Winding Cycle Paths - Thoughts

BrumJim

Forum Stalwart (won't take the hint and leave...)
In a design review at the moment, and they are showing the installation of a cycle path alongside a major transport corridor project (won't tell you which one).

The adjacent cycle path is being shown, although we are focussing on a bat mitigation structure. This cycle path generally meanders along the straight adjacent route. My experience on longer distance paths (specifically the Water Rail Cycle Way in Lincolnshire) suggests that this is preferable to a straight route for the following reasons:

1) Stops TT nutters using it as a chance to achieve a high average speed without worrying about traffic
2) Prevents cyclists (or just me) being fixated with the horizon and getting disillusioned with how slowly it is approaching.
3) More picturesque and rural than an artificial straight route.

Is wiggly (gentle meandering) better than straight?

Also would you like to see story boards about the bats and ancient woodland adjacent to the path?
 

Notafettler

Über Member
1) Stops TT nutters using it as a chance to achieve a high average speed without worrying about traffic
It will not stop them at all. The only advantage is it may cause them to fall into the river.

2) Prevents cyclists (or just me) being fixated with the horizon and getting disillusioned with how slowly it is approaching.
You will never get to the horizon. So Just you...definitely just you!

3) More picturesque and rural than an artificial straight route.
Well if it slows you down you may look about a bit more...or spend more time looking where your going?

My experience on longer distance paths (specifically the Water Rail Cycle Way in Lincolnshire)
Are you on about the Lincoln Boston route?
The one which used to have all the carved firewood alongside the path?
 
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Archie_tect

De Skieven Architek... aka Penfold + Horace
Location
Northumberland
Gently meandering is OK as long as the sightlines aren't compromised by shrub planting too close to the path on the inside of bends.

Avoid storyboards- they are the bane of my life in our village - we have them for every significant 'historical' fact as the bridle path used to be a local branch line past an ammunitions dump in the world wars... and an old WW1 Airfield- on busy days and with the number of dogs about it's as quick to get off and walk some days.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
But for disciplined, skilled and trained riders it makes the journey longer and is a ballache. I can't see why 2 wheeled isfrastructure users should have any less direct - goegraphy permitting - routes than, say, Boris Johnson being chauffer driven in a jag would.
 
Location
London
I suppose it depends in who it is aimed at using it. If it's a likely commuter route (which your post suggests), then pretty straight for my money. If aimed at families and walkers pottering about then meandering is fine.

Either way I like storyboards they add interest to a ride and you don't have to stop and read if you don't want to.
I too like storyboards - and as you say you don't have to read them - cycling is ideal for learning interesting stuff about areas you are cycling through - stuff you would be ignorant of in a car. Also a useful opportunity for a snack.
I have visions of archi tect taking a flame thrower/knocking ball/high explosives/nukes to anything near a cycle route.
 

Dan77

Well-Known Member
Location
Worcester
Depends on the extent of the meandering I suppose.

It would not be reasonable to expect cycle commuters to cover 11 miles while road traffic is covering 10. If it amounted to just an extra hundred metres or so though, I think it would make the ride more pleasant without sacrificing too much speed. It needs to be safe, practical to use and designed to attract people to cycle along it. Add too much distance and it becomes less practical for some. Make it completely straight and it has a danger of being less enjoyable.

My main issue with cycle paths are the ones when you are forced to stop and start with junctions, etc. Closely followed by those that are poorly designed for considering both pedestrians and cyclists. There are several in my area with sharp corners and hedge planting alongside. You simply can’t see if there is a pedestrian around the corner and of course I slow to an appropriate speed but even so, if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time (one side is for pedestrians, the other for cyclists but this is ignored by many, especially pedestrians) they will get a shock.
 

Archie_tect

De Skieven Architek... aka Penfold + Horace
Location
Northumberland
Trying to prevent the bats crossing the transport infrastructure other than the approved green bridges. I suggested charging them with Jay Walking and using heavy fines and potential jail sentences as a deterrent, but that one didn't go down well.
I've never seen any bat roadkill so sonar must work even near vehicles... is there any evidence that bats actually use the green bridges [the ones with overhead 'wire tunnels']

Blue Hills, there's a meandering cycle path along the north bank of the Tyne near Scotswood which has shrubs right on the inner corners so people have no forward sightline at all- I've seen more near misses along that section because of that than any other type of cycling related incident. The other one is the sharply meandered path where desire line paths cut the corners of the route so that walkers and cyclists ignore the paved paths and take the direct route which wears into an earth path over time... some designers have no idea what they're doing...

Rant over! :laugh:

Edit: a well placed and informative storyboard can enhance a visitor experience, but as long as it's set back to give people room to get past without having to go on the grass.
 
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