PROTEST TONIGHT 6PM BOW ROUNDABOUT

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  • PROTEST TONIGHT 6PM BOW ROUNDABOUT
  • Premier Icon Nobby
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    JCL – Member
    I’ve ridden road bikes for 25 years and have never crashed and or had any real altercation with a car past a mutual ‘**** off’. Why are all these people getting squished? Is it the popularity of cycling just putting more people on the road for the texting drivers to hit or is it that the new post Olympic cycling converts are inexperienced?

    I think it’s all of that. IIRC, the number of cyclists on London’s streets has doubled in a decade and bikes make up almost a quarter of all inner London traffic.

    There seems to be a wide range of cyclist from the stereotypical psycho courier to clueless newbies who seem to think it’s like bumbling through Hyde Park when negotiating Mile End Road. In theory, there’s a billion quid being spent on proper segregated routes etc but I think the earliest of these is a couple of years away at least.

    CoLC & TFL are now making it compulsory for any firm that works for or on behalf of them to have all HGVs fitted with an approved ‘side-scan’ system to try & prevent the most common cause of serious injury/death although it seems like buses are excluded from this requirement.

    Walking around the city and seeing commute vids (such as NJEE’s recent one) I am genuinely surprised there aren’t more incidents. Hopefully, protests like last night’s will all concerned parties take a bit more care on the streets.

    cybicle
    Member

    I went along to Bow last night; was a very small group of perhaps 20-30 people, and it didn’t go on for very long (finished just after 7). Was nice to see a few folk out paying respects though.

    I can’t believe any cyclist would want to go anywhere near that junction. It’s practically a motorway interchange. The sheer volume of motor traffic is huge. Utterly terrifying.

    Thing is, there are actually possible alternatives; there are two footbridges between the Bow interchange and Hackney Wick. These would link Old Ford and Victoria Park with Fish Island, the Greenway and the Olympic Park. Both are quite narrow so probably not suitable for high numbers of cyclists. I’m sure they could be upgraded though. What with all the money spent on the Olympics, I’m amazed such a project wasn’t considered, as this could really help give cyclists a safer alternative route. The A11/A118 is a major bottleneck, always has been. With today’s tragic death, that’s now 3 in 2 weeks on the same stretch of road. The ‘cycle superhighway’ much heralded by the mayor. Well, I hope Barclays have got what they wanted from the cheap advertising deal.

    Premier Icon kimbers
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    From CM facebook page

    I’m just back from LCC’s protest/remembrance ride around Bow roundabout. There were so many cyclists present that we filled the whole roundabout. I know BBC TV and LBC radio were also there, along with a fair police presence.

    Unfortunately, the behaviour of *some* drivers was far below standard. All stopped for the police, but there was a lot of honking during the 1 minute silence and one driver gave me the quote of the night as he was speaking (shouting) at a uniformed police officer to attempt to convince the officer to let him through:

    I understand that [someone died], but these lot don’t even pay road tax!

    cybicle
    Member

    Who/what is CM? I got there quite late, and missed the ‘occupation’ of the roundabout.

    That quote from the driver just sums up the selfishness of sadly the majority of drivers in London. They really believe they have the ‘right’ above all others to do as they please, and seldom consider the consequences of their actions.

    But while the car manufacturing and oil production lobbies continue to enjoy so much influence on government policy, we’ll see very little change. A change of thinking must happen on a big scale, not just painting some bits of road blue.

    Premier Icon njee20
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    CS2 does seem like a bit of a deathtrap. FWIW I find CS7 fine – here’s the video Nobby refers to – starting in leafy Surrey and riding into the City. Covers the whole of CS7 from about 2ish minutes I think.

    [video]http://youtu.be/KSgFiflKXjM[/video]

    Shame we still have so many naive car drivers, but nothing you do will change that.

    Why are all these people getting squished? Is it the popularity of cycling just putting more people on the road for the texting drivers to hit or is it that the new post Olympic cycling converts are inexperienced?

    I think it’s definitely the latter – a lot of people ride really really badly, particularly women (not being sexist in any way, indeed a disproportionate number of KSI cyclists are women), who are often far too defensive and seem to lack any forethought whatsoever. Last week I watched one ride between two lanes of traffic, then when the lights changed she didn’t like being between the moving vehicles, so just stopped dead in the middle of the road to let the traffic clear. Asking for trouble. Not to mention undertaking LH turning vehicles.

    cybicle
    Member

    a lot of people ride really really badly, particularly women

    Can you actually prove this? It’s just that from my own experience, I have a totally opposite opinion.

    not being sexist in any way

    Really? 🙄

    And here we are again, attacking/finding fault with particular groups. And instead ignoring the real issue, which is that there are far too many cars on London’s roads, using infrastructure that in the main, was not originally designed for large volume motor vehicle traffic. Ignoring that fact won’t make it go away.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    And instead ignoring the real issue, which is that there are far too many cars on London’s roads, using infrastructure that in the main, was not originally designed for large volume motor vehicle traffic. Ignoring that fact won’t make it go away.

