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Just wondering what people think of this idea.

Firstly, on the approaches to any dangerous junction, erect a road sign that says, "no overtaking of cyclists for next 200 yards and, obviously, place it 200 yards from the junction.

Secondly, remove the ASL that inevitably encourages cyclists to squeeze up the inside of trucks, puts drivers' backs up, and places cyclists directly in the path of drivers when moving off.

The idea would be to create a calming effect that starts well before the junction, rather than the existing jockying for position by both cyclists and motorists.

It's cheap, can be implimented as required, and might have an impact on driver awareness and cyclist sensibilities. Opinions welcome.

20 comments

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r48 [4 posts] 3 years ago
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thing is, they would not obey it. Well maybe 70% of them might. Only real solution is segregated bike lanes with physical barriers so cars and lorries cannot either park or drive on cycle lanes.
I lived in Sweden for about 4 years and te cycle lanes were a joy.
Or actually, rather from an Englishmans perspective they were safe.

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Colin Peyresourde [1773 posts] 3 years ago
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I agree with r48. Not really practical. Hard to enforce and you would otherwise cause a rush to get passed cyclists before the 200 yard point. You are just starting a problem at another point on the road.

I think common sense on it should be that cyclists don't undertake HGVs, and feel happy to sit in the lane. Education on when to use the ASL and when not to. Perhaps creating a HGV line (further back) on the ASL to give them more vision of cyclists - perhaps a ASL line further back at all junctions for HGVs.

Also the thing about sitting behind a bus or HGV is that they don't move too fast. Cars are much happier to let you take the lane if they know that they are being blocked by the bus and not you (because if you are over to the left there is plenty of room for them to move beyond you).

In London I think the average journey speed is 12.5mph, which is easily matched on a bike - so in the main I don't think drivers are actually too bothered about immediately passing cyclists. It actually seems that cyclists are more bothered about overtaking/undertaking motorists.

The issue to me is as much about cyclists understanding HGVs as vice versa (and actually cyclists and any other vehicle in traffic).

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Neil753 [447 posts] 3 years ago
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r48 wrote:

thing is, they would not obey it. Well maybe 70% of them might. Only real solution is segregated bike lanes with physical barriers so cars and lorries cannot either park or drive on cycle lanes.
I lived in Sweden for about 4 years and te cycle lanes were a joy.
Or actually, rather from an Englishmans perspective they were safe.

Ah, if only we had the political will to make widespread cycle friendly infrastructure available in the UK.

I agree, not every driver would obey the sign, and we all know that drivers often don't obey signs, there would be a reduction in conflict the instant the workmen install the sign and, as you suggest, the compliance percentage might be quite high.

I'm hoping that someone with a bit of clout, with Boris and his mates, reads this. I'm sure a trial, even at just one dangerous junction, might be useful.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 3 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:

I agree with r48. Not really practical. Hard to enforce and you would otherwise cause a rush to get passed cyclists before the 200 yard point. You are just starting a problem at another point on the road.

I think common sense on it should be that cyclists don't undertake HGVs, and feel happy to sit in the lane. Education on when to use the ASL and when not to. Perhaps creating a HGV line (further back) on the ASL to give them more vision of cyclists - perhaps a ASL line further back at all junctions for HGVs.

Also the thing about sitting behind a bus or HGV is that they don't move too fast. Cars are much happier to let you take the lane if they know that they are being blocked by the bus and not you (because if you are over to the left there is plenty of room for them to move beyond you).

In London I think the average journey speed is 12.5mph, which is easily matched on a bike - so in the main I don't think drivers are actually too bothered about immediately passing cyclists. It actually seems that cyclists are more bothered about overtaking/undertaking motorists.

The issue to me is as much about cyclists understanding HGVs as vice versa (and actually cyclists and any other vehicle in traffic).

Interesting points, Colin. What about positioning a speed camera at the 200 yard point, as well as the sign?

I'm just searching for ways to reduce the carnage, that would be easy to understand, even to foreign drivers, and cheap to impliment.

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shay cycles [346 posts] 3 years ago
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Having thought long and hard about this I cannot see any justification for allowing any vehicle to overtake any other vehilce in the 50 metres preceding and the 50 metres after any controlled road junction, or traffic control feature. By any vehicle I include motor vehicles and pedal cycles.

"No overtaking" ought to always mean any vehicle (that is not the same as a continuous centre line).

A global rule banning such manouvres might be a good start. We already theoretically have no overtaking in the zig-zag areas at certain types of pedestrian crossings.

