Author Topic: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath  (Read 7975 times)

The sound of one pannier flapping

Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #1 on: 07 May, 2021, 11:50:18 am »
I agree that it looks a good idea, and seen it pushed in the media in different areas, but I have a number of concerns.

Firstly it is the right thing, and it should educate drivers as to how much space to give, but seeing the negativity from drivers towards cyclists already will this just increase the “them and us” culture (bearing in mind we know the majority of cyclists have a driving licence, and we’re all human, I never understand the “them and us” I read so frequently on bookfarce and local newspaper websites).  Mrs Nutty showed me a rant the other day re a group of cyclists being out, and the mobile phone footage from the following driver moaning that there was no way past.

I was out at the weekend and Mrs Nutty was waiting patiently to overtake a cyclist.  Obviously this was a good thing.  However my main concern was that the young lad was riding so closely to the kerb that he was hitting every drain cover and pothole, plus risked striking the kerb with his pedal, and was also inadvertently inviting normal drivers to push past too closely because of his road positioning.

However…  riding that closely to the kerb is the behaviour encouraged by painted cycle lanes.  One item of advice that CyclingUK gave on BBC breakfast the other week as part of a pothole item was that cyclists should ride an arm’s length out from the kerb for safety.  In other words ride outside the cycle lane and on the main carriageway.  This made me laugh as their newletters have recently been telling me that they are opposing the removal of a cycle lane and taking a council to court.   (I am no longer a paid up member so can’t read the whole newsletter as it’s an advertising thing to get me to sign back up).

My next question is whether the space required for a safe overtake is still required when a painted cycle lane exists.  In my mind it does, but in lane painting sense it doesn’t.  Driving on a dual carriageway I don’t pull out wider to overtake, I stay in my lane; I also have to make sure it is safe to pull out from the inside lane to another one.

However when I’m cycling in a cycle lane, for a driver approaching from behind they are in their lane and I’m in mine.  I can understand why they wouldn’t consider waiting for a safe opportunity to pull out and pass.  I experienced this badly during the Southend Cycle Town changes (if you remember that long discussion, which eventually made me give up campaigning).   A previously safe road became a nightmare as buses travelling at 30mph passed me with just a couple of inches clearance while I was in a cycle lane that at times was down to about 40cm width (from memory).   If there was a blockage of that lane (such as a bus in the bus stop) then it was my responsibility to try to merge out of the cycle lane and into the faster flowing traffic.


So back to the article in point, education of drivers is I think a good thing (actually it’s just a reminder of what they should have learned when undertaking the driving test).  Education of cyclists as to how to safely share the roads should also assist in our mutual happiness.  But I can’t see how this can co-exist with the continual building of cycling infrastructure which seems to me to undermine efforts such as this.

Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #2 on: 07 May, 2021, 12:20:41 pm »
The white line is a solid protective barrier that will keep you safe from all vehicles whizzing past at 70mph, 20" from your bars

Kim

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Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #3 on: 07 May, 2021, 12:26:03 pm »
However…  riding that closely to the kerb is the behaviour encouraged by painted cycle lanes.  One item of advice that CyclingUK gave on BBC breakfast the other week as part of a pothole item was that cyclists should ride an arm’s length out from the kerb for safety.  In other words ride outside the cycle lane and on the main carriageway.  This made me laugh as their newletters have recently been telling me that they are opposing the removal of a cycle lane and taking a council to court.   (I am no longer a paid up member so can’t read the whole newsletter as it’s an advertising thing to get me to sign back up).

My next question is whether the space required for a safe overtake is still required when a painted cycle lane exists.  In my mind it does, but in lane painting sense it doesn’t.  Driving on a dual carriageway I don’t pull out wider to overtake, I stay in my lane; I also have to make sure it is safe to pull out from the inside lane to another one.

