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  1. #1
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Cyclists, using Londons new blue lanes and bike superhighway outnumber motorists

    http://cyclelondoncity.blogspot.com/...were-anti.html

    "Cyclists have for the first time outnumbered motorists on some of the country’s busiest commuter routes during the rush hour," splashed the Sunday Times news feature.


    Vauxhall Bridge - even outside the congestion charge, cycling has more than trebled on this bridge...

    http://cyclelondoncity.blogspot.com/...ongestion.html

    Is vehicular cycling the reason that cycling has increased so much in central London?

  2. #2
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    genec, the principle "build it and they will ride" is clearly being demonstrated in London along these bike routes.

    One of my theories about bicycling ridership is that Auto-centric roads present a barrier to greater participation in bicycling and in effect "cap" ridership along significant roadways. This cap is only ameliorated when infrastructure is built in that better supports bicycling, or the traffic patterns change significantly i.e. metro detroit.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Just used Montreal, QC's BIXI system. I liked the bikes, the ease of renting them, the solid construction.

    I did not like the ultra-narrow 2-way bike channels around Montreal. Riding out of them was pleasant though. The provision of these mandatory left-turn collision channels puts me off riding in MTL. It seems like the height of auto-centric road construction in a downtown to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    ...Is vehicular cycling the reason that cycling has increased so much in central London?
    Surely, you jest.

    I rode all over London this spring and loved it. Loved it because it's a great city and loved the Barclay bike rental system. My first full day in London I woke up at 4 am (jet lagged) and decided to ride the entire city as it awoke. While the city is fabulous in the early car free hours, as it comes to life the place to be as a cyclist is on whatever infrastructure exists. As I headed back to South Kensington, where I was staying, the bike commuters were streaming into the city. I couldn't resist and joined them and decided to just follow one rider going roughly my speed all the way to their destination.

    What a treat! The rider took bike lanes and paths virtually the whole way except for a few streets deep in the business district, where they weren't needed anyway because the street was so narrow it became a wide sidewalk.

    When I talked to London bikers they gave the same answers my NYC friends give for why they ride now as opposed to 10 years ago- infrastructure. It's a no-brainer.

  5. #5
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Surely, you jest.

    I rode all over London this spring and loved it. Loved it because it's a great city and loved the Barclay bike rental system. My first full day in London I woke up at 4 am (jet lagged) and decided to ride the entire city as it awoke. While the city is fabulous in the early car free hours, as it comes to life the place to be as a cyclist is on whatever infrastructure exists. As I headed back to South Kensington, where I was staying, the bike commuters were streaming into the city. I couldn't resist and joined them and decided to just follow one rider going roughly my speed all the way to their destination.

    What a treat! The rider took bike lanes and paths virtually the whole way except for a few streets deep in the business district, where they weren't needed anyway because the street was so narrow it became a wide sidewalk.

    When I talked to London bikers they gave the same answers my NYC friends give for why they ride now as opposed to 10 years ago- infrastructure. It's a no-brainer.
    But but I thought infrastructure didn't matter... everybody just rode vehicularly in jolly old England.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    But but I thought infrastructure didn't matter... everybody just rode vehicularly in jolly old England.
    You appear to be stuck in a Manichean struggle with VC (it's always a sign that your thinking is off when you agree with Bek too much).

    Meanwhile, the real changes in the U.K. are passing you by: campaigns such as "20 is plenty" which emphasize lowering traffic speeds to something manageable for cyclists are having some success. Note that the recent calls for keeping London's Blackfriars Bridge safe for cyclists don't include a demand for a cycle-superhighway.

    Transport for London (the cycle-superhighway a.k.a strip of blue paint) pushers are the ones who want to add lanes to the bridge and increase traffic speeds.

    V.C. has a place too, and many UK cyclists are more open to it than their US counterparts.

    There's a time and place for everything, including bikelanes/bikepaths, but these usually aren't in cities with multiple intersections disrupting them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RazrSkutr View Post
    You appear to be stuck in a Manichean struggle with VC (it's always a sign that your thinking is off when you agree with Bek too much).

