CTC comments on UK Cycle Infrastructure Design guide
By Yokota Fritz
The Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC) is the national cyclist advocacy organization in the UK. The CTC recently released their comments on the UK National Cycling Infrastructure Design (CID) guide which was published last October [PDF].
The CTC mostly welcomes the new guide, which brings together and updates guidance previously available in different Local Transport Notes and other advice published by the UK Department for Transport.
According to CTC, the CID's most useful feature is its 'Hierarchy of Provision' for cycling. This fundamental design principle says that planners and engineers should start by looking for solutions that reduce the volume and speed of traffic – that is, tackling the factors that most deter people from cycling. As such, the CTC says, "We are particularly pleased to see CID state that: 'The road network is the most basic (and important) cycling facility'."
They also welcome the fact that the CID doesn't just outline raw design principles, but gives the reasons behind its recommendations. It sets out how cyclists tend to ride and why they like and benefit from certain features and conditions, and not others. CID also explains how drivers react to cycle facilities and cyclists, and how this should influence design. This helps ground the advice in road user experience, attitudes and behaviour, making it - and its more 'counter-intuitive' stances - easier to appreciate.
CID's weaknesses are mainly sins of omission. The guidance says little on cycle provision at major junctions or the amount of cycle parking needed at key destinations, and nothing much at all on cycle-friendly road maintenance.
CID's biggest problem is its failure to rule out cycle lanes of less than 1.5m, even though it acknowledges that narrow lanes encourage dangerously close overtaking and steer cyclists towards the edge of the carriageway – a position that official cycle training advises against because it makes them less visible to motorists. CTC's view is that we'd rather have no cycle lane at all than one that puts cyclists in danger. If that means reducing either the volume or the speed of the traffic (i.e. the top two options from the 'Hierarchy'), then so be it!
An even bigger problem is that many local authority officers won't read CID and will continue with little understanding of the principles of good cycle planning. CTC will will be pressing the DfT to disseminate the document widely, and to get the principles of the 'Hierarchy of Provision' written into other planning and engineering guidance, not just this one on cycle infrastructure. CID has been published jointly by the DfT, the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly Government.
By Yokota FritzLondon considers bike sharing program.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson is known for his everyday use of a bicycle for transportation, and now he wants to encourage more people to ride their bikes by inviting companies to submit their bike share plans for London. He would like to see 6,000 rental bikes available at 400 locations throughout London.
"I have long held the view that a cyclised city is a civilised city, but if we are to get more Londoners on to two wheels rather than four we need to provide the facilities to help them do so," says Johnson. "I hope a central-London cycle-hire scheme will inspire Londoners as a whole, and not just the adventurous few, to get on their bikes and give cycling a go. I believe that the work we are carrying out can make the capital a city of cyclists, where to use two wheels is common, not curious."
By Yokota Fritz
The Right Honourable David Cameron is a Member of Parliament and leader of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. The Daily Mirror newspaper followed Cameron with a hidden video camera as he biked to work. Watch Cameron's scandalous behavior here for which Cameron was forced to publicly apologize!
Props to Pinch Flat on this Good Friday, who is also doing a count down of most awesome YouTube bicycle videos.
By Yokota Fritz
Do you remember this? Sustrans "Connect2" program won the £50 million grant from the UK national lottery after TV viewers were polled on which of several projects should be selected to receive the money. Sustrans got 42% of the votes cast. More also at Bike Biz.
By Yokota Fritz
The UK Lottery will make £50 Million in funding available to the project that receives the most Internet and mobile phone votes between now and December 12. The British walking and cycling campaign, Sustrans, and other UK cycling groups are campaigning heavily for people to vote for the allocation of these funds to the abitious Connect2 program.
While you can't vote often, Carlton notes that the voting registration site does not ask for UK residency and obliquely hints that American cyclists (*nudge wink*) might help their British cousins in this voting. The other three projects vying for funds are an urban park in the industrial rust belt north of Birmingham, an artistic and educational village in Cornwall, and a project to protect the oaks in ancient Sherwood Forest.
