Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => On The Road => Topic started by: Kim on February 01, 2019, 01:23:44 pm

Title: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Kim on February 01, 2019, 01:23:44 pm
Watch the video and let me know what you think:

https://twitter.com/BBCNWT/status/1088720322143182848


My thoughts:
(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: quixoticgeek on February 01, 2019, 02:31:09 pm

Everything you said. These types of crossing are common everywhere round these parts, and you only really stop if there isn't enough space to go round the pedestrians. Stopping is likely to result in a collision from behind. The blind person in this video is acting weird. I don't think it's representative.

J
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: FifeingEejit on February 01, 2019, 02:36:48 pm
By placing the ball of his stick on the crossing, he is claiming priority of way.
That's how Zebra crossings are meant to work here, as soon as a ped is on the crossing (not on the pavement at it) then they have priority of way. The cyclists that went through are failing to Give way as legally required.

They're doing that to prove their point.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Kim on February 01, 2019, 02:43:11 pm
Everything you said. These types of crossing are common everywhere round these parts, and you only really stop if there isn't enough space to go round the pedestrians. Stopping is likely to result in a collision from behind. The blind person in this video is acting weird. I don't think it's representative.

I think the video illustrates what blind people are scared of, even if the circumstances aren't entirely realistic.  I suspect that if he'd proceeded to cross the cycleway, the cyclists would have either slowed/stopped or changed course to avoid him, until somebody fucks it up.  (There was a high-profile incident that went round the disability twitterwebs recently where a cyclist collided with a blind person's cane on a pelican crossing.)

How do blind people cope with independent mobility in .nl?  Do cyclists give way to them?  I know Dutch version of pelican crossings are reasonably VI-friendly, with the clickers being a more informative version of the beeper+cone arrangement we have here, but what happens in less formal space?
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: quixoticgeek on February 01, 2019, 02:54:40 pm
I think the video illustrates what blind people are scared of, even if the circumstances aren't entirely realistic.  I suspect that if he'd proceeded to cross the cycleway, the cyclists would have either slowed/stopped or changed course to avoid him, until somebody fucks it up.  (There was a high-profile incident that went round the disability twitterwebs recently where a cyclist collided with a blind person's cane on a pelican crossing.)

Humans are shit at judging risk. People have disproportionate levels of fear of things that are rather unlikely. The fact that we can pull up the example of the one person who's cane was hit by a cyclist, shows how rare it is, It was newsworthy by it's rareness.

Quote
How do blind people cope with independent mobility in .nl?  Do cyclists give way to them?  I know Dutch version of pelican crossings are reasonably VI-friendly, with the clickers being a more informative version of the beeper+cone arrangement we have here, but what happens in less formal space?

The snide answer is that you tend to hear a Dutch bike coming, the rattle, the squeak...

But the honest answer, is I don't know, in the 1000's of km of cycling I've done in .nl, I've yet to have an interaction with person with a cane, at least that I am aware of. Fully sighted, dumb tourists on the other hand...

I recently almost got wiped out by a brommer on the road outside my house. I was crossing the fietspad, having looked left, and a brommer coming the wrong way down the fietspad almost hit me. A neighbour shouted a warning just in time. Seems that one-way fietspaden are not necessarily treated as such...

Electric brommers are becoming more pervasive, which is going to make things interesting, they are pretty new, and so tend to be well maintained, and are completely silent. There is a move to get the Brommers out the fietspaden, but that is mostly driven by racism, rather than any other reason. I like the idea of getting the brommers out, they are a bloody menace, I just with it wasn't so obviously driven by racism by the Gemente, there are plenty of valid reasons they could have used.

J

Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Kim on February 01, 2019, 02:58:59 pm
I think the video illustrates what blind people are scared of, even if the circumstances aren't entirely realistic.  I suspect that if he'd proceeded to cross the cycleway, the cyclists would have either slowed/stopped or changed course to avoid him, until somebody fucks it up.  (There was a high-profile incident that went round the disability twitterwebs recently where a cyclist collided with a blind person's cane on a pelican crossing.)

Humans are shit at judging risk. People have disproportionate levels of fear of things that are rather unlikely. The fact that we can pull up the example of the one person who's cane was hit by a cyclist, shows how rare it is, It was newsworthy by it's rareness.

Indeed.  But that way lies Brits not riding bikes, and blind people not leaving the house.