    Meanwhile, the real changes in the U.K. are passing you by: campaigns such as "20 is plenty" which emphasize lowering traffic speeds to something manageable for cyclists are having some success. Note that the recent calls for keeping London's Blackfriars Bridge safe for cyclists don't include a demand for a cycle-superhighway.

    Transport for London (the cycle-superhighway a.k.a strip of blue paint) pushers are the ones who want to add lanes to the bridge and increase traffic speeds.

    V.C. has a place too, and many UK cyclists are more open to it than their US counterparts.

    There's a time and place for everything, including bikelanes/bikepaths, but these usually aren't in cities with multiple intersections disrupting them.
    Circumstances and history are greatly different. British governments have never had the anti-cyclist, cyclist-inferiority policy that American governments have had for seventy years and reinforced with bikeways for the last forty years. A history of doing things for cyclists instead of to cyclists makes all the difference.

  8. #8
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    A history of doing things for cyclists instead of to cyclists makes all the difference.
    oh, those jolly old brits! london bicycle infrastructure and human scaled road speeds -

    yeah, american cities don't do anything like that for cyclists it's an inferiority thing over here, dontchyaknow?


    HILARIOUS!




    Quote Originally Posted by razrskutr
    There's a time and place for everything, including bikelanes/bikepaths, but these usually aren't in cities with multiple intersections disrupting them.
    actually,razrskutr, the ONLY way developed, industrialized cities in the modern era get to double digit rider share is thru bikelanes and bicycle specific infrastructure in cities. Look to cities across Europe, the great cycling capitals of Europe are all heavily built in with bicycle specificity.

    londons rider share is laughable, pale and paltry in comparison to REAL cycling cities. Perhaps, with a build in of bicycle specific routes and traffic calming, London too, could raise ridership and cyclist safety thru infrastructure.

    Only when cities begin to do things FOR cyclists, like in New York City in the video above or the great cycling capitals of Europe, does bicycling begin to solidly increase rider share.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 07-31-11 at 08:16 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  9. #9
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Circumstances and history are greatly different. British governments have never had the anti-cyclist, cyclist-inferiority policy that American governments have had for seventy years and reinforced with bikeways for the last forty years. A history of doing things for cyclists instead of to cyclists makes all the difference.
    In terms of headlines you're probably right. In terms of actual following through with what governments say it's not quite so clear cut.

    Yes, we have the sky-blue cycle superhighways which for the most part are good. It's frustrating when you have to merge back into the traffic because someone parked across the cycle lane, and you still have to watch for vehicles on your right who want to turn left and may not realise how fast bikes are going (the other day I nearly ran into someone who turned across my lane when I was pushing 25mph almost alongside them). But on the whole they are good.

    What is less good is the number of times a footpath is turned into a "shared footpath/cyclepath" with nothing more than a few signs with bikes on them. Some of these paths are narrow, with a broken surface and prickly or stinging plants on both sides. Certainly not somewhere you'd want to take a road bike. Unfortunately the alternative is often worse - in one particular case the cyclist gets the choice between being prickled and stung (and periodically having to move right over into the undergrowth to give way to a pedestrian) or riding on a 3-lane busy road with a 70mph limit where most cars exceed it.

    Other times I've found a cycle lane that appears to allow the cyclist to bypass a busy roundabout, only to find that it ends after 50 yards and spits cyclists back into the traffic. So you can either negotiate the roundabout and keep moving, or use the cycle lane, stop to give way twice, and then stop to wait to merge back into the traffic.

  10. #10
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    sounds just like american cyclists problems, contago -

    Having to choose between a substandard side path choice OR 70 mph traffic exemplifies some of the reasons rider share is so paltry in BOTH the USA and Britain.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    I am a London cyclist - I commute a 20 mile round trip every day. I don't use bike lane. If they are there and safe I will use them but I don't use the ones that go onto the pavement, nor do I use the ones that are too narrow - I sit on the outside of them making sure I'm not riding in the gutter.

    I use a route that goes on a faster road rather than use the cycle superhighway route (as it has too many slow cyclists, and I like to speed up a bit on this section).

