|12th March 2010||#5|
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they need to do one for drivers.....
had an interesting dialogue with a lady whilst on my way to herne hill today.
looked back, indicated i was overtaking a cyclist.......overtook....got beeped, despite checking the distance between us before over-taking....
at the lights she glared at me and shook her head, so i signalled to weave her window down.
she says, angrily,
'you were riding out in the middle of the road'...
i say 'yes, i did indicate before making my move to overtake the cyclist in front of me, thus moving out in the middle of the road to overtake him safely'
(bearing in mind there are cars parked all the way down this road, it is residential...)
lady : 'well i didn't see that, but it is very frightening for us when you ride out in the rode like that'
(what, ride in the middle of the road?)
'well, trust me it is pretty frightening for us too when cars drive us right into the curb.......'
lights change. we go our separate ways....
last time i checked, i was entitled to the width of a car? which, considering the parked cars, I was just about taking up, and actually wasn't out in the middle of the road, and it wasn't for long at all as I resumed my position once overtaking the person in front of me....
however, it was nice to have a chat, rather than a sweary shouty signalling match.....
|13th November 2011||#10|
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One of the best things to come out of TfL's Cycle Safety Action Plan are the Cycle Safety Working Groups which were set up when everyone realised that the origninal draft plan missed most of the important issues. These groups have reps from London Cycling Campaign, Roadpeace, CTC, London Councils, FTA and the Police as well as TfL staff.
At this group we have put HGV safety at the top of the agenda resulting in the chance to revolutionise driver training and maybe ensure companies are brought to accout. Last week, just before the latest tragedy, we proposed that road infrastructure, especially at major junctions, be put at the top of the agenda for future meetings.
We also agreed a new sub-group to look at cycling and casualty statistics. TfL and the Mayor claim that the rate of casualties and fatalities is falling, as the number of cyclists has increased dramatically in recent years. A recent blog by Danny Williams
challenged that view using Department for Transport data. My view is that the Transport for London data is far better than anything from DfT and I believe that the casualty rate is falling, but not nearly as much as it should. The main problem is that there is very poor information on how many people cycle, where they cycle and how far they go.
A working group concentrating on cycle casualty data should give us better information and encourage TfL to invest in collecting more data about cycle use in London.
Last edited by charlie_lcc; 13th November 2011 at 15:05.
|13th November 2011||#11|
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I think arguing about small rises and falls in the rate of casualties is probably not productive. It enables TFL's strategy of making tiny safety improvements, and then pointing to tiny improvements in safety as evidence that it's doing its best.
Instead, we should be asking ourselves, what's an acceptable number? What should the target be? How should we define a safe and unsafe junction?
David Hembrow's post here:
might be a good guide.
In general, cyclist KSIs (per km) in the Netherlands are, I think, about a third of those in the UK. This seems an appropriate target. If we set this as a target - clearly it's only obtainable through very high quality infrastructure and traffic calming on something like the Dutch model. It's also obvious that the kind of interventions TFL usually considers will come no-where close to hitting the target.
There's also, perhaps, a more subjective safety target one could use. If it doesn't feel safe enough to cycle with a small child in a child seat, it's not yet safe enough...
|13th November 2011||#18|
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There is no question that TfL, owing to a lack of political direction, is for the most part pursuing business as usual, but there are exceptions, and the work that Charlie describes is among those.
For instance, in Hackney about nine years ago we succeeded in having the junction with the worst crash record for cyclists remodelled. This was a small and somewhat innocuous-looking junction at St Mark's Rise/Shacklewell Lane, where there were 10-20 reported cyclist casualties a year, including several serious ones. The problem was a sweeping left turn at a place where many rat-running motorists would turn left down St Mark's Rise and most cyclists would carry on towards the A10. The left turn arrangement was an example of bad design, but it would have been without consequences if motorists had followed proper left-turning procedures instead of putting their own sense of being in a hurry above the safety of other people. The simple fact that people often show a lack of consideration or simply can't cope with driving doesn't make junctions or any other piece of infrastructure 'safe' or 'unsafe'.
This is not just splitting hairs. It's a very important distinction to observe if you want to understand traffic and why people cycle or why not and lots of other things besides. By claiming that crashes are the (inevitable?) outcome of a 'dangerous' junction, you let drivers off the hook more than you realise. It's like blaming an uninvolved third party. You need to describe the problems with a junction neutrally, i.e. putting the finger on bad design, and separate the perpetrators' responsibility out properly.
It is still very much the case that badly-designed junctions, where some drivers' mistakes or unlawful driving cause high levels of casualties, have to be redesigned. Focusing on the design problems allows you to comprehend that problems with such junctions typically go much deeper than the relatively small symptom of bad design which are casualties.