I also can't see any justification for allowing motor vehicles to travel faster than 20mph in built up areas.

Think about it; I mean real justification. That doesn't include making slightly quicker journey times, increasing flow rates across a city or passing something in those 50 metres because it is going really slowly.

If there is no justification for allowing it then why is it allowed?

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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I think there has been some good points made so far. It's a shame that traffic planners do not seem to read cycling websites when working out the provision for cyclists.

I think a lot of the problem is that judgement is not used when and when not to use a bike lane to undertake stationary traffic at junctions. Most motorists (myself included) are 'hard wired' to expect and look out for overtaking traffic but not undertaking traffic. In some cases IMHO bike lanes provide a false sense of security and encourage a mindset that you must get to the ASL where in some cases it is more diligent to hold back and queue with the rest of the traffic (a minority of which has issues when you take a primary position when queuing but that is a different problem).

Would no a solution be to remove all bike lanes within 50yds of a junction & where there is space divert the bike lane onto the pavement to offer a left hand filter lane for cyclists. The lane could be easily segregated from pedestrians / traffic using raised kerb edgings.

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giff77 [1258 posts] 3 years ago
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Have been thinking much the same thing Neil. Though do you not mean 200 feet? I would have a no passing zone from say 25 meters from the lights. I would also have it on the approach to a roundabout. I would also have it on the other side as well to allow a number of cyclists to safely allow themselves to establish their position based on speed.

Another thought is that if you are making a right hand turn off the main road, that oncoming traffic slow down to allow you to turn off the main road.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 3 years ago
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@ shaycycles - some good points there.

@ badback - I agree, a left hand filter lane would be good, so long as it didn't cause cyclists to exit the filter lane into the path of traffic coming from the right. Would you be able to trust cyclists to stop at a give way sign at the end of the filter lane, or indeed a traffic light at the end of the filter lane? Maybe not. I agree that a "cycle lane", encouraging cyclists to squeeze up to the lights, and into an already busy ASL box is not well thought out. One of the concepts I feel we should explore is the idea that motorists resent the advantage that cyclists have in these situations, and a more rational solution might be to place cyclists in a managed (but safe) "queue", so that they are seen to be "taking their turn". I appreciate that most cyclists wouldn't agree, but I'm coming from the planning side, rather than the "trying to do a PB to the office" side.

@ giff77 - Yes, maybe 200 yards is too far. perhaps it should vary according to the particular road layout. And yes, a "no overtaking" zone immediately after the junction sounds like a good idea.

Many thanks for the responses so far.

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crazy-legs [811 posts] 3 years ago
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There are already far too many road signs - some high streets look like a small forest of steel poles all with signs - watch out for this, directions to that, publicity for the other.

All over the place, road users are being given all sorts of information from the useful (turn left for A, turn right for B) to the advisory (caution, speed humps ahead) to the generally useless (car boot sale this Sunday!).

As a result, they're conditioned not to think, they expect to be given everything and when something happens (eg, a bike NOT in a bike lane) they get confused, angry, don't know how to react. The bike should be in it's lane, that's what I've been told and it's not. Drivers simply look for the green light - not whether there's still a little old lady crossing, they just see green and go.

Last thing we need is yet more signage - if anything it needs stripping away completely so that drivers actually have to think for themselves, that is proven to slow them down. Google "shared space" for more info.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 3 years ago
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crazy-legs wrote:

There are already far too many road signs - some high streets look like a small forest of steel poles all with signs - watch out for this, directions to that, publicity for the other.

All over the place, road users are being given all sorts of information from the useful (turn left for A, turn right for B) to the advisory (caution, speed humps ahead) to the generally useless (car boot sale this Sunday!).

As a result, they're conditioned not to think, they expect to be given everything and when something happens (eg, a bike NOT in a bike lane) they get confused, angry, don't know how to react. The bike should be in it's lane, that's what I've been told and it's not. Drivers simply look for the green light - not whether there's still a little old lady crossing, they just see green and go.

Last thing we need is yet more signage - if anything it needs stripping away Jcompletely so that drivers actually have to think for themselves, that is proven to slow them down. Google "shared space" for more info.

I agree. I'm a big fan of shared space. But, at the moment, I don't think the political will is there. It may well be in the future once the benefits of schemes such as the recent one at Poynton are better appreciated, but my idea is a temporary measure for identifiably dangerous junctions. But yes, I agree that the proliferation of signs is a potential distraction.

