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That worthless and dangerous cycling infrastructure

Discussion in 'Advocacy and Cycling Safety' started by Tommi, 15 Aug 2011.

  1. Richard Mann

    Richard Mann Well-Known Member

    Only if you stay in primary position when you're slower than the traffic, and you're not obviously preparing for a turn. There's not much shouting at cyclists here.
  2. OP

    Tommi Active Member

    Yes, they were very enlightening, and presumably disturbing, findings at the time. As I already asked before, would you mind presenting more recent evidence? Preferably something that's after the lessons learned in 1998 had been incorporated, but as it's hard to estimate shall we say after year 2000?
  3. dand_uk

    dand_uk Well-Known Member

    I'm no expert but as far as I know the situation in Denmark (upon which most studies are based) are that they effectively have a seperate road network for bikes that is wide, signalised junctions and continuous. I beleive it is also illegal to cycle on the normal road network (?).

    This is definitely not the situation for any cycle facility I have seen in the UK. There is no quality guarantee for British cycle paths and they are designed as an afterthought after the motorised traffic lanes have been designed. Additionally the population density in the uk is greater and it is therefore much harder to install dedicated cycle lanes. The result is white lines down a bumpy narrow pavement, stopping at every side junction.

    I would argue that there are too many factors to say "cycle path" is safe than "road". Some factors are different in different countries - Which cycle path? Are there pedestrians and DOGS? How wide? Are there many side roads/driveways? Which road? What speed limit? how busy? Is the road wide with good visibility? WHAT IS THE ATTITUDE OF MOTORISTS TO CYCLISTS? What is the purpose of peoples journeys (are they in a rush)?

    I agree that these cycle facilities are useful for beginners or kids and could encourage new cyclists however they do nothing for adult commuting cyclists who can maintain speeds of around 20mph.

    The best segregated facility I have seen in the UK is the Cambridge busway cyclepath - wide, traffic free, CONTINUOUS, DIRECT, and flat.

    I want one of those in hampshire!
  4. Red Light

    Red Light Guest

    Those are virtually the only sorts of facilities I agree with - ones that offer completely different route options to the roads.
  5. Adrian

    Adrian Heed the elf's wisdom

    Let us know when you have achieved that bit and we can think about the rest, whether it is still needed etc.
  6. Red Light

    Red Light Guest

    2008 up to date enough for you? From a comprehensive study carried out for the Municipality of Copenhagen to examine the effects cycle facilities in Copenhagen were having on road safety, traffic volumes and perceived risk.

    "The safety effects of bicycle tracks in urban areas are an increase in accident and injuries of about 10%*. The safety effects of bicycle lanes in urban areas are an increase of 5% in crashes and 15% in injuries. Bicyclists' safety has worsened on the roads where bicycle facilities have been implemented"

    * From a private communication with the authors these are accident and injury rates i.e. they take into account changes in the number of cyclists.

    Happy? Thought not!
  7. OP

    Tommi Active Member

    • "The construction of cycle tracks in Copenhagen has resulted in an increase in cycle traffic of 18-20%"
    • "Taken in combination, the cycle tracks and lanes which have been constructed have had positive results as far as traffic volumes and feelings of security go. They have however, had negative effects on road safety. The radical effects on traffic volumes resulting from the construction of cycle tracks will undoubtedly result in gains in health from increased physical activity. These gains are much, much greater than the losses in health resulting from a slight decline in road safety."

    Strange, a published communication from the author show opposite conclusion:

    • "The cycle tracks (kerb between drive lane and cycle track, and kerb between sidewalk and cycle track) increase cycling by 18-20%, whereas cycle lanes (only a 30 cm wide white marking to drive lane) increase cycling by 5-7%"
    • "I do know that it will lead to better safety for the bicyclists."
    • "While the bike lanes do not seem to have an effect one way or the other, if someone tried to use Soren’s study to “prove” that an increase in cycle tracks increased accidents by 9%, they’d be guilty of cherry picking the numbers. The accident rate may have increased by 9%, but the number of bicyclists increased by 18-20%."
    • "To to sum up, individual accident rates dropped when bicycle infrastructure was added, and taking that a step further, Soren’s follow-up correspondence recommends that if Dallas added cycle tracks, ridership would be “much higher”, and “that it will lead to better safety for the bicyclists.” He even recommends maintaining parking on streets to further decrease accident rates."
    EDIT: As noted already in the report, the safety is highly dependent on whether you prohibit car parking along the cycle track on main road, by prohibiting car parking there's increased car traffic in junctions. So again there are different designs. The author seems to find both as positive, and the other is even more safe.
  8. Richard Mann

    Richard Mann Well-Known Member

    Traffic is noticeably slower on Oxford's main roads (come and have a look if you don't believe me). It's been achieved by carving out cycle and bus lanes, and reducing space for motorists. The cycle lanes etc are "still needed" but mostly because they're what slows the traffic.
  9. Adrian

    Adrian Heed the elf's wisdom

    I could come to look but, as I would still need to take your word for it about the former conditions, I may as well just take your word for it.

    Carry on and let me know when you have achieved this everywhere.
  10. Red Light

    Red Light Guest

    Have you actually read the "research" you are putting forward? Its not actually what you think it is. Doing research is more than grabbing a few sound-bites off Google. Have a read of your Daniels and Wets reference on cycle facilities on roundabouts. What it actually proposes is a cycle facility where the cyclists go round the roundabout like a pedestrian, riding on a separate path and stopping and waiting for a gap in the traffic at every side road. The accident rate if they give cyclists priority at the junctions increases four fold. Is that what you want?

