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Space for mobility

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 31 May, 2016 - 08:32

One of the most remarkable things about the new cycling infrastructure in London is not just the numbers of people using it, already, but the way it is being used spontaneously, by a wide range of users. Not just by tourists hopping onto hire bikes –

but also by people using many different kinds of transport. Scooterists.

Rollerbladeists.

Skateboardists.


Hoverboardists.

This morning I shared my #cycle lane with a scooter, a skateboard, a hoverboard, and some rollerblades, anything to save 5 mins eh #London

— Laura Warrington (@themovingparade) May 24, 2016

Wheelchairists.

@CycleBath Segregated cycle infrastructure benefits so many people other than people on bikes! pic.twitter.com/AmhJalm0fg

— Adam Reynolds (@awjre) May 25, 2016

Mobility scooterists (even if they are let down by cycling infrastructure disappearing).

Handicapped mobility scooter suddenly has to merge w/ traffic bcos segregation disappears at Whitechapel market CS2 pic.twitter.com/zmkvPuDoIc

— Two Wheels Good blog (@TwoWheelsGoodUK) May 22, 2016

And even horseists.

Good to see London’s new parliament square cycle lane in action #space4riding #space4cycling horse with laughter pic.twitter.com/7Yn6oyXslV

— david dansky (@FixedFun) May 23, 2016

As well as, of course, the myriad types of cycling device that are starting to appear now that conditions are so much less hostile.

Try to imagine someone cycling their kids along the Embankment in a lane of motor traffic, trapped alongside parking bays

So although this is formally ‘cycling infrastructure’, it’s really more pragmatic to describe it as a bit of street space that’s useful for all those ways of getting about that aren’t motor vehicles, and aren’t walking.

It even makes sense for people to jog in these lanes, at quieter times – joggers are faster than people walking, and they can make their own decisions about when it is comfortable to use cycling infrastructure, and when it isn’t. Anecdotally, I think fewer people are jogging in them now they are busier (and indeed open!), but there’s no particular reason to get territorial. It’s space that can and should be used by modes of transport that don’t mix well (or safely) with motor traffic, and don’t mix well with people walking either.

So in a subtle way, this infrastructure is improving the pedestrian environment, by incentivising all these ‘awkward’ uses of footways into a much more appropriate space – including the obvious legal (and illegal) cycling on the footway, but also scootering, skateboarding and mobility scooters. If there’s cycling infrastructure alongside a footway you are walking on, you will only have to deal with other people walking.

It’s also showing that – despite the persistent stream of media noise about the alleged threat posed by speeding London cyclists – people are quite happy to share space with people cycling, in a way they plainly wouldn’t with motor traffic. People jogging, scooting, wheeling, skateboarding, and just travelling along a little bit faster than walking, all using  cycling ‘space’, is really objective proof that cycling does not present a huge amount of danger. If it was that terrifying, all these people would still be using the footways.

This isn’t road space reallocation ‘for cyclists’ – it really doesn’t make sense to frame it so narrowly. Rather, it’s more space for all those people who wanted to cycle (because frankly cycling is a brilliant way to get about) but were put off by frankly horrible conditions, and just as importantly, more space for anyone who wants to travel around in a way that doesn’t quite fit with walking. Simultaneously it therefore also represents a freeing up of pedestrian space.

It’s just better for everyone.


Categories: Views

Eén logo voor alle fietssnelwegen in Vlaanderen

Fietsberaad - 31 May, 2016 - 01:00

De vijf Vlaamse provincies ontwikkelden samen een logo en een uniforme bewegwijzering voor de fietsostrades/fietssnelwegen. Die moeten de 110 fietssnelwegen in Vlaanderen, goed voor 2400 kilometer, beter herkenbaar maken.

Categories: News

Eerste 24 uur gratis fiets stallen bij Amsterdamse treinstations

Fietsberaad - 31 May, 2016 - 01:00

Gemeente Amsterdam, Stadsregio Amsterdam, NS en ProRail gaan intensief samenwerken op het gebied van de exploitatie, handhaving, het beheer en onderhoud van fietsenstallingen bij de tien Amsterdamse treinstations. Daarnaast werken partijen aan een uniform fietsparkeerconcept dat toegepast zal worden op alle stationsstallingen van de gemeente en NS/ProRail.

Categories: News

A world tour of Drenthe: Cycling to England, America and Switzerland.

