Why is segregated infrastructure seen as the solution?

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  • Why is segregated infrastructure seen as the solution?
  • brooess
    Member

    I don’t get it.

    When I ride down a road with drivers who are observant and thoughtful, and give me space my riding is hassle-free and pretty safe.

    It’s only when I get people tailgating, close passing, pulling out without looking, leaning on horns etc that it feels dangerous. As it happens I see the same behaviour when I drive.

    In my mind if one driver (car, van, lorry whatever) can drive carefully around me, so can all of them

    So the problem is clearly one of behaviour rather than infrastructure and I can’t see how changing the road layout enforces good practice and the law…

    Surely more Police just watching (which has it’s own impact on bad behaviour), or pulling people over for a bollocking or an arrest etc would be a better long term solution.

    Any segregated infrastructure still has to rejoin the main traffic at some point which creates concentrations of cycle flow into traffic and greater danger.

    Is there any evidence that infrastructure solves the problem? Or is it just politically easier?

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Surely more Police just watching (which has it’s own impact on bad behaviour), or pulling people over for a bollocking or an arrest etc would be a better long term solution.

    costs more. I can’t remember the last time I saw a traffic officer.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    It’s safer if the driver physically cannot enter the bike lane due to kerb / design etc. As seen in Copenhagen and Amsterdamn for example. I’ve cycled in both places whereas I really really don’t feel safe on UK roads in Cities.

    mrmo
    Member

    I’ve cycled in both places whereas I really really don’t feel safe on UK roads in Cities.

    But is it the infrastructure or the drivers?

    I don’t like driving on roads because of tailgating, agressive driving etc etc. Only difference between driving and cycling, on a bike you have no protection in a car you have a steel cage to protect you.

    So whilst segregated facilities may help, they can never be a total solution, It is never going to be possible to get from every point to every other point without interacting with cars somewhere. Unless drivers are held to account what hope is there?

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    Something I mentioned on the one way street thread. If you put lots of signs and lanes then that’s great when they are there, but we can never have full segregation so when there aren’t signs and lanes a lot drivers act like idiots. I’d say improve the drivers and get rid of the idiots rather than keep the bad drivers and cyclists apart.

    Gary_M
    Member

    I completely agree with the OP, You start to remove cyclists off the main traffic flow and you get treated like you’re not allowed on the road. My commute by bike includes an 8 mile stretch of road with a segregated cycle path, it runs along side the road but is separated from the two lane road by a metre wide kerb. If I dare to stray onto the road, because the path is icy for example, I can guarantee I’ll get at least one or two cars blasting horns at me, its a reasonably quiet road (motorway built parallel to it) so that’s a fairly high percentage.

    The path also has several entry points for vehicles and also crosses a couple of roads.

    I’m not the type of cyclist that rides on whatever road I want without assessing the dangers – I avoid duel carriageways for example so I’m not being obstinate. I would avoid large roundabouts as they’re horrible to ride round from a safety aspect. I asses the situation, if it doesn’t look safe I’ll choose an alternative.

    Perhaps segregation works at some large junctions that maybe can’t be avoided but it shouldn’t become the norm.

    We have a right to cycle on the road.

    There has been a reduction off traffic officers – 29% less over the last 10 years as traffic does not have a crime target

    some more fun facts about cycling and a nice petition to sign 😀

    Gary_M
    Member

    And the majority of people on bikes I see on my commute jump ride lights all they time, they don’t do it for ‘safety’ reasons, these junctions are perfectly safe.

    The roads are full of idiots – in cars, vans, buses and on bikes.

    How can we expect to be treated with respect on the road when the majority break the rules?

    shermer75
    Member

    I agree- keeping the behaviour of all road users at a safe level is the best answer, but also a tricky one to bring about…

    mrmo
    Member

    I agree- keeping the behaviour of all road users at a safe level is the best answer, but also a tricky one to bring about…

    not that difficult really, just involves politicians, police and courts have some bollocks.

    more police, zero tolerance, 12 points means a ban no exceptions.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    When I ride down a road

    ^^^ there is your answer right there.

    You ALREADY ride in the road, DESPITE the current conditions.

    You are not the target audience.

    The point of segregated infrastructure is that cycling should be a safe way to get about that can be enjoyed by anyone from 8 to 80 without the need for helmets, high-viz and enough lumens to start a fire.

    This isn’t a dream. It happens in other countries (that have segregated infrastructure).

