Feed aggregator

Zes nieuwe leden in programmaraad Fietsberaad

Fietsberaad - 2 hours 37 min ago

De programmaraad van CROW-Fietsberaad speelt een belangrijke rol bij de keuze van de activiteiten die CROW-Fietsberaad uitvoert. Zes nieuwe leden hebben de Raad versterkt. 

Categories: News

It begins with the children – Danish Cyclists’ Federation speaking at Estonian traffic conference

Cycling Embassy of Denmark - 30 October, 2014 - 09:36
Political consultant in the Danish Cyclists’ Federation, Jakob Schiøtt Stenbæk Madsen, is speaking at Estonian traffic education conference on October 30th. Jakob will speak about the unique Danish bicycle culture for children. Children is a specific focus area at the Danish Cyclists’ Federation. The philosophy is, that cyclists starting early, will keep riding their bikes for the rest of their […]
Categories: News

Bikes no enemy of London's night-time economy as theatres flock to support Cycle Superhighways

ibikelondon - 30 October, 2014 - 08:30
In a clear sign that the West End's thriving night-time economy and cycling can go hand in hand, the Mayor of London’s plans to build new Cycle Superhighways are finding support in the theatre industry.


Support grows for Space4Cycling in London
The Royal Opera House recently joined Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and the Young Vic in pledging their support for the ambitious cycling plans, which have come under attack from some corporate groups.

In addition, scenery constructors Factory Settings Ltd and theatrical lighting suppliers White Light Ltd have also backed the proposals.

The two superhighways will join up existing and planned routes to create the longest substantially-segregated urban cycleway in Europe, running 18 miles from Barking to Acton.

They will have the capacity to move 6,000 people each hour, the equivalent of 20 extra Tube trains or 82 additional London buses.

Proposals to introduce night time parking charges across the West End in 2011 caused consternation for theatres and evening entertainment venues, but the opposite seems to be the case for the Mayor's bold cycling plans.

Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, Alex Beard CBE, said in a statement:

“Like many organisations in London, a growing number of our 1,000 employees cycle to work. I am sure that an even larger proportion of our team would cycle if they felt comfortable and safe on the roads. It is also clear that cycling is used by an increasing number of visitors to the Covent Garden area and indeed our audience members

“We value employee satisfaction, health, and freedom and that’s why we endorse the plans outlined by TfL to create new segregated routes through the heart of the city. The proposed north–south and east–west routes will help us attract and retain the employees our business needs to continue to thrive. They will make London a more attractive city in which we can build and run our operations.”


Riders calling on the Mayor to build safe space for cycling pass through London's West End on a recent bicycle demonstration.
In November 2012 dancer Sofoklis Kostoulas, 31, was killed in a collision with a tipper lorry whilst cycling on the Bethnal Green Road, east London. He had recently performed in the London 2012 Olympic festival. Twenty-year-old actor and model David Poblet was killed whilst cycling on Tooley Street, south London, in March 2011 just days after completing his auditions at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to study a BA in acting. Fourteen cyclists were killed in London in 2013, six in a two-week period last November.

CyclingWorks.London is a group coordinating business responses to the cycling proposals. Their spokesperson Chris Kenyon said:

“We’re thrilled to have the support of some of the biggest names in London’s theatre industry for these game-changing cycling proposals. If built, the Cycle Superhighways will allow many more Londoners to get to and from theatres, restaurants and the West End in a safe, sustainable and enjoyable manner

“More and more businesses recognise the importance of these plans in helping to keep their employees safe, their businesses attractive, and in helping to make London a smoothly-running global city.

“I would urge other theatres to join the Young Vic, the Globe and the Royal Opera House in supporting these plans.” 

Transport for London’s consultation on the Cycle Superhighways run until Sunday, November 9th 2014.

Business can add their support via the CyclingWorks.London website whilst individuals can join 5,000 others and sign this LCC petition.
Share |

Categories: Views

Proef met hardfietsers naar de rijbaan

Fietsberaad - 30 October, 2014 - 00:00

Hardfietsers de mogelijkheid geven op de rijbaan te fietsen in plaats van op het fietspad, voorziet op sommige locaties in een behoefte. Dat toont de proef aan die de gemeente Franekeradeel in samenwerking met de Fietsersbond uitvoerde in Franeker en Ried. 