    Who’s ignoring it? You’re of course right, it’s common sense – ideally the two user groups shouldn’t come into contact. But it is what it is, and without bulldozing large chunks of London you’re not going to change it. With more investment (as we’re promised) you could use the space more intelligently, and do more than a bit of blue paint, which in the case of CS2 perhaps lulls users into a false sense of security.

    Can you actually prove this? It’s just that from my own experience, I have a totally opposite opinion.

    Good for you. No I can’t prove it conclusively, but there’s a lot of stuff around to support it, first thing on Google here, or here, or here. I think the fundamental issue is an over cautiousness – not wanting to be an inconvenience they are far more likely to tuck themselves into the kerb and get squashed. I’ve also never consciously seen a woman screaming obscenities at drivers or other riders, seen plenty of men doing it mind, in the round they’re more likely to be assertive/aggressive.

    May we have your evidence to the contrary?

    edlong
    Member

    That quote from the driver just sums up the selfishness of sadly the majority of drivers in London.

    I don’t agree that it’s the majority, it’s that those are the ones you notice and remember so that’s what it feels like – you don’t remember the 100s of drivers who don’t pass too close, cut you up or shout abuse, but you remember every single one that does so it feels like there’s more of them than there really are as a proportion of the whole.

    It’s the same thinking that leads to comments that “all / most cyclists” run red lights, ride on the pavement etc.. They don’t, but you only notice the ones that do, especially if it’s confirming a view you already hold.

    Premier Icon njee20
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    Premier Icon D0NK
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    edlong – Member
    I don’t agree that it’s the majority,

    while I agree I think there’s so significant a minority now that plenty of people are getting scared to use the road, including experienced cyclists (I know experience does not necessarily equal competence, but still…)

    cybicle
    Member

    So, Njee20, you claimed that:

    a lot of people ride really really badly, particularly women

    Yet the very articles you linked to state:

    Women cyclists are far more likely to be killed by a lorry because, unlike men, they tend to obey red lights and wait at junctions in the driver’s blind spot, according to a study.

    Women may be over-represented in (collisions with goods vehicles) because they are less likely than men to disobey red lights.

    So, far from riding ‘really badly’, women are actually more likely to obey the rules of the road. So you’re basically saying women are poor cyclists because they obey the rules of the road?

    See, I interpret that information as road junctions being poorly designed, as well as trucks having poor all round visibility, rather than female cyclists being at fault. A conclusion I have come to by actually studying the facts, and thinking carefully about the issues, rather than laying the blame at the feet of the victims.

    I also considered other factors, such as the type of bicycles that many women tend to ride, which don’t lend themselves to the quick acceleration out of danger (we could also talk about men perhaps being on average stronger and quicker at accelerating), and the naturally greater levels of aggression in men, as mentioned in that report.

    May we have your evidence to the contrary?

    30+ years of cycling in London, cycling pretty much every day in London over the last 25 years at least, being a cycle courier for a period, knowing lots of women who cycle (of all cyclists I know, it’s the men who have had the greater number of accidents by far), working in bike shops (higher proportion of female customers inquired about safety equipment such as helmets, lights, hi-viz etc), and the shocking statistic that a far higher proportion of deaths caused by traffic collisions are in fact male. Most of the people I see riding without lights at night are male. Most of the accidents/near misses i’ve seen have involved male cyclists. Just about all the incidents I’ve had involving stupid/ignorant/dangerous behaviour by other cyclists have involved blokes.

    So after all that, you seem to be suggesting that women don’t ride ‘agressively’ enough. Do you not think that’s an issue that’s related to the design and layout of roads, design of trucks etc, rather than women being at fault?

    Theres two seperate issues here.

    1. To ride safely on the roads AS THEY ARE DESIGNED AT THE MOMENT, you need to be assertive and adpot vehicular cycling methods. Its not enough to simply not put yourself in danger, you have to actively prevent others from putting you in danger too. This is not only very difficult (I’ve been doing it for 20 years, no accidents yet, but i still find it very difficult), but its actually not possible for many people. My mums in her 60’s, negotiating 3 lane roundabouts is not possible for her.

    2. The roads in cities are no longer fit for purpose, the fact that number (1.) is necessaary is a symptom of this. John Franklin, the author of Cyclecraft, was actually aware of this, and pointed out that the above was not a recipie for creating a safe cycling environment just a way of dealing with the crap situation. The roads need redesigning, and where necessary this includes full segregation of cyclists and heavy traffic.

