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  1. #1
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    Bollarded cycle tracks are safer than fully separated bike paths?

    This is one of the recent studies trumpeted by the bikes belong crowd as an argument for separation.

    http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cont...40561.full.pdf

    The results are hilarious. MUPs are more dangerous than riding in the streets and fully separated bike-only paths are less safe than bike lanes and significantly less safe than cycle tracks. Someone should tell the Dutch that an in-road bike lane with a few bollards is safer than one of their famous cycle paths.

    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  2. #2
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    I don't see how a fully separated bike could be less safe.

    But my definition of a fully separated bike path means it NEVER intersects a street. From what I have seen in the Southern California 'fully separated' bike paths that do intersect streets means dangerous intersections where bikes cross at a point where drivers do to expect anything.

    An interesting point there. there is a bike path parallel o the Orange line. Officially the path ends and restarts with e street crossing. Thus all the street crossing accidents are officially not on the path.

    On another thread I saw examples of Dutch paths and 'similar' U.S. paths and proposals. There was a significant difference. The Dutch paths are separate but close and very visible to drivers. U.S. paths just enough farther separated and often behind parked cars to be 'out of sight, out of mind'. That is until intersections where cyclists 'come out of nowhere'.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  3. #3
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    I can see MUP's being more dangerous than streets due to general lack of awareness of clueless human beings. I am always ride at a heightened awareness and lower speed on MUP's. Kids, dogs, gaggles of walkers taking both lanes, etc
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
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  4. #4
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Cycle tracks, MUP's, Bike Paths, etc . . .

    In and of themselves are based on a half way decent idea and when only considered in a parallel straight through situation they make a lot of sense.

    Unfortunately, there are these things called "intersections" and "crossings" that mess up the whole thing. Especially since more often then not the intersections and crossings are set-up in the worst or nearly the worst way for path users safety with all emphasis placed on motorists convenience to the beligerant deliberate mortal peril of path users safety.

    Upon questioning two sheriffs (not deputies THE sheriff) and their staff, one city chief of police and his staff, and multiple state highway patrol troopers, and the head guy in the state office for pedestrian and cyclist facilities and coordination. I have confirmed that whenever a MUP or Bike Path intersects a roadway and there is a stop or yield sign on the path if a cyclist is hit in that crossing they are legally always at fault due to the signage. If there is no signage it is considered an uncontrolled intersection and follows those rules of first come first serve. This applies even if there are lines marked on the pavement marking it like a crosswalk.

    So, the traditional rules of crosswalk protection traditionally applied to pedestrian traffic do not apply and every-time you go through one of those crossings where there is a stop or yield sign on the bike path while you are in the crossing it is open season on you and any automobile that might hit you has no consequences for doing so and you or your estate will actually have to pay for any damage to their automobile as a result of them hitting you in the crossing.

    Just a reminder of the rules of the game your playing whenever you use one of those paths and come to an intersection where there is a stop or yield sign on the bike path for the crossing. Have fun !!!




    The long term solution of course is not to give up on or totally reject the idea of bike paths but rather to fully establish superior right of way vulnerable user legal protection for path users just as traditional pedestrian cross walks.

    The main legitimate objection to this is that bicycles generally move at much higher speed then pedestrians and thus have the ability to "fly out into" the crossing and surprise main roadway users such that they are unable to stop in time.

    The solution to this problem is not to deny vulnerable users in crossings the legal protection they need much less maliciously destroy any legal status they may have by sneaky use of official signage as is currently done. But rather to simply have the cyclist do their part by "Slow to Walking Speed Before Entering Crossing", that is the sign that should be placed on the path crossing ends of MUPs and Bike Paths with the appropriate legal backing.

    Cyclist (and any other faster path users) slow before entering crossings to give main road users ample opportunity to appropriately yield to crosswalk traffic and if road users fail to do so they are fully responsible for at best criminal negligence and at worst malicious vehicular homicide and are dealt with accordingly to the fullest extent of such a charge with full enforcement. Only if they can prove that a cyclist or other faster path users raced out into the crossing at substantial speed and as a result they couldn't stop in time do they get away with it.
    Last edited by turbo1889; 07-10-14 at 07:49 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    I can see MUP's being more dangerous than streets due to general lack of awareness of clueless human beings. I am always ride at a heightened awareness and lower speed on MUP's. Kids, dogs, gaggles of walkers taking both lanes, etc
    Not to mention (at least over here) MUPs are filled with random tree roots, cracks, potholes and manhole covers which hide very well under shady sections O_o

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by egranlund View Post
    Not to mention (at least over here) MUPs are filled with random tree roots, cracks, potholes and manhole covers which hide very well under shady sections O_o
    And your streets aren't???

    Lucky you.....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    I can see MUP's being more dangerous than streets due to general lack of awareness of clueless human beings. I am always ride at a heightened awareness and lower speed on MUP's. Kids, dogs, gaggles of walkers taking both lanes, etc
    But none of those "dangers" are going many times your speed and can squash you like a bug.

    While I much prefer on street bike lanes, and agree MUTs require special awareness, I just don't see much validity to the objections to them. Streets, bike lanes, MUTs, cycle tracks, and even sidewalks all have their advantages and issues, there's no physical "solution" to danger other than what choices we make in response to our environment.

  8. #8
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    I read different conclusions from the study. "Bicycle-specific infrastructure was associated with reduced injury risk at non-intersection locations. Cycle tracks (physically separated lanes alongside major streets ... were especially protective".

    At intersections, "bike or pedestrian infrastructure was not associated with increased or decreased injury risk at intersections and was therefore not included in this model."

    The conclusions I saw in the study were that traffic speeds below 18 kph reduced risk for cyclists, and places with more cycling traffic had increased risk. Traffic circles and riding against traffic increased risk. None of which was really surprising.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    I read different conclusions from the study. "Bicycle-specific infrastructure was associated with reduced injury risk at non-intersection locations. Cycle tracks (physically separated lanes alongside major streets ... were especially protective".

    At intersections, "bike or pedestrian infrastructure was not associated with increased or decreased injury risk at intersections and was therefore not included in this model."

    The conclusions I saw in the study were that traffic speeds below 18 kph reduced risk for cyclists, and places with more cycling traffic had increased risk. Traffic circles and riding against traffic increased risk. None of which was really surprising.
    Granted MUPs can have obstructions (peds, dog walkers, joggers, debris) but the fact that fully separated cycle paths (e.g. not a MUP ) were less safe than an in-lane bike lane separated by a few bollards speaks to flaws in this study. I also doubt that the kinds of injuries that occur on MUPs in any way approach the kind of injuries that occur in traffic. Once again terrible study design.

    Moreover, the fact that this study excluded intersections because bike facilities did not extend through the intersections can only be interpreted as bias. Rigorous before-after studies in Denmark and Germany have repeatedly found that (absent mitigation) intersections pose more risk for separated facilities than bike lanes or shared facilities. You can be sure that the designers of this study were aware of this.

    My main reason for pointing out this study (in it's final published form) was that it is frequently quoted as evidence in favor of separated infrastructure despite the fact that fully separated bike-only lanes were found to be less safe than conventional in-lane bike lanes. A ridiculous result that is almost certainly due to low "n" and/or poor design.
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

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