Author Topic: Cities fit for cycling  (Read 12792 times)

jane

  • Mad pie-hating female
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2012, 05:12:36 pm »

I can't see the point in them. Except, I suppose, as an arse-cover for the truck driver and operator.

I wrote this in 2009 on a YACF thread about the killing of Eilidh Cairns and the memorial ride, explaining why I think all LGV's should be fitted with these safety sensors.
I'm going to apologise in advance for the length of these post.

I will attend this ride.  I have been becoming more and more upset at these cyclist deaths and I get the feeling we're all becoming a little complacent, almost like there's an acceptable level of fatalities,  as long as
 it's not us or someone dear to us, the way most of society deals with the annual loss of life on the roads generally (about 3,00 a year isn't it).  Well, it isn't acceptable, especially when there are things that can be done to minimise the risk these big vehicles pose to us on the streets, regardless of what mistakes we might make on the road. 

I was tired today when I left work.  An early start at 7, preparing for a big whole school special assembly I
was delivering, followed by a day of teaching a class of lively ten year olds towards the end of a long busy half term and then delivering a training course leaves you pretty whacked.  I should probably have got the bus home. Or had a strong coffee.  But I didn't.  Sometimes, even the most experienced of us make mistakes when we're tired.
I must have switched off for a moment on the way home.  Prior to riding along a fairly quiet road which leads to Brockley Cross Roundabout I was as alert as usual heading along Old Kent Rd, up New Cross Rd,
getting in the right position to turn right onto the one way system.  Then once past the traffic lights, the road gets a bit quiet.  My tired brain must have thought Phew!Relax. Switch to automatic pilot. The next thing I remember is some robotic female voice saying over and over again something like "This vehicle is turning left."  I was suddenly fully alert again, hands on the brakes just in time to stop myself heading up the inside of a large cement lorry turning left on to the roundabout. I would have been squished.  I consider myself a careful, competent, experienced rider.  But today I made a mistake.  If the company that owned that vehicle had not taken some responsibility for the danger their vehicles can pose, I may not be writing this now and some of you would be shaking your heads, tut tutting about yet another woman cyclist going up the inside of a large vehicle.  What did she expect?  What we should all expect and be shouting for is for all lorries to have every kind of safety device available that minimises the threat they pose to any cyclist.  The fact that this one did today may have saved my life.

We don't always say it.  Calm down, dear.

No don't.  Stay angry.   And do something about it.



sas

  • Penguin power
    • My Flickr Photos
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2012, 11:03:23 pm »
I'd like vehicles to be fitted with mind readers that bark out

"Warning. This vehicle is about to overtake you before turning left/pulling in too early".
I am nothing and should be everything

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2012, 11:31:22 pm »
It is quite right to highlight areas where improvements can be made, such as the warning sounds (but will that lead to drivers relying on them rather than looking - pity the deaf cyclists), trixi mirrors and so on. These can and will make a small difference.

But we are in danger of getting an 'OMG cycling is soooo dangerous response'. Lets put this into perspective.

Every year in the UK more people win the lottery main jackpot than are killed cycling. More in the second prize than are seriouly injured. In fact, there are about the same number of cyclists having an injury requiring A&E attention  as those winning over 1000 GBP on the lottery.

Boris bikes: Millions of central london trips. Almost no serious injuries. The rate is below 1 KSI in a million trips, well into the HSE 'so safe we are not bothered' area.

Cycling on the whole is a safe and beneficial activity. It is possible to be even safer.

Don't ride drunk. The proportion of intoxicated cyclists at A&E is an order of magnitude higher than their representation on the roads.
Don't ride alongside other vehicles. Especially not big ones. In front or behind is the place to be.
Don't race. Officially or unofficially. Compeing for the same bit of the road as a load of other people or pushing your skills to the limit will increase your risk dramatically.
Follow the rules of the road. Be assertive not aggressive.

