/ Chris Boardman on Cycle Lanes

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Chris the Tall - on 13 Feb 2013
Why don't cyclists use cycle lanes ?

Chris Boardman has produced an interesting short film for his appearance before the parliamentary committee

http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/campaigning/article/cam20130212-Chris-Boardman-asks--Who-are-cycle-...

gethin_allen on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
He makes a good point regarding the lanes constantly changing and crossing other paths, there was a place near the university in sheffield where the cycle lane just ends with a fence across it.
The drivers wherever it was filmed do appear to be quite considerate giving him a reasonable amount of space.
andy - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall: Top film - thanks for posting. Perhaps all those people that bang on about how cyclists should be "made" to use cycle lanes should watch it.
In reply to Chris the Tall: Oooooooooooh, that is from Arrow Park to Heswall road passing Landican cemetery.
Tim Chappell - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:


Good on you, Chris. (Both Chrises, that is.)

Chris Boardman could also have pointed out in his film (a) that whereas the road has been gritted the cycle path has obvious and visible frost on it, and (b) that this isn't even a particularly bad cycle lane. I can think of plenty worse.
toad - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall: The thing that worries me is that this is a typical response of most local authorities to previous attempts by national government to get them to engage with cycling - hit the targets as cheaply as possible by providing unusable (but still a recordable target achieved) facilities for cyclists.

Let get my enormous tar brush out and say that the underlying issue is that road commissioners/ designers/ constructors only care about motorised traffic. Often pedestrians are equally badly provided for.

And I have absolutely no idea how to change this attitude. As far as the majority of these people are concerned bicycles are for children
bigbobbyking - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Good video, showing why I don't (usually) use off road cycle paths when they are provided. They are just too inconvenient and frustrating to use.
ebygomm - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to toad: That reminds me, want to make a response on cycling provision on the hucknall inner relief road.
Dave Kerr - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

My suspicion is that cycle lanes are made so that city councils can say "we have x many miles of cycle lane here and so are promoting sustainable transport". The reality is that many of them are unused because they are like those shown in the video.

There was also one in Inverness that took cyclists the wrong way down a one way street. It was sign posted that way but you can imagine driver reactions.
Tim Chappell - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to bigbobbyking:


Yes, and they get you into trouble. Trouble like the poles of those two signs in the video. How much would it have cost to put some yellow and black warning chevrons on them, for heaven's sake? Or not to put them there in the first place, even?
In reply to Tim Chappell: The signs were there before the lane.
andy - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)

> There was also one in Inverness that took cyclists the wrong way down a one way street. It was sign posted that way but you can imagine driver reactions.

There's loads of those in London - but to be fair I've never had a problem on them - you need to be careful when turning into them as drivers probably don't expect you to turn in there, but they're well signposted.
Mooncat - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Spot on, I know here in Liverpool there are sections of cycle lane no more than 20 yards long that serve no purpose other than for the council to add them all together to show how green they are.
ti_pin_man - on 13 Feb 2013

good post.

cycle lanes were made for car drivers and councils IMO. It gives them the right to think cyclist should be in them, which is technically wrong, they are never mandatory.

Maybe they are for cars to park in? Most seem to be used as 'loading' bays round here.








http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF7qwbo6tNg

How close is that bus at 1 min 46?

Foliage at 3 mins

Tim Chappell - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

There was also one in Inverness that took cyclists the wrong way down a one way street.


This is commonplace in Cambridge. It's mostly a problem for pedestrians rather than drivers--it's very easy to step off the kerb and into a bike coming from an unexpected direction.
gethin_allen on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:
Watching that vid makes me think that at a minimum there should be rumble strips bordering the cycle lanes to warn drivers that they are getting close and otherwise bollards, although they could become a hindrance or danger to cyclists themselves.
toad - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to ebygomm:
> (In reply to toad) That reminds me, want to make a response on cycling provision on the hucknall inner relief road.

wrong side of town for me - I take it there isn't any?

Chris the Tall - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall) Top film - thanks for posting. Perhaps all those people that bang on about how cyclists should be "made" to use cycle lanes should watch it.

What struck me is that CB hasn't picked a particularly bad cycle lane, just a typical one. He could have picked any of the hundreds of really bad ones (e.g. from the Warrington Cycle campaign) for dramatic effect, but instead picked one which most motorists would think is perfectly alright

ebygomm - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to toad:

There's a shared use path down one side only, no detail on crossings, they haven't yet decided whether bikes will be allowed in the pedestrian zones, or the bus only roads etc etc. but majority of people asked are against it.
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AlisonSmiles - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

That was one of the strengths of it for me, that it wasn't contrived, it really is a typical experience.

Sigh. I got hooted at yesterday as far as I can tell just for existing.
Dave Kerr - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to AlisonSmiles:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
>
> > Sigh. I got hooted at yesterday as far as I can tell just for existing.

When people toot at you it's most likely a friendly hello. I usually return the greeting with a cheery wave of my own.
Trangia - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

It's ridiculous trying to squeeze a cycle lane out of an existing road. The ideal would be to construct more dedicated cycle tracks which are quite separate from roads. They don't even have to follow the road route exactly, particularly where there is room to make them more direct between destinations, and more interesting.

