Monday, 20 August 2007

Suicidal cycle lanes in Lower Addiscombe Road

As a variation on your intermittent South End cycle lanes problem, here are two photos of the cycle lanes on Lower Addiscombe Road. All the way from the tram crossing to Blackhorse Lane (eastbound), past the shops, the cycle lane is intermittent (as in South End) because of permitted on-street vehicle parking outside shops. Unlike South End though, the cycle lanes don't completely stop. Instead they have suicidal arrows which suggest cyclists should keep veering across the road around the parking spaces and keep suddenly coming out into the traffic on some unachievable 90 degree turns. I think this one's worse than South End.

In the first photo (below), they suggest you turn left through 90 degrees after the "abandoned vehicle" bay to rejoin the cycle lane. It's impossible to turn that sharply if you're travelling at any speed, but it's not a dangerous manoevre.
In the second photo (below), they suggest that after passing the side road in the cycle lane, cycles should now turn right through 90 degrees as the cycle lane ends to accommodate more on-street parking (for bone idle shoppers), so that cyclists suddenly appear in the main part of the carriageway and go down the outside of the parked vehicles if they're not killed by an inattentive, speeding motorist. There's several examples of these ridiculous and dangerous cycle lane alignments along this section of Lower Addiscombe Road, so if you get lucky and survive the first one, you've got some more to negotiate before you get to the relative safety of the Blackhorse Lane junction!

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Monday, 6 August 2007

Helmets attract cars to cyclists

From Scientific American web site:-
Strange but True: Helmets Attract Cars to Cyclists

His findings, published in the March 2007 issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention, state that when Walker wore a helmet drivers typically drove an average of 3.35 inches closer to his bike than when his noggin wasn't covered. But, if he wore a wig of long, brown locks—appearing to be a woman from behind—he was granted 2.2 inches more room to ride.
"The implication," Walker says, "is that any protection helmets give is canceled out by other mechanisms, such as riders possibly taking more risks and/or changes in how other road users behave towards cyclists." The extra leeway granted to him when he pretended to be a woman, he explains, could result from several factors, including drivers' perceptions that members of the fairer sex are less capable riders, more frail or just less frequent bikers than men.


Sunday, 5 August 2007

South End Southbound

This post is for Jonathan Law who commented:-

South End and Brighton Road are classic examples of stupidity in planning. The cycle lane is broken up with parking bays so that you can go about 10 yards before having to pull into the traffic. Pointless having the lane there in many ways.

It is an old classic too. This photo comes was taken in 2000 and was on the front page of my cycling web site for years.

Nothing has changed in the past 7 years

The cycle lane starts just south of the traffic lights, then runs straight into a parking space.

Only to reappear for a few yards before the next set of parking spaces.

After which there is a splash of green paint at the junction to the car park

The lane then is replaced by more parking spaces and a bus stop, before making a short reappearance and then disappears short of the next set of traffic lights.

Satellite Image & Map

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Who benefits from cycle facilities?

From Enabling and encouraging people to cycle by John Franklin

Cycle tracks originated in Germany. There and in the Netherlands, the first tracks were sponsored by car companies to get cyclists out of way of other traffic so that cars could go faster. They were not introduced for the benefit of cyclists' safety.