mardi 13 août 2013

Cycle apartheid enthusiast rejects effusion

There's a man called David Hembrow, a resident of the Netherlands, who enthuses about the virtues of the Dutch policy of taking cyclists round the back of every bus stop here. It seems he doesn't really like having his ideas questioned, nor in hosting an honest debate on the issues he raises, which would explain how his views have become so misguided. Ho hum! Here's my comment on his recent post anyway, which M. Hembrow had hoped to moderate out of existence:
These 'cycle paths' round the back of bus stops are exceptionally irritating: I've been negotiating the recently installed series on Brighton's Lewes Road in both directions this summer, and I don't like them one bit. Firstly: why does the cyclist go the long way round? In other words, why should the cyclist negotiate two additional bends and ride some extra metres at each bus stop on each journey? Then, as you mention, there's the usually inferior surface on the 'cycle path' to contend with, the kerbs, the bollards, the additional signage. But now, when I wisely ignore this evidence of local government idiocy, I get hoots and shouts from motorists for being in "their" space. I have no words for this publishable on a family blog such as this one! NO!

Plus: human factors: bus stop users expect traffic in front of them on the carriageway, but not necessarily behind them while waiting, or crossing the 'cycle lane' to the bus stop. So the prudent cyclist using such a 'facility' seeing people in the vicinity of the stop ***inevitably has to slow down.*** Meanwhile public transport users get to occupy a space with traffic whizzing by them on both sides: not good for parents of young children waiting at the bus stop.

Meanwhile, the real users of the road environment, the important people, the people who it's all for: the private motorists, continue on their sweet way, untrammelled by any consideration of users of other modes.

Proponents of these "dif-facilities" are misguided apologists for the triumph of the motor car, in Holland as much as anywhere else. Why else would they be so keen to place obstacles in the way of the cyclist, while removing cyclists' right to follow the ancient desire lines across the land established in antiquity?
If you must insist on modal separation on wider roads, then a 4-metre+ (i.e. generously wide) bus and cycle lane, which leaves pedestrians/public transport users on the pavement, and where the cyclist, enjoying a luxurious and tyre-swept lane whose only other occupants are accountable, professional drivers, has room to overtake stationary buses without changing lanes.
Naturally I keeps a backup copy of every comment I submit, for precisely these occasions: it's the comments that the blogger refuses to publish that are most worthy of heightened attention...

Update 21/4/17: Here's a good example of the kind of annoyance this arrangement generates for pedestrians (and any cyclist accepting the local authority's invitation to ride on the sidewalk) (via (A bit sweary, your maiden aunt may appreciate you listening on headphones, if she's within earshot):

And here's a picture of the classic Dutch "round the back of the garage" arrangement (mustn't obstruct petrol sales now, must we?). Note the sharp blind curve it creates:
Horse critique

1 commentaire:

  1. The good work installing more cycle gymkhana facilities on the Lewes Road continues: The three cyclists said part of the cycle lane, which only opened this week as part of a £600,000 revamp of the area, has a disguised kerb that caused them all to crash.