Yes we should support Cyclesafe but we should also be putting forward the message that cycling is really quite safe when put into context, is good for you (and everyone else), and could be far more pleasant for everyone witha bit of an attitude change.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2012, 11:38:23 pm »
You should never, ever reverse a large vehicle without a banksman where "people might well be behind the lorry".
If you did so in a goods yard/building site, H&S would be down on you like a ton of bricks.
Do the same on the public highway and H&S couldn't care less.

The HSE's influence is very apparent in the theatre industry. Day to day rigging and lifting practices must conform to a whole raft of legislation and regulation. Introduce performers into the mix and safety factors, specific training routines and procedures jump to a whole new level. Introduce a member of the public (or several hundred) to the area of lifting or rigging and there is absolutely no doubt about the operators' requirement to ensure the safety of everyone involved. It is, rightly so, terrifying.
Theatres can be dangerous places. So can construction sites. Far more members of the public are killed or seriously injured each year as a consequence of the construction industry than by theatre; despite the fact that millions more people attend theatre events than set foot on construction sites.
This is a huge hole in the HSE's purpose of protecting people from work related injury.

Another thing that has struck me is that I spend a fair amount of my time trussed up in my own PPE with rescue equipment to hand, ready to intervene should anything go wrong with the sequences as they are performed. I'll be part of a team of half a dozen people specifically trained for each sequence. Once we stabilise any situation we would hand over to a team of 30 more that are well rehearsed (i.e. each day) in looking after the welfare of 500 people. Much of the rescue equipment is expensive and is good for one use only. In light of this, the arguments surrounding the expense and logistical difficulties of fitting extra safety equipment to lorries strike me as even more ludicrous. Or do I have an unrealistic view of the commercial world because I work in a sector that isn't expected to make a profit?

Thanks for that. If only we could get the HSE to deal with road crashes as they do with industrial incidents.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

sas

  • Penguin power
    • My Flickr Photos
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2012, 12:05:55 am »
Cycling on the whole is a safe and beneficial activity. It is possible to be even safer.
....
Yes we should support Cyclesafe but we should also be putting forward the message that cycling is really quite safe when put into context, is good for you (and everyone else), and could be far more pleasant for everyone witha bit of an attitude change.

I know cycling is relatively safe. I'll happily tell people that it's more or less as safe as walking the same distance, and argue over whether the benefits of various piece of cyclist's safety equipment is worthwhile or not. However most of this safety comes from being alert to the traffic around you, concentrating on your cycling, and knowing not to do things such as going up the inside of a truck, and I think this is what puts many people off cycling.

Someone on the Southwards Cyclists mailing list (which I find quite insightful as to people's views) has previously said she doesn't want to have to worry about cars/trucks/road positioning/always looking over her shoulder etc, she just wants to cycle. I don't see that as a completely realistic view, though I find it attractive. I'm riding a bike which has very little chance of injuring anyone, yet I've got to pay full and constant attention to the road, ride defensively, and to predict what others are going to do, whereas someone who's driving a far more dangerous vehicle can get away with driving half-asleep.


I am nothing and should be everything

jane

  • Mad pie-hating female
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2012, 06:14:38 am »


But we are in danger of getting an 'OMG cycling is soooo dangerous response'. Lets put this into perspective.

Every year in the UK more people win the lottery main jackpot than are killed cycling. More in the second prize than are seriouly injured. In fact, there are about the same number of cyclists having an injury requiring attention  as those winning over 1000 GBP on the lottery.


Boris bikes: Millions of central london trips. Almost no serious injuries. The rate is below 1 KSI in a million
trips, well into the HSE 'so safe we are not bothered' area.

Cycling on the whole is a safe and beneficial activity.