However when I’m cycling in a cycle lane, for a driver approaching from behind they are in their lane and I’m in mine.  I can understand why they wouldn’t consider waiting for a safe opportunity to pull out and pass.  I experienced this badly during the Southend Cycle Town changes (if you remember that long discussion, which eventually made me give up campaigning).   A previously safe road became a nightmare as buses travelling at 30mph passed me with just a couple of inches clearance while I was in a cycle lane that at times was down to about 40cm width (from memory).   If there was a blockage of that lane (such as a bus in the bus stop) then it was my responsibility to try to merge out of the cycle lane and into the faster flowing traffic.

This is all an argument for cycle lanes that are sufficiently wide that a cyclist of non-zero width can ride a sensible distance from the gutter while having enough space from traffic proceeding normally in the adjacent lane.  And preferably with some physical measures (bollards, kerbs, etc) to keep the motorists out of them.

A few do exist, and CyclingUK campaigning for them in no way endorses the typical white line denoting the chutney zone cycle lane which do little more than encourage close passes.

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #4 on: 07 May, 2021, 12:54:03 pm »
Once you've made it about cyclists, you have lost.

Of course, they're not going to cycle in the middle of a busy road.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #5 on: 07 May, 2021, 01:00:45 pm »
I presume it’s this:
https://www.cyclinguk.org/press-release/cycling-uk-takes-council-court-irrational-and-unlawful-removal-cycle-lane

Which doesn’t look amazing but the distance twixt cars and cyclists in the video is unimaginable without it.

ravenbait

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Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #6 on: 07 May, 2021, 01:08:03 pm »

So back to the article in point, education of drivers is I think a good thing (actually it’s just a reminder of what they should have learned when undertaking the driving test).  Education of cyclists as to how to safely share the roads should also assist in our mutual happiness.  But I can’t see how this can co-exist with the continual building of cycling infrastructure which seems to me to undermine efforts such as this.

I'm with you Nutty. I feel a lot safer on a road that doesn't have a cycle path, because there is no expectation laid down in infrastructure that I should ride in the gutter. I left the Right to Ride network when it stopped being about sharing public space and more about getting paint on that public space, and encouraging the opinion that cycling should happen on special paths rather than on the road. Cycle lanes seem to me to undo all the work of close pass operations and teaching cyclists to ride in primary or secondary position, to avoid the door zone, and to advocate for their own safety by not being bullied into an unsafe space on the road. They also teach drivers that cyclists belong on the left, in the gutter.

Sam
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"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #7 on: 07 May, 2021, 01:55:40 pm »
I'm sure I remember Kim et al reporting that the original close pass programme in the West Midlands had a pretty good but temporary effect. Or am I mixing it up with something else?
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #8 on: 07 May, 2021, 02:07:23 pm »
encouraging the opinion that cycling should happen on special paths rather than on the road.

No, the point of proper cycle tracks is that *driving* should only happen on special parts of the road.

Quote
Cycle lanes seem to me to undo all the work of close pass operations and teaching cyclists to ride in primary or secondary position, to avoid the door zone, and to advocate for their own safety by not being bullied into an unsafe space on the road.

The main effect of decades of Bikeability training is teaching children they should buy SUVs at the earliest opportunity so they can be the ones doing the bullying. 

Pingu

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Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #9 on: 07 May, 2021, 02:12:36 pm »
The white line is a solid protective barrier that will keep you safe from all vehicles whizzing past at 70mph, 20" from your bars

Exactly: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-57013760

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #10 on: 07 May, 2021, 02:21:57 pm »
Fact is, if you want people to cycle, you have to make cycling both safe and importantly feel safe.

I leave as an exercise to the reader how well they think that gels with riding in primary position down a busy road.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

ravenbait

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Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #11 on: 07 May, 2021, 06:13:01 pm »
encouraging the opinion that cycling should happen on special paths rather than on the road.

No, the point of proper cycle tracks is that *driving* should only happen on special parts of the road.