By Yokota Fritz
First of all, a VERY QUICK CONTEST for SF South Bay people only TODAY (October 31) ONLY. It's kind of a scavenger hunt: I'm volunteering at a game booth at the Blackford Neighborhood Community Fun Fest which takes place TONIGHT at First Church at 878 Boynton, San Jose, CA. The Fun Festival is tonight from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (I think). I'm giving the first three people who track me down at this Fun Festival a $10 REI gift card, which I will send via email. You must show up with your bike, you must give me your name and email address (which I won't share with anybody except REI), and you must allow me to take your photo on/with the bike that I can post to Flickr and to Cyclelicious. Show up at the Community Fun Fest at 878 Boynton Ave, find me after about 6:30 p.m. (ask the people with name tags for "Richard", and win. Please note that the event is for children and families.
This is interesting news from the UK: Hello, I’m your personal travel adviser. Can I persuade you to get on your bike?
The doorbell will be ringing unexpectedly in millions of homes from next year as an army of government-funded “travel advisers” tries to persuade people to switch from driving to walking, cycling and public transport.
If you are out, they will keep coming back and will call up to ten times, even in the evenings or at weekends.
They will ask you about your travel habits and will offer advice tailored to your journeys, including maps for walking and bus timetables.
If you appear unconvinced, they will offer incentives such as discounts at local bike shops and outdoor stores and free pedometers to measure how far you are walking.
By Yokota Fritz
Carlton posted the Cycle Hero video contest winners the other day. I missed the original Cycle Hero promotional video, however. This is a one minute video shown in British movie theaters to promote cycling during CTC's CycleHero week last summer in the UK. The CTC is the national cycling organization in the United Kingdom. Here's the two minute extended version.
The CycleHero one-minute Cinema advert was directed by award winning short filmmaker Paul Fuller and features the voice of newsreader - and President of CTC - Jon Snow. The ad was funded under Defra's 'Tomorrow's Climate, Today's Challenge' initiative, produced by Sauce with music from brothers John & Simon Andrew.
The film aims to raise awareness of the impact of transport choice in helping combat climate change. This is done in a positive fashion by highlighting the simple fact that cycling is good for you, good fun and good for the environment.
UK-based BikeRadar also covers news from the UK Cycle Show here and here and here.
Singletrack World also reports on the world of British mountain biking at the London Cycle Show here. Singletrack World blog entries about the show are provided by Mark and Chipps, who writes about "many shiny distractions."
By Yokota Fritz
An engineering services company in the UK that advises sustainable transportation projects has banned staff from cycling to work because it's too dangerous. It has told staff at its 36 offices across Britain that they must drive or use public transport. They can use bicycles only if they are working away from roads, such as on canal towpaths.
Jacobs Engineering (nee Jacobs Babtie) is one or the largest engineering services company in the UK. An email sent to their staff from the company's health and safety manager says, "It’s patently obvious that if you are struck by a wayward vehicle when you are on a bicycle or motorbike you are going to be more severely affected than if you were in a car. The reason for this policy is to protect our employees from other vehicles on the road."
The ban on cycling on company business has infuriated several staff, who have been cycling without any serious safety incidents for years. They believe the ban is partly the result of conditions in the company’s insurance policy. The e-mail acknowledges that staff are unhappy about the ban and admits it “could be construed as being at odds with our environmental policy and the requirement to be environmentally responsible”.
Jacobs Babtie highlights their "impressive track record in the rapidly developing field of sustainable transport" on their website, claiming "in the area of cycling, we can offer expert resources at every stage from cycle policy and promotion through to the detailed design and implementation of cycle schemes." Many local governments and organizations in the UK contract with Jacobs Engineering for their cycling promotion "expertise."
By Yokota Fritz
On September 23, the city of London in the U.K. will close 14 kilometers (9 miles) of roads as part of a year-long effort to encourage cycling in the city. The Hovis London Freewheel – organised by the Mayor of London – aims to encourage more people in London to cycle. London is already experiencing a cycle revolution with the number of cyclists soaring by 83 per cent since 2000, and the Mayor of London seeks to boost these numbers even more.