Categories: News

Toucan Play That Game – Let’s not make the mistake of continuing to lump pedestrians and cyclists together

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 29 October, 2014 - 23:33

A new style ‘zebra’ crossing with a cycle crossing bolted onto it is in place in Bexley.

Picture courtesy of Phil Jones

This is a trial version of this new type of crossing, which is proposed in the Department for Transport’s consultation on TSRGD 2015 [pdf] -

Some people (including me!) have been a wee bit sceptical about this crossing, and so I think it’s worth setting out why, in long form.

Before I get started, it’s obviously worth stating that priority crossings for bikes are plainly a very good idea in principle, and it’s great that the DfT are open to new ideas, and that this kind of crossing (which could work well, in the right circumstances) is being trialled, on street. I am an optimist, and this does represent progress.

However, there are grounds for concern. Mainly, it’s that this design remains a pedestrian-specific piece of infrastructure, that has had some cycle provision bolted onto it.

Walking and cycling are different modes of transport, with different design requirements, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to lump them in together, on the same crossing.

This is why I made comments voicing concern about this crossing actually being given a name, because doing so legitimises treating walking and cycling the same way. As we shall see, the Dutch don’t name walking and cycling crossings that happen to be next to each other, for the obvious reason that they are entirely separate things.

Toucan

There is, of course, an existing British crossing that lumps pedestrians and cyclists in together, that has a name – the Toucan.

Toucan crossing, Hyde Park Corner, London. Note how cyclists and pedestrians mingle with each other, despite their different speeds and requirements.

I think it’s fair to say that Toucans are a pedestrian-specific piece of infrastructure that have had cycling bodged into them. They are pedestrian crossings that simply allow cycling, and for that reason they are sub-optimal.

They tend to treat people who are cycling as pedestrians, rather than giving them their own clear distinct routes across junctions. It makes cycling slower and more inconvenient. It’s bad for people cycling, and it’s also bad for people walking, as it creates confusion and unnecessary hazards.

Toucans are obviously not worse than having no cycle crossing at all, but they are worse than crossings that treat pedestrians and cyclists separately. Finally, toucan crossings can provide an incentive to create ‘sharing’ areas away from the crossings – shared used pavements, and so on – because the crossings themselves are shared.

A Toucan at Stratford, with shared use footways on either side

Flexibility, and designing separately

Now it is possible to delineate Toucan crossings, providing separate walking and cycling routes across a junction, as in this example from Jitensha Oni -

Courtesy of Jitensha Oni

But we don’t have to do this – it’s perfectly possible to provide a cycle crossing that is entirely separate from a pedestrian one, with their own respective signals, rather than one set of ‘Toucan’ signals.

Tavistock Place cycle track, with signals, running parallel to separate pedestrian crossing

And this is, unsurprisingly, how the Dutch design. They treat walking and cycling as different modes, and provide separate signals, and crossing paths, rather than lumping the modes in together, like a Toucan would.

Besides the crossing routes keeping the two modes separate, there are good reasons for doing this. Pedestrians and cyclists will take different amounts of time to cross a road, and the signals can be adjusted accordingly, with pedestrians given more time. If there are no pedestrians waiting to cross, the ‘green time’ can be shorter.

Of course, the kind of crossing pictured above doesn’t have a name – it’s, well, a bike crossing that happens to be near to a crossing for pedestrians.

And much the same is true of the way the Dutch treat unsignalised crossings. The pedestrian crossing (zebra or otherwise) is a separate element from the cycling crossing, which may or may not have priority. Sometimes the two ‘bits’ are close to each other, sometimes they are not – but at no point are they the same ‘thing’.

This means the Dutch have a great deal of flexibility in how they design crossings. They can, for instance, put a (two-stage) bicycle crossing, without priority, next to a zebra, if that makes sense. Pedestrians have priority on the zebra, but cyclists don’t have priority.

Of course, you could have the same arrangement, but with cycling priority. The key point is flexibility, and treating the two modes separately, at all times.

However, this flexibility is not available with the DfT’s proposed new ‘combined’ zebra crossing, which, to repeat, is a cycle crossing tacked onto a pedestrian crossing. It’s worth quoting here what the Cycling Embassy had to say about this ‘cycle zebra’ -

We are concerned that the proposed ‘cycle zebra’ is simply repeating the mistakes of shared use paths and toucan crossings – namely, that cyclists are simply ‘botched in’ to an existing design, without concern for the needs of cyclists.

