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Poor Cycling Infrastructure is more dangerous than none

  • Global Moderator

    When cycling to Rutherglen from Glasgow there is some good infrastructure until you get to Shawfield, then there is a very poor"shared" path. I never use this and cycle on the road.

    However, I have now had 3 drivers shout at me from their cars that I should be using the cycle path.

    As I am traveling around 15 mph I feel I am too fast for a narrow shared path. Also using the path would slow me down as I have to navigate junctions.

    When at the Bearsway family ride last year their was a cyclist not using the path, heading up the other side of the road. This cyclist was extremely close passed by a number of cars. Also the anti Bearswayers will often criticise cyclist that do not use the path.

    My point. Cycling infrastructure can negatively impact those who already cycle on main roads. Therefore I believe it should be policy that only cycling infrastructure to cycle super highway standard is built along main roads. Otherwise existing commuters are going to be put in a more dangerous position than present.

  • administrators

    @johned casual harassment, similar to racism: "Those people shouldn't be here". Although in our case we would prefer good quality segregation. There's also distorted priorities - driving is one of our most dangerous regular activities we partake in and so concern should be about other drivers.

    In the UK we go in for a Dual Network approach that attempts to cater for all but actually fails everyone. It's notable that the same Dutch's infra is used by children getting to school, and sports cyclists out for a time trial.

  • After some reflection I'm venturing into the open to disagree with the thread title. Horrible as it is to be shouted at, the way to prevent it would be re-educating the idiot drivers, preferably with thumb-screws. Leaping to the conclusion that no infra is better than anything but the ideal is like people reciting 'cyclists always jump red lights' after seeing a few examples.

    If I've understood the location correctly (after you come off the super wide fancy paved path from the new bridge?), the shared path there is indeed pants, but for children or novice cyclists - or me - it is better than being decanted from a traffic-free path onto a fast road. And if you're coming the other way is saves having to cross the traffic.

    Even if there were a commitment to universal Dutch-standard provision, it couldn't all happen overnight and there'd still be scraggy make-do-and-ment bits and pieces while it happened.

  • I don't know the specific bit of infrastructure you're talking about on the way to Rurtherglen, John, but I can imagine... there's a 'cycle lane' on my route down the A77 Kilmarnock Road which runs right along the door zone. I won't use it and I wince when I see others using it.

    But drivers see it and think that because it's there you should be using it. For most that just means they're a little frustrated, but then there are those who just have to make a point...

    Youtube Video

    I've only ever seen what I would describe as 'hardened cyclists' on this fast, dangerous section of the road so what good does this lane serve? It's not attracting 'normal' (as Chris Boardman would describe them) people to cycle here. It's not keeping those who do use it safe. The Council has said there are no plans to upgrade or improve this deathtrap, so better to just rip it out.

    I don't think it's unreasonable to say that infrastructure on main roads must meet a minimum standard ... could the authorities be convinced to make that standard Dutch?

    Well, the Dutch authorities were so why not here?

  • administrators

    Campaigning for investment in a safe cycling environment for all sends a clear message that this is what we want, bit like POP. I worry that asking for the removal of cycling provision, albeit rubbish, could send the wrong message. Better to ask for better instead and push our positive cycling vision.

    @JoeSoap76 I agree that adopting the Crow manual would be a good move. If I remember correctly the GCC cycling officers do have different cycling manuals, including Crow. It may well be that the highway engineers then interfere.

  • administrators

    I should have added that in the case of the video showing a bike lane in the door zone, we would want the bike path on the other side of the parked cars. An example:

  • Definitely agree about the paint-on-the-road jobs that put you in the door zone, also the so-called cycle lanes that spend most of the time covered with parked cars. The money wasted on creating them should be put towards something a bit useful, maybe a few dropped kerbs?

    The original post seemed to be saying that "shared" paths (I inferred, with pedestrians) were more dangerous than nothing. They're a bad option, but not (IMO) more dangerous than nothing. While we're working towards the nirvana of widesread well-designed infrastructure, obviously.

  • Global Moderator

    I agree that the shared path is better than nothing for enabling more people to cycle, as it removes them from the road. However a good quality segregated cycle lane along that stretch would be better.

    This section like that highlighted by Joe show that cycling infrastructure if not designed and built properly can lead to potential dangerous situations. I don't mind being shouted at, quite happy to shout back, usually "read the highway code when you get home", or if too much adrenaline something shorter with 2 words.

    My concern is that, as a daily commuter, part of my route will get a piece of well intentioned cycling infrastructure that will impact those that cycle on a daily basis in a negative way. The cycle super highways have shown that if you put in good quality infrastructure, on the main routes that people want to go, then they will use it.

    The work by Bob Downie with data shows the popular routes for cyclists to get into and out of Glasgow. It is these main routes, such as Polockshaws Road, London Road, Edinburgh Road, Paisley Road West and Great Western Road that should have Cycle Super Highways.

    This piece in CityLabs, with evidence from Chicago presents the case that I am trying to make much better:

  • administrators

    @johned said in Poor Cycling Infrastructure is more dangerous than none:

    cycle super highways

    Or as the Dutch just call them: bike paths 😃

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