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 Post subject: Cycle paths.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:33 
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I apologise if this has been discussed before. I had a quick look and couldn't see anything.

On my walk to work in the mornings I use a combined pedestrian and cycle path for a lot of the way. In most places it is wide and no problem.

My question is this: I have been doing a survey and I find that 75% of cyclists seem to prefer to ride in the road with the traffic why is this?

I know cycle paths can be really annoying when they stop and motorists park all over them and pedestrians wander about all over the place but surely if that council has spent large quantities of our money on creating these paths cyclists have a duty to use them for their own safety.

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 Post subject: Re: Cycle paths.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:58 
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how safe do you believe it is for a cyclist to be doing 20-30mph on this pedestrian path you're talking about?


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 Post subject: Re: Cycle paths.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 13:48 
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Brookwood wrote:
I know cycle paths can be really annoying when they stop and motorists park all over them and pedestrians wander about all over the place but surely if that council has spent large quantities of our money on creating these paths cyclists have a duty to use them for their own safety.

Take a look at the pictures on Cycling Facility of the Month.

A lot of money has been spent on those - how many of them would you regard as safe?

It seems to me that all too often the money is spent to meet targets rather than to provide facilities genuinely useful to cyclists.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 16:00 
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Often you see them cycling on the road next to what is a perfectly good cycle facility - although I agree with Peter that a lot of cycle facilities are tokenistic and crap. See here for examples.[/url]


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 16:23 
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guron83 wrote:
next to what is a perfectly good cycle facility

in whose opinion would that be then?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 16:28 
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Well I see them cycling on the road when there is a long, straight, entirely separated line of tarmac for cyclists next to them, with few if any pedestrians on it.

Does that count as a perfectly good cycle facility?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 17:16 
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guron83 wrote:
Does that count as a perfectly good cycle facility?

have you ridden on it? Do you know if it's covered in glass, mud and other assorted debris? Do you know if it's got thousands of potholes or not? Do you know if it's easy to get onto and then merge back with the main flow of traffic when it ends? Once you answer all those questions you may discover why nobody is using it.


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 Post subject: Re: Cycle paths.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 22:06 
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Brookwood wrote:
My question is this: I have been doing a survey and I find that 75% of cyclists seem to prefer to ride in the road with the traffic why is this?


Because they actually have some consideration for the pedestrians who have to share shared use paths?

Quote:
I know cycle paths can be really annoying when they stop and motorists park all over them and pedestrians wander about all over the place but surely if that council has spent large quantities of our money on creating these paths cyclists have a duty to use them for their own safety.


The council has spent a large ammount of money to give people the choice. Those who are confident to ride on the road should not be denied that option because we have spent lots of money creating something they never wanted in the first place.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 23:45 
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johnsher wrote:
guron83 wrote:
Does that count as a perfectly good cycle facility?

have you ridden on it? Do you know if it's covered in glass, mud and other assorted debris? Do you know if it's got thousands of potholes or not? Do you know if it's easy to get onto and then merge back with the main flow of traffic when it ends? Once you answer all those questions you may discover why nobody is using it.

Guron83 might well be a beginer here, still with his "L" plate, but at least he has seen the paths he describes.
I have not, but I dont imediately jump to the conclusion that if it is a cycle path, provided so you dont have to ride on the road that it is full of potholes, and covered in broken glass. Well unless it was in Beirut!!

You must have some really AWFUL cycle lanes in your area which seems to colour your views of those elsewhere in the country.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 23:53 
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Ernest Marsh wrote:
Guron83 might well be a beginer here, still with his "L" plate, but at least he has seen the paths he describes.

which is exactly why I asked him the questions I did.


Ernest Marsh wrote:
You must have some really AWFUL cycle lanes in your area which seems to colour your views of those elsewhere in the country.

they are all as described and even if they were in perfect condition they won't support speeds of over 15mph so are completely useless anyway.