We are particularly concerned that there is insufficient difference between the proposed ‘cycle zebra’ and an ordinary zebra crossing, and that drivers may not appreciate the need to yield to (faster) approaching cyclists…

We also note that there is potential for great ambiguity (and hence danger) in the existing rules for zebra crossings, whereby drivers must give way only once pedestrians are on the crossing itself. The dangers of this ambiguity are intensified with faster moving cyclists.

We also feel that the regulations with respect to crossings do not give sufficient flexibility to allow for appropriate crossings to be designed in many circumstances, particularly in the vicinity of road junctions. (For instance, the use of elephants’ footprint markings, with give markings, to indicate cycle track crossings across junctions).

Consequently we suggest that controlled area ‘zig-zag’ markings, zebra crossing markings, and elephants’ footprints cycle crossing markings should be prescribed separately as ‘building blocks’, and that it should be the responsibility of the designer to identify how or if these should be combined in each particular instance, including allowing for combinations with stop and give way lines at junctions.

There are practical problems with cyclists using zebra crossings in this way, because of priority rules that only give priority to pedestrians once they are actually on the crossing. This is really quite unhelpful (and potentially dangerous) for cyclists, who will obviously usually be arriving at crossings at a greater speed than pedestrians.

People cycling would really benefit, instead, from a much more straightforward cycle-specific priority crossing, that can simply be placed adjacent to a pedestrian-specific zebra.

Cycle zebra?

Once this new ‘cycle zebra’ crossing has a name, I fear it will encourage – just as the Toucan crossing has – the employment of shared use footways, and general ambiguity in the areas surrounding crossings, because that’s the easiest way out for designers who don’t have a great deal of interest in doing things properly.

As the Embassy response argues, it would be far better if we could employ priority cycling crossings (something we can already provide!) in the vicinity of zebras, while continuing to treat the two crossings as distinct, separate elements, rather than putting an ambiguous cycle crossing onto the zebra itself.

This ‘building block’ technique, as employed by the Dutch, gives much greater flexibility to designers and engineers – they can decide where to place crossings, how to mark them up, and whether or not to give priority to pedestrians and/or cyclists.

It’s laudable that the DfT are (finally!) open to new ideas, but I worry that this minor ‘cycle zebra’ concession may lead us down an unhelpful path, already trodden by the Toucan, and actually inhibit the development of the more useful and practical ‘building block’ approach – which would also require some stripping away of the (often needless) requirements for zebra crossings.

Time will tell.


Categories: Views

Road diet XXL for an intersection in Den Bosch

BicycleDutch - 29 October, 2014 - 23:01
To improve traffic situations for pedestrians and people cycling, road managers can decide to build extravagant infrastructure. Most of the time, however, it is much easier and much more effective … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Back in action!

Velo Vision - 28 October, 2014 - 12:28
We'll be catching up on correspondence and news ASAP after the holiday pause...
Categories: News

VeloVisionaries ride report - and a revived York Rally is planned for 2015!

Velo Vision - 28 October, 2014 - 12:28
Ten riders headed to the pub on what would have been the Rally weekend. Next year, the York Rally should be back on the Knavesmire on the 20/21 June 2015...
Categories: News

Why do cyclists fear being banned from busy roads ? Is it faster to cycle on roads than cycle-paths ? What really makes cycling safe and convenient for everyone ?

A View from the Cycle Path - 28 October, 2014 - 12:07
Assen's cycle-racing circuit a few daysago. All types of cycle racing are extra- ordinarily popular in the Netherlands, hence even many smaller cities have specially built cycling circuits on which people ride extremely quickly. A fear which is often expressed, especially in the UK but also in other countries with little cycling, is that adoption of Dutch style cycling infrastructure will David Hembrowhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/14543024940730663645noreply@blogger.com0http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2014/10/why-do-cyclists-fear-being-banned-from.html
Categories: Views

Event: Ring the leaders – IPCC gathered in Copenhagen

Cycling Embassy of Denmark - 28 October, 2014 - 10:28
UNs Climate Panel, IPCC, are gathered in Copenhagen from 27th-31th october, to finish the Fifth Assessment Report, that will provide a clear and up to date view of the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change. On this occasion, the Municipality of Copenhagen and the Danish Cyclists’ Federation held an event for NGOs, volunteers and cyclists, at the […]
Categories: News