The E&C is a good example--it is one of London's most major centres, the most important point in SE1, one of London's most important postcode areas. It has been depressed for decades following extensive war damage and the idea that most journeys should only pass through the area rather than end there. There is very little local economic activity as a result. There needs to be a complete local regeneration project, but as has been the case in London for some time, current efforts are very timid and involve little more than the Heygate Estate while putting forward only a fairly feeble suggestion for the main junction which would not have addressed what is required there.
Real progress is usually not achieved by aiming for very remote things. If you try that, you might not see another possible step that might get you closer to a more realistic aim and which might indirectly, via any number of intermediate steps, lead to what you really want eventually. I've seen plenty of people get completely frustrated because they always had aims like the above in the back of their minds.
Sorry if that seems patronising, beside the point, or like teaching a grandmother to suck eggs, but campaigning for change is hard, long-drawn out, and sustained work.
|13th November 2011||#20|
|13th November 2011||#21|
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since it not meant for peds and cyclists, then are we doomed to stay inside a cages for the rest of our lives?
|13th November 2011||#23|
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Just to be clear, i think the work Charlie has been doing with TFL is an absolutely vital part of reducing the casualty rate. But designing 'poka yoke' is just as important. There's no inherent contradiction here. No-one will go out on the road wanting to take risks just because we improve passive safety. In fact, much of passive safety involves design that makes people aware of risk.
Many other things that TFL does, and flags as improvements - for example the proposed redesigns of the junction at Kings Cross - are clearly no-where near what's needed to improve safety to a significant degree.
Many stories can be told about which parts of what the Dutch have done are effective, and which aren't. if you have clear experimental evidence, that's always useful. Otherwise, we know that their interventions, all together, have been enough to create and maintain over 30% of modal share in many cities. We haven't managed that anywhere here, so it's likely we have something to learn from their experience over the past 30 years.
David Hembrow points out that the most dangerous junction in the Netherlands has a cycle casualty rate less than 1/6 of that at E&C. It's also true that the Dutch have several junctions that look outwardly a lot like E&C (but with cyclists given a segregated route around the junction). It's clear, therefore, that one can design junctions that work more or less like E&C with a very much lower casualty rate. This would seem to be around the right scale for our target.
Again, things aren't exactly the same here and there, I agree. But they're similar enough for us to be able to think of the 1/3 casualty rate (and the 30% modal share) as something close to the what we'd be able to achieve with a raft similar interventions.
I think here, the answer is clearly to start building high quality infrastructure (and putting in place other interventions on the Dutch model), and trying to measure the effect as it's rolled out to see what's most effective. If it doesn't work, we can always stop building it.
High aims are difficult to achieve, it's true. The London political system, though, concentrates a lot of power at the top - if the Mayor and his advisors decide something should happen, it usually gets done - and to sway these people, one needs to be able to articulate both problems and solutions in a clear (and careful) manner. The detail can be worked out later.
There's room for both this approach, and the more local, detail-oriented pressure on borough councils and TFL. In fact, I suspect both are necessary for any significant progress.
Hope that's clearer....
Last edited by chameleon; 13th November 2011 at 19:57.
|14th November 2011||#29|
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Steve Norris for Mayor??? He was a tory car dealer, when he was a minister for Transport we took him for a ride around London. One of the results was the National Cycling Strategy 1996. It set a target to quadruple cycling by 2012. In London it has almost tripled.
Last edited by charlie_lcc; 14th November 2011 at 10:51. Reason: grama
|14th November 2011||#30|
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You really do have a penchant for the brown stuff, eh?
I'm simply bored of deaths coming from the same vulnerable section. It'd be interesting to see how deeply entrenched that inertia really is when this kind of tragedy is brought closer to home.
I wish I could be just like you and feel no sense anger at what have been utterly preventable deaths- especially against the backdrop of those in power paying lip service, telling us to get out of our cars/telling us how much monies have been spent painting roads blue/the police perceived inactivity towards reports of dangerous drivers/TfL's dishonesty regarding the dangers of certain junctions that experts have warned would result in death(s)/ a refusal by the haulage industry or the dept for transport to add simple cameras, to stipulate a minimal amount of mirrors irrespective of how old the vehicle is or where ever in Europe it's come from before entering dense URBAN roads/ or to ensure drivers have a basic amount of rest and are able to grasp basic road signage.
You have no idea what it's like to leave this world via a HGV. A friend was unfortunate to witness this and required counselling for months afterwards.
I wonder how glib you'd be if it were your best mate? Maybe you could hold up a mirror and proclaim: "Has it ever occured to you that busy urban streets are not meant for cyclists?!"
Possibly for an encore you could turn up to the funerals and tell the now fatherless/motherless/loverless/brotherless/sisterless/friendless grieving ones:
"Has it ever occured to you that busy urban streets are not meant for cyclists?!"