Yes, on the whole it is.  I've been cycling for over 40 years all over the country and elsewhere and have been actively encouraging many others to do so.  But I, and many other London cyclists are angry at the

moment for good reason.  We are not over reacting.  There is a particular problem here which those who
have the power to sort are refusing to do adequately, as far as we are concerned.  And talking about the lack of casualties on Boris bikes is really missing the point. Most of us who live in London and ride our bikes to work, to the shops, to school every day, do not use these. And Boris bikers, I would argue, are not your average London cyclist.
  We have a Londonwide transport administration which, quite openly, prioritises the needs of motor traffic over the needs of other road users.  This isn't really just an issue for cyclists.  Transport for London's attitude is born out of the widespread assumption in our modern culture that roads are primarily for cars
and that cars are so necessary a part of our  that a certain level of road casualty is acceptable.  In fact, it's probably pedestrians that suffer the most in this situation.  The latest BikesAlive protest at Kings X is
alongside Roadpeace.
    If those of you who think we are saying cycling is dangerous, you are not listening properly.  Cycling is safe, enjoyable, the only sensible way for fit, healthy people to get around a city like London.  Unfortunately, some of the roads and junctions that we have to use are not. And some of the vehicles we
have to deal with could be made safer. That is where change needs to come.

Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2012, 09:04:40 am »
I am a bit worried that the campaign refers to Cities. Its already seems to be turning into a London thing.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2012, 09:13:38 am »
Are there cities outside London? ;)
Getting there...

AndyK

Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2012, 09:17:10 am »
The Independent started a Save Our Cyclists campaign last year. Here's their latest article on the issue of cycling fatalities:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-ghost-bike-revolt-families-demand-action-on-cyclist-deaths-6348784.html

Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2012, 09:50:46 am »
But what are "audible truck-turning alarms"?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Wv4Ojvq3Foc&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/Wv4Ojvq3Foc&rel=1</a>
Your Royal Charles are belong to us.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2012, 12:36:53 pm »
Wendy's video and Jane's post about her experience with audible turning alarms both give cause to think, Jane's showing their use and Wendy's their abuse. If drivers all used mirror-signal-observe correctly, they would be neither necessary nor a problem, but because drivers often don't, they are likely to be both IMO.

Thanks for that. If only we could get the HSE to deal with road crashes as they do with industrial incidents.
Presumably the reason HSE are interested in theatres, building sites, etc but not roads, is that roads are not workplaces. Some vehicles may be workplaces and there are people who work on roads and streets, but that is not their primary purpose in the way it is for theatres etc.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2012, 01:03:04 pm »
You'll probably find that a similar proportion of people in a theatre are workers to that proportion of workers on the roads.

If you see what I mean.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #37 on: February 03, 2012, 01:05:34 pm »
Abuse? What are you talking about?  ???
Your Royal Charles are belong to us.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #38 on: February 03, 2012, 01:17:41 pm »
By "abuse" I mean misuse. The lorry in your vid is sitting there with its indicator going, but it's not moving. It's not actually turning left. So its signal is misleading, as it's next to a side road on the left, and the alarm makes it audibly annoying. I note it's also parked (just about) on the zig-zags of a zebra crossing.  :hand:
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2012, 01:18:29 pm »
You'll probably find that a similar proportion of people in a theatre are workers to that proportion of workers on the roads.

If you see what I mean.
Depends whether it's a performance or a rehearsal.  :)
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2012, 01:20:31 pm »
By "abuse" I mean misuse. The lorry in your vid is sitting there with its indicator going, but it's not moving. It's not actually turning left. So its signal is misleading, as it's next to a side road on the left, and the alarm makes it audibly annoying. I note it's also parked (just about) on the zig-zags of a zebra crossing.  :hand:

Well, perhaps his parking isn't perfect, but honestly, try to pick something more serious to wring your hands over. He was just waiting whilst another lorry cleared the construction site gates.

The warning is connected to his left indicators, so not abuse at all. Quite appropriate to have the left indicator on there.
Your Royal Charles are belong to us.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2012, 01:28:09 pm »
His parking is not the point. I realise the alarm is connected to the indicator, but why is it appropriate to have the indicator on when he's parked? If he's just about to turn left, it's not obvious in the video - it's stationary - and looks like a side road not a construction site.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2012, 01:46:40 pm »
I don't understand your viewpoint, and really there's no need to fret so unnecessarily. You're digressing off topic into something so incredibly minor it's not even worth discussing on the internet.