Generally uninterested in arguing on the internet these days. This statement is evidently flawed, and therefore I am obliged to infer it is aimed merely at getting a rise out of someone.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #12 on: 07 May, 2021, 06:16:41 pm »
I think grams's key words are "proper" and "should".
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

ravenbait

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Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #13 on: 07 May, 2021, 06:45:47 pm »
I think grams's key words are "proper" and "should".
Sorry, still don't get any genuine sentiment from it. What would that even look like in real life? How would it work? Is it possible to achieve working with and around current infrastructure?

Don't feel like I'm expecting a real answer. I'm not.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #14 on: 07 May, 2021, 06:48:12 pm »
OMG - all our bikes will get pregnant and the police will deny responsibility!

Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #15 on: 07 May, 2021, 07:23:42 pm »
Sorry, still don't get any genuine sentiment from it. What would that even look like in real life? How would it work? Is it possible to achieve working with and around current infrastructure?

If I'm in a car I can't* drive in a protected cycle track. I may even find myself unable to access certain roads, or unable to use them as through routes.

Whereas if I'm on a bike I can go anywhere I like.

Unless it requires taking primary in traffic, because** fuck that.

(* FSVO can't)
(** donning my normal person hat)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #16 on: 07 May, 2021, 07:46:28 pm »
Example:

It's physically impossible to drive a car in the section of road to the right of the red and white barriers (that whole lane is closed off further back).

This infrastructure, however, no longer exists (it was put in last summer as part of PandemicPanic and ripped out soon after, cos voters and stuff).
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #17 on: 09 May, 2021, 11:04:20 am »
Fact is, if you want people to cycle, you have to make cycling both safe and importantly feel safe.

I leave as an exercise to the reader how well they think that gels with riding in primary position down a busy road.

Many years ago I rode over to Okehampton to join a group of forummers who were riding Lands End to John O'Groats.   I joined them for lunch, then rode a distance with them.  I use this as an example as people on here can evidence my tale.

I am happy to ride anywhere, but had a minor moment of "WTF" when I realised we were heading straight onto the A30 dual carriageway.  The group took primary, occupied the whole inside lane, and looking in my mirrors I was relieved to see that it worked and all traffic was indicating and pulling out properly to overtake with plenty of space.

Personally, if route planning, I take the roads that run alongside dual carriageways; but have ridden many miles of dual carriageways in the past.  If I find myself on one by accident, even if solo I prefer to ride normally in order to give myself a safety bubble instead of trying to ride in the gutter and allow all traffic to just push past me.

Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #18 on: 09 May, 2021, 11:12:57 am »
Example:

It's physically impossible to drive a car in the section of road to the right of the red and white barriers (that whole lane is closed off further back).

This infrastructure, however, no longer exists (it was put in last summer as part of PandemicPanic and ripped out soon after, cos voters and stuff).

It's a wonderful example, but does it give every cyclist the ability to go from every start point to every location?  Or does it encourage them to take a longer route on busy roads in order to get to that farcility?


In car terms, I need a journey on Monday and so was planning a route (even though it's local).
a) google/twat-nav want me to take a longer route but on main roads.  This has roadworks and queues.
b) alternative route is through several high streets and with lots of traffic lights.
c) obvious route wiggles a bit but is the shortest and fastest according to google once I'd plotted it.

In cycling terms we have that opportunity to go anywhere, even more so than drivers as we can use cycle routes and bridleways to link roads together and thus take short cuts (and if we dismount we can even walk through pedestrian alleyways that link roads in residential areas).   

Therefore we need to educate cyclists and drivers that roads are for all - instead of telling drivers and cyclists that the only place to cycle is dedicated infrastructure.


(and before anybody starts pulling the "think of the children" on me, my daughter has been riding in the road since at least the age of 5 - and for her safety I avoid some roads that have cycle lanes painted on them.)

Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #19 on: 09 May, 2021, 11:14:49 am »
Example:

It's physically impossible to drive a car in the section of road to the right of the red and white barriers (that whole lane is closed off further back).