Targeted at all Londoners especially those who have access to a bike, but do not use it, the Hovis London Freewheel will offer participants a traffic-free ride round some of London's most famous roads and landmarks. Riders will have the support, advice and help of regular cyclist ‘mentors’.
Visit Hovis London Freewheel for a route map, registration, news and other information about this car-free event on September 23, 2007.
The Metropolitan Police has had a decision overturned in the Appeal Court that effectively makes it illegal to organise Critical Mass, an event that’s taken place on the last Friday of the month for 13 years, without the organisers providing a route to the police. Jenny Jones, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, said: "This decision is bad news for everyone, as it will end up with the police wasting time arresting innocent cyclists like me, rather than arresting real criminals. Arresting cyclists at Critical Mass will be like arresting a group of passengers for gathering at Westminster tube station during the rush hour." Jenny is urging as many people as possible to join her on the ride this Friday (25th May), which sets off at 6.30 from under Waterloo Bridge, by the National Film Theatre.
Manic Street Preacher: [The decision] centred around the definition of what could be called a "customary procession". Two of the judges ruled that since every ride took a different route it could not be called customary.
Ellis Sharp: A child dies on London’s roads every fortnight. The Met couldn’t give a toss. London’s roads are choked with drivers chatting into handheld mobile phones. Again, the Met couldn’t give a toss. London’s residential areas are full of speeding morons. The Met couldn’t give a toss. But a couple of hundred cyclists riding around central London: the full resources of London’s police will be marshalled against them.
Love Your Bike.org; found by Kori. The bike advocacy website LoveYourBike is from the Friends of the Earth Manchester and the Manchester City Council.
The site includes Love Lanes (bike route maps), the Logic of Love (why cycling is good), Justify Your Love (a quiz), Love News, Love Gallery (where I got this image), Love Tools (equipment guide), Not In Love, and Love Mail.
By Yokota Fritz Transport for London compiled a report showing that 86% of women cyclist deaths were from lorries (large trucks). Among men cyclists killed in traffic, 47% of them were killed by trucks.
The study notes that “Women may be overrepresented in [collisions with goods vehicles] because they are less likely than men to disobey red lights.”
In more than half the fatal crashes, the truck was turning left. Cyclists may be deceived by a truck swinging out to the right to give itself room to make a left turn. The study reports that the problem may be exacerbated by bike lanes near intersections that allow cyclists to pass trucks and other traffic on the left in the UK.
By Yokota Fritz
The Town Council of Swindon -- a Wiltshire County town in the Southwest of England about midway between London and Briston -- decided to paint bicycle path markings on a sidewalk along Cricklade Road. A line was painted down the middle of the sidewalk to create two lanes and segregate the walking side from the bicycle side of the path. Unfortunately, contractors mistakenly painted the bike symbol in BOTH lanes.
"What makes this mistake so stupendous, is if you had done it you would have known immediately," observes nearby resident Daniel Woodwards. "Both sets of markings are painted quite close together, so you can see them both at the same time, so you would know. Anyone who had any brains would have noticed."
CTC comments on UK Cycle Infrastructure Design guide
London bike share
Hmm. His lack of mudguards an a rack get a bit of a slagging goff from www.velorution.co.uk..
Yeah, I noticed his lack of mudguards / fenders while riding in the rain in his suit also.
This looks like a bad idea
Bad, Bad, Bad! This just is a recipe for disaster allowing people to get hurt. Who is going to be held accountable when someone is injured??
I think, its a good idea. In Berlin, Germany there are a lot of one-way streets open for cyclists in both directions and it works pretty good.
Not necessarily a bad idea. It can work quite well if the lanes are well marked. In Santa Cruz, CA for example there are a few one-way roads (for autos) but well marked two-way bike-paths on the road. And I think nothing will make a car-driver switch to biking faster than when he/she realizes that the bike lane is going faster!
The key there is "if there is no increase in collisions". Actual collisions only account for a fraction of the problem-- there will be 100 times as many near-misses, which won't be accounted for in the stats. This could "work" for months before there's an actual accident. I think the more dangerous thing is that some cyclists may mistakenly believe they can go up any one-way street, and then you're going to have a real problem.
It sounds like Chelsea wants to appear that they are doing something about the enviornment/high gas prices with the least amount of effort and spending possible.
