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Hello world

 

How unfortunate that this website is unreadable for most people. At least there are some items in English and images, on these page (and below).  

 

Videos of traffic lights not working

The Case against 'Speed kills'

The Case against LCC and Road Use Charging  

Shared Space is everywhere

Traffic in Morocco


On this page

 
The Times campaigns for more accidents
A warning against Dutch cycling experts
Blind spot accidents: Signals are lethal
Concrete over the Betuweroute ? [2006]

20/02 2012:

The Times campaigns for more accidents

 

But they don't mean to, of course. 

The Times has started the campaign Cities fit for cyclists, aiming to reduce the risk for cyclists. One of the paper's journalists was hit by a lorry in November and she is still unconscious.

The Times clearly has no clue about road safety, as evidenced by their manifesto. One point is right, but five are wrong, meaning that it will make the situation worse.

They should really begin to investigate the 'safety' record of traffic lights and cycling infrastructure or cycle paths, before simply copying the mistakes made in Denmark and The Netherlands.


Times' Manifesto and my comments

Lorries entering a city centre should be required by law to fit sensors, audible turning alarms, extra mirrors and safety bars to stop cyclists being thrown under the wheels.

Wrong, alarms nor sensors will do any good, as research has shown.

The design of lorry cabins is clearly bad, as drivers can't see much at all, especially front and left, the side where cyclists move or stand. Why are drivers forced into such a blind position and why can't lorry cabins be more like those of coaches? All involved (unions, transport firms) should complain about this horrible design error to the manufacturers.


The 500 most dangerous road junctions must be identified, redesigned or fitted with priority traffic lights for cyclists and Trixi mirrors that allow lorry drivers to see cyclists on their near-side.

Wrong. In Amsterdam, nearly all blind spot accidents happened near traffic lights and it is obvious that they are a major risk factor. They collect cyclists (at red), making it more difficult for drivers to spot them all, and they give a false sense of security to cyclists going straight. I have told many authorities about this, but they wilfully ignore it.

Without signals, traffic will disperse itself across the road network, thus reducing the intensity at intersections. Without signals (and with a proper layout) drivers will slow down, pay attention and use common sense priority 'rules'. Left turning lorries should move to the curb in time, that is behind or in front of any cyclists. This simple procedure effectively prevents blind spot accidents.

Priority lights for cyclists nor Trixi mirrors will do any good.

See Blind spot accidents: Signals are lethal, below.


A national audit of cycling to find out how many people cycle in Britain and how cyclists are killed or injured should be held to underpin effective cycle safety.

At least this won't do any harm.


Two per cent of the Highways Agency budget should be earmarked for next generation cycle routes, providing £100 million a year towards world-class cycling infrastructure. Each year cities should be graded on the quality of cycling provision.

This will do so much harm. There is a lot of research indicating, almost proving that separate paths are less safe, of course at intersections. That is only the gravest of many downsides. For studies follow the hyperlinks under De drie Johns.

See my Warning against Dutch cycling experts, below. Here a brief list: difficult or impossible to turn right into minor roads; not wide enough; will be used in two directions; not well maintained; often poorly designed (see Crap Cycle Lanes); false sense of security; where must the scooters go ? are cyclists drivers or pedestrians ?

Giving cyclists their own space is a good idea until you think about it, or experience it.

 

 

The training of cyclists and drivers must improve and cycle safety should become a core part of the driving test.

That is right.


20mph should become the default speed limit in residential areas where there are no cycle lanes.

Wrong, such a limit merely means: revving up pollution (engines can't be efficient crawling), forcing drivers to break the law and wasting tax money on reconstructions, speed humps and speed cameras. Please read Safe Speed and understand that 'too fast?' always depends on the situation, not on the speed limit and that turning lorries go slow.

See The Case against 'Speed kills' , link at top.

 

 

Businesses should be invited to sponsor cycleways and cycling super-highways, mirroring the Barclays-backed bicycle hire scheme in London.

Cycleways: wrong, see bicycle paths. Hire schemes: good for the UK.


Every city, even those without an elected mayor, should appoint a cycling commissioner to push home reforms.

Wrong, road and safety policy must be integral, not divided.


A warning against Dutch cycling experts

 

From This is London 15.3.10

Boris Johnson must do more to stop cyclists being killed to encourage greater numbers onto London's roads, according to Dutch experts.