(It was significantly less newsworthy than "Blind person uses smartphone!", which goes to illustrate the general level of ignorance.)
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 01, 2019, 06:15:44 pm
I thought zebras were pretty standard at floating bus stops? (I guess technically they're usually not actual zebras, but effectively.)

My thoughts are:
The cyclists are inconsiderate for not stopping to let the blind man cross. It's possible but not necessarily probable they can tell he's been standing there for a while when nothing was approaching and so have decided he doesn't want to cross.

Several pedestrians and one cyclist offer him help in crossing but he only accepts one offer. What did she do differently? It looks almost as if she just grabs his elbow in non-approved manner and propels him across, though I'm not too sure that would physically work.

The hoardings on the other kerb (I presume they're round a building site) make for bad visibility there.

Obviously this is a set up, but presumably reflects the way a blind person would cross the road (the carriageway with cars etc); they'd wait till they were sure everything had stopped. If a blind person knew they were crossing a cycle path, would they not in practice start crossing slowly and carefully, knowing that cyclists are going to take pains to avoid him (for their safe of their own pain at least)?

(Haven't read your spoiler yet.)
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Greenbank on February 01, 2019, 06:29:20 pm
By placing the ball of his stick on the crossing, he is claiming priority of way.
That's how Zebra crossings are meant to work here, as soon as a ped is on the crossing (not on the pavement at it) then they have priority of way. The cyclists that went through are failing to Give way as legally required.

They're doing that to prove their point.

But by not moving he's loitering on the crossing. HWC Rule 18 includes:-

"
You MUST NOT loiter on any type of crossing.
"

And the corresponding bit of legislation (ZPPPCRGD reg 19) reads:-

"
Pedestrians not to delay on crossings

19.  No pedestrian shall remain on the carriageway within the limits of a crossing longer than is necessary for that pedestrian to pass over the crossing with reasonable despatch.
"

I wonder how many cyclists approaching the crossing saw him standing there, saw that he hadn't moved for 10 or so seconds (there's a long run up to that crossing with good visibility) and decided to pass him anyway.

Sure, some of them don't slow down enough in case he did move forward, but that's a different question being asked. It would also be different if he was moving forward slowly in order to cross.

The blind person in this video is acting weird. I don't think it's representative.

I'd agree.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Wanlock Dod on February 01, 2019, 06:34:19 pm
I’ve only seen blind people using sticks twice in the UK in the past 20 years, they were in York city centre and in a Butlins, my guess is that cars have caused them to be virtually extinct in practice in Little Britain. I suspect that people using aids like this to get about probably aren’t using standard zebra crossings on roads with any greater ease than they do this example.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 01, 2019, 08:29:23 pm
On zebras v pelicans:
The norm for car drivers at zebras is that they stop, let the pedestrian cross then start driving as soon as they're clear of the bonnet. The norm for cyclists is similar but they might go in front of the pedestrian on the crossing too. They're less likely to go straight past a waiting pedestrian though.
The norm for car drivers at pelicans is that they drive straight past the waiting pedestrians then stop for the red light, by which time the pedestrians have mostly crossed already. The norm for cyclists is similar but not to stop for a red light at an obviously empty pelican.
My local observations, I reckon there's a significant amount of local and chronological variety.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Kim on February 01, 2019, 08:49:34 pm
On zebras v pelicans:
The norm for car drivers at zebras is that they stop, let the pedestrian cross then start driving as soon as they're clear of the bonnet. The norm for cyclists is similar but they might go in front of the pedestrian on the crossing too. They're less likely to go straight past a waiting pedestrian though.
The norm for car drivers at pelicans is that they drive straight past the waiting pedestrians then stop for the red light, by which time the pedestrians have mostly crossed already. The norm for cyclists is similar but not to stop for a red light at an obviously empty pelican.
My local observations, I reckon there's a significant amount of local and chronological variety.

That fits with my local observations.  Brummies are somewhat less inclined to RLJ when driving than Londoners, but tend to honour pelican crossings (presumably because they won't lose their place in the traffic jam in the same way as they would by stopping for lights controlling a junction).  Pedestrians are unreasonably grateful when cyclists stop at zebras and sometimes confused when cyclists stop at pelicans.

