Cyclepaths going nowhere and other stuff

slowbike
slowbike Posts: 8,498
edited July 2018 in Commuting chat
Wife rode to work and back - ~15 miles each way (flat) is a nice distance to do occasionally - she's happy on the road, but also quite content to use cyclepaths ...

which brings us to the subject matter ...

The issue with urban cyclepaths
1) The ones that take up a bit of the main road with just a painted surface and a white line - too narrow and vehicles pass closer at speed at pinch points.
2) They often stop with a giveway point or take you up a sliproad to then stop so you can walk across the junction
3) They usually give the main road priority
4) They often end at tighter points or where the cyclist would actually need more "protection" from the motor vehicles.

Comments

  • wolfsbane2k
    wolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    Slowbike wrote:
    Wife rode to work and back - ~15 miles each way (flat) is a nice distance to do occasionally - she's happy on the road, but also quite content to use cyclepaths ...

    which brings us to the subject matter ...

    The issue with urban cyclepaths
    1) The ones that take up a bit of the main road with just a painted surface and a white line - too narrow and vehicles pass closer at speed at pinch points.
    2) They often stop with a giveway point or take you up a sliproad to then stop so you can walk across the junction
    3) They usually give the main road priority
    4) They often end at tighter points or where the cyclist would actually need more "protection" from the motor vehicles.

    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/campa ... es-for---0

    Indeed. And today we can read the draft proposals for Manchester's beelines... and wish, weep, and then get onto our councillors.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • roger_merriman
    roger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    yes all of that, it is slowly getting better in some places, and in some places do find some forgotten and frankly hardly used stuff, my commute has quite a few miles of segregated bike paths, with generally no one using it, probably because for most its easier by car, and is not that well connected.
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    It doesnt help when SUSTRANS legitimise shoddy cyclepaths aka badly maintained footpaths which are a danger to both sets of users with their nifty blue signage - well they do in my town.
  • wolfsbane2k
    wolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    JGSI wrote:
    It doesnt help when SUSTRANS legitimise shoddy cyclepaths aka badly maintained footpaths which are a danger to both sets of users with their nifty blue signage - well they do in my town.

    No, they do that around here as well.
    And in wales, where they got roasted.
    https://twitter.com/SustransCymru/statu ... 0526862336
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    JGSI wrote:
    It doesnt help when SUSTRANS legitimise shoddy cyclepaths aka badly maintained footpaths which are a danger to both sets of users with their nifty blue signage - well they do in my town.

    No, they do that around here as well.
    And in wales, where they got roasted.
    https://twitter.com/SustransCymru/statu ... 0526862336

    Wow - that looks - er - crap!

    Perhaps it's time to categorise the various grades of cyclepaths.

    Offroad - shared use = for anyone
    Pavement - shared use = for those travelling at up to 10mph
    Onroad painted lane - single use = for those traveling at up to 10mph
    Onroad segregated - single use = for those traveling over 10mph
    etc

    Because not all cyclepaths are equal - and some I'm happy to ride with my 3yo on, many I wouldn't want to ride with him or by myself.
  • wolfsbane2k
    wolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    Slowbike wrote:
    JGSI wrote:
    It doesnt help when SUSTRANS legitimise shoddy cyclepaths aka badly maintained footpaths which are a danger to both sets of users with their nifty blue signage - well they do in my town.

    No, they do that around here as well.
    And in wales, where they got roasted.
    https://twitter.com/SustransCymru/statu ... 0526862336

    Wow - that looks - er - crap!

    Perhaps it's time to categorise the various grades of cyclepaths.

    Offroad - shared use = for anyone
    Pavement - shared use = for those travelling at up to 10mph
    Onroad painted lane - single use = for those traveling at up to 10mph
    Onroad segregated - single use = for those traveling over 10mph
    etc

    Because not all cyclepaths are equal - and some I'm happy to ride with my 3yo on, many I wouldn't want to ride with him or by myself.