    Privately advise 1 to friends and family.

    Publicly advise 2 to the government and councils.

    If you make the mistake of advising 1 publicy, it becomes victim blaming. This happens all the time whenever people comment on an accident, somehow blaming cyclists for not preventing the mistakes of others.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Yet the very articles you linked to state:

    Yes, fair comment, my choice of words was poor. I meant badly in the context of “likely to get yourself killed”, as opposed to “not in keeping with the law”. You can ride (or drive) badly whilst still being complete lawful.

    So having slated me for my use of anecdotal evidence, you have nothing but that?

    As I said, I agree that the primary cause is often poor design of junctions/vehicles, but again, that’s what we’re stuck with. Whilst I don’t ‘place blame’ on the victims there’s a duty of care on both parties.

    cybicle
    Member

    So having slated me for my use of anecdotal evidence

    No; I’ve ‘slated’ you for your unconstructive sexist comments.

    We should be discussing how to improve matters for all road users, not arguing over which group is worse than another. Because by doing that, we just end up being bogged down in unhelpful arguments, rather than addressing the real issues.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I answered a very valid question posed by JCL about why folks are getting squished with my opinions, a part of which is that certain user groups are more vulnerable, for reasons I outlined. My comments were constructive in the context of this, I agree that as a standalone statement they would have been less so, but ignoring the context is a little pointless, even if it suits. I apologise that you felt my remarks were sexist, but I provided evidence that suggests there is some truth in it additional to my anecdotal experiences, which I felt gave more weight to my reply to JCL’s question.

    Anyway, I’m growing weary of this. I don’t need to justify myself to you, I don’t like the persona you choose to adopt on here. You are now perpetuating discussion that truly is far removed from the original point, and we’re both detracting from the matter at hand.

    cybicle
    Member

    I felt I was (justifiably) challenging your views. I’m sorry that you feel the way you do. I think this part of the discussion is done, and am happy to leave it there and move on. No hard feelings.

    cybicle
    Member

    Stayed at a friend’s place on the isle of Dogs last night, so commuted in to the RCJ. Used CS3 and then up past Monument and St Pauls. Here are some observations:

    *CS3 along Narrow Street then Cable Street is an excellent route, although it has been there long before Boris had it painted blue. Safe and quick, keeps you away from the Highway and Commercial Road, both very dangerous arterial routes.

    *Surprisingly few cyclists use bells to alert other cyclists as to their intentions, or to warn pedestrians.

    *Tower Hill is **** dangerous, with several arterials converging to a pinch point. The Bus lane entrance at Great Tower Street is inexplicably closed to cyclists.

    *About 1 in 6-8 vehicles is a large construction work type truck.

    *Addison Lee vehicles appear to be driven by morons.

    *Black Cab drivers are surprisingly reasonable towards other road users. Especially if they have passengers on board.

    *Every ASL and yellow-hatched box junction had motor vehicles in them when traffic was stationary.

    *Cycles are by some margin the fastest vehicles on the road during rush hour.

    *Quite a few on-road ‘cycle lanes’ seem to peter out after a short distance. Many vehicles drive in what lanes there are.

    *St Pauls looks amazing in the morning sun.

    *Ludgate Hill is another pinch-point, not helped one bit by current road works.

    *The majority of RLJers I saw were motorists.

    *Many motorists don’t indicate when turning left. Neither, for that matter, do most cyclists.

    *None of the cyclists I saw were wearing headphones, texting/using ‘phones, or otherwise distracted. At least a dozen motorists I saw were using ‘phones.

    *A 42/16t SS ratio, whilst offering a reasonable 15-17mph cruising speed, is a little too high in very slow traffic, or to offer good acceleration. A 40 or 38t is better suited for such conditions.

    *Some motorists won’t see you even though you are wearing a hi-vis vest, and there’s bright sunlight. These motorists may look quite perplexed when you suggest they ‘get a **** eye test’.

    But above all else:

    *Cycling is by far the best way to get around town.

    yossarian
    Member

    Just for info my missus works for a large aggregates and concrete company that are supplying to crossrail and several other projects in London. Her company take the issue of mingling with cyclists extremely seriously. The amount of sensors and cameras on the vehicles now is crazy, too much for one person to monitor. There’s some development work on light curtains and warning zones around aggregates vehicles in development now. Her company are also looking at when they can deliver out of hours and even how they can plan routes with the minimum number of left hand turns in built up areas.

    cybicle
    Member

    Good to hear at least one company is starting to take these issues seriously, Yossarian.

    bland
    Member

    That doesn’t hide the fact muck shifter/tipper drivers are the dumbest of the dumb!

    I didnt really comprehend the actual number of cyclists on the road on London till I watched that video njee posted, I’m lucky if I see two in five miles in Oldham!

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