While blind people mobilising independently (using a cane and/or a guide dog) are a common enough sight in Brum, I don't recall encountering one at a zebra crossing.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 01, 2019, 09:06:25 pm
I have to confess that when nikki otp was down here in December, I corrupted her by riding through a red but empty pelican crossing (one I'm familiar with) and getting her to follow me.  :-[ Sorry, nikki! Leave these barbarous Bristol ways and return to balanced Brummy biking!
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: quixoticgeek on February 02, 2019, 12:42:37 pm
I have to confess that when nikki otp was down here in December, I corrupted her by riding through a red but empty pelican crossing (one I'm familiar with) and getting her to follow me.  :-[ Sorry, nikki! Leave these barbarous Bristol ways and return to balanced Brummy biking!

On one of the Zwolle rides, the big bunched start I blew through a red light on a junction with no traffic. One of the other riders yelled out from behind "You're not in Amsterdam now Julia!". One of the hardest things to learn when cycling in Amsterdam is when to stop at a red light, and when not to. It may seem logical, but I've stopped for a red light in the past, and had 5 riders pile into the back of me as they didn't expect it.

On zebras v pelicans:
The norm for car drivers at zebras is that they stop, let the pedestrian cross then start driving as soon as they're clear of the bonnet. The norm for cyclists is similar but they might go in front of the pedestrian on the crossing too. They're less likely to go straight past a waiting pedestrian though.
The norm for car drivers at pelicans is that they drive straight past the waiting pedestrians then stop for the red light, by which time the pedestrians have mostly crossed already. The norm for cyclists is similar but not to stop for a red light at an obviously empty pelican.
My local observations, I reckon there's a significant amount of local and chronological variety.

IIRC, the UK highway code for zebra crossings says that cyclists have to give pedestrians crossing due consideration, meaning that you can cross a zebra crossing when a pedestrian is crossing as long as you give them enough space...

In .NL most zebra crossings across fietspaden, pedestrians tend to give way to cyclists until they have a critical mass. Riding along Weteringschans where it crosses spiegelgracht at rush hour is a bit of an interesting experience...

Indeed.  But that way lies Brits not riding bikes, and blind people not leaving the house.

(It was significantly less newsworthy than "Blind person uses smartphone!", which goes to illustrate the general level of ignorance.)

Or "person in wheel chair gets up and walks". Muggle's understanding of accessibility is appalling.

And the media just sucks. MASSIVELY SUCKS.

J

Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: barakta on February 02, 2019, 12:44:54 pm
I am friends with a number of blind and sight impaired people, many who are very very scared of cyclists and have been if not seriously injured, injured enough to make life difficult by "idiots on bikes" crashing into them or worse their cane (which leaves them stranded if it's broken beyond usability).

The RNIB is challenging the kind of infra in this video because blind people find it so disabling and difficult. I'm interested that quixotic geek hasn't seen many blind folk around where she lives, I wonder if that means many blind folk don't feel safe enough in Amsterdam or various parts of NL to walk around the city streets because of cyclists or?....  The excuse "it works in NL" is only reasonable as a justification if it's working for blind people as well as cyclists (or people on bikes).

I would love to see a less staged video of that infra and see if cyclists stop and let a blind cane user pass or if they try and weasel round them (which is bad, don't do it, it scares blind folk who cannot hear you until very close and will startle!).
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Kim on February 02, 2019, 12:51:48 pm
I have to confess that when nikki otp was down here in December, I corrupted her by riding through a red but empty pelican crossing (one I'm familiar with) and getting her to follow me.  :-[ Sorry, nikki! Leave these barbarous Bristol ways and return to balanced Brummy biking!

On one of the Zwolle rides, the big bunched start I blew through a red light on a junction with no traffic. One of the other riders yelled out from behind "You're not in Amsterdam now Julia!". One of the hardest things to learn when cycling in Amsterdam is when to stop at a red light, and when not to. It may seem logical, but I've stopped for a red light in the past, and had 5 riders pile into the back of me as they didn't expect it.

I think this illustrates the problem with exotic infra: De-facto rules for how to use it haven't developed and been absorbed by the population.  Which isn't to say those rules don't marginalise some users (typically pedestrians).  So the main problem with the Manchester lanes is that there are only a few of them, and people don't have an established model for how to behave around them.  If they were on every major road, with the corresponding level of cyclist use, it would be much less ambiguous.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: quixoticgeek on February 02, 2019, 01:02:37 pm
I am friends with a number of blind and sight impaired people, many who are very very scared of cyclists and have been if not seriously injured, injured enough to make life difficult by "idiots on bikes" crashing into them or worse their cane (which leaves them stranded if it's broken beyond usability).

