At this year’s CIVITAS Forum Conference the Danish project CykelScore (BikeScore) was awarded with a runner up prize in the category “Technical Innovation”. CykelScore. Win the lottery CykelScore was developed by the company Kofoed & Co, like Odense also a member of the Cycling Embassy of Denmark. In short, the CykelScore concept is to attach […]
The post European acknowledgement of cycle project initiated by the Municipality of Odense appeared first on Cycling Embassy of Denmark.
A few weeks ago the City of London held a cycling safety event, aimed in particular at women, following an astonishing 30 serious injuries to female cyclists in the Square Mile since 2010, and three deaths.
And this week a haulage company was running a similar event in Cambridge, with a familiar-looking shape on the ground in front of an HGV.
— Camb. Cycling Cam. (@camcycle) October 6, 2015
It’s hard to criticise these events – they are, after all, well-meaning, and for the people who attend them they may learn something about the potentially lethal dangers posed by cycling on the carriageway with HGVs, and with motor vehicles in general.
The City of London Corporation wants to encourage more women to ride to work as part of a target of having 10 per cent of journeys made by bike. Today’s events include a conference and an “Exchanging Places” event until 4pm in Guildhall Yard that will enable women to experience the “blind spots” that limit the view of cyclists and pedestrians from the cab of a HGV.
But of course these events are only scratching the surface of the problem. They can’t possibly reach everyone who cycles on Britain’s roads, and even the tiny minority of people that do attend will still make mistakes, or errors, that could result in death or serious injury.
These certainly aren’t the kinds of events that you could imagine being run by any other branch of transportation. Because the message is effectively –
find out just how dangerous your transport environment is, thanks to our indifference and/or negligence.
It’s like the airline industry running an event publicising the dangers of sitting in particular seats on the plane.
Yes, those are the seats to avoid. Unfortunately they do have a tendency to fall out of the plane.
Or – to parallel the way these ‘Exchanging Places’ advise you not to use exact same painted markings that have been applied on the road ‘for cycling’ –
Low-level lighting will guide you to the nearest exit. Except that under certain circumstances that lighting should be completely ignored, as it may lead you to an extremely dangerous area of the plane.
Or – to parallel ‘educating’ people to cycle away from parked cars – perhaps a bus company advising you on how to safely use their buses.
Please be aware that, although we have provided seats at the side of the bus, these are in places where panels can suddenly swing out and hit you. Stay out of the ‘panel zone’.
Events like these, warning of these kinds of dangers, would be laughable, scandalous even, but they’re completely standard fare when it comes to cycle transportation. The only reason we’re not rolling around laughing, or gasping with horror, is that they come against a background of decades of inertia; decades of assuming that it’s completely fine to mix human beings on bicycles with very large vehicles, or vehicles moving at high speed. Decades of assuming it’s fine to paint stuff on the road under the pretence it might achieve something, even if that paint should selectively be ignored. Decades of assuming that if you don’t fancy riding a bike in that environment, then… tough. Or, have you tried some cycle training?
This is only normal because, well, we’ve just grown to accept it.
Meanwhile there’s a country just a few hundred miles away which doesn’t accept this. Which attempts to apply the same rigour about safety for people cycling that we rightly expect from other modes of transportation.
… That prevents HGVs from turning, when you are moving through a junction.
… That ensures minimal interactions with motor traffic, whatever the road or street, whatever the location.
It’s actually quite shocking when you come across evidence that the country hasn’t always been like this; when you find those roads and junctions that remain unaddressed, relics from the past, when (like in Britain today) the country just expected people to get on with it, to mix with large vehicles and hazardous situations as best they can.
The country was changed; principally by consistently applying the same kinds of standards that we expect when we travel by other modes of transport, to cycling.
Why should we tolerate different standards in Britain?
De Europese transportministers, onlangs bijeen in Luxemburg, benadrukken dat de fiets in veel Europese steden onmisbaar is voor het verminderen van congestie. Bovendien is de fiets - productie, onderhoud, gebruik en brandstofgebruik in aanmerking nemend - het aangewezen vervoermiddel als het gaat om het bestrijden van broeikasgassen.
Tussen Nijmegen, Malden, Mook en Cuijk komt een snelfietsroute. Deze zorgt ervoor dat de grootste werklocatie in Gelderland: campus Heyendaal beter bereikbaar wordt.