There is one in Wimbledon that's nicely separated from the road except for one minor detail. The road has bus stops on it so anyone getting off the bus steps straight onto the cycle path.
There's one in Bromley where they've just painted a white line on the footpath.
Another one in Hayes where all they've done is stick a sign onto a goat track (ie it's not even paved). That was where some stupid old bastard nearly ran me off the road and when I caught up to him at the mile long queue of traffic that he could have seen in front of him had he been looking where he was going his only comment was "bloody cyclists should be on the cycle path". Sound familiar?


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 Post subject: Re: Cycle paths.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:01 
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johnsher wrote:
how safe do you believe it is for a cyclist to be doing 20-30mph on this pedestrian path you're talking about?


Perfectly safe.

The cyclists in the road are doing half that speed.

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 Post subject: Re: Cycle paths.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:11 
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Homer wrote:

Quote:
Because they actually have some consideration for the pedestrians who have to share shared use paths?


Don't actually understand that one. The path is there for cyclists and pedestrians having consideration can still be done on the cycle path.



Quote:
The council has spent a large ammount of money to give people the choice. Those who are confident to ride on the road should not be denied that option because we have spent lots of money creating something they never wanted in the first place.


I suspect the cyclists wanted safety and the council thought that seperating them from cars, lorries and buses would be safer. So they built dedicated cycle paths and mixed cycle and pedestrian paths.

I wouldn't wish to deny anybody the right to do anything legal but isn't it more difficult in the event of an accident between a motorist and a cyclist to answer the question "why wasn't the cylclist on the cycle path?"

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:19 
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The cycle path I am refering to is separate from the road, it has no potholes, manhole covers, tree roots or any other obstacles to decent cycling speed. It does have pedestrians but it is quite clear which part of the path is designed for cyclists and which for pedestrians.

At school times it is probably covered in little pedestrians who have no idea what a cycle path is, but for the rest of the day it is mostly empty.

By comparison the road has been artificially narrowed with several islands and pedestrian crossings. Those islands make it impossible to overtake a cyclist safely. Between the islands you have to get very close to the white line if not cross it in order to give the cyclist plenty of room.

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 Post subject: Re: Cycle paths.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:28 
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Brookwood wrote:
I wouldn't wish to deny anybody the right to do anything legal but isn't it more difficult in the event of an accident between a motorist and a cyclist to answer the question "why wasn't the cylclist on the cycle path?"

great, so now we want to legalise running down of cyclists not using crap facilities because they should be off OUR roads!

I thought this was a cycling forum not a Sun "we pay 'road tax' and therefore own the roads" nutters forum.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:32 
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Brookwood wrote:
It does have pedestrians but it is quite clear which part of the path is designed for cyclists and which for pedestrians.

it may be clear to you, unfortunately it's not clear to most pedestrians as you go on to say...

Brookwood wrote:

At school times it is probably covered in little pedestrians who have no idea what a cycle path is, but for the rest of the day it is mostly empty.

which is the exact time a lot of people are commuting on their bikes.

How can it be safe to be doing 20-30mph on this path if there are pedestrians wandering all over it???

Brookwood wrote:

Between the islands you have to get very close to the white line if not cross it in order to give the cyclist plenty of room.


oh you poor darling you. The hardship of having to slow down for half a second. FFS, you've just described most of the roads in the country.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:37 
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In another area there is a cycle path completely separate from the road and it is between the town and a village. Very few pedestrians use it and the road was 60mph. Very rarely did I see a cyclist on the path they were nearly always pedalling along the road with cars going past them at the speed limit or more.

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 Post subject: Re: Cycle paths.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:03 
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johnsher wrote:
Brookwood wrote:
I wouldn't wish to deny anybody the right to do anything legal but isn't it more difficult in the event of an accident between a motorist and a cyclist to answer the question "why wasn't the cylclist on the cycle path?"

great, so now we want to legalise running down of cyclists not using crap facilities because they should be off OUR roads!

I thought this was a cycling forum not a Sun "we pay 'road tax' and therefore own the roads" nutters forum.