Who will steal Laura Trotts' crown as Queen of the Track? My race report from London's spectacular velodrome

ibikelondon - 28 October, 2014 - 08:30



A tremendous season of track cycling got underway at the Lee Valley Velodrome this weekend, when the first round of the Revolution Series returned to London.  With headline names, explosive races and the world's longest track stand competition, there was plenty to keep the crowds entertained.  And with five more rounds of the Revolution Series across the country coming up, and the UCI Track Cycling World Cup coming back to London in December there were plenty of riders ready to show us - and each other - just what the are made of.





In addition to the banks of seating surrounding the track, lucky ticket holders (and this lucky blogger) were entertained from the track centre where a bar had been built especially for the event, just metres from the athletes warming up and within touching distance of the track where riders rushed past.  It's here you really appreciate the pitch of that famous Siberian pine, and the pace these riders push themselves to.  Welshman Lewis Oliva of Team USN pedalled past the 40MPH mark to win the UCI Sprint over visitor Juan Peralta from Spain, showing just what London's incredible velodrome is capable of.

The warm up zone feels like a great, whirling beehive.  Athletes zip in and out on their bikes, toing and froing from the track. Others go wild on the rollers, thrashing them so hard they look fit to break.  Excited media buzz about looking to synch an interview with double Olympic champion Laura Trott as she prepares for her showdown with Dutch star Marianne Vos.  Meanwhile, riders preparing to race stare in to the distance; thinking about their opponents, thinking about their tactics, thinking about winning.  Lights glare and music booms.





I've often wondered what track cyclists think about as they warm up for their races.  There's nowhere to hide in a track centre, with 4,000 pairs of eyes watching your every move expectantly.  There's more than just a little touch of theatre about velodromes.  For all of the bravado of the preparation, no matter how much you rehearse, once you're on the track itself it is time for you to deliver.  No time for mistakes, no second chances.  And plenty of potential for a really fast, really high screw up.





The showdown between Laura Trott and the indefatigable Marianne Vos had been the big draw card for the crowds, but in the end Trott aced it wining six out of a potential six wins in the Women's Omnium.  At the end of the day, her specialisation in track gave her the upper hand over the more generalist competition.  It was the same for Germany's Christian Grasmann and Marcel Kalz from track experts Maloja Pushbikers (formerly Rudy Project RT).  Last year's Revolution Series-winning team came in strong from the start, leading the field by the end of the two day's racing.  The Germans dominated each of their events (and seemed to enter all of them!), and look to be in fine form for the December World Cup.





"The fastest track in the world" lived up to its name, with speeds delivered in excess of 40MPH on the home straight, to the delight of the crowds.  The Hopkins-designed velodrome continues to excel as the most beautiful in Britain and the best for spectating.  With seating stretching all the way round the track, the roars of the crowd follow each rider as they spin round and around, pushed along by a pulsating wall of shouts and cheers.





Maldon-born Alex Dowsett was a popular addition to proceedings, with perhaps the biggest cheer of the night reserved for when he lapped the field in the Madison Time Trial.  And the HOY Future  Stars - the up and coming talent of Britain's younger track cyclists - made up for their lack of experience with a bucketful of guts, delivering edge-of-your-seat races which belied the rider's young age.





But all told, the night belonged to Maloja Pushbikers.  Keen to capitalise on their elite series win in 2013, they are the team to beat for this year's Revolution rounds.  Will newcomers Orica Green Edge or seasoned hands Sky be able to keep up?  And in the women's field, can anyone face up to steal Laura Trott's crown as queen of the track?  It's going to be an exciting season of track cycling ahead.



The UCI Track Cycling World Cup is hosted by London at the Lee Valley Velodrome from 5th to the 7th of December - tickets are still available for some sessions, but are selling out fast.

The Revolution Series returns to London in February for two more days of high octane action.  Tickets - including exclusive track centre passes - are on sale now.

You can catch the highlights of this weekend's Revolution Series Round 1 on Channel 4 on Saturday morning at 7AM and afterwards on 4OD.

Share |
Categories: Views

Sluiting Dutch Cycling Embassy afgewend

Fietsberaad - 28 October, 2014 - 00:00

De dreigende sluiting van de Dutch Cycling Embassy lijkt afgewend. Staatsecretaris Mansveld heeft voor de komende drie jaar een bijdrage van 2 ton jaarijks toegezegd.