How many of them have also had issues with motorists and pedestrians?

Quote
The RNIB is challenging the kind of infra in this video because blind people find it so disabling and difficult. I'm interested that quixotic geek hasn't seen many blind folk around where she lives, I wonder if that means many blind folk don't feel safe enough in Amsterdam or various parts of NL to walk around the city streets because of cyclists or?....  The excuse "it works in NL" is only reasonable as a justification if it's working for blind people as well as cyclists (or people on bikes).

The main place I've seen people with a cane is in stations. That said, I think part of the reason I've not seen people using a cane to cross fietspaden is that the areas I cycle aren't really areas where sensible pedestrians go, the main people I see on foot when cycling are tourists.

Most of local Dutch people, sighted or otherwise, avoid the centre of Amsterdam, it's too full of tourists. Even I try to avoid going hubwards of Singel.

I'll see if I can talk to some proper locals about this.

Quote
I would love to see a less staged video of that infra and see if cyclists stop and let a blind cane user pass or if they try and weasel round them (which is bad, don't do it, it scares blind folk who cannot hear you until very close and will startle!).

Agreed.

I think this illustrates the problem with exotic infra: De-facto rules for how to use it haven't developed and been absorbed by the population.  Which isn't to say those rules don't marginalise some users (typically pedestrians).  So the main problem with the Manchester lanes is that there are only a few of them, and people don't have an established model for how to behave around them.  If they were on every major road, with the corresponding level of cyclist use, it would be much less ambiguous.

Yep. Most of the "exotic" infrastructure appearing in the UK has been built in the last 10 years or so. This means that for 90+% of drivers, it didn't exist when they passed their test, it didn't exist when they learnt to drive, and because there is no retesting, they have no need to learn about it. This is even worse with the fact that a lot of the "exotic" infrastructure is very localised. Most drivers in the UK may never account most types of cycle infrastructure, it just doesn't exist where they drive. This also means that those drivers are going to be bloody confused if they ever do drive to London. Imagine what would happen if someone who had only ever driven in rural Scotland, had to drive down Museum road in London?

This is where the UK has missed out on one of the things the Dutch did: Education. You can build all the infrastructure you like, but it's going to only have limited benefit if you don't also do the Education thing. And the education thing takes a long time to make a difference.

Oh, and the other thing that is missed out is the presumed liability!

J
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 02, 2019, 01:22:42 pm
On zebras v pelicans:
The norm for car drivers at zebras is that they stop, let the pedestrian cross then start driving as soon as they're clear of the bonnet. The norm for cyclists is similar but they might go in front of the pedestrian on the crossing too. They're less likely to go straight past a waiting pedestrian though.
The norm for car drivers at pelicans is that they drive straight past the waiting pedestrians then stop for the red light, by which time the pedestrians have mostly crossed already. The norm for cyclists is similar but not to stop for a red light at an obviously empty pelican.
My local observations, I reckon there's a significant amount of local and chronological variety.

IIRC, the UK highway code for zebra crossings says that cyclists have to give pedestrians crossing due consideration, meaning that you can cross a zebra crossing when a pedestrian is crossing as long as you give them enough space...

In .NL most zebra crossings across fietspaden, pedestrians tend to give way to cyclists until they have a critical mass. Riding along Weteringschans where it crosses spiegelgracht at rush hour is a bit of an interesting experience...
Which tends to illustrate that cyclists, pedestrians and motorists all have an equal instinct to bully and be inconsiderate. The difference is their mass (of numbers and of vehicles) and specific vulnerability.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: barakta on February 02, 2019, 01:42:41 pm
I am friends with a number of blind and sight impaired people, many who are very very scared of cyclists and have been if not seriously injured, injured enough to make life difficult by "idiots on bikes" crashing into them or worse their cane (which leaves them stranded if it's broken beyond usability).

How many of them have also had issues with motorists and pedestrians?

Anecdata alert - I don't know if there's better research.

Motorists occasionally, usually running reds or similar but usually close-passing rather than actually hitting the blind person.