    Almost bang on. Don't forget it's not just location, but width ( oo-eer) and priority at junctions as well . DFT guidance has been for a very, very long time, that cycle lanes should be 2m wide, occasionally reducing to 1.5m, and only 1.2m for feeder lanes to ASLs. Almost nobody meets these, as it's only "guidance", so we end up with the POS that only help policy makers claim that they support cycle lanes, and get some extra funding from the DFT.

    A great way to assess a route is to analyse it following a Cycling Level of Service Assessment process: https://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/blog ... ampaigners

    Draft DFT advice was shared use paths (which should be at least 3 m wide and have a buffer between path and traffic) should assume a maximum speed of 18mph for a cyclist, and paths alongside roads, depending on the speed of the road and the amount of traffic, should have a buffer of 50cm, or greater. The mixing of speeds & segregated cycle lanes gets a little heated sometimes, but remember, a fully segregated cycle lane isn't for us bullish riders that already "happily" mix with HGVs, it's for the kids & parents, elderly etc that want the safety of not mixing with HGVs.

    and us bullish riders can then make a decision whether we wish to remain bullish, and mix with motorised traffic, or relax a little, and mix with kids. I know which I'd rather do.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • imafatman
    imafatman Posts: 351
    Can we get some actual cyclists to work on these schemes? And not just those that dawdle on a 2km commute to work that takes them 15 minutes.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    I gave a lift to a chap who worked for the local town council a few years back (he had a flat on his bike and was walking) - he was quite excited about the improvements to the cycle lane around the notorious Northgate Roundabout ...

    I took the opportunity to educate him about the rubbishness of the painted cyclepath along the 1-2 mile approach road - showing that where the rider needed protection is exactly where they stopped the paint ...

    Oh - the improvements - a sensor system that lights up "caution cyclist" when it detects a rider on the cyclepath - hmm ... seen it once or twice - most of the time I don't bother with the path.
  • wolfsbane2k
    wolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    imafatman wrote:
    Can we get some actual cyclists to work on these schemes? And not just those that dawdle on a 2km commute to work that takes them 15 minutes.
    How would you see design change depending on speed?

    A big part of the confusion is the "who are we designing for" approach, that rarely gets answered properly.. Is it the dawdler/elderly, or is the fast commuter?
    personally, It needs to be both - tune it for the dawdler, since that's what most people will be, and make it wide enough for the faster cyclists to overtake them
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • wolfsbane2k
    wolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    Slowbike wrote:
    I gave a lift to a chap who worked for the local town council a few years back (he had a flat on his bike and was walking) - he was quite excited about the improvements to the cycle lane around the notorious Northgate Roundabout ...

    I took the opportunity to educate him about the rubbishness of the painted cyclepath along the 1-2 mile approach road - showing that where the rider needed protection is exactly where they stopped the paint ...

    Oh - the improvements - a sensor system that lights up "caution cyclist" when it detects a rider on the cyclepath - hmm ... seen it once or twice - most of the time I don't bother with the path.

    Shudder.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    imafatman wrote:
    Can we get some actual cyclists to work on these schemes? And not just those that dawdle on a 2km commute to work that takes them 15 minutes.
    How would you see design change depending on speed?

    A big part of the confusion is the "who are we designing for" approach, that rarely gets answered properly.. Is it the dawdler/elderly, or is the fast commuter?
    personally, It needs to be both - tune it for the dawdler, since that's what most people will be, and make it wide enough for the faster cyclists to overtake them

    Personally - for my commute - I don't want cycle paths - because they rarely go where you want them to go, if you don't use them (some) drivers believe you should so toot or worse at you.