    Basically I find cycle lanes to neither cause me to ride more or feel safer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    sounds just like american cyclists problems, contago -

    Having to choose between a substandard side path choice OR 70 mph traffic exemplifies some of the reasons rider share is so paltry in BOTH the USA and Britain.
    So that's a steadfast refusal from you to consider the benefits of a "20 is plenty" campaign which lowers road speeds within cities. Instead you prefer the idea of dodgy bikelanes?

  13. #13
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    no, no, I'm a huge proponent of traffic calming at TEMPO30 zones, home zones, woonerven and the newly minted 20mph home zones in Britain.

    However, bicyclists miking with automobile traffic is not a solution for every roadway. Londons' Transport Ministry, I believe, is responsible for a great venn diagram of integration/separation by volume/speed of roadway you may be familiar with?

    but here's what I was agreeing with you, razrskutr-
    Quote Originally Posted by razrskutr
    ...... riding on a 3-lane busy road with a 70mph limit where most cars exceed it.
    sounds like a typical american OR british dysfunctional carriageway.

    bicyclists need to get places those 70mph carriageways go, and if there isn't a way there by traffic calmed, 20mph home zone -and even if there is- cities MUST plan for cyclists travelling along ALL roadways save those we are prohibited from. leaving cyclists to ride in 70mph traffic is no way to support a large rider population- I will give you that, razr!!
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    oh, those jolly old brits! london bicycle infrastructure and human scaled road speeds -

    yeah, american cities don't do anything like that for cyclists it's an inferiority thing over here, dontchyaknow?


    HILARIOUS!
    I don't know, Bek, whether you just want to try to score off me, but you clearly do not understand the difference between American government policy and actions regarding cycling and British government policy and actions regarding cycling. To put things crudely, American policy is that cyclists are not legitimate drivers of vehicles but are constrained by law to act subservient to motorists, while British policy has always been that cyclists are drivers of vehicles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by contango View Post
    In terms of headlines you're probably right. In terms of actual following through with what governments say it's not quite so clear cut.

    Yes, we have the sky-blue cycle superhighways which for the most part are good. It's frustrating when you have to merge back into the traffic because someone parked across the cycle lane, and you still have to watch for vehicles on your right who want to turn left and may not realise how fast bikes are going (the other day I nearly ran into someone who turned across my lane when I was pushing 25mph almost alongside them). But on the whole they are good.

    What is less good is the number of times a footpath is turned into a "shared footpath/cyclepath" with nothing more than a few signs with bikes on them. Some of these paths are narrow, with a broken surface and prickly or stinging plants on both sides. Certainly not somewhere you'd want to take a road bike. Unfortunately the alternative is often worse - in one particular case the cyclist gets the choice between being prickled and stung (and periodically having to move right over into the undergrowth to give way to a pedestrian) or riding on a 3-lane busy road with a 70mph limit where most cars exceed it.

    Other times I've found a cycle lane that appears to allow the cyclist to bypass a busy roundabout, only to find that it ends after 50 yards and spits cyclists back into the traffic. So you can either negotiate the roundabout and keep moving, or use the cycle lane, stop to give way twice, and then stop to wait to merge back into the traffic.
    That answer is easy. Side paths around roundabouts are dangerous; everybody ought to know that. Use the roundabout just like all the other traffic. I've done lots of them, in both America and the UK. No problem; just don't try to go past an exit while hugging the curb. Treat exits like UK left turns (or US right turns) and stay away from them until you reach the one you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    sounds just like american cyclists problems, contago -

    Having to choose between a substandard side path choice OR 70 mph traffic exemplifies some of the reasons rider share is so paltry in BOTH the USA and Britain.
    Come on, Bek, these are descriptions of rural traffic, no different there from hers.

  17. #17
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I was using razrskutrs example of british traffic he found so onerous. i assumed it was greater London.