Today marks a special day for cycling. It is the first informal meeting of the EU and EFTA Transport Ministers, only discussing cycling in a so called “EU Cycling Summit”. This is an acknowledgement of the benefits of cycling and a call to get EU to develop a coherent strategy on cycling across the region. […]
The post Strong Danish representation in top EU Cycling Summit appeared first on Cycling Embassy of Denmark.
Op het Lucasbolwerk in Utrecht zijn twee nieuwe fietsenrekken geplaatst. De gemeente wil hier in de praktijk ervaren hoe de rekken kort parkeren faciliteren, als fietsenrek functioneren en inpasbaar zijn in de omgeving.
Underpasses have a pretty dreadful reputation in Britain; a reputation so dreadful that councils, planners, developers and highway engineers can point to public attitudes and say ‘people don’t like underpasses! Why should we provide them?’
But – just as with cycling infrastructure in general – poor implementation of a particular concept doesn’t mean that concept itself should be ruled entirely. Britain has, in recent history, built a great deal of pretty awful attempts at protected cycleways on main roads, but that doesn’t mean protected cycleways aren’t a very good idea, if they are implemented properly.
And precisely the same is true for underpasses. All too often British underpasses are murky, poorly lit, prone to flooding, inconvenient, socially unsafe – or all of the above.
These are the kinds of pictures developers and councils use to argue that pedestrians (and people cycling) prefer at-grade crossings – crossings at surface level, where motor traffic has to be dealt with at signalised crossings (or just by dashing across the road).
Just one of example of this is the argument by a developer that
‘At grade’ crossings are generally more attractive to pedestrians and cyclists due to reduced distances and the avoidance of ramps or stairs, so are the preferred solution.
Of course, this is context-dependent. Underpasses shouldn’t be used in town centre locations. These are places which should not really be carrying the motor traffic levels that make underpasses an attractive alternative (or should be an attractive alternative).
However, if the road being crossed is a major through-road, or a very busy distributor road, typically with high motor traffic speeds, then I would argue that underpasses (and to a lesser extent bridges), rather than surface crossings, are actually essential.
For a start, failing to provide an underpass doesn’t magically address the severance problem presented by the road. It still has to be crossed, and that will be much more inconvenient with a series of signalised crossings, which will introduce delay (how much delay depends on the number of crossings and the willingness of the highway authority to allocate time to walking and cycling across busy roads).
Underpasses present no delay whatsoever – as they are totally separate from the road system, they can be cycled (and walked) through with impunity.
Likewise underpasses present none of the safety issues that might arise with an at-grade crossing, particularly the temptation to dash across the road if (as is most likely) there is considerable delay waiting for a green signal to cross.
And underpasses do not have to look like the dirty and grimy British examples presented here. They can be light, airy and well-lit.
This same underpass is also surrounded by housing, is open, and overlooked – it feels like it is connected to the neighbourhood, ensuring high levels of social safety.
So, in short, the problems with ‘British’ underpasses are not innate problems with underpasses in general. With care and effort (and expenditure!) underpasses can be genuinely attractive and safe, particularly because they do not involve interactions with motor traffic on the fast and busy road that would have to be crossed at surface level.
And underpasses can also be used strategically to privilege walking and cycling, by creating direct routes that simply don’t exist for motor traffic. The underpass that features in these three photographs here is a brilliant example. It forms part of a dead straight desire line, connecting the centre of one new development with the centre of another, crossing a four carriageway N-road (the equivalent of a British A-road), a railway and a service road.
This route does not exist for motor traffic, which has to go the long way round, using the N-road (a through-road) that the underpass itself passes under.
Underpasses can obviously be poorly designed, and placed in locations where the priority should be to create an attractive surface environment, with reduced motor traffic levels – particularly within urban areas.
But that should not blind us to the fact that they can and should be used strategically as part of safe, convenient routes for walking and cycling, where major roads that are in the right places (bypasses, for instance) have to be crossed, providing direct routes for these modes that don’t exist for driving.
