Routemasters - BBC

BigLights
BigLights Posts: 464
edited July 2013 in Commuting chat
Did anyone see last night's programme? if not, it's worth a gander on iPlayer. Featured cycling in London from TfL's perspective. It would seem that cycling is, after all, a priority for some, which is encouraging. I thought it was pretty good, better put together than that Cars vs Bikes programme.

The one thing I am dubious about is this 'Dutch Style' roundabout which strikes me as phenominally dangerous...I think they don't seem to be accounting for the speed of London cyclists. I can see man people getting hit with that kind of design.

Comments

  • estampida
    estampida Posts: 1,008
    its not the speed of cyclists

    its EVERY road user going around with their eyes shut....... bigger the city the tighter the eyes are closed......
  • TommyEss
    TommyEss Posts: 1,855
    They had these "Dutch Style" roundabouts in Denmark too - I did find them a little unnerving at first, and yes, you should definitely still check for traffic, but on the whole, they worked very well.... they even had a road sweeper small enough to clear it (and the rest of the bike lanes) of snow!

    Of course, cycling is far better normalised in mainland Europe - most cyclists wear regular street clothes, go at a more genteel pace and roll straight up to the office. The fact that cycling is so "normal" means drivers are programmed to look for cyclists. The laws surrounding culpability also help. It's a very different attitude all round over here, and I think all road users need a bit of re-programming until it will all click into place. Will we ever get that? Not sure - I think we're in the growing pains stage at the moment.
    Cannondale Synapse 105, Giant Defy 3, Giant Omnium, Giant Trance X2, EMC R1.0, Ridgeback Platinum, On One Il Pompino...
  • keyser__soze
    keyser__soze Posts: 2,067
    I thought it gave a pretty negative impression of cyclists, either red-light jumpers, accident statistics or anarchist troublemakers deliberately blocking traffic. They introduced a couple of human characters in the taxi driver and the bus driver who went on to accuse all cyclists of being lunatics or crazy and getting away with blue murder, yet we didn't see anything from a cyclist's perspective. I was cringing watching the coverage of critical mass, thinking it's just entrenching the usual anti-cycling view. Nowhere did TfL explain why the focus was on cyclists or the benefits to other road users of fewer people in cars.

    We've had a big thread on the Dutch roundabout earlier, proposed to be introduced at Lambeth Bridge/Millbank. Consensus seemed pretty split between the idealists or 'forward thinkers' and the realists (pessimists) as to whether it'd work or not and how many accidents and possible fatalities there would be while people got used to it. The tests they were doing seemed totally ineffectual - cyclists and drivers both knew what to expect and to look out for each other and there were a couple of cars and a handful of cyclists - compare that with the volume of traffic on Lambeth roundabout. With the number of cyclists crossing that roundabout at rush-hour at the moment there'll be no chance of vehicular traffic moving unless they take liberties with the cyclists' right of way and push across.
    "Mummy Mummy, when will I grow up?"
    "Don't be silly son, you're a bloke, you'll never grow up"
  • il_principe
    il_principe Posts: 9,155
    Not seen it yet, but this blog from Levenes paints it in a poorer light: http://blog.cycleinjury.co.uk/2013/07/more-anti-cyclist-bbc-tv-programming.html
  • keyser__soze
    keyser__soze Posts: 2,067
    Pretty accurate review IHMO.
    "Mummy Mummy, when will I grow up?"
    "Don't be silly son, you're a bloke, you'll never grow up"
  • bdave262000
    bdave262000 Posts: 270
    The woman who wanted the traffic lights resequenced to suit her 12 mile journey into London made me laugh. People like that need to be seriously penalised for driving into London if TfL want to reduce traffic. Car sharing schemes need to be promoted.
    Fat lads take longer to stop.
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 28,562
    I'll look out for that. Related to this (not sure it merits its own thread), I have been notified of the London Cycling Summit, appropriately to be staged at Old Street Roundabout.
    http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/7152851371

    Its the afternoon of Wednesday 31st July and tickets are £20, so something for the more committed cycling campaigner, rather than causal interest.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • sketchley
    sketchley Posts: 4,238
    estampida wrote:
    its not the speed of cyclists

    its EVERY road user going around with their eyes shut....... bigger the city the tighter the eyes are closed......

