The Liability Myth
4 days ago
|Under 18s in The Netherlands make a huge proportion of their|
journeys by bike. 0.8 journeys per day for under 12s, 1.7
journeys per day for 12 to 16 year olds. Adults cycle less but
even over 75s make an average of one trip every three days.
|Adult obesity in OECD countries. Can|
they be compared directly ? As some
are "self-reported", methodologies
clearly vary between countries.
|UNICEF Index of child|
well-being. High cycling
countries in orange.
|Teenagers ride home three abreast from their school 17 km away while young children riding a shorter distance in the opposite direction are overtaken by racing cyclists. All these people, and myself as well, need the same infrastructure i.e. that which is easy to understand and offers direct and safe journeys. This consistent high quality experience can be achieved where there are cycle-paths and where there are not. Why aim for anything less ?|
|Diagrams like this have been produced across the world. However, to encourage cycling the bands need to be adjusted so that cyclists have their own infrastructure at far lower speeds and smaller traffic volumes than suggested here.|
|Is this bike really in a safe|
place relative to the car ?
|Please pass cyclists|
within the lane...
|Sometimes they make it too easy to criticise. Of the three examples that Ontario provides of real paved shoulders, two have a car parked in them.|
|Problems caused by this arrangement include:|
1. dooring due to opening of doors of parked cars
2. cars passing being too close.
3. cars wishing to park swerving across the cycle-lane
4. cars turning the corner swerving across the cycle-lane
5. Nothing is done to protect cyclists at the junctions - the most dangerous places for riding.
6. How does a cyclist make a safe left turn at these junctions ?
|Added red and blue lines show how the paths of cyclists and drivers clash at a junction designed like this. It's just not good enough for lanes to disappear and signage isn't enough to prevent the problem.|
|In this example a cycle-lane disappears right at the most dangerous point - where the roadway narrows. The Ontarian designers place all emphasis on avoiding a collision on a cyclist who can turn his head by 180 degrees and judge the safe moment to pull left into other traffic. This is simply not a safe arrangement. I've added a blue triangle to show how kerbs on the road could be used to make this merging safer by forcing drivers to pull to the left.|
|Another example of designing in conflict. Cyclists heading straight on should not expect drivers turning right to merge into their lane. This arrangement of lanes requires both cyclists and drivers to be able to see behind themselves to avoid colliding with one another while they change lane while they must also look forwards to see what vehicles in front of them are doing as they may be adjusting their speed to merge or slowing for a red traffic light.|
From the point of view of sustainable safety this design is extraordinarily bad because it relies on everyone behaving perfectly at all times. For this to work without injuries, no-one must ever be tired or distracted. It's the precise opposite of the Dutch principles which seek to make roads safer despite their users' misbehaviour or mistakes and self-explanatory so that users do the right thing without having to take notice of excessive signage.
|Royal Haskoning's idea of a "Dutch" roundabout for the UK|
|A real turbo roundabout in the Netherlands. No cycle-paths here because while it's in a city, this is a junction between large roads with no bikes in the vicinity.|
|Real turbo roundabout in the Netherlands. No cycle-paths because cycle-routes are elsewhere in this area.|
|Real turbo roundabout in the Netherlands where a major road intersects a residential area with probably quite high cycle-usage. Cycle-routes completely avoid it, using two extra bridges over the water as well as a tunnel under the road. No crossing on the level.|
|A real turbo roundabout in the Netherlands in a rural area with probably lower cycle traffic. Cyclists crossing West-East have a tunnel, those going North-South have to cross the road on the level in a similar way to that pictured in the example image above.|
|A real turbo roundabout in the Netherlands in a rural area. Cyclists travelling West-East again have a tunnel. Those going North-South cross the road on the level at a considerably greater distance from the roundabout than is shown in the Royal HasoningDHV image|
|Fifth example above. Two lanes on approach on the western|
side shown from Google Maps imagery have been changed to
one lane, a change in road level and sign to warn drivers.
|This turbo roundabout is part of an|
expanded motorway/main road
junction. N33 Rijkswaterstaat. The
works are being completed well ahead
of schedule and under-budget.
|One of Royal Haskoning DHV's own photos which they|
currently use to advertise their services. Cycle-paths were
not part of the plan so they were not built. This is not a
cycling company, it's an engineering company
|Riding in a bus-lane in the Netherlands|
Only necessary because the cycle-path
had been dug up. Buses were kept out.
This is one example of good cycling
conditions being maintained during