Pedestrians colliding is usually in crowded places like a station and while it's upsetting the damage to cane/person is not usually significant - but is distressing. (There's other issues with peds, @blondehistorian tweets a lot about issues she has with being grabbed and creepy menz.)

I think the cyclists are the biggest worry on the streets cos it's "twats on bikes" probably young men cycling erratically on pavements, close passing which is startling if not actually dangerous and sometimes hitting blind pedestrians while crossing zebras and light controlled crossings.

The issue with the island floating thing is that it's one place with known lots of cyclists therefore even if only <1% are a problem, that's still a high problem rate if that was on your daily route between X and Y and a lot of blind folk will walk further than sighties cos buses are a pain and driving is not an option and taxis cost £££... Most blind folk I know walk much further than the sighteds.

, other peds sometimes (although damage/injury is less), but cyclists seem to cause the most distress on the whole cos they're unexpected until they've close-passed a blind person.  Ped clashes tend to happen in crowded places like stations rather than on the streets
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Kim on February 02, 2019, 01:49:18 pm
The issue with the island floating thing is that it's one place with known lots of cyclists
[...]
but cyclists seem to cause the most distress on the whole cos they're unexpected until they've close-passed a blind person.

OTOH, by creating quality dedicated infrastructure, it makes the presence and behaviour of cyclists much more predictable, and surely that's a good thing for pedestrians, once you get past the impracticality of "I don't like bikes, it would be better if there weren't any."

The question is, assuming you have to have one, how do you make a crossing of a cycle track VI-friendly?
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 02, 2019, 02:22:17 pm
I'd like to see the experiment (if it can be called experiment) repeated with a blind person actually crossing the cycle path. Maybe disguise the camera as CCTV so people don't realise it's being filmed. Having say one cane user and one dog user cross (or attempt to cross) the same crossing at two-minute intervals should provide far more realistic interaction examples and channels for improvement than this staged set-up.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Kim on February 02, 2019, 02:39:07 pm
I'd like to see the experiment (if it can be called experiment) repeated with a blind person actually crossing the cycle path. Maybe disguise the camera as CCTV so people don't realise it's being filmed. Having say one cane user and one dog user cross (or attempt to cross) the same crossing at two-minute intervals should provide far more realistic interaction examples and channels for improvement than this staged set-up.

I'm sure we can predict what that would give:  Cyclists would stop or squeeze past in order to allow the blind person to cross, and you'd have to make an awful lot of attempts in order to achieve a collision.

I wonder if a guide dog might get more respect.  Both on the basis that cyclists with experience of shared-use paths are used to dogs behaving unpredictably, and perhaps because the population in general have a better understanding of how a blind person uses a dog to mobilise than they do of canes.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: barakta on February 02, 2019, 02:40:39 pm
I'm not anti bikes, but we need to appreciate why blind people are scared and at least try to address the issues, even if it is "giving extra space and not close passing even if the cyclist thinks it's safe" and maybe that infra needs signage "Cyclists must give way at zebra" in WORDS X meters ahead...

I hadn't realise the give way on zebras wasn't until you stepped on. As a sighted ped, I always wait and make eye contact with drivers until I'm sure they're going to stop and not just run into me.  Many visually impaired folk can't do that.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Kim on February 02, 2019, 02:47:30 pm
I'm not anti bikes, but we need to appreciate why blind people are scared and at least try to address the issues, even if it is "giving extra space and not close passing even if the cyclist thinks it's safe" and maybe that infra needs signage "Cyclists must give way at zebra" in WORDS X meters ahead...

I agree that it's an education/enforcement issue, but I predict that would be about as effective as the signs warning motorists of the presence of cyclists at known-problem junctions.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 02, 2019, 03:00:28 pm
I'd like to see the experiment (if it can be called experiment) repeated with a blind person actually crossing the cycle path. Maybe disguise the camera as CCTV so people don't realise it's being filmed. Having say one cane user and one dog user cross (or attempt to cross) the same crossing at two-minute intervals should provide far more realistic interaction examples and channels for improvement than this staged set-up.

I'm sure we can predict what that would give:  Cyclists would stop or squeeze past in order to allow the blind person to cross, and you'd have to make an awful lot of attempts in order to achieve a collision.

