that stuff...

    Pluto? No longer a planet, mate, missed our chance! Actually I'd favour deporting some muppets to Triton* - sounds like a better bet for a colony. Give them a heated space suit with food and drink supply, so they can live out their lives in comfort, but nothing more.

    *Neptune's largest satellite - peppered with active volcanoes but bloody freezing!
     
  6. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    cyclists have no right to filter past other vehicles, if they do something stupid that's their fault, I think lots of cyclists forget that the same rules of the road apply to them as everyone else

    not going up the inside of long vehicles at junctions is a pretty simple don;t so, waiting behind vehicles isn't a radical thing, I do it lots these days where it's too much ag to get to the front and there's any chance of the lights changing
     
  7. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    I see where you are coming from on this Pete. I really hate left hand filter lanes. I think they are dangerous. I know you are an experienced and thoughtful cyclist, but there are many out there who aren't and who use these lanes without thinking.

    I can see the value of the repeaters but I would worry about them causing more confusion. Remember there are some very thick drivers out there (not a generalisation as there are also thick cyclists).

    My previous suggestion was that there should be a hatched area about 3 or 4 cars back from the lights which should be kept clear of cars/vans/lorries etc. Cyclists would be allowed to filter into the hatch. This would allow us to get through on one phase safely, by allowing us to take the primary a few cars back. It would be safer to enter as it would be back from the main junction.

    Of course there would be problems of enforcement, but maybe at some junctions this sort of thing would help. So instead of an ASL you would have a ESZ an early stop zone.
     
  8. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    I like your ESZ idea mag, though trying to persuade people that stopping further away from the line barely costs them time, and also improves their safety would be a titanic uphill struggle.
     
  9. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    not going to happen I suspect, too many drivers ignore the ASL or more likely don;t even know what it is and stop at the regular stop line, something in the middle of the lane?

    Lots of drivers don't want a cyclist in front of them at a junction, often with reason

    don't see what the fuss is about, stupid cyclists will bore up the inside regardless

    sensible ones will make an intelligent choice as to filter left, filter right or wait in lane
     
  10. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Very true. However, at the moment the ASL's encourage cyclist to the front, which is often a dangerous place to get to. At least with the ESZs in place, the road paint would be suggesting a safer course of action. Hopefully a few would follow it and maybe a few would understand why it was there. Maybe a few lives could be saved.

    In fact they would have to be introduced with a campaign highlighting the issues and explaining why ESZs could be safer. A few aftermath pictures of cyclists caught by left turning HGVs would probably do the trick.:smile:
     
  11. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    I think there is a lack of education as well. A lot of cyclists will see cycle specific road markings and assume that they are safe. So if we repleced ASLs with ESZs then these 'lane followers' would follow these safer road markings instead. It couldn't be mush worse than ASLs!
     
  12. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    I should add that ESZs could be enforced with CCTV, or of course cyclists helmet cameras! :smile:
     
  13. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    so the lane continues beyond the ESZ yeah?

    when they manage to enforce the ASLs then I'll get behind the ESZ idea

    ASLs are fine, they don't hurt, they're an option
     
  14. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    No. In fact I would suggest that the ESZ is there on it's own. The best method of entry to the ESZ would be determined by the traffic conditions at the time, although publicity would suggest that right hand filtering would be best if possible and safe.

    ASLs encourage people to filter down the left (feeder lanes) which at junctions can be dangerous. So I suggest that ASLs can and do lead to people getting hurt.
     
  15. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    so the cycle lane doesn't continue beyond the ESZ?

    I think the curb huggers do exactly that, the lane might encourage/lull them but I suspect they cycled the same before there were lanes, close to teh curbs and as far forward as they could

    unless you're suggesting that sort of cyclist will stop at the ESZ because the lane does and go no further even when they can get to the front?

    frankly I'm surprised at the appearance of so many lanes and ASLs, I can't see this more advanced and complicated(yes, I know) idea being put into practice