    Meanwhile in the UK, the number one reason cited for not traveling by bike, even by cyclists, is perceived danger on the roads.

    Gary_M
    Member

    I think it would be fairly difficult to implement all the time – I’d like to see it happen though but with budget cuts all over the place its not likely.

    Gary_M
    Member

    But GrahamS the problem is that will take a massive change in the perception of all road users. British people in general couldn’t give a toss about cyclists and don’t think they should be on the road.

    mrmo
    Member

    I think it would be fairly difficult to implement all the time – I’d like to see it happen though but with budget cuts all over the place its not likely.

    difficult granted, but not that difficult, you only have to see how many drivers have in excess of 12 points to realise the system is already broken.

    bigyinn
    Member

    Segregation removes cyclists from the traffic mix and therefore should keep us safer.
    However the moment you add bikes back into the general traffic melee the problem returns. This is impossible to avoid, unless you have 100% segregation all the time or better attitudes and behaviour from all road users (including cyclists) all the time.
    Neither will ever happen though.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    British people in general couldn’t give a toss about cyclists and don’t think they should be on the road.

    I don’t think that is true “in general” but you’re right there are a lot of haterz out there. A good way to change that is to get their sons, daughters, friends, etc cycling.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    How can we expect to be treated with respect on the road when the majority break the rules?

    Christ, not this shit again.
    Read this:
    http://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/the-most-basic-respect/

    Then come back to me on how drivers can be expected to be “treated with respect” when the majority break the rules?

    Gary_M
    Member

    A good way to change that is to get their sons, daughters, friends, etc cycling.

    Agreed, maybe we’ll be there in a hundred years.

    Then come back to me on how drivers can be expected to be “treated with respect” when the majority break the rules?

    I treat all road users with respect – but the majority of drivers and the majority of people on bikes break the rules. We’re all ****, unless we’re all willing to change.

    Changing behaviour is immensely difficult.

    It took almost 30 years to stop people drink driving.

    How long is it going to take to re-educate the entire nation on the subtleties of driving around cyclists.

    And even then people still make mistakes, its human nature.

    Solving this with road engineering means that these mistakes doesn’t result in peoples deaths. Thats why driving has become safer, due to changes in road design (e.g. the central barrier on motorways) and car design (stronger, crumple zones, airbags, ABS).

    There is evidence this works from the Netherlands and there is evidence this can be applied elsewhere, like in New York or Sydney.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    But is it the infrastructure or the drivers?

    Yes

    pdw
    Member

    How can we expect to be treated with respect on the road when the majority break the rules?

    Do they? This survey suggests that compliance with traffic lights is typically in the 80-90% range:

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/traffic-note-8-cycling-red-lights.pdf?

    It’s a rubbish argument anyway. On that basis, cars should be given “no respect”, as there are places where the rules are broken by in excess of 95% of drivers:

    http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/10342886.Drivers_ignore_new_Brighton_and_Hove_20mph_speed_limit/

    There’s much more eloquent dismissal of the “respect must be earnt” line here:

    http://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/the-most-basic-respect/

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    How can we expect to be treated with respect on the road when the majority break the rules?

    source?

    proper segregated infrastructure* means lots of people start riding, once lots of people start riding then everyone is a rider themselves or one of their friends/family is, so we are less of an outgroup, we’re all just people travelling places, so you get more respect on the none segregated road sections. That’s the theory anyway, I was sceptical at first but I reckon it’s the way to go.

    *and proper infrastructure is at the expense of road space for cars. Car culture is too ingrained, people need to be actually deterred from driving rather than just saying “look a bike lane, nice huh?”

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    One thing to look at is the “explosion” of cycling in London in recent years.

    They put in Cycle Highways. Little more than blue paint in many places. But it was a clear signal that cyclists were “allowed” and encouraged. People felt safer. Some tried cycling and found they liked it. Other saw them cycling and decided to try it too.

    Suddenly we start seeing something that is rare in the UK, growth in cycling numbers:

    Some roads now have more bikes than cars on them during rush hour:

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9dIpuZjlPE[/video]

    And that was just blue paint and a bit of publicity. Think how many more would give it a go if there was real segregation that made it safe.

    plyphon
    Member

    There’s too much of a car culture in the UK – the more people who cycle the better it’ll be.

    We’re addicted to cars in the 2000’s like we were addicted to cigarettes in the 1950’s.