On October 7-9, Chairman of the CED, Marianne Weinreich, travels to Ljubljana for CIVITAS Forum 2015. With the theme “sharing the city”, this year’s conference has a strong focus on sustainable urban mobility as an essential driver for building accessible and liveable cities. So of course, the Danes will be there to share our best […]
The post Cycling Embassy Chairman to speak at CIVITAS Forum 2015 appeared first on Cycling Embassy of Denmark.
Nederland krijgt een nieuwe OV-fiets. De belangrijkste verbeteringen: een aluminium frame met geïntegreerde koplamp en een ruime bagagedrager.
Is it business-as-usual for cycling ‘improvements’ in London, away from the high-profile cycle routes that are currently being built in the capital? Last week Transport for London released plans to improve Cycle Superhighway 7 in Balham which are, on the face of it, deeply disappointing.
They’re disappointing principally because space has been found for cycling here; the proposals largely involve a 2m mandatory cycle lane, which doesn’t allow driving within it. But the space that has been found – in one location, by taking away a motor vehicle lane that is currently painted blue and turning it into a genuine cycle lane – really should offer a much greater level of comfort and safety than what is proposed.
Why does the cycle lane on the right run on the outside of a parking bay, for instance? Why is there no bus stop bypass on the left?
The asterisk by ‘mandatory cycle lane’ directs us to this footnote –
‘It is not possible to provide a segregated cycle lane at this location due to access to residential properties being required’.
Well, this is pretty silly.
Presumably this claim is being used as a convenient excuse for not doing better than some paint on the carriageway, rather than actually being made in good faith, because it is of course entirely possible to build cycleways past residential properties, safely, and while still allowing residential access. If this wasn’t the case, then the Netherlands would not have been able to build any cycle infrastructure in urban areas!
Looking at this location on Streetview, it’s clear there is no shortage of space (that’s why 2m mandatory lanes are possible) and also that there really should not be any difficulty in providing kerb-protected lanes instead, with dropped kerbs to allow vehicular access to properties.
We don’t even need to look abroad for examples of how this might work; Old Shoreham Road in Brighton and Hove is composed almost entirely of residential properties, yet somehow the council has managed to build cycling infrastructure along the length of the road, without any problems – with, yes, dropped kerbs for access to residential properties.
So this is a pretty dismal and lazy excuse from Transport for London – can’t they come up with better proposals?
Onder uitgaanspubliek is het slecht gesteld met het voeren van fietsverlichting. Slechts 41 procent heeft zowel voor als achter licht op de fiets wanneer zij van of naar uitgaansgelegenheden fietsen.
Is it possible to build 4 miles of ‘cycle route’ with £300,000 of investment?
Obviously not; the answer is plain from a brief glance at my post from Monday. Spreading small amounts of money thinly will unfortunately achieve absolutely nothing. Problematic junctions and genuinely hostile roads will remain problematic and hostile, and crap bodges put into place in a half-hearted attempt to deal with those roads and junctions will amount to a waste of money; redundant, confused designs that would immediately be ripped out and replaced under any genuine cycle-friendly design.
Sadly, in most of Britain, this is where the ‘investment’ in cycling (what little of it there is) is going – down the plughole, on these crap bodges. There are undoubtedly countless examples of this kind of waste, but for me one design in particular exemplifies it. The ‘jug handle’ turn.
The ‘jug handle’ also features (inevitably) in Sustrans’ latest design guidance –
… and in a slightly different context (but equally ‘bodge-like’) in Transport for London’s new Cycle Design Standards.
Here is the description of this piece of design from LTN 2/08 –
Where cyclists travelling along a busy carriageway need to turn right to join a cycle track on the opposite side, it may be appropriate to get them to the central refuge via a jughandle turning on the nearside (see Figure 10.4). This gives them a safe waiting area away from moving traffic and provides good visibility for crossing the carriageway.
I’d disagree immediately with the final part of this paragraph; waiting in an almost parallel position to motor traffic thundering over your right shoulder does not give you ‘good visibility’. Genuine ‘good visibility’ would be supplied by a perpedicular crossing arrangement, like this –
… and not by something that requires you to crane your neck to look backwards over your shoulder.
But this isn’t my main issue with ‘jug handles’. It’s that, in their own terms, they are set up to fail; to be redundant pieces of design.