    Have to dissagree with this. In London drivers are generally much more aware of bikes and expect them to be along side, behind, in front etc. Go cycling in the Medway Towns, where there are not many bikes, and it's a very different story.
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    The guy on aviewfromthecyclepath.com says that they aren't 'Dutch style' at all.
  • notsoblue
    notsoblue Posts: 5,756
    The critical mass that they showed, was that the one that started as the 20mph London Bridges protest one?

    The section with the RLJers was interesting because it showed far more cyclists stopped at red lights than jumping them, but anyone asked for comment said that they all jumped...
  • Paul E
    Paul E Posts: 2,052
    The van driver that was stopped with the cyclist by the police that was ranting ended with "they get away with blue murder" and I shouted at the screen "no we don't but you get away with just murder" kn0b!
  • Mr.Duck
    Mr.Duck Posts: 174
    That Dutch roundabout looks awful. Maybe it works better in practice than I can imagine... otherwise it's dangerous and stupid.
  • keyser__soze
    keyser__soze Posts: 2,067
    Paul E wrote:
    The van driver that was stopped with the cyclist by the police that was ranting ended with "they get away with blue murder" and I shouted at the screen "no we don't but you get away with just murder" kn0b!

    Ha, almost word for word what was shouted in our household :)
    "Mummy Mummy, when will I grow up?"
    "Don't be silly son, you're a bloke, you'll never grow up"
  • BigLights
    BigLights Posts: 464
    I was trying to compensate for the fact that 'we' cyclists are actually, in my view, trending towards tribalism so you have to try and scale back the natural bias to see all viewpoints. I do think that drivers have legitimate grievances, so do delivery drivers, black cabs, bus drivers get frustrated too. Even public transport sucks as an experience. So, if one were to try to mediate, one would have to try and empathise with all viewpoints. Folks who haven't cycled, just have no idea what it's like. My sister, for example, is a classic airhead driver and it really winds me up....she'll kill someone someday. So I recently made her cycle with me through central London to see the other side. I've also made her cycle past her car, as I sit in it, and open the driver's door suddenly as she's going past (which she always does without checking, she's had a door ripped off by a passing car before) to give her the cyclist's vantage point. I think the lesson may have actually found some little bit of traction.

    To be honest, London is not the worst place to cycle by any stretch of the imagination. There is no perfect commuting method, everything winds everyone up. If you read old newspapers, the car drivers of the very early 20th century were outraged at the lack of consideration given to motor vehicles. There are clearly very many things to be improved, but what I took from the programme was that TfL does seem to recognise that cycling is an important part of this city's evolution and there are senior (ish) people representing the needs of cyclists in meetings. That is not something I sensed even 5 years ago. And that, i think, is encouraging. Changing a culture takes a lot of time and isn't something you can force - you can't dictate a conscious change. I've noticed a big change in the past few years, there seems to have almost been a eureka moment with drivers in London who are more aware of cyclists.

    That's all. I'm in a ponderiously optimistic mood this morning so may be overpositive!
  • tgotb
    tgotb Posts: 4,714
    Saw the repeat of this last night. Plenty of thoughtless and inconsiderate behaviour by all types of road users, just as we see every day, but for me the standout episode was the Critical Mass ride. Other than p*ssing off other road users and reinforcing general hatred for cyclists, what are these people expecting to achieve? Most of the other poor behaviour seems to stem from people not considering the consequences of their actions, but the Critical Mass riders are behaving antisocially *on purpose*. WTF?
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • notsoblue
    notsoblue Posts: 5,756
    TGOTB wrote:
    Most of the other poor behaviour seems to stem from people not considering the consequences of their actions, but the Critical Mass riders are behaving antisocially *on purpose*. WTF?
    In my experience of Critical Mass rides the ones with the best turnout have been those where something specific is being protested (e.g. Blackfriars Bridge protest, Cycling fatalities). There are usually a bunch of "normal" people there for a specific cause at the start, but later on its the usual suspects trying to cause traffic disruption for the sake of it. There are far more people involved with them than there were 4-5 years ago, and the majority of newcomers have a different motivation for being there I reckon.