Where they cross roads there can be traffic lights to stop the vehicles activated by the cyclist. There are one or two of these near Eastbourne where cycle routes cross busy roads.
jubolo - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to andy)
> [...]
>
> What struck me is that CB hasn't picked a particularly bad cycle lane, just a typical one. He could have picked any of the hundreds of really bad ones (e.g. from the Warrington Cycle campaign) for dramatic effect, but instead picked one which most motorists would think is perfectly alright


I think that's why the film works. The sad fact is he wouldn't have had to look too hard to find that stretch, highlighting typical problems.
andy - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to jubolo:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
> [...]
>
>
> I think that's why the film works. The sad fact is he wouldn't have had to look too hard to find that stretch, highlighting typical problems.

It's just near his house, which again proves how poor provision is that he only had to go a couple of miles from home to find it.

I'm undecided on the idea of totally separate lanes - they're great if you're pootling along on your own (as I was today in London on my Boris Bike) but they can mean an assumption that all cyclists should be in them all the time, like people assume runners should always be on pavements. ;-)
captain paranoia - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Well annotated video, making most of the good points, but maybe missing some others, like the debris, narrow lanes, etc. it looks a relatively good path to me...

As for the Kilmarnock Road video below it, the hazards pointed out look preset tame by what I see around me, especially at the moment as the roads are falling apart after the winter ice got into the poorly-maintained, shoddy Tarmac around here; local council neither seal cracks, nor insist that utilities seal the edges of work they do. Not surprisingly, the cracks then break up when water freezes in them...

That KR video did show good examples of stupidly narrow cycle lanes next to car parking lanes, so you'd never want to cycle in them due to the risk of car doors opening, never mind it being less than a metre from the 'virtual kerb'. Also good examples of cars bullying cyclists 'into their lane', even though the guy was largely keeping up with the motorised traffic.

Off to survive the traffic now...
Enty - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to andy)
> [...]
>
> What struck me is that CB hasn't picked a particularly bad cycle lane, just a typical one. He could have picked any of the hundreds of really bad ones (e.g. from the Warrington Cycle campaign) for dramatic effect, but instead picked one which most motorists would think is perfectly alright

I thought that was the point. It's a fairly normal looking cycle lane (to motorists) but absolutely useless for cyclists, dangerous and probably cost a few bob too.

E

nniff - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
>
> It's ridiculous trying to squeeze a cycle lane out of an existing road. The ideal would be to construct more dedicated cycle tracks which are quite separate from roads. They don't even have to follow the road route exactly, particularly where there is room to make them more direct between destinations, and more interesting.
>
What? Like this one?

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/February2011.htm

Liam M - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to andy: My concern with fully segregated cycle lanes is that there will be some modelled on the example on Alan Turing Way in Manchester. It's a narrow channel between two curbs that seems to collect a ridiculous amount of debris and I've never seen any evidence of it being cleared.

Given the amount of thought that goes into cycle lane design at the moment, I remain to be convinced that any completely separate lanes will be anything more than expensive, useless or potentially dangerous.
MJ - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to nniff:

What? Like this one?

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/February2011.htm

If you look at the above bit of cycle track using the 'Bird's Eye' facility in Bing, then it becomes fairly obvious why it's like that. In essence, the 'windey' bit is there to circumnavigate a road embankment.
Martin W on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to captain paranoia:

> That KR video did show good examples of stupidly narrow cycle lanes next to car parking lanes

Contrast to Edinburgh, where most of the cycle lanes are parking lanes. At least, that's what you'd imagine was the case given the way that people deliberately choose to park in them (usually with two wheels on the pavement, so that they inconvenience pedestrians and cyclists but not motor vehicles).

Cycle lanes created by painting lines on tarmac are a waste of time and money. They are of minimal benefit (if any) to cyclists and they are routinely ignored, misused or abused by motorists.
ThunderCat - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Martin W:

Sad thing is, this is quite a decent cycle lane compared to some of the ones we have round here.
captain paranoia - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to MJ:

And if you do that, and follow the road East, you come to the A135 roundabout. If you wish to continue going East, you have to cross nine lanes of traffic, the first of which is a fast-moving 'roundabout bypass filter' lane.

The other problem with re-introducing cycles to traffic at these points is that drivers will naturally be looking front and right as they approach the roundabout, and won't be expecting to have to pay too much attention to the left. Let's not add to the already relatively high cognitive load at roundabouts with more junctions near them...
Toby S - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
>

>
> There was also one in Inverness that took cyclists the wrong way down a one way street. It was sign posted that way but you can imagine driver reactions.

It's still there, I flagged it up with the local press a couple of years back and the Council unsurprisingly did squit all about it.
a lakeland climber on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to captain paranoia:
> (In reply to MJ)
>
> The other problem with re-introducing cycles to traffic at these points is that drivers will naturally be looking front and right as they approach the roundabout,

Judging from most round here, looking right is beyond them as well. Their cognitive abilities rarely extend past recognising that there's tarmac ahead.