    Why not? How about we use the Dutch Cycle Balance audit methodology to assess provision. Quick ruffle through for cycle facilities.....ah here they are......cycle parking. No mention of anything else. Probably because the person that oversees it says "How many cycle paths or lanes a town has in not important."

    When you say they are worth the money, do you know how much they cost? The Boris Blueways are costing £166m. Think of what you could do with £166m applied to marketing, education, training activities, events......

    The evidence was presented in the other thread before you started a new one to avoid having to address it.
  11. Red Light

    Red Light Guest

    Sigh, I can't spend this much time trying to correct your misunderstandings so this will be the last. If you want to believe that they will increase cycling and increase safety be my guest.

    But the only way they can make cycle tracks safer is a plea that the health benefits of cycling will eventually offset the greater risks of cycle tracks. But I cycle anyway so I won't get that benefit, just the risk.

    And as noted in your link below they don't know whether the 18-20% increase in cyclists was because of the cycle tracks or the concurrent "concerted campaign to get more people cycling"

    I think the Professor of Right Brain Thinking needs to inform himself with a bit of left brain thinking. If he read Linderholm's paper he would find that safety in numbers doesn't seem to apply to cyclists in cycle tracks - out of sight out of mind means it doesn't matter how many are cycling (see earlier post).

    But did you notice a) that cycle tracks in Denmark are mandatory so no option to ride on the road. Do you want that for all of us? And b) the bit you put in bold above is an out of context quote with no evidence or reasoning behind it. Lets again see it in context:

    "In the past 5-8 years, the construction of cycle tracks have often been a part of a more comprehensive “campaign” in order to get more people cycling in many communities in Denmark. The size of the possible spil-over or synergy effect on cycle traffic volumes, which might come from mixing new cycle facilities with campaigning, is unknown – and is also may have implication on safety. But I do not know if an increase in bicycle traffic in Dallas will lead to better or worse safety overall (total number of road deaths etc.) – but I do know that it will lead to better safety for the bicyclists."

    So what he is actually saying is not that they will be safer because of cycle tracks, they will be safer because of the safety in numbers effect - an increase in bicycle traffic will lead to better safety for cyclists.
  12. Red Light

    Red Light Guest

    I cycled round Oxford a lot in the late 70's/early 80's before there were any cycle lanes etc and been cycling there on and off recently. Can't say I noticed a lot of difference to be honest except more bits of road in the centre are closed off now to traffic e.g. High Street.
  13. As Easy As Riding A Bike

    As Easy As Riding A Bike Well-Known Member

    [quotename='Red Light' timestamp='1313428827' post='1799247']
    If we move onto Baureman's report, that is available on the web.

    Tommi's quote is Recommendation 6, the first five recommendations being:

    1. A mass marketing campaign
    2. Bicycle education programmes
    3. Behaviour change programmes
    4. Cycling events
    5. Urban design.

    So not exactly top of the list[/quote]

    The recommendations are not numbered - you have added an order of priority that simply isn't there in the report.

    [quotename='Red Light' timestamp='1313428827' post='1799247']and when you look attheir justification it uses the Maylands to East Perth Priority Cycle Pathwhich is built on the line of an old railway track so bypasses all the road junctions - what we would know as a rail trail. Its hardly a typical cycle path.[/quote]

    It is true that the path runs along a railway track. However - there are road junctions along it. See here for instance -

    In any case, the conclusions drawn are simply that good quality infrastructure will attract cyclists. The fact there are few junctions along the track does nothing to alter this conclusion, or the data that support it.

    [quotename='Red Light' timestamp='1313428827' post='1799247']The rest of the case is mainly based on people saying what they want but there the references arehighly suspect. For example the Garrard study is reported as

    "Garrard et al (2006) found that female cyclists often choose routes that separate themfrom traffic, even if it may result in longer journeys. This is testament to the notion that motor vehicle traffic is a significant barrier to cycling"

    What it actually found was

    "The proportion of female cyclists varied according to the type of bicycle facility(Table 2), suggesting that females preferred to use on-road lanes and roads with no bicycle facilities compared with off-roadpaths."

    Garrard then went on to do a wonderful sleight of hand to reverse the conclusion his data gives you:

    "The proportion of female cyclists observed using roads with no bicycle facilities,on-road lanes and off-road paths did not show a consistent pattern of female preference for greater separation from motor vehicle traffic. However, we foundthat after adjustment for distance from the city centre females preferred off-road paths over on-road lanes or roads with no bicycle facilities"

    Even though Table 2 clearly shows that on off-road paths the percentage that are female issignificantly lower than the percentages on-road.[/quote]

    A) You have linked to a short 2008 paper by Jan Garrard, rather than the lengthy 2006 report quoted. The 2006 report can be read or downloaded here. I am therefore not surprised you find that an apparent inconsistency between two entirely different pieces of research.

    B) The "sleight of hand" you mention in the 2006 report was a correction for the location of the distances of the monitoring sites from the CBD - those monitoring locations without separate facilities happened to be preferentially located nearer to the city centre, where you would naturally expect a higher relative proportion of female cyclists compared to monitoring locations further from the city centre, given the shorter trip distances of women in general. This is a factor that skews the data - why not account for it? I'm not sure you can dismiss at as mere "sleight of hand."

    C) Jan Garrard is a woman.
  14. Richard Mann

    Richard Mann Well-Known Member

    Do you have an alternative proposal, that might actually work?
  15. Adrian

    Adrian Heed the elf's wisdom

    Introduce strict liability in proportion to the risk posed to others by your travel choice.