I wonder if a guide dog might get more respect.  Both on the basis that cyclists with experience of shared-use paths are used to dogs behaving unpredictably, and perhaps because the population in general have a better understanding of how a blind person uses a dog to mobilise than they do of canes.
It would be interesting though to see how many stopped, how soon, for how long and how near the others were willing to pass and whether in front or behind, as well as time of day effects. More so, how it all differed compared to a sighted person doing the same. And when you say "in order to achieve a collision"...  :o

Dogs are also bigger than canes and guide dogs are usually hivized, so more obviously attention grabbing.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Kim on February 02, 2019, 03:49:50 pm
Dogs are also bigger than canes and guide dogs are usually hivized, so more obviously attention grabbing.

Attention's the thing, isn't it?  I'll be driving along and say "Ooh, Rohloff" to barakta who won't have even seen there was a cyclist.  On the other hand, she can spot a hearing aid at 50 metres.  I expect more of the population are tuned into dog-spotting (for one reason or another) than noticing blind people.  Cynically I suspect the public's attitude to dogs is also more positive than to disabled people, or indeed cyclists.

Hi-vis red on a cane denotes deafblindness.  I learned this stuff at primary school, but maybe that was unusual...
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: barakta on February 02, 2019, 05:08:56 pm
I am not sure whether the dogs help with bikeist/blind-folk interfacing.

One issue is that the dogs aren't easy to get. You often have to wait 1-3 years for a dog and they only last 7-8 years on average before needing replacing (often with a wait in between). Whereas you can buy a white cane for £25 and training is more easily available.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Kim on February 02, 2019, 05:48:58 pm
One issue is that the dogs aren't easy to get. You often have to wait 1-3 years for a dog and they only last 7-8 years on average before needing replacing (often with a wait in between). Whereas you can buy a white cane for £25 and training is more easily available.

Also it doesn't smell of wet dog and need emptying...
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 02, 2019, 05:56:00 pm
How versatile are guide dogs? I read somewhere that they learn their owner's individual common routes and just know by rote where to go, stop, etc. If so that suggests they're not much use when road and building layouts change, let alone in a new area. Whereas a white cane is presumably the same thing working in the same way wherever you are.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Kim on February 02, 2019, 06:11:37 pm
How versatile are guide dogs? I read somewhere that they learn their owner's individual common routes and just know by rote where to go, stop, etc. If so that suggests they're not much use when road and building layouts change, let alone in a new area. Whereas a white cane is presumably the same thing working in the same way wherever you are.

Same problem with canes.  It'll keep you on the right line and stop you from bumping into things, but you have to learn the route.  Though there's some scope for using technology (eg. GPS+image recognition, or phone-a-sighted-person-with-live-video) to off-load some of this, it's a bit hit and miss.

Dogs can see, which makes them better at improvising around small changes (but they will occasionally fall foul of dog-thinking, eg. guiding the user into an above-dog-height obstruction, or getting distracted by things a human wouldn't).  Humans with canes are cleverer, which makes them better at high-level decision making, iff they can work out what's going on.  What works best for individuals can be very different.  And that's before you consider additional factors like dog-maintenance or a service animal making people more willing to engage with you.

Canes don't work well with moving objects.  Hence kerbs, tactile paving, etc, to indicate where the moving objects are going to be.  I don't think there is a simple solution to this one, short of banning anything faster than walking pace, people rigorously obeying all road rules or some advanced technology[1] that can recognise and track an oncoming cyclist.


[1] First build your autonomous vehicle, then scale the sensors and processing down to something wearable?
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Chris S on February 02, 2019, 08:29:10 pm
To my untrained layman's eye, quite simply the bike lane is in the wrong place - which leads to the existence of this non-problem. Put the bike lane in the road and unfloat the bus stop.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: JennyB on February 02, 2019, 08:32:42 pm

Canes don't work well with moving objects.  Hence kerbs, tactile paving, etc, to indicate where the moving objects are going to be.  I don't think there is a simple solution to this one, short of banning anything faster than walking pace, people rigorously obeying all road rules or some advanced technology[1] that can recognise and track an oncoming cyclist.


[1] First build your autonomous vehicle, then scale the sensors and processing down to something wearable?