A View from the Cycle Path - 31 May, 2016 - 00:06
One of our first destinations was "America". May has been a packed month for us, with study tours, holidays to organise and lots of parcels to pack. However, Judy and I did also manage to find time to take a very short holiday on our bikes two weeks ago. We set off from home in Assen and took a route which made for a "world tour" around Drenthe, looping around between interesting places (David Hembrowhttps://plus.google.com/114578085331408050106noreply@blogger.com0http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2016/05/a-world-tour-of-drenthe-cycling-to.html
Categories: Views

The bicycle passage of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum

BicycleDutch - 30 May, 2016 - 23:01
I’ve shown you the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum bicycle “tunnel” on my blog before. Already explaining that it is an underpass and not a tunnel. But is that even true? When you … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Cycling Embassy of Denmark at the National Danish Cycling Conference

Cycling Embassy of Denmark - 30 May, 2016 - 13:50

Tomorrow the annual National Danish Cycling Conference kicks off. This conference will be the 9th of its kind, and the biggest one to date, as more and more companies, municipalities, and organizations, join every year. The conference ends Wednesday and the just two day long programme is packed with more than 30 events including talks, […]

The post Cycling Embassy of Denmark at the National Danish Cycling Conference appeared first on Cycling Embassy of Denmark.

Categories: News

Beweeglogica moet Amsterdammer uitdagen om meer te bewegen

Fietsberaad - 30 May, 2016 - 12:06

Het college van B&W heeft de ‘Amsterdamse Beweeglogica’ vastgesteld. Het moet een aanzet geven om bij de inrichting van de stad meer rekening te houden met de gezondheid. Ook de fiets speelt daarbij een rol.

Categories: News

Ruime verdubbeling OV-fiets locaties in Rotterdam

Fietsberaad - 27 May, 2016 - 01:00

In Rotterdam wordt dit jaar het aantal OV-fietsen uitgebreid. En in Brabant komt de ov-fiets ook bij 5 grote busstations.

Categories: News

Propensity to Cycle, and the importance of main roads

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 26 May, 2016 - 10:42

The National Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT) is a powerful planning tool which shows existing commuting cycling trips (based on mapping the 2011 census), and then uses that data to illustrate where the main cycle flows are, or should be, and therefore where cycling infrastructure should be prioritised.

Importantly, it doesn’t just cover existing cycling flows; it can be updated to show what (commuter) cycling levels would be like if we had the same propensity to cycle as Dutch people (adjusted for hilliness), and where people would choose to cycle, based on directness.

The purpose of the route allocation is to see on which routes the most provision might be necessary as cycling grows rather than to show where people currently cycle. We recognise that many people currently choose longer routes to avoid busy roads. But for cycling to reach its potential safe direct routes are needed. The Route Network layer is therefore intended to show where (on which routes) investment is most needed rather than where people currently cycle.

I’ve been playing around with it over the last few days, based on the town of Horsham, and the results are quite instructive. Based on the census results, cycling to work levels are currently a fairly miserable 3% of all trips to work in the town centre.

I say ‘miserable’ because the town is flat and compact – only around 3 miles across, and with all trips (even from some surrounding villages) less than 2 miles from the centre.

Despite this favourable geography, the town (population around 60,000) is dominated by car commuting – between 40 and 50% of trips to work are driven.

The Propensity to Cycle Tool is great because it allows us to visualise alternative scenarios, and how to prioritise designing for them. We can plot the cycling trips currently being made from area to area (in the 2011 census) as straight lines.

Then (and here’s the clever bit) we can see how those trips would be made by the most direct routes, mapped onto the road network.

The levels of cycling can then be changed by shifting from the 2011 census to either the (unambitious) government target of doubling cycling levels, ‘gender equality’, ‘Go Dutch’, or ‘Ebikes’.

What is really interesting (but unsurprising) is that the routes being taken don’t change as the levels of cycling increase, as you can see from the ‘Go Dutch’ scenario shown above. It’s unsurprising, of course, because people will still choose the direct routes, regardless of whether they happen to be part of a small number of cycling commuters, or part of a town with mass cycling. Why would they change to less direct routes?

The great thing about this tool is that it shows exactly where interventions should be prioritised. I can see clearly from the map above that two of the most important routes (at least for commuting) in Horsham are the two roads north of the town centre – North Parade, and North Street.

It just so happens that these are two roads where there is plenty of space to incorporate high-quality cycling infrastructure, with only the loss of some grass, and central hatching – and the existing, poor, cycle lanes.