My view

“Bike paths to protect cyclists from traffic” is an outrageous, shallow, lethal and dogmatic belief, promoted by bicycle campaigners. Only on the surface they seem safer. The truth that intersections exist and are by nature more dangerous than roads has somehow not yet reached the separation advocates. How does a bike path protect a cyclist on a crossroad ?
There is a lot of research indicating, almost proving that separate paths are less safe. And unsafety is just one of the problems, I have listed 22 of them (baluw.nl – in dutch).
Paths eat space. In the Netherlands many streets have been ruined by this. Shopping streets had the pavement cut back to a ridiculous 2 - 3 metres.
Paths restrict freedom of movement, turning right (UK) becomes much more difficult. That's why many cyclists ride against the flow on a path (at least in NL) instead of the longer, more dangerous route prescribed by the planners. So imagine the mayhem on our 2 metre wide paths with potholes (another downside), with bicycles, scooters and bakfietsen riding at differing speeds in both directions, combating for space.
Apart from the narrow and meandering paths, cyclists are hindered by traffic lights, speed humps and other planners' output.
Thus only fools call Amsterdam the “world's cycling capital”.

 


Blind spot accidents: Signals are lethal

 

It doesn't take that much of figure out that traffic lights are the main cause of blind spot accidents.

Traffic lights accumulate road users, then they launch them. A stampede instigated by the authorities. Drivers of left-turning HGVs must look in all directions and spot all passing and oncoming cyclists.

Mirrors are useful, but even good drivers can't use five at a time.

This situation also causes time-pressure; no driver can wait and see forever.

Compare these bouts of traffic with crossroads without lights (absent or not functioning). Here people arrive evenly, and they can filter in turn.

HGVs can move to the curb, simply negotiating with the one cyclist, if any. A lot safer for cyclists, a lot easier for HGV-drivers.

I have put this analysis to many responsible bodies in the Netherlands.

Most of them did not reply, none challenged it.

 

Blind spot accidents are only the tip of the iceberg.

Traffic lights cause many more serious injuries and deaths. They are truly lethal. Again, this has not been directly investigated, but it can be deduced from many reports. There is no research that proves or even indicates that lights improve safety.

The suggestion in the report by Transport for London’s road safety unit that it may be safer for cyclists to jump red lights is not quite supportive of current traffic management.

 

We must abolish them speedily.

 

Traffic lights are not the only factor in blind spot accidents, however.

Drivers sit at the right side, without a proper view of the area to the left. Mirrors are merely a second-rate aid. It is far better to seat the driver at the left (there are far fewer cyclists etc. on the right). What about UK and continental companies swapping HGV's ?

Other, less feasible solutions are : an assistant driver or transparancy by design, similar to buses.

 

Many point to the cyclists and shove an amount of blame on them.

But wait: most of the victims waited at red, then started off to go straight, expecting right of way from left-turning traffic. How wrong is this?

At present, with the terrific lights, some propose a new rule for cyclists: stay clear from HGVs. Adjacent rule: cyclists must go forward on red, when near a HGV. Without the signals, there is no need for such absurd rules.

 


Overtoom, Amsterdam

Overtoom, Amsterdam, 1 death, 1 severe injury in 2007

Concrete over the Betuweroute ? [2006]

 

Spiked offered a bold proposal: Concrete over the railways

"In spite of each rail journey being subsidised by the taxpayer to the tune of 20p per passenger mile, its fares are much higher than comparable journeys by coach. Megabus return fare to Birmingham is £2.50 [or higher, subject to moment of booking Baluw] compared to a rail fare of between £20 and £92.

The fuel efficiency per passenger mile travelled by train is no better than that of an average diesel car carrying two people. [subject to the number of passengers in the train Baluw]

If the 10,000 miles of railway lines were concreted over and turned into trunk roads, with no traffic lights and crossroads, to be used only by lorries and coaches, it could carry between five and 10 times as many passengers per hour as the railway. The advantages would be enormous. Instead of one train of several coaches leaving every 30 minutes, dreamliner coaches carrying over 50 passengers, in considerable luxury, would be able to depart at five-minute intervals."

 

I instantly thought about the Betuweroute (new east-west freight railway), hadn't someone proposed to make it a lorry track? Yes, in an edition of Zembla (current affairs tv), Dutch MP Pieter Hofstra said this.

Incredible as it seems, 'asfalteren' may be an escape route, as there's a big gap between the running costs of the Betuwelijn, or the price operators are supposed to pay for the use of it, and the price they are able to pay (related to the normal rail freight revenue).



Laatste wijziging:  13:31 24/01 2014

 

 

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