Whoa, hold on a minute, don't get so uptight. I asked a question that's all. I was actually hoping for an answer so I could understand.

The cycle paths I refering to are not crap they are quite usable and safe.

Yes it is a cycling forum which is why I posted here and I am a cyclist as well.

I use the cycle paths because I find the proximity of the cars on the road dangerous. That might make me a "poor darling" but I was actually thinking about other people.

As a motorist I don't think of the road as being "our roads" I quite happily share it with cyclists, horse riders, tractors and anybody else legally entitled to use it. But when there are cycle paths designed to give cyclist a safer passage I wonder why they don't use it.

There may be paths which are not up to scratch but where I am talking about they are and yet cyclists still don't use them.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:13 
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i detect a bit of sensationalism on both sides here...

there are cyclists who dont use cycle paths cos they dont want to
there are cyclists who dont use cycle paths because often they're poorly thought out
there are cyclists who ignore traffic signals.. dont use lights & wear dark clothes.

there are motorists who sit in the middle lane or shoot through in the wrong lane at roundabouts & traffic lights
there are motorists who jump reds, dont use their lights/drive round with foglights all the time.

some people are in a hurry, some people consider it their right, some people recognise one action as being safer than another, some people are just idiots whatever the form of transport and its difficult to judge which motivation drives a particular behaviour.

i can't really see how blindly discussing a specific peice of cycle path... or ranting about the generic case beneifits either party.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 20:16 
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Brookwood wrote:
By comparison the road has been artificially narrowed with several islands and pedestrian crossings. Those islands make it impossible to overtake a cyclist safely. Between the islands you have to get very close to the white line if not cross it in order to give the cyclist plenty of room.


It's what they are there for...

Don't blame the cyclists, blame the people whose actions made the pinch point necessary. It is comforting to know that if you are riding 3-5 feet from the kerb at one of these that an impatient driver cannot overtake.

Which white line do you mean? If you mean the central white line in a single carriageway then ideally your should cross it with both sets of wheels, as you should overtake a cyclists giving them at least as much room as a car.

If it is a solid white line then you may not cross it at all unless the thing you are overtaking is going less than 10mph. (Personally I'd like to see this raised to 20mph)

Why not borrow a bike and cycle the cycle path at school time, then cycle the road. When on the road, go through the pinch points as close to the kerb as you can and see what it is like to have a driver squeeze past you.

It seems to me that, unfortunately, it is only really possible to see why cyclists do the things they do if you go and do it for yourself. Mrs B Cyclists recently reminded me that I used to query the sanity of cyclists using a road near me when there was a "perfectly good" cycle path over the same route.

Now I cycle a lot, and I on the road, not the path. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:55 
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My route last summer was to park in Tidal Basin Road E16 (before the put the restrictions in that road) and cycle from there to Canary Wharf.

I stopped using the cycle path on Lower Lea Crossing because it was a pain that just as you got to the downhill part you had to stop to turn to the left and cross a slip road (giving way to it) up to the roundabout.

At the roundabout I usually went down Blackwall Way up to East India station to pick up a metro then continued along the cycle path next to Aspen Way. (Note that you cannot, or at least could not go through Blackwall Way, not even on a bicycle, because of building works), but would jump onto Aspen Way because it was a lot lot shorter, and I could force my way to the front of the queue anyway.

The only problem was the "trap" light at the roundabout (as your light turned green to go the one in front a few yards turned red on you and you had no chance). I did jump that light on a few occasions when I could or pull out when I got the chance before the light from Aspen Way turned green.

Then along Trafalgar Way and The South Colonnade.

Now, if they had made the cycle path on Lower Lea Crossing at a significantly lower gradiant (on that road you have to go up a hill then down one) with no give way at the end I would have been tempted. A nice bridge over Prestons Road between Poplar Dock and Blackwall Basin at a low gradient would also have been very useful but I've yet to see a cycle-lane junction by-pass or hill by-pass.


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