North Street

North Parade

So if, for instance, we were looking to prioritise where to invest in cycling infrastructure for the most benefit (rather than just looking to do tokenistic improvements ) these two roads would be among the main priorities. The PCT tool even allows you to click on the roads in question, to bring up helpful information. For instance, ‘Going Dutch’ would mean taking nearly 200 car commuters off this particular road.

If it wasn’t already clear, main roads are quite obviously where interventions are required, and where they will be most useful. They are main roads for a reason; they tend to form the most direct routes, and they also connect between the places people are coming from, and going to. The Propensity to Cycle Tool isn’t really showing the equivalent of back street, or ‘Quietway’, routes. The cycle flows are all on the major roads, or on the distributor roads that connect up residential streets.

What will make this tool really powerful is when it is released in ‘Version 2’ next year, because it will incorporate other journeys, not just commuting – because obviously only a minority of the trips we make are actually trips to and from work.

Version 2 will go beyond commuting data to incorporate other trip purposes, including education trips at route and area level and other non-commuting trips at area level.

Apparently commuting flows are actually a good approximation for travel flows in general, but incorporating trips for education, leisure and shopping will make the case for cycling even more powerful.


Categories: Views

Brede mobiliteitscoalitie pleit voor meer investeringen in vervoer

Fietsberaad - 24 May, 2016 - 09:03

Nu de economie weer aantrekt komt er aanzienlijk meer verkeer op de weg. Er is daarom meer geld nodig voor de versnelde aanpak van weginfrastructuur, kwalitatief hoogwaardiger spoorvervoer en excellente fietsvoorzieningen.

Categories: News

A tale of two cities

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 24 May, 2016 - 03:10

I was in Leicester last week and (briefly) managed to look again at some of the cycling infrastructure the city has been building recently. There is an impressive-looking cycleway, complete with bus stop bypass, on Welford Road.

Like other new cycling infrastructure in the city, it has been built with distinctive, Dutch-style red asphalt, making it obvious that this isn’t part of the footway, and something that’s different from the road. The kerbs have also been designed well – low-level, and forgiving, meaning they can be ridden over without crashing, and also that the full width of the cycleway can be used, while retaining a height distinction from the footway, and the road.

This is something London hasn’t quite got right. The cycleways in London are of the same colour tarmac as the road, which has led to a number of incidents (presumably, mostly innocent) in which drivers have ended up using the cycleway, instead of the road. The kerbs alongside the new superhighways are also problematic, particularly on the section along the Embankment.

The height difference between the footway and the cycleway along here means that the effective width of the cycleway is reduced. At the narrower points of the superhighway here – around 3m wide – the usable width is reduced down to about 2.5m, which is pretty narrow for a two-way path, especially one that is only going to get a lot busier.

But unfortunately Leicester somehow manages to convert their beautiful cycleways, with their lovely kerbs, into a horrible mess at the junctions. Here is an exit-only side road from a residential street, that few drivers will be using.

That red tarmac comes to an end, merging into a shared use footway across an expanse of tactile paving, with no priority for walking or cycling across a minor side street. Not comfortable to cycle across; confusion and conflict with people walking, and loss of priority, and momentum.

I noticed that the same kind of problem appears at signalised junctions. Again, the answer in Leicester seems to be ‘give up’, and treat people cycling like pedestrians.

The red asphalt comes to an end, you merge onto a shared use footway, and cross the road on a toucan crossing.

It seems a little unfair to criticise Leicester here, because they are doing an awful lot more than most towns and cities across Britain, reallocating road space to build cycleways, and making a genuine effort to start prioritising cycling. But these kinds of junction designs just aren’t good enough.

Meanwhile London – while it might not be getting the designs of the cycleway kerbs and surfacing right – is doing precisely the right kind of thing at junctions, keeping cycling distinct from walking, and ensuring that cycling has clear priority.

Here an exit-only residential side street – very similar to Leicester – is treated in a very different way. There is no tactile, no giving up, no merging of walking and cycling. Both footway and cycleway continue clearly across the side road.

Nor is there any merging of walking and cycling together at signalised junctions. The two modes are designed for separately.

So London is getting some things exactly right, and other things a bit wrong, while Leicester is getting some things exactly right, and other things a bit wrong.

