I've got an idea

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by magnatom, 19 Jul 2007.

  1. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    I just had one of my ideas today :tongue: . Feel free to shoot me down if you think it is stupid.
    There is a junction with lights on my commute which approximately two cars back from the stop line has a hatch which was originally in place because a side junction joined the main road. This junction has since been closed off with bollards so although the hatching is still there it isn't really needed anymore.

    Anyhoo, drivers still tend to stay out of the hatching which is great for me, the cyclist. It allows me to overtake the waiting cars and slot nicely into place safely two cars back from the stop line in the primary position (which is required here as I am going right at the junction).

    This got me thinking. What if we scrapped ASL boxes which encourage cyclists to go all the way to the front of the queue which can have implications especially when vehicles are turning left (if the cyclist filters left). In their place we have a cycle hatching two cars back on the road which cars are not allowed to stop in. This would encourage cyclists to filter into this box, two cars back from the stop line and hopefully to take a position where the drivers could see them. I think this position is safer than current ASL positioning. I also find if I sit a couple of cars back at junctions that I get less hassle from cars behind me.

    What do you think? Is this a reasonable idea?

    I will try and put some video of the hatching I am talking about when I get a chance, to illustrate the point.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    True. I suppose you could make it three cars back!
     
  3. Wolf04

    Wolf04 New Member

    Location:
    Wallsend on Tyne
    Nice idea but from my experience cars routinely ingore hatched areas and if they thought it was cyclist specific then even more so I suspect.
     
  4. dondare

    dondare Über Member

    Location:
    London
    If it wasn't right at the front, most cyclists wouldn't use it.
    I don't wait behind cars because I don't want to be breathing exhaust fresh from the tail pipe.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Wolf04,

    True, this is a flaw. However, I don't think this would be a good reason not to do it. Obviously work would have to be done to try and 'encourage' drivers to obey the hatch. Maybe cameras could be used to catch offenders, i.e. I could catch them on my helmet camera.... :tongue:

    Dondare,

    Possibly, but that is where education would be vital. i.e. pointing out to cyclists the risks of filtering up the left, the problems with being at the front etc.

    Also I wouldn't expect that this is the solution for every junction. For some junctions an ASL may be the best and most often used option, but at others the 'cycle hatch' might be better.
     
  6. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
    In which case the artic should stop behind the hatched box.
     
  7. Tetedelacourse

    Tetedelacourse New Member

    Location:
    Rosyth
    How would it work if you are the first to be stopped at the lights i.e. no other cars when they change to red? You'd go the the ASL. Then cars gradually queue anyway. There'd be a pointless gap.

    Not sure also that having ASLs in one case and the staggered hatching in others would be easily understandable to either cyclists as a whole or to motorists.

    I see what you're getting at Magna, it might send a clear message (to some :?: ) that cyclists are part of the traffic, equal road users and not merely an obstacle or even worse an appendage :tongue: but I can't see it working in practice.

    I wont shoot you though, I enjoy your films too much.
     
  8. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    I can see a good argument for hatching existing cycle boxes, and allowing only cycles in tem unless the exit from the box is clear. But to be honest, plod aren't going to enforce that anyway.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Hmmmm, interesting points. I certainly understand that enforcement would be a problem, but I suppose that is only half of the issue. It is education of cyclists.

    As User says I find it best to always hang back a couple of cars and I do this routinely. However, most cyclists don't, and I think this is often because they don't see the value of hanging back of couple of cars. Introducing the 'hang back hatch' might send a message out rather than provide a full time practical solution.

    I keep coming back to the ideal that cyclists need some form of training before getting out on the roads, but I also know that there are significant problems with making this obligatory so it would never work. I just wonder if next best option would be to provide road markings that guide the cyclists towards best practice (not the current form of road markings I hasten to add). Of course best practice depends on a number of factors that can change from junction to junction and from time to time, however, surely some form of guidance is better than none.

    Bah I'm just rambling now, I'll shut up now.... :tongue:
     
  10. Wolf04

    Wolf04 New Member

    Location:
    Wallsend on Tyne
    How about pressure sensitive mines? They could be set not to explode if traffic is moving and if stationary only if it weighs more than say a Ford Ka! I don't think there would be many re-offenders!! There again I'm not the lighest rider around so perhaps not. I bet you thought my Avatar was a pink baby elephant and not a self portrait!! :?: I'll get my coat
     
  11. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    No way man, I always go right to the front as I get away faster from the lights than most cars. I don't really get a problem with being visible either as I pull right across the bonnet of the lead car and give the driver a thousand yard stare. Your system would totally freak me out.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Wolf04,
    :tongue: :?:

    Domtyler,

    Such raod markings wouldn't be obligatory. I would expect that experienced cyclists would assess each situation individually and do what they thought was best. However, as has been pointed out in other threads, there are a lot of cyclists out there who don't have the skills or knowledge to do this. Markings such as these would guide them towards good practice.
     
  13. Tetedelacourse

    Tetedelacourse New Member

    Location:
    Rosyth
    Ultimately it all boils down to two things - awareness and judgement.

    One viewpoint is that increased road markings, aids, segregation etc lead to less of a need for awareness and judgement. For example, someone who has only cycled on cycle paths may not have the awareness or judgement required for safe cycling in traffic.

    But then I suppose the problem is that what one person judges to be safe might not be the same as another person's appraisal of a situation - as demonstrated on cycling fora time and time again. Feck knows what would change this.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    I agree that road markings do to some extent lead the blind. However, too often I have seen cyclists who are not aware if their surroundings, come close to blows and I wonder what can be done to help these cyclists become more aware.
    With the introduction of ASL's more cyclists began to hold positions in front of traffic at lights even where there were no ASL's (I have no numbers only anecdote for this). So I wonder of other, better designed road markings were put in place that it would gradually affect the habits of these cyclists.

    They might never aquire the judgment and awareness that is what is really required, however, at least in certain critical situations they might without thinking take safer road positions etc.

    Just my 2p worth in the great cycling safely debate...
     
  15. Sh4rkyBloke

    Sh4rkyBloke Jaffa Cake monster

    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    Silly boy, Magnatom. What about the cost to all those 'road tax' paying cagers? They'd never wear it, having to fork out for all the lines to be painted, all the highway code books to be altered (not that anyone seems to actually read/understand them) etc. :biggrin:

    Nice idea, but doomed in the real world. :biggrin:
     
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