Categories: News

Sluiting Dutch Cycling Embassy dreigt

Fietsberaad - 28 October, 2014 - 00:00

De Dutch Cycling Embassy dreigt om te vallen. Door het uitblijven van financiële steun vanuit IenM kunnen de salarissen niet meer worden betaald, zo stelt het bestuur.

Categories: News

Welkom op de Nederland

Pedestrianise London - 27 October, 2014 - 22:05

It’s been all quiet on Pedestrianise London for far too long, and for that I can only apologise. Over the last 3 years since I started this blog, the cycling climate in London has changed and the beginnings of change are starting to be seen.

So why the radio silence? Over the last 6 months I’ve been busy moving my family and my life out of London and to the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. I think there comes a time for most non-native Londoners when you know you have to leave before the city completely consumes you. With my wife being from Rotterdam, my young daughter being of pre-school age and thus immune to large lifestyle disruptions, and family living nearby, this feels like the sensible move for us.

I hope to continue to write stuff here, but hopefully with more of a lean on how things are done in Holland’s 2nd city (and beyond).

"But", I hear you say, "I don’t know anything about Rotterdam", well, it’s the 2nd largest city in the Netherlands (after Amsterdam) and the largest port in the Europe. It’s situated in the province of South Holland at the south end of the Randstad economic area, has a population of 600,000 people, 1.6 million in the greater Rijnmond area, oh, and it was bombed completely flat in the 2nd World War and was thus totally rebuilt in the 1950’s, as such it’s renowned for it’s crazy architecture.

Oh, and of course, bicycles.

Categories: Views

How to make public space dull – fill it with cars

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 27 October, 2014 - 13:51

The visualisations Transport for London have been producing recently for the Superhighways – and for the Oval junction redesign – have attracted some comment from naysayers, about how little motor traffic is shown.

By implication, TfL have wished motor traffic out of existence, not showing the horrendous congestion that, it is alleged, will result following the reallocation of roadspace.

There’s undoubtedly an element of truth to this. The purpose of a visualisation is to sell the scheme being proposed, and showing congestion isn’t a great selling point.

But I don’t think there’s any grand conspiracy here – any visualisation of a new road or street scheme will tend to show very little motor traffic, Exhibition Road being a fairly typical example.

However, the reason for this is probably much more mundane than any attempt to pull the wool over the public’s eyes, regarding potential congestion. It’s that filling a visualisation with cars doesn’t make the space you are presenting very attractive. Who wants to look at hundreds of fairly anonymous metal boxes, when you could instead show human beings, smiling, walking, interacting with each other?

Indeed, more generally, cars are very dull things to fill public space with.

Don’t get me wrong - some cars are attractive, and nice to look at. But plonking large numbers of average-looking cars on roads and streets makes those spaces much, much less interesting than if they were filled with people.

Who wants to look at this?

Or this?

Pretty uninteresting. By contrast, public space filled with human beings…

… is much more diverting.

That’s why visualisations tend not to include large numbers of motor vehicles – even if that’s unrealistic.


Categories: Views

Gemengde reacties na proefrijden met ‘High Speed E-Bike’

Fietsberaad - 27 October, 2014 - 00:00

‘Dat ding gaat als de brandweer!’, aldus een van de deelnemers aan de High Speed E-Bike Battle: een estafettewedstrijd tussen bestuurders en ondernemers uit de FoodValley regio met de ‘opgevoerde’ elektrische fiets. Maar deelnemers wezen ook op de risico’s van fietsen met 40 km/uur.

Categories: News

Copenhagenizing Bangkok - Suvarnabhumi Airport Cycle Track

Copenhagenize - 25 October, 2014 - 08:30


A team from Copenhagenize Design Company recently returned from Bangkok where we had the pleasure of working on an exciting project. It is fantastic to be surprised. Thailand's second largest bank, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), have constructed a 23.5 km long cycle track around Bangkok International Airport - Suvarnabhumi. The beginning of one of the most impressive CSR projects we've ever seen and we are excited to be a part of it. It's not every day projects on this scale see the light of day and we had a fantastic site visit with our partners from SCB, King Power and Superjeew Event.