    All in all though, I think CM's are pretty harmless in the grand scheme of things. Especially in Central London where traffic can gridlock itself without the help of a bunch of cyclists.
  • sketchley
    sketchley Posts: 4,238
    BigLights wrote:
    I was trying to compensate for the fact that 'we' cyclists are actually, in my view, trending towards tribalism so you have to try and scale back the natural bias to see all viewpoints. I do think that drivers have legitimate grievances, so do delivery drivers, black cabs, bus drivers get frustrated too. Even public transport sucks as an experience. So, if one were to try to mediate, one would have to try and empathise with all viewpoints. Folks who haven't cycled, just have no idea what it's like. My sister, for example, is a classic airhead driver and it really winds me up....she'll kill someone someday. So I recently made her cycle with me through central London to see the other side. I've also made her cycle past her car, as I sit in it, and open the driver's door suddenly as she's going past (which she always does without checking, she's had a door ripped off by a passing car before) to give her the cyclist's vantage point. I think the lesson may have actually found some little bit of traction.

    To be honest, London is not the worst place to cycle by any stretch of the imagination. There is no perfect commuting method, everything winds everyone up. If you read old newspapers, the car drivers of the very early 20th century were outraged at the lack of consideration given to motor vehicles. There are clearly very many things to be improved, but what I took from the programme was that TfL does seem to recognise that cycling is an important part of this city's evolution and there are senior (ish) people representing the needs of cyclists in meetings. That is not something I sensed even 5 years ago. And that, i think, is encouraging. Changing a culture takes a lot of time and isn't something you can force - you can't dictate a conscious change. I've noticed a big change in the past few years, there seems to have almost been a eureka moment with drivers in London who are more aware of cyclists.

    That's all. I'm in a ponderiously optimistic mood this morning so may be overpositive!


    It's interesting you say this I agree with a lot of it but not the part about driver greivences being ligitimate, most feel that cyclist are slowing them down or casuing accidents when the opposite is true. When I started cycling again after years off my driving really changed, mainly my observations improved and I'm looking for stuff I'd never seen before. However, perhaps the biggest realisation is that cyclist don't slow me down when I drive in London they tend to go passed and then I don't see them again, if I push passed them, in an effort to "get in front of the cyclist" they just come back passed at next junction so there is little of no point getting agressive trying to pass them. Now I give them plenty of space and wait until it makes senses to pass. In fact I feel that given them space to get passed and get on with thier journey makes the road clearer for me too. If most drviers realised that there lack of progress had nothing to do with the cyclist being in the way and that they could make the same or better progress by leaving plenty of room for the cyclists to do thier thing the world would be a better place.
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • tgotb
    tgotb Posts: 4,714
    Sketchley wrote:
    If most drviers realised that there lack of progress had nothing to do with the cyclist being in the way and that they could make the same or better progress by leaving plenty of room for the cyclists to do thier thing the world would be a better place.
    Which is half the reason why Critical Mass is so damaging. Footage of cyclists intentionally holding up car drivers will do nothing to dispel the notion that cyclists slow other traffic.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • sketchley
    sketchley Posts: 4,238
    Agreed which is why I don't do Critcal Mass stuff.....
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • BigLights
    BigLights Posts: 464
    Sorry Sketchley yeah I mean not drivers grievances vs cyclists...more fuel tax, congestion charge, some dubious parking penalties, cashcow for the government target, ballistic insurance costs etc. type grievances. You're quite right.
  • tgotb
    tgotb Posts: 4,714
    Sketchley wrote:
    Agreed which is why I don't do Critcal Mass stuff.....
    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you were a Critical Mass advocate (though, re-reading my post, it does come over that way).
    Pannier, 120rpm.