    So Cal has PLENTY of high speed urban and suburban roads, in case you hadn't noticed - perhaps not 70mph but quite speedy, Genec in SD aften mentions the freeway speed surface streets he deals with.


    come on, john. no different from here.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  18. #18
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    ....To put things crudely, American policy is that cyclists are not legitimate drivers of vehicles but are constrained by law to act subservient to motorists, while British policy has always been that cyclists are drivers of vehicles.
    why the misdirect and the misinformation, john? this thread isn't even about US cycling, john and that's not how US states regulate bicycle traffic! What a shlubby, worthless rebut on the part of an erstwhile bicycling advocate, such wild and unsupportable claims about the american cycling condition.

    Now john, this bicycling subservience thing you're always going on about? You might mean well, but here's the rub -it's inaccurate. It sounds like a personal problem to be perfectly honest , a personal neuroses about bicycling rights you may have developed over the years. I suspect it could be exorcised with a bikes 1-2-3 course to start off with.

    Have you ever considered any bicycle safety classes?

    american cyclists, like the artifice of British equality supposed by john, there's cyclists in both countries intimidated by dense or 70 mph traffic - a perfectly normal human response to that travelling environment - despite cyclists having the rights and responsibilities of the driver of a vehicles in most all states as well as Britain. there are only a small handful of states with mandatory shoulder and sidepath laws anyway.

    "Would you cycle here with you family? I think not." reads this london bicycle bloggers caption in the OP links about the british cycling condition.

    Besides, given a clean, wide, ample shoulder to ride on alongside a busy, freeway speed rural carriageway, i am confident john forester would be happily and voluntarily chugging away in it, in all 50 states OR the British Commonwealth, as a vehicular cyclist.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 07-31-11 at 04:39 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    I was using razrskutrs example of british traffic he found so onerous. i assumed it was greater London.
    No, you weren't. You were quoting someone going by the moniker "Contango".

  20. #20
    Ridin' South Cackalacky dahut's Avatar
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    Yay, Brits!

    They say WE are becoming the British. Maybe thats not so bad.
    "Watch out for giants; they are boorish fools with tongues wagging, drunk upon their own words.
    They will try to teach you a lesson if given the chance, and you will stumble over their stinking feet."

  21. #21
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazrSkutr View Post
    No, you weren't. You were quoting someone going by the moniker "Contango".
    so sorry to have conflated two brits talking about 20mph safety zones in england. seems BOTH of you'd prefer extreme traffic calming on cycle routes versus 70mph, 3 lane carriageways - that may be the source of my confusion, so sorry.

    Extreme traffic calming to near bicycling speed to create more livable streets is common on both sides of the atlantic.. I do suspect both contago and razrdskutr are familiar with the distinctly british cyclist planning that considers traffic speed and volume as variables that very well indicate separation from auto and lorry traffic along higher speed, volume carriageways. I wish i could find an easy link to the diagram but i am not at my home computer.... ah, here we go - THIS understanding of traffic speeds and cyclist facilities is common among traffic management professionals across the british commonwealth ....
    Last edited by Bekologist; 07-31-11 at 08:37 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    why the misdirect and the misinformation, john? this thread isn't even about US cycling, john and that's not how US states regulate bicycle traffic! What a shlubby, worthless rebut on the part of an erstwhile bicycling advocate, such wild and unsupportable claims about the american cycling condition.

    Now john, this bicycling subservience thing you're always going on about? You might mean well, but here's the rub -it's inaccurate. It sounds like a personal problem to be perfectly honest , a personal neuroses about bicycling rights you may have developed over the years. I suspect it could be exorcised with a bikes 1-2-3 course to start off with.

    Have you ever considered any bicycle safety classes?

    american cyclists, like the artifice of British equality supposed by john, there's cyclists in both countries intimidated by dense or 70 mph traffic - a perfectly normal human response to that travelling environment - despite cyclists having the rights and responsibilities of the driver of a vehicles in most all states as well as Britain. there are only a small handful of states with mandatory shoulder and sidepath laws anyway.