This infrastructure, however, no longer exists (it was put in last summer as part of PandemicPanic and ripped out soon after, cos voters and stuff).

Note how the cars have swept the carriageway clean, but the cycle path is covered in detritus.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #20 on: 09 May, 2021, 11:46:54 am »
It's a wonderful example, but does it give every cyclist the ability to go from every start point to every location?  Or does it encourage them to take a longer route on busy roads in order to get to that farcility?
It was a couple of hundred metres on one road, so obviously it can't go from everywhere to everywhere. I doubt if it encouraged many people to change route, as it was a busy route before that was put in, and still is after it's been removed. All in all, I don't think I'd call it wonderful, having used it, but it is an example that cycle facilities, done in certain ways, can restrict driving to a certain part of the road. Mind you, there's another example on the opposite carriageway, which nobody complains about (though used to): it's a bus lane.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #21 on: 09 May, 2021, 11:53:02 am »
Here's an example of a dedicated traffic and pedestrian free path - https://www.google.com/maps/@50.8164279,-0.33685,3a,75y,55.32h,83.64t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOboN1qdQg7csZgEMyG44OA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Here's my experience of using it
Evening folks.   On Monday (4th April) I was riding in a group along the front, heading for Brighton.      I'd usually have avoided the cycle path by default (I think of facilities as putting people at more risk) but as the group wanted to use it I followed them.    My worst nightmare came true while I was at the back of the pack and without warning a bollard "separating" the cycle and foot sides appeared from the riders in front and I had no chance of avoiding it in the split second it took for me to get there.

I went straight over the handlebars, damaging the bike and bruising myself.    Luckily I was able to carry on, and even managed the ride the next day up to Canterbury.    But it was frustrating, and I can't moan as it was clearly my fault for cycling into an inanimate object.

Two main reasons for this post.
1) What's the local consensus on this path?    Is it loved, loathed, or no local word on the street?    Am I the first to hit a bollard, or is it a common occurrence?
2) Although everything was on the bike immediately after the crash, once we'd gone over the cycle bridge and got onto the much more pleasant A259 I noticed my computer was missing.    It's only an old Cateye Astrale 8 so has no monetary value and can be replaced, but that one has some little sentimental value to me.     I know it's a long shot, but if you are out and about and spot it please can you PM me?

ravenbait

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Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #22 on: 09 May, 2021, 12:02:24 pm »
Example:

It's physically impossible to drive a car in the section of road to the right of the red and white barriers (that whole lane is closed off further back).

This infrastructure, however, no longer exists (it was put in last summer as part of PandemicPanic and ripped out soon after, cos voters and stuff).

OK. Now I understand (although I don't consider most segregated cycle paths to be roads, which is where my confusion arose). But would anyone seriously try to argue that cyclists would be able to ride in the part of the road currently open to cars with that infrastructure there without being subject to intense harassment? And what happens when the infrastructure ends? What do you do then? Dedicated infrastructure encourages the mindset that cyclists belong on a special path, usually shared with pedestrians, and when drivers then encounter cyclists in the wild (so to speak), they think they should continue behaving as if they were using infrastructure -- in other words, getting out of the way of the motorists wot pay road tax innit.

The problem with infrastructure is that it will never go everywhere, it's not suitable for all cycling purposes, it's not as well maintained or designed, and the very existence of it makes it harder for those who would rather stick to the road. I have plenty of experience of new infrastructure being rubbish to use and making drivers on the road more aggressive to cyclists. None of these things should be true. It should be possible to have infrastructure that is well designed and maintained, and for cyclists who would rather stick to being traffic to do so safely. All of this requires a culture change, and that culture change is the same thing that will make sharing space with drivers safer.

I may be in the minority, but I'd rather focus on getting drivers to stop having a shitty attitude to cyclists. If we use infrastructure to encourage more cyclists, we're encouraging more cyclists who assume they belong on infrastructure rather than wherever they please. Also, given the increase in popularity of cycling during lockdown without any significant increase in the reach of good quality dedicated infrastructure, I'm not convinced that lack of infrastructure is what puts people off.

