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Is anybody using the new Bike Super Highway?

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Current: 7 of 24
Friday 12 February 2016 12.12pm
Zoe wrote:
I feel a bollard is the answer on all of the cycle lanes. I'm less bothered about the blue paint.

A bollard sounds sensible, but they also need much better road markings. I have seen a number of vehicles trying to turn right out of Webber Street onto Blackfriars Road, who have clearly been expecting to turn into the bike lane and then had to swerve sharply when they see the signs and try to get back into the right lane - whilst other drivers around them have to swerve, etc to avoid the new turning circle. A few larger vehicles have even ended up having to reverse in the middle of the junction to complete the new much tighter turn that they left themselves with. If it was painted blue, or there were much clearer road markings indicating where the correct turning circle actually is, it would lead to far less chaos.

PeterEccles wrote:
I suspect the cyclists who are using the main road are the dangerous ones who think the cyclists in the bike lane are too slow and that dodging cars, going through red lights and mounting the pavement (when things are inconvenient for them) is their right.

The situation I just described has also led to several vehicles making turning circles that would mow down any cyclist exposed in the middle of the junction on the section for bikes turning left from Blackfriars Road onto Webber Street. At the moment, when cycling down Blackfriars Road and wanting to turn left, the safest option is to cross over from the segregated bike lane, through and around any traffic, and turn left like all of the cars do. I don't cycle myself, but I can understand why some cyclists are still using the road (I don't excuse them running red lights though).
Friday 12 February 2016 1.58pm
Speaking from a cyclist's point of view, it's as frustrating for us as it is for pedestrians to see some cyclists in the segregated cycle path at the top end of Blackfriars Road while we're marooned in the road. It's not possible, or certainly not clear how you get into it from the top (bridge end) of the road. It's not yet finished so assuming these cyclists are joining the cycle lane further down.

At the moment, it feels more dangerous than ever coming down that stretch of road as it's now a narrow two way road at the top but many users don't realise and when buses stop, both cars and bikes often don't realise it's two way and try to overtake only to be met by an oncoming vehicle. It reverts to the original dual lanes just before the lights at Southwark Tube but again this isn't very clear, especially in the dark and then there is some confusion trying to turn right at the lights.

I've seen numerous cars take a tight left at Southwark Tube and drive straight into the cycle lane so bollards would definitely help! Trying to withhold judgment until it is all finished but this interim stage is going on and on and is quite disconcerting as it's really not clear where you are supposed to cycle.
Friday 12 February 2016 2.03pm
La Martinet wrote:
Ivanhoe wrote:
It would be interesting to debate whether these sort of cycle lanes (completely segregated from the traffic) should be compulsory for cyclists to use.
Agreed. And, for what it's worth, my opinion is that is definitely should be obligatory otherwise what is the point of it?
As you say, motorists can only use the main road (unless they happen to have ended up in the cycle lane in error), pedestrians can only use the pavements (unless they are taking their lives in their hands and trying to cross, of course) but at the moment, cyclists seem to use all three parts of the highway as they please.
The inmates are running the asylum.
Wrong (and the final comment's offensive to boot).
What's the point of it? To make a safer and less daunting route available, to encourage more people to cycle more instead of travelling by motor vehicle. And thus, to benefit public health in multiple ways (that hopefully don't need to be explained yet again here) and to mitigate traffic congestion.
Highway code Rule 63: "Cycle Lanes ... Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills..."
The roads are not, as many seem to think, provided for the use of motor vehicles. They're available to cyclists, horses and even pedestrians (Highway Code Rule 1 says to use the footpath where provided, but there's no actual prohibition on walking in the road).
The assertion that cyclists use pavements as they please is gratuitous and tiresome.
Friday 12 February 2016 2.15pm
Any feedback about design and usage issues (that don't go as far as challenging the highway code) are really worth sending to TfL customerservices@tfl.gov.uk[u][/u]

Meanwhile I (like some of you), have just received this update of further work:

"I am writing to advise you that traffic signal works are planned for this weekend on Blackfriars Road, at the junction with Stamford Street and Southwark Street, during the following times:
Saturday 13 February between 09:00 and 17:00
Sunday 14 February between 10:00 and 16:00.

Pedestrian and vehicular access will be maintained at all times during these works, although temporary lane closures may be needed. Traffic at the junctions of Southwark Street, Stamford Street and Blackfriars Road will also be controlled by temporary traffic lights.

The working hours outlined above have been agreed with the London Borough of Southwark. Other works will also be continuing on weekdays between 08:00 and 18:00."
Friday 12 February 2016 2.32pm
The crossroad at the Junction of Blackfriars / Stamford St & Southwark St is now so dangerous I give it up to 2 months before someone is seriously injured or worse be it Pedestrian cyclist or motor biker thats if it hasn't happened already.
Friday 12 February 2016 2.36pm
Sandgrown Dave wrote:
Highway code Rule 63: "Cycle Lanes ... Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills..."
The roads are not, as many seem to think, provided for the use of motor vehicles. They're available to cyclists, horses and even pedestrians (Highway Code Rule 1 says to use the footpath where provided, but there's no actual prohibition on walking in the road).