    Besides, given a clean, wide, ample shoulder to ride on alongside a busy, freeway speed rural carriageway, i am confident john forester would be happily and voluntarily chugging away in it, in all 50 states OR the British Commonwealth, as a vehicular cyclist.
    Bek, I realize that, for your own purposes, you argue vociferously that America is a great cycling nation where cyclists are treated as drivers of vehicles, and therefore cannot accept unfavorable comparisons with a nation that does just that. However, America has had the cyclist far right law since the 1940s, Britain has never had that. American bikeways were designed by motorists to clear the way for motor traffic. British bikeways were not developed with that as any significant purpose. The difference in social attitude makes all the difference to how things get done and their effect.

    Your argument about the unpleasantness of shoulderless roads with 70mph traffic has no bearing on that difference. When Dorris and I cycled to Portsmouth Dockyard in 1985, we cycled on A4 (as I remember it), just like an American 8-lane freeway, and it was so noisy that we could not converse while riding. But nobody stopped us, nobody honked, nobody bothered about us; we were just cyclists going where we needed to go. Would we have gone some other way, had we time and information? Probably, but we followed signs and found this way.

  23. #23
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
    I am a London cyclist - I commute a 20 mile round trip every day. I don't use bike lane. If they are there and safe I will use them but I don't use the ones that go onto the pavement, nor do I use the ones that are too narrow - I sit on the outside of them making sure I'm not riding in the gutter.

    I use a route that goes on a faster road rather than use the cycle superhighway route (as it has too many slow cyclists, and I like to speed up a bit on this section).
    Interesting, I've only ever used them outside rush hour and often wondered what they would be like during the rush hour. With the combination of racers much faster than me, people drifting around much slower than me, and the varying attitudes to red traffic lights I can imagine it's an experience...

    Basically I find cycle lanes to neither cause me to ride more or feel safer.[/QUOTE]

    For the most part a wide lane feels safe to me, although obviously you still have to be aware of people who might turn across the lane.

  24. #24
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    That answer is easy. Side paths around roundabouts are dangerous; everybody ought to know that. Use the roundabout just like all the other traffic. I've done lots of them, in both America and the UK. No problem; just don't try to go past an exit while hugging the curb. Treat exits like UK left turns (or US right turns) and stay away from them until you reach the one you want.
    I guess a lot depends on the skill and speed of the cyclist.

    When I'm out on the bike I usually look to maintain 15-20mph or so depending on circumstances. Sometimes I get passed by cyclists doing 25+, other times I pass cyclists doing 5-10.

    When a cyclist is moving at or near the speed of the traffic is clearly makes no sense for them to slow right down, bump off the road onto the cycle lane, stop after 50 yards, set off, stop, wait their turn and merge back into the traffic. But for the cyclists who are going slowly it's probably the kind of thing that makes them feel safer because they don't have to negotiate the busy roundabout.

    My only real issue is that if a cyclepath is provided some motorists expect cyclists to use it, however inappropriate it is for their needs.

  25. #25
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    so sorry to have conflated two brits talking about 20mph safety zones in england. seems BOTH of you'd prefer extreme traffic calming on cycle routes versus 70mph, 3 lane carriageways - that may be the source of my confusion, so sorry.

    Extreme traffic calming to near bicycling speed to create more livable streets is common on both sides of the atlantic.. I do suspect both contago and razrdskutr are familiar with the distinctly british cyclist planning that considers traffic speed and volume as variables that very well indicate separation from auto and lorry traffic along higher speed, volume carriageways. I wish i could find an easy link to the diagram but i am not at my home computer.... ah, here we go - THIS understanding of traffic speeds and cyclist facilities is common among traffic management professionals across the british commonwealth ....
    I'm not sure quite what point you're trying to make here. Streets in the cities usually do have a low speed limit of 20 or 30mph. Trunk roads out of town will have limits of anything up to 70mph. Obviously cycling among three lanes of traffic doing 70+ is suicidal but it doesn't seem like so much to ask to have a path worthy of the name to cycle on. Simply saying "there's a strip of concrete, it's all broken up and badly overgrown but that will have to do" while ticking the box that says "cycling provision made" doesn't really cut it.

    Maybe I'm agreeing with you... I honestly have no idea.

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