To bring us back to the original point of this topic, the existence of cycle paths along the gutter line (or lanes segregated by bollards) really does not contribute to reducing close passes. I suppose it's a bit like cats sitting in a square of tape on the floor as if it were a box. Something about a defined boundary makes (not all) drivers think they're doing just fine as long as they stay on the side of the boundary that hasn't got the cyclist in it.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #23 on: 09 May, 2021, 12:10:10 pm »
It's a wonderful example, but does it give every cyclist the ability to go from every start point to every location?  Or does it encourage them to take a longer route on busy roads in order to get to that farcility?
It was a couple of hundred metres on one road, so obviously it can't go from everywhere to everywhere. I doubt if it encouraged many people to change route, as it was a busy route before that was put in, and still is after it's been removed. All in all, I don't think I'd call it wonderful, having used it, but it is an example that cycle facilities, done in certain ways, can restrict driving to a certain part of the road. Mind you, there's another example on the opposite carriageway, which nobody complains about (though used to): it's a bus lane.

It's strange that not only I thought I recognised the road, the path has been captured on streetview.  I've flicked along it.

I see that as usual the path is obstructed by anti-traffic bollards, and as you say there's a perfectly good bus lane there too.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4572336,-2.5953388,3a,75y,58.55h,77.68t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s322DcZiPOOQSdSstJ2eGQg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192


I love this one too, a temporary sign telling drivers to use both lanes for the M32, even though clearly one lane has been bollarded off for cycle use only!
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4579847,-2.5927125,3a,75y,73.28h,78.93t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sqvZkS16l11L0alMMhlMAQA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192


Where were cyclists supposed to go when it ended?  Outside lane and signs say the M32!!!!
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4589768,-2.5913728,3a,75y,57.35h,81.39t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1shLYyQngjR6SoTceTlj9dhg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192




Without experience of the whole path, I'd question the usual thing of how a "novice" cyclist is expected to get through the traffic to a path on the offside. (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4563925,-2.5960489,3a,75y,8.54h,55.46t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sTpBN5Ovpgn-WTG_C-pB5Gw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192     or here    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4567574,-2.5950801,3a,75y,9.47h,65.92t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1smng2PhXUTugxLQUrcBTdBQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192   or this junction  https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.456936,-2.5957438,3a,75y,54.2h,72.8t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1st8AYgvfCxZsQkR9kOpjLQQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192  )


Bearing in mind how little traffic we had during the pandemic (I know September 2020 when they were taken was "busier", but still light, it's also very interesting to see the gridlock when the path was there...  and how little traffic is shown on any previous streetview capture   ::-) ::-) :-\ :-\

Based on what I can see when google drove along there, and without any personal experience of it, I'm not surprised you say it's been taken out.  It looks a classic example of everything that could be done wrongly being done so.

Re: Police bring undercover cyclist operation to Arbroath
« Reply #24 on: 09 May, 2021, 12:14:40 pm »
...
I may be in the minority, but I'd rather focus on getting drivers to stop having a shitty attitude to cyclists. If we use infrastructure to encourage more cyclists, we're encouraging more cyclists who assume they belong on infrastructure rather than wherever they please. Also, given the increase in popularity of cycling during lockdown without any significant increase in the reach of good quality dedicated infrastructure, I'm not convinced that lack of infrastructure is what puts people off.

To bring us back to the original point of this topic, the existence of cycle paths along the gutter line (or lanes segregated by bollards) really does not contribute to reducing close passes. I suppose it's a bit like cats sitting in a square of tape on the floor as if it were a box. Something about a defined boundary makes (not all) drivers think they're doing just fine as long as they stay on the side of the boundary that hasn't got the cyclist in it.

...

You've got my vote, so it's clearly now a case of minority=minority+1