Best international practice for cycle tracks

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sallyhinch
Best international practice for cycle tracks

A question that has come in via email regarding putting cycle tracks on the inside of parked cars instead of outside them.

My understanding was that this was more or less a no brainer - if you have to have parked cars and there's room, then the cycle track should go on the pavement side of the parked cars, so that there are fewer interactions between bikes and parking cars, less likelihood of 'dooring', and so on. However they were told that this was 'no longer international best practice'. 

Can anyone point to any references (CROW manual or whatever) that would give an answer people can point to in these sorts of arguments. 

sallyhinch

Chapter and verse from the CROW manual, courtesy of Pedestrianise London

Note here that by 'lanes' the CROW manual means on-road bike lanes, and by 'tracks' it means segregated tracks on the pavement (i.e. sidewalk) side of any parked cars

 


"It is only advisable to build cycle lanes if the width requirement (at least 1.50m, no more than 2.50m) is met. A second important condition concerns the road surroundings. Cycle lanes are not recommended in combination with parking bays, because opening car doors form a source of danger. If parking is really necessary, a critical reaction strip is recommended (width >=0.5m). In that case, however, designers should check whether a cycle track would not be a better solution, with or without a pavement or footpath at the same level: a width of 1.50m for the cycle lane + 0.10m of markings + 0.50m of critical reaction strip also provides room for a cycle track with a width of 1.80m + 0.30m of partition verge (at the same level as the cycle track so that no space is 'lost' by the critical reaction distance as the result of a kerb). If the width of the pavement can also be used by cyclists, the cycle track is a good alternative to a cycle lane." 

AKA TownMouse

sallyhinch

AKA TownMouse

pete owens

It is a bad idea to put cycle facilities anywhere near parked cars. One of the top causes of cycle crashes is getting hit by a car door - hence the common use of the terms "getting doored" and "the door zone". Car doors swing  open by well over a metre so cyclists should avoid riding within 1.5m of parked cars and no part of cycle lanes or tracks should extend into the danger area.

The quoted standards are completely inadequate in this respect. A buffer zone of 0.5 m is a complete joke (try parking a car 0.5m from a wall and attempt to get out) - and even the Scots now recognise that cycle lanes need to be 2m wide.

An additional hazard with cycle tracks on the pavement side of parked cars is that cyclists are hidden from the view of drivers turning into side roads.

Fatbob
Fatbob's picture

"An additional hazard with cycle tracks on the pavement side of parked cars is that cyclists are hidden from the view of drivers turning into side roads". This wouldn't be an issue if the 10 metre rule was enforced! Re the idea that it is a generally "bad idea", I was "doored" into oncoming traffic - and yes I am an experienced cyclist able to take the "primary position" but sometimes there isn't room to avoid the door zone. Frankly, if I'm going to get "doored" I'd rather it was into a cycle lane!

Geoff

The best bike is a used bike!

pete owens

IF the 10m rule was enforced that would still only give drivers and cyclists about a second and a half (ie less than the typical reaction time)  to catch sight of each other before their paths crossed. The 10m rule is designed to allow approaching drivers and pedestrians stopped at the junction to see each other - the only way to arrange for a cycle path to cross a junction safely with so little intervisibility is by using a cyclist dismount sign.

IF there are circumstances where there isn't enough room to avoid the door zone - then by definition there isn't enough room to provide a cycle facility of any sort (or at least not while retaining the parking). Though if there is enough space for a motor vehicle to pass then there will usually be enough space to avoid the door zone. If even experienced cyclists are foolish enough to try to ride in the door zone rather than to stop to let oncoming traffic pass (or at least ride very very slowly to be able to deal with the hazard), what chance does a novice cyclist have if they are riding on a supposedly safe facility, but wich actually leads them to ride in the most dangerous position.

Fatbob
Fatbob's picture

That's OK then, I'm just foolish. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Geoff

The best bike is a used bike!

peoplesfrontofr...

I'm no infra expert, but I'd be happy to align myself with Mr. Hembrow, here. If them Dutchies can make it work, then we should be able to, as well. There's a range of strategies which would allow the cycle lane inside parked vehicles - and I don't see why this is intrinsically more dangerous than being outside the parked vehicle. On the outside, I tend to see people forced into the door zone by the environment they're in, so it's no loss to be in someone's door zone on the inside, instead. 

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