    Cyclepaths for the dawdlers & kids should be completely segregated from the road and where they cross a road priority should be as per a normal road junction - but we don't have space for that in most of the places they want to put cycle paths.
  • wolfsbane2k
    wolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    Slowbike wrote:
    imafatman wrote:
    Can we get some actual cyclists to work on these schemes? And not just those that dawdle on a 2km commute to work that takes them 15 minutes.
    How would you see design change depending on speed?

    A big part of the confusion is the "who are we designing for" approach, that rarely gets answered properly.. Is it the dawdler/elderly, or is the fast commuter?
    personally, It needs to be both - tune it for the dawdler, since that's what most people will be, and make it wide enough for the faster cyclists to overtake them
    Slowbike wrote:
    Personally - for my commute - I don't want cycle paths - because they rarely go where you want them to go, if you don't use them (some) drivers believe you should so toot or worse at you./
    Yep. Issue is that they don't go where you want them to go. So lets get them where you want them to go, not weaving all over the sodding place. Those in a car have an engine, and a stop go pedal. Let them go all over the place. Add in the modal filters to stop the rat running, and enable kids and the dawdlers to use the existing roads.
    Slowbike wrote:
    [Cyclepaths for the dawdlers & kids should be completely segregated from the road and where they cross a road priority should be as per a normal road junction - but we don't have space for that in most of the places they want to put cycle paths.
    As per above. Prioritise moving people over moving cars, and make driving the more difficult option

    Yes, in rural roads, it can be difficult to get a suitable cycle lane between villages, but only if there isn't the political will behind it. There is the space, it just has to be reallocated to people, not cars.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • elbowloh
    elbowloh Posts: 7,078
    Slowbike wrote:
    Personally - for my commute - I don't want cycle paths - because they rarely go where you want them to go, if you don't use them (some) drivers believe you should so toot or worse at you.
    This is an issue for me. Prime example is the routes around Vauxhall Cross. I come from Waterloo direction go round the gyratory to Wandsworth road. The cycle route goes to down Nine Elms Lane or South Lambeth Road and the only way to get from those routes is on the path or on the gyratory, so I just use the gyratory. Drivers don't seem to like this.
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame
    Tall....
    www.seewildlife.co.uk
  • thistle_
    thistle_ Posts: 7,217
    Our average but usable on road cycle lanes are being ripped up and blue signs being put up on the footway which include driveways, bus stops etc. Welsh Assembly paying for it apparently.
    It's as if they are using the cycling grant money to do the overdue resurfacing of the footways...

    Highways England have also just done one of their "pinch point" projects swapping flush kerbs for slightly raised ones, so many "safety" railings you can't get though and moving sign posts into the middle of the path. Apparently their safety audit said this had to be done....
  • peat
    peat Posts: 1,242
    My locale is a bit of a Sustrans blind spot. We have one route (at least...) but varies from shared pavement, to back roads (in various condition), to gravel farm tracks (that turn to mud after rain) and back again across it's distance. If you used it's full length exclusively to go between A & B, it is a 50km journey. If you take the road, it's 25km. It's a no-brainer.

    We have 1 decent bit of cycle infrastructure that links the main town with a big housing estate. This gets used alot, especially by school kids. But, if travelling northbound, it's inconvenient to stop, cross the road to use it only to have to cross and rejoin the carriageway 1/2 a mile later. Woe betide you if you opt not to use it and just crack on. Cars beeping, close passes with shouting, the works. It's been mentioned to me many times as 'the cyclist'. Suprisingly so as it probably only makes up about 0.01% of our towns infrastructure.

    Anyway, i'm riding to Cardiff on Saturday. I'll see if it's any better way out West.
  • wolfsbane2k
    wolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    Our average but usable on road cycle lanes are being ripped up and blue signs being put up on the footway which include driveways, bus stops etc. Welsh Assembly paying for it apparently.
    It's as if they are using the cycling grant money to do the overdue resurfacing of the footways...

    Highways England have also just done one of their "pinch point" projects swapping flush kerbs for slightly raised ones, so many "safety" railings you can't get though and moving sign posts into the middle of the path. Apparently their safety audit said this had to be done....