I suspect a large of the difference here probably flows from the starting premise. London is quite explicitly building roads for cycling, something that is obviously carriageway, designed and built like you would build roads for motor traffic. That’s good for junction design, less good for details like kerbs. Meanwhile Leicester appears to be building what amount to enhanced footways; cycling accommodated on the pavement, but in a well-designed and visually-distinct way. Until, that is, you encounter a junction, where that cycleway reveals its true colours as a bit of footway.

Two different approaches, both with mixed success, succeeding and failing in different ways. Really, London should just carry on doing what it is doing, but making sure that the cycleways are built slightly better, with higher quality kerbs, while Leicester should look to London to see how to design junctions. Combined, the two cities might actually be producing the genuinely excellent cycling infrastructure you see in cities like Utrecht.

Beautifully built, with good kerbing, visually distinct from the footway,, and with no loss of priority, or merging, at junctions.

So the question for Britain is whether this is really a sensible way to proceed. If two of the leading cycling cities in Britain – two places showing willingness to change their roads, and to experiment – are still managing to get things wrong, but in different ways, doesn’t that suggest a desperate need for some of kind of national pooling of design experience and expertise, so that both cities are arriving at the best possible outcomes, and – perhaps even more importantly, towns and cities across the country can get things right straight away, without making the same kinds of mistakes as the leading cities?

It’s admirable what Leicester and London are doing, but – particularly in the case of Leicester – a lot of what they’re doing simply isn’t up to standard. They’re fumbling towards the light, and if willing authorities are still struggling, the outlook for places with little or no interest or expertise in designing for cycling is desperately bleak.

It really doesn’t have to be this way. We know what works. We know the best ways to build cycling infrastructure, because we’re now actually getting it right in Britain, even if we’re not getting absolutely everything right in the same place. So rather than leaving local authorities to stumble upon it – and probably get a good deal of it wrong, even if they’re trying their best – why on earth are we not putting all the good stuff in one place? In some kind of easy-to-use manual, showing local authorities the absolute best ways to deal with side roads; to deal with signalised junctions; to build kerbs; and so on. All of the kinds of things that local authorities across the country are having to find out for themselves, in a ridiculous duplication of effort, with poor and wasteful outcomes.

‘Localism’ should really mean giving local authorities the freedom to build high quality cycling infrastructure, drawn from design elements included in Department for Transport-endorsed standards.  It certainly should not mean leaving local authorities to work it all out for themselves, one-by-one. Because that’s just idiotic.


Categories: Views

Nijmegen celebrations!

BicycleDutch - 23 May, 2016 - 23:01
Celebrations in Nijmegen last Thursday when it was announced the city had won the title of Cycling City of the Netherlands in 2016. Taking over from Zwolle, elected in 2014, … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Beautiful light at the end of the tunnel

Cycling Embassy of Denmark - 23 May, 2016 - 13:38

For Gladsaxe’s many cyclists, ‘tunnel vision’ will take on a completely new and luminous meaning in the near future, when tunnels are fitted with spectacular new interactive orange “wheels”. Twelve tunnels will light the way of cyclists to spectacular effect in the Danish Municipality of Gladsaxe along the Farum Cycle Super Highway, a network of […]

The post Beautiful light at the end of the tunnel appeared first on Cycling Embassy of Denmark.

Categories: News

Deelfiets in Keulen kent voorspoedige start

Fietsberaad - 23 May, 2016 - 01:00

De deelfiets in Keulen groeit als kool. In het eerste jaar werden de fietsen 340.000 keer uitgeleend en werden 21.000 gebruikers geregistreerd.

Categories: News

Would you design a road like that?

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 19 May, 2016 - 10:54

A few recent examples of dreadful cycling infrastructure design in Britain all seem to have something in common. They’ve been built in ways that we would never design a road for motor vehicles.

We wouldn’t build a road for motor vehicles that had trees seemingly at random in the middle of it.

The Hackney Cycle Superhighway Forest. Cyclist seems to be trying to work out what to do https://t.co/iRBxU54Xot

— Mark Treasure (@AsEasyAsRiding) April 4, 2016

No, we would build a road with trees… at the side. Because a road with trees in the middle of it isn’t very convenient, or safe. Nor would we install advertising display boards in the middle of a road.

Anyone got a bulldozer they can lend @CycleSheffield? They need help to remove this from cycle path. pic.twitter.com/ajJKwPNIlz

— Matt Turner (@MattTurnerSheff) May 13, 2016

We wouldn’t put zig-zag barriers across a road where it meets another road; zig-zag barriers that drivers have to slalom through before they join the main road.