    It was great fun cycling in Amsterdam and felt 100% safe. I rarely cycle on the roads in the UK (Short bits to get to trails mainly) and will never cycle in the city center – I just ain’t got the balls for it.

    Bring on segregation tbh.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    depends what and where you talk about segregation.
    in towns? or A to B between towns, and arterial type routes in to towns.

    the usual argument is “there’s not enough space to build segregated infrastructrue”
    well my experience of living in Netherlands is that in a lot of places the streets are indeed substantially narrower. SOme become shared space, some have segregtion, lots don’t have rat runs. Often the 2 bollards is enough to turn a back street in to a shared space where bikes have thru routing and cars don’t.

    A to B arterial and between towns should be totally segregated, with priority to bikes (and pedestrians), raised path that’s straight thru for bikes, and give-way with a road hump for vehicles.

    But it needs a change in mind set too.

    mrmo
    Member

    In my opinion segregation is a part of the solution, other parts are designed roads so that they are unappealing to drive, offering as many options as possible for a journey that feeling like you have to drive becomes the exception rather than the default, enforcing the law on all road users, offering training to all, from bikeability or similar to ALL primary school kids to driving lessons for teenagers.

    The reality is that most people will become drivers, so most people should be made aware of all forms of road use, indoctrinated in their responsiblities to others!

    Enforce rules on what and when and for how long a learner driver has to learn. Make all cyclists aware of the risks HGVs and PSVs pose. Assume everyone is stupid because for the most part they are.

    Enforce rules on all, for all transgressions,

    Make people realise that there is no right to drive!

    5thElefant
    Member

    To safely mix with cars you need crumple zones, seat belts and airbags. Even then it’s not that safe.

    scandalous
    Member

    such a significant increase in people on bikes is bound to have impact on accident stats.

    just as you see people who can barely drive cars behind the wheels it amazes me just how badly people ride and how such large numbers ride in a way that is almost courting incident.

    proper lights, hi-viz and no bloomin earphones plugged into your lug-holes is just common sense.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    +1 for everything that mrmo says ^^

    Gary_M
    Member

    source?

    Personal experience, most folk on bikes I see on my commute jump red lights. I don’t go near a traffic light on non commuting rides.

    pondo
    Member

    proper segregated infrastructure* means lots of people start riding, once lots of people start riding then everyone is a rider themselves or one of their friends/family is, so we are less of an outgroup, we’re all just people travelling places, so you get more respect on the none segregated road sections. That’s the theory anyway, I was sceptical at first but I reckon it’s the way to go.

    *and proper infrastructure is at the expense of road space for cars. Car culture is too ingrained, people need to be actually deterred from driving rather than just saying “look a bike lane, nice huh?”
    Big fan of this.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    my gut feeling is that just segregation isnt the answer to the problem however segregation may be very good in many cycling blackspots but it isnt the answer everywhere. segregation may help get car drivers and pedestrians onto bikes, make them feel safer and generally help increase numbers but it isnt a cure all. as for cars hooting, I’ve had the same and am happy to explain to them these bike lanes are not mandatory. 😉

    Premier Icon faustus
    Subscriber

    As said above, it’s a bit of a double edged sword. Cycle lanes are good to cycle on and can be better for cyclists, but they create the wrong impression to drivers (that cyclists should be there and nowhere else), and can create a false sense of security/complacency for cyclists. In this respect it means cyclists aren’t learning and applying useful rules of non-cycle lane traffic (which may save their life). There is no one approach, I think all are needed. Drivers need to change their behaviour and attitudes, as do cyclists. Segregation is good when you get a more direct and appropriate route. To encourage changes in attitude changes in highway law would help to protect the cyclist, whereby more emphasis on liability is put on the driver.

    I cycled in Munich earlier this year, and it was a delight. Although you have to carefully observe the traffic rules and use cycle lanes where they exist, drivers all exercised caution and patience with cyclists and it was lovely! I can’t see Britain reaching that point sadly…

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Personal experience,

    ah right, so not like a proper study or owt?
    (PDWs text was right but the link was wrong)

    just as you see people who can barely drive cars behind the wheels it amazes me just how badly people ride and how such large numbers ride in a way that is almost courting incident.

    proper lights, hi-viz and no bloomin earphones plugged into your lug-holes is just common sense. you missed out helmets, insurance and road tax, shoddy!