Copenhagenize Design Company have been hired to take the basic idea and simply make it World-Class. It's a brilliant combination of placemaking, infrastructure, planning and communication for a destination for cyclists and Citizen Cyclists alike. Basically developing what could be one of the most interesting bicycle destinations in the world.


copenhagenize@suvarnabhumi bike track from Viwat Wongphattarathiti on Vimeo.
Copenhagenize Rides the Suvarnabhumi Track

Bascially, SCB, together with Airports of Thailand (AOT) who own the land, took an access road along the perimeter of the airport and resurfaced it in a bright, green colour - 4 m wide - to create a one-way cycle track for recreational/sport cycling. The road is inside the airport's moat designed for flood protection and outside of the fence leading to the runways and airport's operational area.

For obvious security reasons, there is only one access point and the cycle track is one-way along the entire 23.5 km length.

Mie, Anina and Mikael from Copenhagenize Design Company on the site-visit.

At the moment, the airport cycle track is in a basic form. The cycle track loops around the airport but there are no facilities. It is open from 06:00-18:00 each day. On the Sunday morning that we visited for our site visit, we arrived at 07:30. The security team at the entrance informed us that 6000 people had already entered the track. Six thousand! An astonishing number. On average, there are 3000 people a day on a weekday using it - primarily in the morning and afternoon before and after work but also because the temperature is cooler.

Riding along the 23.5 km length, we never really felt that it was crowded with 6000 cyclists. They all spread out nicely along the track, what with differing speeds.


There was a great variety of cyclists on the track. The vast majority were kitted out in cyclist clothes and riding racing bikes in a wide spectrum of skill levels. There were groups of riders muscling past at speed and there were couples, friends and individuals enjoying some exercise.

There were a few kids out on the track, too. Copenhagenize rocked the track on three Bromptons provided by our hosts.


At the start area, a short 1 km track has been added so that kids - or less-experienced cyclists - can go for a spin as well.


At this stage, Copenhagenize Design Company is in the midst of the consultation process so we'll have to wait with writing about our catalogue of ideas for how to take this fantastic facility and make it truly world-class.

Until then we are amazed that it even exists.

Bangkok is not exactly known for being a bicycle-friendly city. While Copenhagenize Design Company primarily works with cities on transport infrastructure, this project is too amazing to resist for us. We are convinced that making it into a world-class destination will have a powerful knock-on effect for improving conditions for cyclists in the city itself, where bicycle advocates are fighting an inspired fight.


Like getting this separated bicycle facility put into place on one street in Bangkok.

The airport cycle track may be a roundabout way of doing it, but the local advocates are doing great work so it will all go hand in hand. The Prime Minister of Thailand helped us all out by announcing, on the day before we arrived in Thailand, that he wants Thai cities to focus on bicycles as transport in Thai cities. So thanks, Mr Prayuth Chan-ocha, for that.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.
Categories: Views

Kerbside activity

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 24 October, 2014 - 13:36

The issue of ‘kerbside activity’ and cycling infrastructure comes up intermittently.

In plain language, this is loading, and dropping off/setting down, and how it works with cycle tracks between the loading/drop-off point, and the footway. Just last month, the Freight Transport Association responded to Transport for London’s detailed proposals for the N-S and E-W Superhighways in London, with a particular focus on this point.

FTA’s message to Boris Johnson is that whilst it supports the development of infrastructure which improves safety for cyclists, the association is also asking him to remember that the people of London depend on goods being delivered and collected.

Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London said:

“FTA supports the development of new cyclist infrastructure which is targeted on improving safety for cyclists, and believes it can provide real benefits. But cyclists are only one user of the road and the needs of all must be considered – Londoners depend on the goods our members supply every hour of every day. It is important that these schemes are carried out in such a way that they do not unduly disrupt traffic flow or prevent kerbside access for deliveries to businesses and homes.”

FTA added that it must be recognised that delivery and servicing activity does not only take place in high street locations but on many different street types including residential streets, therefore full segregation in these locations may hinder access for deliveries. In such areas, FTA favours the use of other measures such as ‘armadillos’ or giant cat’s eyes, which provide partial segregation stronger than painted white lines, but at the same time enable vehicles to access the kerbside. [my emphasis]

My understanding of this passage is that the Freight Transport Association favours the kind of cycling infrastructure that HGVs and vans can park on, obstructing it, so they can park right next to the kerb. In other words – cycling infrastructure that, while nice in theory, is functionally useless, if it’s going to be used as a parking bay.