    Seriously? Challenge the implementation and ask for the Cycling Level of Service assessment from the council for the change - it's the law under the welsh Active Travel act to generate one.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • wolfsbane2k
    wolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    Peat wrote:
    My locale is a bit of a Sustrans blind spot. We have one route (at least...) but varies from shared pavement, to back roads (in various condition), to gravel farm tracks (that turn to mud after rain) and back again across it's distance. If you used it's full length exclusively to go between A & B, it is a 50km journey. If you take the road, it's 25km. It's a no-brainer.

    We have 1 decent bit of cycle infrastructure that links the main town with a big housing estate. This gets used alot, especially by school kids. But, if travelling northbound, it's inconvenient to stop, cross the road to use it only to have to cross and rejoin the carriageway 1/2 a mile later. Woe betide you if you opt not to use it and just crack on. Cars beeping, close passes with shouting, the works. It's been mentioned to me many times as 'the cyclist'. Suprisingly so as it probably only makes up about 0.01% of our towns infrastructure.

    Anyway, i'm riding to Cardiff on Saturday. I'll see if it's any better way out West.

    Suggest/request you fill this in:

    In fact, EVERYONE should fill this in.
    "National Cycle Network review
    Throughout 2018, Sustrans is undertaking a major review of the walking and cycling routes of the National Cycle Network .
    Millions of families, commuters and tourists use the Network every year and as custodians and champions of the Network we’d love to hear the views of as many people as possible.
    This survey should take you just 5-10 minutes to complete. Your responses will be used to inform the review and the future strategy for the Network.
    "

    https://sustrans.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/na ... iew-survey
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • CitizenLee
    CitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    The cycle lanes in Aberdeen are beyond a joke. The few that we do have in the inner city are shared bus/cycle/taxi lanes, which as always struck me as being at odds with the idea of keeping cyclists safe. Still, at least when it's cold you can feel the heat from a First Bus engine heating up the back of your legs as you bounce up and down through all the potholes and sunken drains :?
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • thistle_
    thistle_ Posts: 7,217
    Seriously? Challenge the implementation and ask for the Cycling Level of Service assessment from the council for the change - it's the law under the welsh Active Travel act to generate one.
    Yeah I should but haven't got around to it in between working, riding and chasing up not fixing of potholes which have resulted in injuries/pinch flats/snapped bikes...
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    I have no cycle lanes available to me on my commute at all, however a number of the local ones are shocking, there is one into Coventry that could be quite good (own lane, not connected to road or pavement) but its so rough I only use it on my Mountain bike and it feels like I'm on some of the local singletrack!
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • craker
    craker Posts: 1,739
    Surprised no-one's posted a link to the Cycle Facility Of The Month

    Hilarious and sobering in equal measure.

    On my business park they've just dug up the cycle lanes and replaced them with a stencil of a bike. I think the cycle lanes were pointless as they were mostly full of parked lorries. Have asked the business park owners what the stencils are good for and have received no response yet.
  • prawny
    prawny Posts: 5,440
    They're spending millions in Birmingham to take cyclists off the bus lanes and on to the footpaths. I voiced my objections during the consultation period, but nothing has changed, it's still going ahead. Nice quiet bus lanes, replaced with mixing with drunk and worse pedestrians, having to cross the side roads and quite often just disappearing for a bit because the path narrows and they can't make it wider.

    If I use it, it's going to reduce my average speed from about 25mph to about 10, if I don't I'll get grief off the cars and buses.

    And to top it all off, whilst they're doing the work the bus lane is shut so I'm stuck in the middle of the dual carriageway.

    Stupid.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • wolfsbane2k
    wolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    craker wrote:
    Surprised no-one's posted a link to the Cycle Facility Of The Month

    Hilarious and sobering in equal measure.