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I’ve been thinking along the same lines as you OP, why is everyone suddenly bleating on about fully segregating cycle lanes?

    Its not that spunking huge sums on cycle segregation is the best solution, it’s that its very visible, Drivers like it because we’re “out of the way” and less experienced cyclists like it because they don’t have to mix it with big scary motorized vehicles (at least until they reach the end of the lane)…

    TBH I think everybody knows that full physical segregation of bicycles and motor vehicles isn’t practicable, given the available space and the sheer cost of doing it, Yeah you might manage some segregation at certain key “blackspots” but ultimately thats just a sticking plaster…

    Segregate bikes off at a dodgy roundabout and Drivers won’t learn how to deal with cyclists they will become reliant on road layouts, designing out the need for them to apply judgement and skill in the operation of their vehicle, eventually the funding dries up and those roads left as “Dual use” reap the rewards as Cyclist squishing becomes a more popular pastime outside of the apparent centre of the universe M25…

    The fact is that attitudes on the roads need to change and penalties for transgressors need to be properly enforced to serve as a deterent (for both cyclists and drivers)…

    Kicking off a knee jerk policy of segregated motor and pedal traffic will mean that most local authorities (especially those outside of london) just paint some more lines on the pavements and continue to try and dump cyclists at dangerous crossing points expecting them to tolerate being treated like wheeled ped’s rather than proper road traffic, these sort of cack handed features are already scattered along my own commute and I avoid them for my own safety TBH…

    On a Bicycle I am traffic, equal in rights and responsibility to any motored vehicle…

    90% of the problems isn’t actually the roads, it’s the users… I’d rather government spent some money fixing them first…

    project
    Member

    a good design of segregated lane

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whDvUs-BDWY[/video]

    and 2 shared use ones, and theyre crap.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnvAeetaYnk&feature=c4-overview&list=UU_kaz1vhOldrsr4Gw_N5GDQ[/video]

    and the other side of the road

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pabC4DsUX9g[/video]

    brooess
    Member

    The case against (crap) infrastructure is in GrahamS’s London growth chart ^^

    The blue paint went in 2008/9 IIRC but the steepest part of the graph is the period after Red Ken put the Congestion Charge in (2001?)

    So, less traffic, more riders…

    Which isn’t the same as ‘more blue paint’ or ‘changing the road layout’

    Premier Icon ads678
    Subscriber

    I think as a start all roads should have a painted cycle lane. At least that gives the driver the feeling cyclists have a right to be there, and it makes filtering a dam sight easier.
    Shared use cycle lanes are a pain inthe arse and can be dangerous to pedestrians. Kids should be allowed to cycle on the footways but if you’re gonna go fast then a bit of the road should be available to go fast In whilst having a bit of room.

    I know more than is neede but it’d be a start, and relatively simple.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    So, less traffic, more riders…

    Which isn’t the same as ‘more blue paint’ or ‘changing the road layout’

    Lots of people seem to present this as an either/or thing for some reason.

    In my opinion it all goes hand-in-hand.

    You make driving short distances a less attractive option by things like congestion charging, parking fees and good road engineering.

    You make walking and cycling more attractive options with things like proper segregated routes, traffic-free streets, better public transport links, park-and-ride, traffic calming, limits on HGVs and large vehicles, filtered permeability, priority over traffic etc.

    why is everyone suddenly bleating on about fully segregating cycle lanes?

    I’ve been bleating on about it for ages. I don’t mind cycling on the road – but I avoid it where possible in town and I wouldn’t be commuting to work every day without my nice safe traffic-free route.

    Does anyone genuinely prefer cycling in this:

    To this (my route):

    Segregate bikes off at a dodgy roundabout and Drivers won’t learn how to deal with cyclists they will become reliant on road layouts… Cyclist squishing becomes a more popular pastime

    That isn’t the experience in countries that do this. Why would here be any different?

    Make cycling safer = more people cycling = greater chance that the driver behind you on the roundabout is a cyclist or has children who cycle.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I think as a start all roads should have a painted cycle lane. At least that gives the driver the feeling cyclists have a right to be there, and it makes filtering a dam sight easier.

    Painted cycle lanes are often far worse than nothing at all though.

    Cyclists who stick to them are put in dangerous situations (i.e. alongside parked cars, at risk of being squeezed at pinch points, hidden from view at side roads) PLUS drivers expect us to stick to them and get upset when we don’t.

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