I get the feeling that AVs are no better. Roughly speaking, Lidar=cane. It's good for checking that the space you are about to move into is clear, but much like driving in poor visiblity, it's pretty poor at anticipating when something else is likely to invade that space from the side. Granted, most drivers are too.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: grams on February 02, 2019, 08:40:40 pm
To my untrained layman's eye, quite simply the bike lane is in the wrong place - which leads to the existence of this non-problem. Put the bike lane in the road and unfloat the bus stop.
That makes the bike lane unusable whenever there's a bus stopped, or the bus unable to pull in if there's a cyclist passing. Fine if numbers of buses or bikes are negligible, but unworkable when both aren't.

(and it would mean a significant gap in bike lane segregation for the length of the bus stop)
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: quixoticgeek on February 02, 2019, 09:05:07 pm
I'm not anti bikes, but we need to appreciate why blind people are scared and at least try to address the issues, even if it is "giving extra space and not close passing even if the cyclist thinks it's safe" and maybe that infra needs signage "Cyclists must give way at zebra" in WORDS X meters ahead...

Or just part of the cycle education. After all every kid does their cycle training when they are in primary school right? Same as they are taught how to cross the roads then... or is that just a Dutch thing ?

Same as how drivers will find this exotic infrastructure hard to fathom at first, so will cyclists, and pedestrians. How many floating busstops are there in the UK now? How many visually impaired people will have had their walking with cane training to include floating bus stops?

Education!

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I hadn't realise the give way on zebras wasn't until you stepped on. As a sighted ped, I always wait and make eye contact with drivers until I'm sure they're going to stop and not just run into me.  Many visually impaired folk can't do that.

Depends on the country, and depends on the drivers. I confused some Dutch drivers by standing at what I hadn't realised was a zebra crossing, eating an icecream, and all the motorists had stopped so I could cross... At many Dutch crossings there will be lights, *AND* zebra stripes, first time I came across this I almost got killed as I walked out onto what I thought was a zebra crossing, but which turned out to be a light controlled crossing at the time, but a zebra when the lights aren't in use... But yes, in the UK, until you put a foot, or the tip of your cane onto the zebra crossing, there is no requirement for the vehicles in the carriageway to give way. Many will, but that's not the legal requirement.

Attention's the thing, isn't it?  I'll be driving along and say "Ooh, Rohloff" to barakta who won't have even seen there was a cyclist.  On the other hand, she can spot a hearing aid at 50 metres.  I expect more of the population are tuned into dog-spotting (for one reason or another) than noticing blind people.  Cynically I suspect the public's attitude to dogs is also more positive than to disabled people, or indeed cyclists.

It says much about the UK that it's the Royal society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, yet the National society for the prevention of cruelty to children. It's also worth noting the former is older than the later.

A white cane is maybe 1.5m long, 10mm in diameter, that's not exactly a big object to spot, at speed in the cluttered urban environment (I wonder how driverless cars will cope...). A dog is large, even if it doesn't have it's coat on.

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Hi-vis red on a cane denotes deafblindness.  I learned this stuff at primary school, but maybe that was unusual...

I didn't know that! Do you know if it's international or just a UK thing?

How versatile are guide dogs? I read somewhere that they learn their owner's individual common routes and just know by rote where to go, stop, etc. If so that suggests they're not much use when road and building layouts change, let alone in a new area. Whereas a white cane is presumably the same thing working in the same way wherever you are.

*VERY*, the girlfriend of a friend of mine is blind and has a guide dog (a poodle). She travels with the dog both within Germany, and also abroad to the UK, Austria etc... Yes dogs can get to know the local area and can work on auto pilot[1], but they are very well trained and can work just as well in an unfamiliar city.

Modern cities have a lot of stuff in them that us sighted people may not notice, but which are very useful to the visually impaired. Take for example this street in Doordrecht:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DyZvLGeX0AAOWJW.jpg)

The tactile paving allows someone with visual impairment to find their way along the street and to the various junctions. The problem is this is not universal, and that can make it harder.

To my untrained layman's eye, quite simply the bike lane is in the wrong place - which leads to the existence of this non-problem. Put the bike lane in the road and unfloat the bus stop.

Where else would it go? To a Dutch person this is exactly the right place for a bus stop. They are so pervasive it's the normal. The only reason it's not to you is you're not used to it.

I'll see if I can find a visually impaired Dutch person who's brains I can pick on the subject.