Oh you dropped this "r" (it's occurred)
Maybe you could do talks to rape victims about taking their blame in wearing skirts?
Last edited by Multi Grooves; 14th November 2011 at 12:34.
|1 Week Ago||#34|
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I have put together some comments on behalf of TABS regarding this.
I known it's tl:dr but if you have a chance to look and comment and make any suggestions there is time this week before I forward this to TfL
Cycle Safety Action Plan
(see - https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/draft-safety-action-plan)
CASP 2 draft feedback
General points additions and amendments:
While safety is and should be at the heart, cycling promotion should
also be explicitly stated from the outset. Promotion of active travel
needs to be stated and be included in the 6 road safety commitments to
include a target for increasing trips by bike. While this may not seem
a pure road safety commitment more people cycling (and walking) and
the effect of this in getting drivers used to sharing the road with
cyclists helps greatly to improve road safety.
With a view to promoting cycling and taking into account the current
lack of any legislation regarding the wearing of helmets we think that
the images on the front showing every person on a bike wearing a
helmet isn't balanced or realistic. Change the front cover to show a
mixture of helmeted and helmet-less cyclists. (images throughout the
rest of the doc are more balanced)
Vulnerable road users (VRUs). While it is easy to categorise people
out of cars as VRUs and to focus the CSAP (and MCSAP/PSAP) on VRUs we think a better focus and more in line with a general harm reduction is to prioritise actions around the groups which CAUSE the most
harm rather than the current focus on people who get harmed. This
would create a significantly stronger document and send the message
that people liable to cause harm need to be managed and therefore
there needs to be a stronger emphasis on driving skills and
enforcement of bad driver behavior. This point doesn't negate the need
to up-skill cyclists at all but recognises that a mistake by a cyclist
or pedestrian is much less likely to harm other people whereas a
mistake (or recklessness by) a driver is more likely to harm others.
So based on the above comment we believe that this document should
start with a focus on the people who cause the harm rather than the
victims. On p13 there is an analysis of who kills or seriously injures
cyclists which is good. On page 16 there is an analysis based on
evidence as to what drivers do that kill or seriously injure cyclists
This analysis is good and actions in the CSAP need to focus much more
on what to do to minmisie the source of the KSIs whic are mainly
For example 10% of KSIs are caused by drivers opening their car door
in the path of cyclists -while clearly cyclists should be and are
taught to ride away from car doors (and may get beeped and scared back
into the car door zone by drivers who don't understand why the rider
is in the middle of a lane), focusing on drivers teaching them to
check before opening their doors AND helping them understand why
riders ride away from car doors, is a much better evidence based
action likely to lead to fewer incidences of car-dooring.
The comparison of fatalities per million population doesn't take into
account of the number of miles traveled by bike so having fewer
absolute fatalities compared with Amsterdam is pointless. This could
lead to a conclusion that in order to have fewer fatalities we need to
have fewer people riding! This is why a cycling promotion target is
As per above the link between more cyclists and fewer casualties must
be made and prioritising the reduction of harm would inevitably lead
to improved safety. It is important to know who is being injured but
even more important to know who is doing the injuring, where when and
how, in order to mitigate it happening.
In the spirit of the comments above who causes the harm should be the
main focus. It would also be useful to include cycles in that table to
be able to assess to what extent cyclists are the cause of injury to
others and the ratio of cycles involvement as a ratio of modal share.
(I suspect cyclists harming other cyclists (KSI) would be pretty low
which would therefore lead to more focus on groups with a high ratio
of involvement. (The ratio for cabbies (4) is astounding and should
lead to TfL prioritising actions to mitigate harm this group causes.)
Referring to action 23 in chapter 4. There is no action here about
driver skills and checking before opening doors.
Good point about driver inexperience but not followed through to
actions on this point. Action 13 is about technology and action 19,
while better and about vru awareness in HC revisions and driver
training there needs to be a TfL action about driver skills.
The note about contributory factors shares responsibility equally
between drivers and cyclists. A much better moral position should be
to apportion more responsibility to those able to cause more harm as
in many European countries.
Is TfL proposing therefore to gather evidence as to what experience
cyclists require to build up skills for riding on urban roads. What
about evidence looking at whether drivers who are cyclists are better
Regarding operation Safeway and exchanging places. There needs to be
more emphasis on the balance here. Some in the cycle community see
this as targeting cyclists and some officers offering their personal
opinion regarding PPE. So for example a rider is pulled over while a
driver on their mobile passes by unchallenged. The SUD element of any
exchanging places should be extended to taxis and other vehicles and
priorites over getting cyclists in the cab of a lorry.
There is a strong case for a driver safety (harm reduction) action plan DASP
Last edited by skydancer; 1 Week Ago at 14:03.
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