Mind you cyclists and pedestrians are just as bad: I saw a woman walking with her kids simply set off across a junction without looking left for at least the 15 seconds before crossing which was when she was in my sight.

ALC
Tradical - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall: http://cyclinginfo.co.uk/blog/1680/cycle-lanes/best-size-cycle-lane/

That top image is of a road in Ambleside, Cumbria. In places the cycle lane actually takes up as much as two thirds of the entire lane. Excellent, in my opinion, as it makes drivers aware that cyclist have the right to be out in the middle of the road and to always consider this as a possibility.

We deserve more that the bumpy, glass-filled gutter. Cyclists, UNITE! hehehe...
Tradical - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Tommy Moore: Also the video on the BC page of the 'Poor conditions' of the road was an odd one for me to watch. Here in the Cumbria the roads are in an awful state, so bad that in some cases one must slalom and bunny hop down roads (great fun though).
Tradical - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Tommy Moore: LOL:
http://goo.gl/maps/y0QA9

Trackstand safety zone...
balmybaldwin - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Tommy Moore:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall) http://cyclinginfo.co.uk/blog/1680/cycle-lanes/best-size-cycle-lane/
>
> That top image is of a road in Ambleside, Cumbria. In places the cycle lane actually takes up as much as two thirds of the entire lane. Excellent, in my opinion, as it makes drivers aware that cyclist have the right to be out in the middle of the road and to always consider this as a possibility.
>


Do you mean on the left? why's it not the same colour as the cycle lane on the right coming towards the camera? Looks like parking to me but of course I'm only looking at a photo

It's certainly a better idea than the foot wide gutter lanes and shared pavements we are used to
Martin W on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> Do you mean on the left? why's it not the same colour as the cycle lane on the right coming towards the camera? Looks like parking to me but of course I'm only looking at a photo

There does seem to be what looks like a bicycle symbol painted on the lane, in the area of partial shadow beyond the youth hostel sign.

I tend to agree with a lot of the author's points. A broken line marking the cycle lane means that for practical purposes most motorists will ignore it. And the very presence of cycle lanes marked on the main carriageway can convey an implied/subconscious message that bikes are only "allowed" on the road where there is a cycle lane.

Mind you, the number of grown adults I see riding on the footway round here suggests that some cyclists feel the same way. Or maybe it's just because they know how vulnerable they'd be on the carriageway, given that they have no lights and are wearing stealth clothing...

(In case anyone is wondering: I both drive and cycle, and I get p1ssed off at dangerous and selfish behaviour from any road user - pedestrians included.)
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adsheff - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Have a look at how it should be done. The Netherlands has a population density almost double the UK's, and still seems to have room for this kind of heaven-sent cycle infrastructure:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkPbTvJZFSI
cmgcmg - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I once had a conversation with a Highways Agency representative at a local bypass consultation. The Cycle path on the proposal did everything that the one in the film did. It pulled the cyclist off the road them made them stop. He said the cycle route was not for proper cyclists. Good road design is better than any cycle lane ever will be.
Cycle lanes are a waste of time, they don't get enough traffic to keep them clear of glass, nails and other debris.

If the road is narrow and there are obstacles then you are best filling the space ( based on the "give an inch and they take a mile" philosophy).
captain paranoia - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to cmgcmg:

> He said the cycle route was not for proper cyclists.

Which does bring us back to Boardman's question: who are these cycle lanes for.

And, perhaps more pertinently in 'times of austerity', why are we allowing councils to waste so much money on utterly, utterly pointless and brainless schemes like this? The examples on the Warrington Cycle Campaign show that extensive work has been carried out with road markings, signage, etc. A complete waste of time and money to no useful end.
Trangia - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to cmgcmg:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
>
> He said the cycle route was not for proper cyclists.

And just what is a "proper" cyclist!!?
dissonance - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:

> And just what is a "proper" cyclist!!?

judging from many cycle lanes anyone who wants to cycle more than they spend pushing/getting on and off.
a lakeland climber on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to dissonance:

I wonder what would be the reaction of drivers if they had to stop as often as some cycle lanes force cyclists to do?

I tend not to use cycle lanes, as others have said they attract a lot of detritus. One I do use is from Ings to Windermere - mainly because the actual road surface is appalling. It also helps that there aren't too many side roads to negotiate.

ALC
lee birtwistle - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall: To be honest - I try to avoid most cycle lanes that are next to a busy A roads like the one shown in the original post. Far too dangerous and most seem to be filled with glass and all sorts of debris.
I live near Leicester / Loughborough and there are plenty of cycle / pedestrian routes.
Had fun yesterday cycling alongside the River Soar and Grand Union canal. Path resembled a cyclo cross track in places due to recent flooding and the only thing I had to stop for was the occasional fisherman using a Pole.
Rog Wilko on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber: I wonder if you ever use the bit near Brockholes where there is a give way sign on the cycle lane whenever a private drive emerges from the grounds of the mansions? Ever felt like a second class citizen?

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