You asked what an audible turning left signal was, now you've been able to see one. End of story.
Your Royal Charles are belong to us.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2012, 02:03:14 pm »
The Independent started a Save Our Cyclists campaign last year. Here's their latest article on the issue of cycling fatalities:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-ghost-bike-revolt-families-demand-action-on-cyclist-deaths-6348784.html
That might actually be a better article than the Times one. I like their advice section, their top tips are [bit long]:
(click to show/hide)


That article opens with a depressing stat:
The number of cyclists killed and seriously injured on Britain's roads has risen by 8 per cent compared to last year despite improvements in injury rates for all other road users.


IIRC it looks a lot better if you include the increase in miles-ridden-per-year. Has this been discussed already  ???
EDIT: It's sort of covered here http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=56171.0 . Sort of.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

AndyK

Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2012, 02:08:20 pm »
Sadly the the comments section is the usual war zone.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2012, 02:14:41 pm »
[Automated reply:]
Well why read them then?  O:-)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #46 on: February 03, 2012, 02:14:49 pm »
See that knob-end Penning again from Matc's link:

Quote
Roads Minister, Mike Penning, faced criticism over comments he made to the House of Commons Transport Committee, suggesting that cyclists running red lights were responsible for deaths and injuries. He said last week: "It would help save a lot of cyclists' lives and stop a lot of serious injuries if so many of you didn't go through a red light... Now that's not saying that we should make them all criminals and all pariahs and there are motorcycles that go through but it is so bloody dangerous."

The bloke's a gobshite, he keeps coming out with stuff that just isn't true in order to slag off cyclists, it's embarrassing.

AndyK

Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #47 on: February 03, 2012, 02:20:26 pm »
[Automated reply:]
Well why read them then?  O:-)

Because I find it interesting to see what drivers can type by the simple expedient of pounding the keyboard with their foreheads.

benborp

  • benbravoorpapa
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2012, 02:40:45 pm »
To labour a point about theatre (and many other industries) and the road, the theatre's duty of care to the public frequently extends beyond the boundaries of the building. When we operate in a public space we are just as stringently required to protect the public as if we were operating in our own premises.
We frequently have to load and unload trucks across a busy footway.
Many theatres are in such congested and labyrinthine locations that it takes over a dozen people to safely manoeuvre an artic in to its bay. We are expected to anticipate and mitigate against the stupidity of the public.
A serious incident here could have the same repercussions with the HSE as if it occurred in our space. However the consequences of a terrible 'accident' occurring once the truck is five minutes down the road after leaving the theatre are far less severe for the vehicles operators.


As to the roadway as a workplace, the road outside the theatre I'll be working in next week, during the working day and well into the evening carries predominantly (90+%) 'working' motorized vehicles. Taxis, private hires, delivery and couriers, artics and emergency vehicles (many central London streets will be similar, apart from the emergency vehicles - they're there because of the kebab shop). Vehicles whose drivers will spend almost their entire working day on the road.
When there are redevelopment plans and planned engineering closures great emphasis is placed on the local roads' economic worth and the impact on local business. Boris Johnson's arguments on congestion charging, traffic flow and prioritization often refer to (and favour) the impact that they will have on the business users of London's roads.
Roads are recognized in many ways as a workplace - just not by the HSE. Heavy machinery is least regulated where it comes in to most frequent contact with the public and also where it happens to cause the most damage.
A world of bedlam trapped inside a small cyclist.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Cities fit for cycling
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2012, 08:03:15 pm »
Roads have been my workplace too, many years ago when I was a motorcycle courier (there's an industry which needs regulating if ever there was one) but that is not their primary function. Moreover, legislation already exists for those working on roads and streets, from Food Hygiene for the kebab van to the various Road Traffic regulations that we're concerned with here. It's that legislation that needs enforcing, not other rules that need extending. We should be looking at Traffic Police and CPS not HSE.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.