    On my business park they've just dug up the cycle lanes and replaced them with a stencil of a bike. I think the cycle lanes were pointless as they were mostly full of parked lorries. Have asked the business park owners what the stencils are good for and have received no response yet.

    Also worth following https://twitter.com/bollocksinfra if you've not done so already.

    Stencils drive me mad - but I'd rather have them than substandard cycle lanes - as long as they are placed properly. The London cycle design standard states that they should be in the middle of the lane for anything that's less than 4m wide, encouraging middle of the lane riding, and enabling cyclists to point at them to the drivers and say "Look - that's where the sign says I should be...", and sustrans advice is for them to be away from the kerb, and large - This should be being updated/incorporated into the DFT infrastructure guidelines in the next iteration.

    Of course, following guidelines is optional, and exactly why we end up with the cr@pola that we have...
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • peat
    peat Posts: 1,242

    Suggest/request you fill this in:

    In fact, EVERYONE should fill this in.
    "National Cycle Network review
    Throughout 2018, Sustrans is undertaking a major review of the walking and cycling routes of the National Cycle Network .
    Millions of families, commuters and tourists use the Network every year and as custodians and champions of the Network we’d love to hear the views of as many people as possible.
    This survey should take you just 5-10 minutes to complete. Your responses will be used to inform the review and the future strategy for the Network.
    "

    https://sustrans.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/na ... iew-survey

    I shall. I beats working.

    But.....

    I won't hold my breath for anything to be done with the information. Several years ago we had a big presentation of several proposals to link the areas' major towns and employment campuses together. Several stages of consultation and opportunities to vote and 'have your say'. Some of the ideas were quite good, which were voted for. However, one of the suggestions was simply to install bicycle signage along the existing route (A-Road...) . Cynical me thought that this option would be the eventual winner in the face of the voting because it was cheapest.

    I was proven wrong. NOTHING happened.

    I saw one of the guys a year or so later at another scheme launch and he admitted that their entire budget for the design & delivery of new infrastructure had been used up by the design & consultation.

    It's pi$$ing in the wind.
  • tangled_metal
    tangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    I live near one of the original cycling demonstration towns (it's a city not a town though) that got a tranche of money for promoting cycling. It's generally good for cycling but the only information on their cycle routes seems to be about leisure riding not commuting.

    For example the city centre actually has cycle routes through it that allow a reduced traffic route across the city. Personally I have no idea how to get across the city using them so I'm using the main road.

    Fortunately it has one of those excellent painted cycle routes that are really part of the main road. You know there's a two lane, one way road but about a metre of the left hand lane has a cycle path marked on it. Obviously all cars, trucks and buses are driving on their outside wheel to clear it.

    I once had to n get from work to the universities on the other side of town and out of town. I had spare time to explore so found an excellent route away from traffic.pretty much avoiding the city centre. That's the only way to find out about the cycle routes through the cycling demonstration city. Spend a few weekends riding around the city learning the routes.

    However you can download and pick up a series of brochures showing the tourist or leisure routes. I thought CDTs were about promoting cycling as part of your daily life not just a leisure / tourism initiative. How wrong I am.

    On a different rant. When the CDT was running they did a bike buddy scheme where you told the group on the council where you wanted to get to in your commute. They worked out a route and cycled it a few times with you until you were happy with it. My recommended route took me completely out of the way using parts of the national cycleway that goes literally right round the houses plus on a canal right out of the way. I think it worked out at an extra 50% added to the total distance. But the extra time needed due to the canal towpath / mixed use issues (stop / start all the time) was ridiculous. I didn't respond to the email about doing a trial run. Regret that now because it could have been a good opportunity to do my chosen commuting route and taught the council workers (autocorrect changed it to shirkers :D) about what commuters want out of cycle routes. The ability to get from A to B easily and above all safely. Not about a pleasant ride on the country. Simple quickest route to our destination and safely.

    Still giggling over the council shirkers autocorrect.