Maybe we could discuss whether the current HC should continue to apply in situations where we've changed the situation radically and have set aside up to half of the pre-existing carriageway for the benefit of cyclists?

In some sense, isn't the Balance skewed too much if the roads are for cyclists and the segregated cycle paths are for cyclists as well?

Or maybe we could fall into the nice comfy never-ending routine where everyone rants at each other, trots out the same tired old arguments, and gets cross to no avail...

Don't get me wrong. I will continue to give way to whoever has the right of way, and I will continue to look out and do my best to not endanger the most vulnerable road users - whether they have right or way or not. I think that's just a basic decent human thing to do. I'll do that whether the HC says I have to or not.

But the issue of traffic in London (and by "traffic", I mean everyone from pedestrians to juggernauts) has surely got to have a solution based on compromise. It's a huge, brave, quite possibly fantastic, thing that's been done to make these segregated cycle lanes. It could revolutionise transport in town if it gets more people on two wheels. I'm just wondering whether it makes sense to make the little space left that's not a segregated cycle lane or a pavement a space solely for motorised transport.

...if you press it, they will come.
Friday 12 February 2016 2.58pm
Sandgrown Dave wrote:
The assertion that cyclists use pavements as they please is gratuitous and tiresome.

I'm sorry if you find it gratuitous and tiresome. Are you suggesting it doesn't happen or that they should be allowed when they want?
Friday 12 February 2016 3.00pm
Given that cyclists are not allowed on motorways and TfL are both building urban motorways (such as the 7 lane Bend at E&C) and trying to smooth flow, I think there's a case to try and encourage / discourage cyclists to use their new lanes given that the expected enthusiasm for segregated space seems not to be there yet. For me that's about design tweaks rather than rules.

There seems to be a tension in urban transport design at the moment between two trends: shared vs segregated space. The prevailing emphasis is on shared space, of removing obstacles, barriers, signage, letting everyone's mutual confusion and good behaviour ensure safe slow travel. Ben Plowden at TfL is a self proclaimed radical leading this agenda. This trend leads to subway removal, guard rail removal, white line and any paint removal etc. It beautifies the urban realm. On the other hand there's the cycle lobby effectively getting segregated space built for themselves, but it's built in a way that's so influenced by the shared space trend that it ends up not being as inviting to cyclists as intended. With so much new infrastructure going on through this muddled time I fear a great deal of wasted investment in Designed-In Dangers.

I'm a fan of segregation for all users and clear demarcation, admiring again the excellent pedestrian, cycle and road provision around Basel and St Louis where I spent the weekend, from crab apple lined cycle lanes to double decker road bridges and tunnels, with pedestrian crossings marked with clear stripy lines (yellow), not a few white dots. Likewise Toyko, which has numerous handy high level walkways (which never get mentioned over here) as well as a few diagonal crossings (which do) or Seoul with many excellent subways and even low level river walkways. I've not looked into differences in highway code or collision history in these different landscapes, but I wish influences could be drawn more broadly, especially as Southwark becomes more like an Asian mega-city. The impression in all these places as a visitor is that it's easier to navigate more confidently and calmly as a pedestrian.
Friday 12 February 2016 4.31pm
PeterEccles wrote:
Sandgrown Dave wrote:
The assertion that cyclists use pavements as they please is gratuitous and tiresome.

I'm sorry if you find it gratuitous and tiresome. Are you suggesting it doesn't happen or that they should be allowed when they want?

Neither, of course.

It's gratuitous because most adult cyclists rarely or never cycle on pavements and in the context of all the problems and issues faced by users of London's streets, pavement cycling is insignificant.

It's tiresome because it gets trotted out whenever someone launches an anti-cycling diatribe (see any number of past threads on this forum).
Friday 12 February 2016 5.31pm
Ivanhoe wrote:
... Maybe we could discuss whether the current HC should continue to apply in situations where we've changed the situation radically and have set aside up to half of the pre-existing carriageway for the benefit of cyclists?

In some sense, isn't the Balance skewed too much if the roads are for cyclists and the segregated cycle paths are for cyclists as well?

... But the issue of traffic in London (and by "traffic", I mean everyone from pedestrians to juggernauts) has surely got to have a solution based on compromise. It's a huge, brave, quite possibly fantastic, thing that's been done to make these segregated cycle lanes. It could revolutionise transport in town if it gets more people on two wheels. I'm just wondering whether it makes sense to make the little space left that's not a segregated cycle lane or a pavement a space solely for motorised transport.

In short, I'd say "no". (And - come on - isn't referring to the main carriageway as "the little space left" rather stretching the point?)

You talk about "...the situation (having been changed) radically... for the benefit of cyclists", ask if the " Balance (is) skewed too much", say we need compromise. But we're starting from a historical basis of the Balance of power being skewed hugely in favour of motorised traffic. And that has given us
- massive, NHS-crippling public health problems due to air pollution and conditions related to inactivity,
- thousands of people killed or seriously injured in London every year in road traffic collisions and still
- motor traffic moving at a snail's pace in central London.

So in my opinion the case for more change in favour of walking and cycling remains strong, and we have a fair way to go yet before there's any danger of shifting the Balance too far in that direction.
Current: 7 of 24

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