Street design has historically been all about cars and not efficient travel. Whether it is good or bad will be determined by the quality of research, behavior and law enforcement. Runners are always seen on the wrong side of the road and few complain about the inherent risks. Cyclists and auto drivers can coexist with this wrong way running so now why not cyclists too? The greater the variables, the more cautious drivers tend to be. Let's hope that sufficient space is provided to the cyclists and joggers for a change. Jack
...i can imagine this working (w/ a spirit of cooperation) in most european cities...but here in the good ol' u.s.a. ???...fuggetaboudit...
...invitation to a disaster...
This is already the law in Pennsylvania.
Seems like if they "do it right" like the success stories overseas, then it's brilliant and easy.
But on the other hand, even if we DO "do it right," are we ready for it?
It already happens, all Chelsea are doing is saying to the motorist "Don't get annoyed, it is legal"
If it's already happening then mebbe it's not so bad... on one-way streets... tho' it would be better IMHO if a lane were delineated to say - "okay, now this *isn't* a one-way street." And have one on the other side, too, for folks going with the traffic. In fact, take the auto traffic lane away ;) If thetwo directions for cyclists are on opposite sides of the road, mebbe...
great idea, all the old guys do it all the time down here in key west. i used to give em the stink eye cuz I was so into being the good little cyclist. then some guy said to me he's been riding down that road since before it was made one way. probably to accommodate cars. it's success is probably site specific, but we cyclist navigate a world where design and public policy don't take us into account. so it's nice to see new ideas doing just that.
Conservative politician scandal!
Mirror, Mirror on the wall, what's more hypocritical than a green conservative? ANSWER: our media mirror Jack
...damn scofflaw british politicos should be made to drink warm beer & lukewarm tea...
...oh, really ?...oops, sorry !...
UK Sustrans wins £50 million in lottery funds
Great news! Glad to hear a follow up on this.
It is great news, but a bit of a shame that this sort of infrastructure spending is not funded from central government as a matter of course.
Wow. They should send a little this way.
...there is probably a better mindset outside of the actual core group of cyclists, to appreciate what these funds might provide...
Vote early and often for cycling funds
Thanks, Fritz. The more votes the better. It's cycling that's the winner, not just a bunch of bike projects in the UK.
The lottery site doesn't say US citizens are prevented from voting. Not that it says they're allowed, mind.
Bicycle evangelists and a contest
Cycle Hero winners
UK Cycle Show 2007 photos
Cyclist fashion show video
Green transport company: Biking too dangerous
This is an unbelievable story. I can't believe that any compnay would implemnet such a policy.
Every once and a while, I run across someone who thinks that riding a bike to work is extremely unsafe. Someone who I used to work with once inferred that my bike commuting is irresponsible because I have a family. Man, that kind of thinking just ticks me off. I shouldn't be surprised though. I guess it is right in line with the "drive a bigger SUV than the next guy so you aren't the one killed in an accident" mentality that seems so pervavisive in our culture. I wish that people would stop and actually think about what they say sometimes.
compnay, implemnet, pervavisive
Wow, I sure don't spell very well when I am ranting.
London: Cyclists only on September 23
London police ban Critical Mass
Bikes in the fast lane
86% of female bicycle deaths from trucks
one of my friends saw a woman killed while passing a truck on the right about two years ago. sad sad stuff.
Urbana laid out their plans to add some bike lanes and I'm glad we jumped on the intersection plans to avoid having them direct cycles to the right of right hand turners. So. Is it that more men get creamed by non-trucks going through those red lights, or that by going through the red lights they avoid the trucks?
Maybe if the ladies would quit trolling the gutter? Naaaaaaaaah.
The report authors apparently thought that the more "aggressive" cycling by males makes them more visible to truck drivers. Overall, though, men are involved in more accidents than women on a per-hour basis.
As implied by Paul, though, I think there is something to be said for assertive cycling.
Hmmm.... my experience talking to lady cyclists is consistent with that . "Aggressive" can translate into "in my lane." Gutter trolls... that's a neat phrase ;)
2-way cyclepath leaves no room for walkers