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drfabulous0 [409 posts] 3 years ago
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The shared space scheme in Poynton is mayhem and a danger to everyone concerned, no way would I walk around there with my kids, sorry but I can't see what benefits such schemes bring to anyone.
A better idea would be to remove the driver's airbag from all cars and replace it with a foot long spike sticking out of the steering wheel, maybe then drivers might pay a bit more attention.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 3 years ago
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drfabulous0 wrote:

The shared space scheme in Poynton is mayhem and a danger to everyone concerned, no way would I walk around there with my kids, sorry but I can't see what benefits such schemes bring to anyone.
A better idea would be to remove the driver's airbag from all cars and replace it with a foot long spike sticking out of the steering wheel, maybe then drivers might pay a bit more attention.

Do you live in Poynton? I'm curious because there hasn't been a single serious accident since the impementation of the changes to the junction. Even drivers like it, because traffic flow has improved. Let me know what you dislike about it, and what particular parts of the scheme you feel put you at higher risk. The Poynton scheme is designed to create an element of uncertainty as to who has priority, and the result is that everyone slows down. As an experiment with such shared space junctions, try walking slowly backwards, diagonally across the junction. You will find that drivers and cyclists slow down to let you make your own way across. It really is that safe.

I know that when seatbelts became compulsory, cyclist and pedestrian KSIs rose a little, so I suppose that a steering wheel spike might do the same thing in reverse, theoretically. I share your frustration with the shifting of exposure to risk, and its detrimental effect on more vulnerable road users, but I suspect the spike idea won't be practical.

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sm [392 posts] 3 years ago
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I think your post looks at the problem wrong way around. We're not going to change drivers so let's put the responsibility with the cyclist and give them the tools to be safe at junctions:

1) Keep ASLs and enforce them with cameras (just like they do with yellow boxes)
2) Put a large countdown timer up so cyclists can see how long they have to get to the ASL before traffic begins to move.
3.1) Green light for cyclists for ten seconds or so
or
3.2) Allow cyclists to turn left on a red when safe to do so.

The above are easy to enforce and practical. Chances of any of it being done? Nope.

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andycoventry [110 posts] 3 years ago
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@SM - if only it were that simple.

1 - in reality this would be financially impossible - a camera would be required for each ASL on every arm that was clear enough to presecute so that would be thousands or more.

2 - And it would also be a countdown timer for traffic moving off so drivers could time it to hit the stop line at the correct time without slowing. Instead of pulling off together slowly vehicles may be doing the speed limit this has to be worse.

3.1 - Aportioning additional green time for cyclists removes green time for all other road users. In a junction approaching saturation (as in most of London) this would cause a longer queue which in itself is a hazard. More cyclists having to undertake stationary vehicles, more possibility of shunts and rat-running on unsuitable routes for instance.

3.2 - Unfortunately the way traffic signals are set up generally means pedestrian stages operate when traffic stages are red. This would mean cyclists crossing pedestrians which is a hazard.

Its not a simple case of taking a lane out and giving it to cyclists or changing the signals to ensure cyclists get all the green time they need. Every measure has a knock on effect elsewhere and this needs to be managed accordingly.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 3 years ago
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sm wrote:

I think your post looks at the problem wrong way around. We're not going to change drivers so let's put the responsibility with the cyclist and give them the tools to be safe at junctions:

1) Keep ASLs and enforce them with cameras (just like they do with yellow boxes)
2) Put a large countdown timer up so cyclists can see how long they have to get to the ASL before traffic begins to move.
3.1) Green light for cyclists for ten seconds or so
or
3.2) Allow cyclists to turn left on a red when safe to do so.

The above are easy to enforce and practical. Chances of any of it being done? Nope.

I think the countdown timer is a very good idea. Cyclists currently have no way of telling whether they can reach the ASL before a lorry starts moving.

Not sure about green lights for cyclists - they seem to cause confusion.

ASL cameras would be great - I suspect the cost would be prohibitive, and there are better ways to do things than using an ASL.

Allowing turning left on a red light, with pedestrians trying to cross, and with lorries hurtling past a 30mph? - not too sure that's a good move, unless the cyclists are channelled into a segregated section that extends well past the junction.

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bambergbike [89 posts] 3 years ago
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In urban areas you could have junctions every 200 yards so you could put up a lot of signage or achieve the same result with a blanket ban on overtaking cyclists in urban areas. Either option would face the same counter-argument:

"Why shouldn't I overtake cyclists when it's safe to do so?"

So what I would prefer to zoom in an are the existing rules on overtaking and the way that they are enforced. These could be clarified and expanded to make it clear to motorists that fast overtaking and close overtaking are both dangerous in themselves and likely to result in penalty points (with prosecutions for careless or even dangerous driving when both are combined.)