Armadillos, and ‘kerbside activity’. Picture by @the_moodster

Similar reasoning appeared recently from Hackney councillor Vincent Stops, who argues that cycle tracks are not appropriate where there is kerbside activity.

Likewise the British Beer and Pub Association had this to say in response to the House of Commons Transport Committee on Cycling Safety -

Segregated cycle lanes already cause particular issues for pub deliveries. Manual handling of bulk beer containers such as kegs and casks (as specified in current Health & Safety Regulations) ideally requires the delivery vehicle to be sited at the kerb-side outside the premises. Physically segregated lanes prevent this access

Given that loading and parking has to occur pretty much everywhere on main roads – where cycle tracks will almost always be necessary – then if we take these objections at face value, continuous cycling infrastructure, separated physically form motor traffic, is an impossibility.

But is this really true? How does the Netherlands manage to cope? Deliveries and loading still take place on their main roads, as well as people parking, and dropping off passengers – and these are roads that will often have cycle tracks.

Well, it’s not really that hard. HGVs and vans park in marked bays outside the cycle track, and then load across it, and the footway.

You can see this happening in this recent picture from Mark Wagenbuur -

Courtesy of Mark Wagenbuur

The delivery driver has put a home made ‘watch out’ sign on the cycle track as an extra (albeit slightly obstructive) precaution. But it’s clear that loading across a cycle track is hardly an insurmountable problem – it’s not really any more difficult than loading across a footway, provided that the cycle track is well-designed, with low level, mountable kerbing between it and the footway, as in both these Dutch examples.

I suspect the objections from these groups are based partly on assumptions about existing patterns of cycling behaviour in places like London – cyclists are perceived as fast and silent car-like objects, whizzing around like vehicles, rather than as the more sedate mode of transport it is in places where cycle tracks are commonplace in the urban realm. It’s easier to imagine loading  across a cycle track with these kinds of people moving along it -

… than one with people clad in lycra, riding on racing bikes, in cycle-specific clothing. That’s not to criticise this latter group – it’s just that perceptions can be skewed, because the existing environment tends to exclude other types of cycling.

Their objections are probably also based on their understanding of existing UK segregated infrastructure, which will often  present loading issues, due to the use of unforgiving, high kerbing, which is an additional obstacle for drivers to load objects across.

A poor example in Camden, with high kerbs that are difficult to load across – as well as being bad for cycling

But this is poor design – cycle tracks shouldn’t be constructed like this, not least because it’s bad for cycling, as well as for people loading. Cycle tracks can and should fit seamlessly into the urban realm, allowing easy loading across them. It can be done – just look at best practice, across the North Sea.


Categories: Views

Promoting cycling on state level in Denmark

Cycling Embassy of Denmark - 24 October, 2014 - 10:46
The Danish cycle culture is fostered on many levels both local and national, and the state has played a significant role the past five years. By Zofia Jagielska, Danish Road Directorate The Danish Road Directorate recently presented results of the “Cycle Fund” at a national landscape conference in Warsaw, Poland. The conference was held by […]
Categories: News

New York Journalist Covers Cycling in Denmark and Scandinavia

Copenhagenize - 23 October, 2014 - 09:32
This just in... hot off the presses. As always, Copenhagenize has its finger on the pulse of breaking news.

A roving New York reporter covers cycling in Scandinavia.

"If for nothing else the bicycle is blessed in Scandinavia because it saves time."

"No other country has done more for the pleasure and comfort of its wheelmen than Denmark..."

"The construction of pavements takes in consideration what best can serve the interests of cyclists, and cycle paths are provided near all cities, in some instances leading miles away from town into the country."

"...ride to market on their bicycles with baskets strapped to their backs, and other baskets dangling from the handle-bars of the wheel. ... they seldom come to grief, and manage to keep their equilibrium to their journey's end."

From the New York Sun. 19 February 1897. 42,979 days ago (based on today's date)
(The Sun was a New York newspaper that was published from 1833 until 1950. It was considered a serious paper, like the city's two more successful broadsheets The New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune. The Sun was the most politically conservative of the three.)

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.
Categories: Views

Pages

Subscribe to Cycling Embassy of Great Britain aggregator