Note, first of all that they are to be employed on ‘busy roads’; roads where it is difficult to make right turns. Allegedly the jug handle makes it easier to cross, but in truth all it does is provide a safer place to wait than simply parking at the side of the road (as shown in this fairly horrific British safety film from 1983).
So, really, these are roads that should have some form of cycling infrastructure alongside them. If they are busy (and hostile) enough to merit a ‘jug handle’, then – in the interests of making cycling genuinely safe and attractive – these roads should have cycleways running alongside them, or motor traffic levels should be reduced to make cycleways (and indeed ‘jug handles’) redundant.
The ‘East-West’ route in Horsham has a number of new ‘jug handles’. The one that has been installed on North Street by the railway station is clearly somewhere that needs cycleways instead of ‘jug handles’.
This road is very busy; the main route north out of the town centre, carrying HGVs, buses, and plenty of general motor traffic. So the small number of people who are confident enough to cycle along it in the existing 80cm cycle lane will not be slowing down to bump up onto a cruddy piece of tarmac plonked in the verge, coming to a complete stop to make a right turn; they will just turn right regardless, avoiding it. And anyone who doesn’t fancy cycling on this road (the vast majority of people) won’t be helped by this new bit of infrastructure, because they won’t be cycling here in the first place. The ‘jug handle’ is therefore utterly redundant; a complete waste of money.
And there’s another ‘jug handle’ on Blackbridge Lane. This road is not as busy as the former example, but still carries enough motor traffic to merit (in my view) some kind of protected space for cycling, or (failing that) measures to reduce through traffic.
This particular jug handle requires you bump off the carriageway, give way at a minor side road…
But as with the North Street example, I cannot see anyone actually using this bizarre bit of design. Why? Because anyone cycling along Blackbridge Lane will, by definition, be confident enough to make right turns from the carriageway itself, without inconveniencing themselves by going onto a bit of ‘infrastructure’ that requires them to give way to traffic from four directions (two on the side road, two on the main road), rather than just one.
This much is plain from the approach to this ‘jug handle’, where people cycling are already expected to cycle in the middle of the road, to negotiate a parking bay.
The hostility of this road means that the people the ‘jug handle’ is intended to help simply won’t be cycling on it. They will be on the footway here –
… or they simply won’t be cycling at all.
Perhaps ‘jug handles’ – like similar kinds of bodges – allow councils to pretend that they are actually achieving something, or making a difference. But in truth money is being poured down the drain. Do it properly; or don’t bother.
Cycle Super Highways play an essential role in making the Greater Copenhagen area the biggest cycling regions in the world. The highways are meant to encourage people to change their means of transportation from using cars to bicycles. Check out the video about the development of the infrastructure and some enjoyable footage of the Cycle Super […]
Haarlem heeft er weer een nieuwe grote fietsenstalling bij. Nadat een paar jaar geleden onder het voorplein van het station een stallingen met zo’n 5000 plaatsen in gebruik werd genomen, zijn er nu aan de noordzijde 1700 plaatsen bijgebouwd in de ‘Fietsgevel’.
The problematic behaviour of cyclists has received an increasing level of attention in the Danish media over the past few years. But what are these problems actually about? And why can’t the cyclists just behave better in traffic? Written by Matilde Rytter Bockhahn Recognising the need to investigate the nature of cyclist behaviour as well […]
The Velo Vision app for iOS9 has just been released including much anticipated new features: Support for ‘slide-over’ and ‘split-screen’ and Share the page on social media [finally!].
Now supports in-app bonus media on iPhone as well as iPad – Play video in full-screen AND new and improved in-app search function.
Fill yer boots. I can’t wait to try it on the iPad (when it comes back from holiday).
Henk Brink, gedeputeerde in Drenthe met mobiliteit in de portefeuille, neemt namens IPO zitting in de Tourleiding van de Tour de Force. Daarmee is de organisatie helemaal rond, nu de laatste plaats is ingevuld en alle bestuurslagen vertegenwoordigd zijn. Naast IPO zijn dat VNG, IenM, de Waterschappen en de Vervoerregio’s.
Onderzoekers van de universiteit van Oregon (VS) hebben een app ontwikkeld die niet alleen de routes van fietsers vastlegt, maar waarmee ook feed back van fietsers over bijvoorbeeld de kwaliteit van fietsroutes en de verkeersveiligheid wordt verzameld.