No – the road would just join the other road normally, and we would trust drivers to use their eyes and follow the markings on the road.

Let’s say a road has to cross another road, on a bridge. Would we put zig-zag barriers on the ramp of the bridge, to slow drivers down because, frankly, you didn’t design the bridge to be driven across at a reasonable speed?

No – we’d built the road smooth and straight, without barriers, and with an appropriate design speed. Because zig-zag barriers are inconvenient, annoying, and actually impossible to get through for some users.

When a road crosses a side road, we don’t expect drivers to cross some tactile paving, entering an ambiguous ‘shared’ area with pedestrians, that loses priority at the junction.

 

I made a video of Platt Fields north bound (1/n) @SavageHoutkop pic.twitter.com/yh83CGjuiY

— Katy Holliday (@KatyHolliday) March 31, 2016

No – we design the road so that it crosses the side road with clear priority, because it’s a main road.

When a road has to change direction, would we build it with sharp, angled corners?

Why is so much cycling infra designed with ridiculously sharp angles? I see this in pics from many different places. https://t.co/r1lvYvtUMm

— The Alternative DfT (@AlternativeDfT) February 27, 2016

No – where roads have to go around corners, or have to change direction, they do so in smooth curves. Because vehicles make turns in curves.

Would we ever expect drivers to get out of their cars and walk along a pavement for a bit, because we couldn’t be bothered to create an actual joined-up route from A to B?

How does Bikeminded recommend you cycle down Kensington High Street then? It, er, says you should dismount! pic.twitter.com/yZCyplZNZS

— Alex Ingram (@nuttyxander) October 14, 2013

Would we ever build a road, or a motor vehicle lane, that simply came to an END?

No, that would be ridiculous. We don’t expect drivers to simply give up; we build lanes that go somewhere, that don’t just come to an abrupt halt.

Would we ever ban driving completely on a road if a small minority of drivers behaved in an antisocial way? Of course, we’re quite happy to do this with cycling, on the basis that inconvenience is something that ‘cyclists’ should naturally expect to put up with.

Would we cram driving and walking into the same space, either on busy routes, or through junctions?

No – we don’t build ‘shared use’ routes, or ‘Toucan crossings’ for motoring and walking, because that would be inconvenient for driving. We give motoring its own clearly distinct space, with footways for pedestrians, and separate crossings.

In all these examples, the basic design principles we would employ when designing for motoring are jettisoned. Cycling is something that can be bodged in with walking when things get too difficult, something that can be abandoned, obstructed, banned, in a way that we never contemplate with motoring.

When it comes to designing for cycling, a basic rule for discerning whether you are doing a good job is to simply ask whether you would design for motoring like that. If you wouldn’t, then what you are building is almost certainly not fit for purpose.


Categories: Views

And the winner is…

BicycleDutch - 19 May, 2016 - 10:00
Nijmegen has been elected Cycling City of the Netherlands in 2016! This was announced today by the Fietsersbond (Cyclists’ Union) in the Netherlands. Although I made it no secret that … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Gemeente Nijmegen uitgeroepen tot Fietsstad 2016

Fietsberaad - 19 May, 2016 - 01:00

De gemeente Nijmegen is volgens de Fietsersbond de beste Fietsstad van Nederland. Het is de uitkomst van de verkiezing van Fietsstad 2016. 

Categories: News

Maak een virtuele fietstocht door New York

Fietsberaad - 18 May, 2016 - 01:00

Altijd al eens willen rondfietsen in Kopenhagen? Of in New York? Een speciale website met videobeelden biedt de mogelijkheid om een virtuele fietstocht door de stad te maken.

Categories: News

Cycling Embassy of Denmark at the Norwegian National Cycling Conference

Cycling Embassy of Denmark - 17 May, 2016 - 13:40

The Norwegian National Cycling Conference (Den Nasjonale Sykkelkonferansen) is a biennial conference for planners, policy makers, and all other professionals, working with cycling in one shape or another. This year the conference will further the extensive focus of Norway to build a cycling culture. For this to happen a cohesive network of cycling infrastructure must […]

The post Cycling Embassy of Denmark at the Norwegian National Cycling Conference appeared first on Cycling Embassy of Denmark.

Categories: News

A ride from Market to Market (3)

BicycleDutch - 16 May, 2016 - 23:01
A high-speed cycle route from ʼs-Hertogenbosch to Zaltbommel had been considered feasible for a very long time, but it was never built. Two of the three municipalities the route runs … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

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