People need to understand how the amount of clearance required is related to the speed of the overtaking vehicle. 3 feet might be enough clearance if a suburban driver slows from 20 mph to 12 mph while overtaking a parent cycling uphill with two toddlers in a child trailer at 7 mph, but 3 yards might be barely enough clearance - even for a less obviously vulnerable cyclist - if traffic is moving freely on a road with a 60 mph limit.

Many drivers believe they can speed without anything bad happening because they are skilled. The physics of stopping distances disprove their arguments. The physics of overtaking need to become more widely known in the same way, and drivers need to understand the psychological impact of dangerous overtakes on victims. If somebody gives up cycling after a near-death experience, it's not true to say that "nothing happened" just because there was no collision and nobody was injured.

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drfabulous0 [409 posts] 3 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:
drfabulous0 wrote:

The shared space scheme in Poynton is mayhem and a danger to everyone concerned, no way would I walk around there with my kids, sorry but I can't see what benefits such schemes bring to anyone.
A better idea would be to remove the driver's airbag from all cars and replace it with a foot long spike sticking out of the steering wheel, maybe then drivers might pay a bit more attention.

Do you live in Poynton? I'm curious because there hasn't been a single serious accident since the impementation of the changes to the junction. Even drivers like it, because traffic flow has improved. Let me know what you dislike about it, and what particular parts of the scheme you feel put you at higher risk. The Poynton scheme is designed to create an element of uncertainty as to who has priority, and the result is that everyone slows down. As an experiment with such shared space junctions, try walking slowly backwards, diagonally across the junction. You will find that drivers and cyclists slow down to let you make your own way across. It really is that safe.

I know that when seatbelts became compulsory, cyclist and pedestrian KSIs rose a little, so I suppose that a steering wheel spike might do the same thing in reverse, theoretically. I share your frustration with the shifting of exposure to risk, and its detrimental effect on more vulnerable road users, but I suspect the spike idea won't be practical.

I live in Stockport and have occasion to go through Poynton from time to time but it is an area I prefer to avoid because of personal experience, I have had near misses on the junction due to vehicles driving across from all directions at once, I have been pushed into oncoming traffic by a motorist who clearly had no idea how to react, I have come into conflict with pedestrians and seen the same happen to motorists and seen a minor bump between two cars. The area is far two small for such a drastically different approach to traffic management to be effective, it just confuses everyone and makes them nervous. I applaud the effort and may be prepared to forgive most of the above if the road surface wasn't so fucking slippery when wet, I have felt safer on ice and now just try to avoid the area altogether, which I agree will improve traffic flow and therefore please drivers.

I accept my spike proposal requires refinement.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 3 years ago
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drfabulous0 wrote:

The area is far two small for such a drastically different approach to traffic management to be effective, it just confuses everyone and makes them nervous. I applaud the effort and may be prepared to forgive most of the above if the road surface wasn't so fucking slippery when wet, I have felt safer on ice and now just try to avoid the area altogether, which I agree will improve traffic flow and therefore please drivers.

I accept my spike proposal requires refinement.

I guess no scheme is perfect. We'll have to see if the absence of any serious injuries continues, to see whether the potential confusion is a price worth paying.

I have an improvement on your spike idea. How about some sort of indelible dye, incorporated into the air bag system. Perfectly safe, but maybe a considerable deterent to bumping into things.  16

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drfabulous0 [409 posts] 3 years ago
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I would like to see something similar tried in a proper city, where people would be in it for longer than half a minute and hopefully get more used to it.

Are you thinking maybe paintballs?

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skippy [411 posts] 3 years ago
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So Shay Cycles has the same view as me on the NEED for GLOBAL LAWS ?

Here is my way to start the ball rolling :

THis petition needs YOUR HELP :
https://www.change.org/de/Petitionen/ioc-chairman-thomas-bach-create-an-...

Nearly EVERY English Speaking Country refuses to have these " Strict Liability & 1 1/2M Safe Passing Laws ! Nearly Every EU Country has these Laws !

Thus it is NECESSARY for coordination across the World , Utilising THE BEST Initiatives available !

Why does it not bother YOU ? Even in the EU , there are mugs who think playing Chicken is OK , until I show up at their Clients Premises , Their Employers Yard and their Front Door , IF , i haven't stopped them at the side of the road , to remind them , that hitting me , puts them in the Dock/penitentiary , perhaps , EVEN their Employer also !