J

[1] David Blunket's guide dog once caused him to vote the wrong way when it lead him through the wrong lobby in the hosue of commons.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 02, 2019, 09:52:26 pm
I'd say that every kid does cycle training in the same way that everyone knows what the red stripes on the white cane mean (which I think is not international, I have a feeling I've seen red stripes on the canes of hearies in Poland).
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Kim on February 02, 2019, 09:58:42 pm
Hi-vis red on a cane denotes deafblindness.  I learned this stuff at primary school, but maybe that was unusual...

I didn't know that! Do you know if it's international or just a UK thing?

The great thing about standards...  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_cane#Legislation_about_canes

(My first primary school had a deaf unit, so may have been unusually proactive about disability issues for the 1980s.  I remember a blind person coming to show us canes and braille and books on casette tape and things.)
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: barakta on February 02, 2019, 10:26:47 pm
Dogs are fairly versatile in new areas but they are reacting to information in the environment and it is their user who is making the decision based on dog reactions. So for example dog will stop at a 'road' and only move when the blind person says it is safe as the dog cannot make that decision although it can indicate if it sees a threat which the blind person has missed. When working with blind colleagues we sometimes crossed at the logical crossing point with no crossing and cos I was doing the sight the colleague would order the dog to cross even tho the dog was cagey about the cars. Without sighted human assistance the blind colleague would have to walk quite a way out of their way to the light controlled crossing.

While the dog does learn routes so the blind person can say "take me to X" they can also find specific objects like "find the till" and will aim for tills in shops or find the top/bottom of steps. Often people assume the dogs can navigate like a SatNat which isn't the case. The blind person still has to work out where to go by whatever means and instruct the dog based on what info they get from the dog and their own senses. Ex colleagues' dogs used to be able to find the zebra crossing on campus and the stairs up to the path before our building. They both had training for the campus routes and if they needed to go somewhere new they either had to have sighted human assistance or blind-person friendly directions... One of them experimented with talking GPSes but I don't think the tech was quite there yet, but might well be better now.

Similar to a cane except you can't say "find the tills" and have to either ask, use residual vision or ask around.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Si S on February 04, 2019, 12:49:36 pm

 I don't think it's representative.


No it's not representative, normally there's at least one taxi blocking the entrance to that floating bus stop.

One serious problem with the floating bus stops on Oxford Road is that they are just not big enough, very often it's impossible to figure out who is actually doing what at the crossing points simply due to the heaving mass of humanity, this leads to them being habitually ignored.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 04, 2019, 01:09:24 pm
That's a problem with lots of bus stops, floating or not, and regardless of cycle lanes. At a bus stop you have more people than at any other point of the pavement, and they're crowded into a smaller space, because the bus stop itself takes up some room and the bus bay (where the bus pulls in) takes up even more. A consequence of prioritising vehicle flow over people flow.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: inappropriate_bike on February 08, 2019, 09:36:43 pm
One issue is that the dogs aren't easy to get. You often have to wait 1-3 years for a dog and they only last 7-8 years on average before needing replacing (often with a wait in between). Whereas you can buy a white cane for £25 and training is more easily available.

In central London large dogs are unusual. So a guide dog might offer different advantages compared to other parts of the country because the unexpected tends to stand out.

For anyone thinking about it, guide dog puppy walking is very rewarding. You have to be very disciplined with the dog, but, the end result will make you wonder why pet dogs don't get the same early training.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: barakta on February 09, 2019, 12:17:32 pm
*nods* I suspect that is a definite factor although finding suitable dogs that can "handle" London is a challenge. A friend @blondehistorian on twitter says she's expecting a wait over over 3 years cos she needs a small guide dog cos she's petite which can handle Central London which is a big demand. Former blind colleague - a big man and over 6 foot tall - used to live in Balham and had a German Shepherd as his guide dog at the time cos it needed to be able to walk FAAAAST.

From talking to blind folk who've done canes and dogs, the dog has the advantage of people noticing more and while annoyingly engaging with the dog, it breaks the ice. There is this weird thing where some/many folk will completely avoid a blind person cos awkward even when they know them (used to see this at work with former colleagues) which happens less with the dog cos people talk to that.
Title: Re: Zebra crossings on floating bus stops
Post by: inappropriate_bike on February 10, 2019, 03:00:07 pm
I know a puppy walker who used to take her trainee dogs to London, but can no longer do so because train companies have now restricted the free train travel provided to puppy walkers to one-stop-local/slow-services-only.

(Which is fair enough really as you can see how it could be taken advantage of. But also a shame.)