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 Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes

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PostSubject: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:51 pm

I took a few photos yesterday between Ennis and Limerick where there is now a generous cycle lane running out of the town of Newmarket on Fergus. I love cycle lanes and hope we get more as these big roads go up, making the older roads quieter and a resource to be exploited...

I'd like to keep an eye on them on this thread and I intend to put some photos here and use a google map showing them where I encounter them. They are rare in the country and widespread in Dublin I know... I think they really are an asset worth investing in - all is needed is some paint basically.



Last edited by Auditor #9 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:33 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : paragraphed)
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:00 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
I took a few photos yesterday between Ennis and Limerick where there is now a generous cycle lane running out of the town of Newmarket on Fergus. I love cycle lanes and hope we get more as these big roads go up. I'd like to keep an eye on them on this thread and I intend to put some photos here and use a google map showing them where I encounter them. They are rare in the country and widespread in Dublin I know... I think they really are an asset worth investing in - all is needed is some paint basically.

Try the sustrans site (UK) to see hundreds of miles of cycle ways.
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:13 am

Those cycle lanes are much better than nothing, but much inferior to cycling away from heavy traffic, where the danger, noise and pollution are very stressful.

The photos suggest that the road is quiet, but Irish roads like that are rarely quiet.

What we need most is a network of cycle routes as far away from cars and trucks as possible. Dedicated cycle tracks, old farm roads, disused railway lines (pending reopening!), and so on. The Greens seem to be doing something about it in Dundalk, but we need it nationwide.

Sustrans in Britain and many European governments have shown the way.

Cycling in Ireland is so dangerous, and so frustrating. ... Thinking of the many friends and relatives who have been killed or injured on their bikes... It's heartbreaking.

Building or preparing a cycle track is much, much cheaper than building a road for cars. Of course that doesn't impress Fianna Fáil...
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:17 pm

soubresauts wrote:
Those cycle lanes are much better than nothing, but much inferior to cycling away from heavy traffic, where the danger, noise and pollution are very stressful.

The photos suggest that the road is quiet, but Irish roads like that are rarely quiet.

What we need most is a network of cycle routes as far away from cars and trucks as possible. Dedicated cycle tracks, old farm roads, disused railway lines (pending reopening!), and so on. The Greens seem to be doing something about it in Dundalk, but we need it nationwide.

Sustrans in Britain and many European governments have shown the way.

Cycling in Ireland is so dangerous, and so frustrating. ... Thinking of the many friends and relatives who have been killed or injured on their bikes... It's heartbreaking.

Building or preparing a cycle track is much, much cheaper than building a road for cars. Of course that doesn't impress Fianna Fáil...


I have done a lot of reading on cycle lanes and in the most successful cycling towns in Europe they don't have cycle lanes (these can be dangerous at junctions). They have what they call "naked streets" with no signage and plenty of traffic calming by design, all road users sharing space and travelling at a max of 30 k.p.h.
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:21 pm

Ah yes Cactus, I heard about a pilot project in UK, where they have designed a street to 'look' pedestrianised, with street furnitrue, paving etc. It has the effect of slowing cars right down.

Cars, bikes and peds. all have access to the street.
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:03 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Ah yes Cactus, I heard about a pilot project in UK, where they have designed a street to 'look' pedestrianised, with street furnitrue, paving etc. It has the effect of slowing cars right down.

Cars, bikes and peds. all have access to the street.

In our village we planted an avenue of trees at both entrances to the main street and decreased the gaps between the trees as they came towards the centre to give the illusion of speed, so people would slow down. I think it does work a bit. Apparently people walk more when there are street trees, too.
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:19 am

Apologies for derailing Audi's cycle lane thread, but this report has some deadly stuff on street design

http://www.eukn.org/binaries/eukn/eukn/policy/2007/12/paved-with-gold.pdf
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:52 am

A few photos I took in Germany last year. You can see the cycle lanes they have in the countryside on the first picture on the left - criss-crossing the gorgeous countryside everywhere around Bavaria - really great for children I'd say - give them an appetite and get them fit and cheap too and look at the scenery.

The towns are beautful there - that's Pfronten (yeah pronounced like that) and look at the sizes of the houses ! They're massive ! I was wondering how they were built so that such massive three story yokes would keep the heat in in winter (it's snowing there now I'm told) and I found a house getting built in Pfronten (maybe the only one) and look at the excellent brickwork and the huge red bricks with obviously excellent thermal properties.

I have loads more close ups of the bricks but they wouldn't fit in the sides Mad




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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:20 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Apologies for derailing Audi's cycle lane thread, but this report has some deadly stuff on street design

http://www.eukn.org/binaries/eukn/eukn/policy/2007/12/paved-with-gold.pdf

Brilliant EvotingMachine0179 - even better if they factored in street trees.
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:50 am

Sorry EvotingMachine I didn't reply to your post earlier but that's an impressive document by the looks of it. All cyclelanes urban and rural and interntaional are welcome on this thread

looks like good document
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:15 pm

More thoughts on cycle lanes. Green Policy seems a bit confused. They are against "unsafe cycle lanes"

http://www.greenparty.ie/en/content/download/11236/125625/file/TransportPolicy_Final_LR.pdf

All the evidence seems to be that cycle lanes are in themselves unsafe. The safest place to be in the road is the middle of the carriageway:


http://home.connect.ie/dcc/docs/stats/junc1.html

http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/digest/research.html

The Galway Cycling Campaign publishes some good stuff:

Visibility parameters
Current UK guidance is to specify minimum and maximum visibility parameters for priority intersections . In addition a separate visibility envelope is specified for the immediate area of the junction. Maximum (not to be exceeded) visibility parameters are set out because long sight distances are associated with excessive entry speeds and consequently with increased risk of collisions. Sight triangles exceeding 9 x 25m have been associated with increased risk of car/cycle collision. In the UK a "Desirable Minimum Stopping Sight Distance" to the junction is provided to allow "drivers time to slow down safely at the junction, or stop, if this is necessary". However, UK guidance expressly cautions that "increased visibility shall not be provided to increase the capacities of various turning movements". Irish design guidance an apparently opposing philosophy is seen where visibility is provided which permits a minor road driver "to turn into or cross the major road without stopping". Irish guidance only allows for minimum sight distances and by implication encourages the use of large visibility envelopes.

The priority here is to keep the traffic flowing: lip service is paid to pedestrian safety, but it really comes quite low down in the list.

The thinking is a bit one-dimensional so we fall into a trap.

"Cycle lanes" sound Green, even if the reality is they are less safe.
"Good visibility" sounds good, even if we are more likely to crash if we have it.
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:06 pm

cactus flower wrote:
More thoughts on cycle lanes. Green Policy seems a bit confused. They are against "unsafe cycle lanes"
What's confused?
There are a lot of token cycle lanes in this country which are unsafe, and hinder cyclists rather than help them. Also when cyclists do the safe thing and avoid these lanes, motorists get annoyed and complain that cyclists won't use the lanes provided.
What is confusing is the local authorities in favour of cycle lanes, regardless of whether they are fit for use or not.

Perhaps you think the Greens shouldn't push cycle lanes at all?

cactus flower wrote:
The Galway Cycling Campaign publishes some good stuff
We do! Smile
No thanks to me personally, I'm just a new and rather inactive member.

The GCC engages in a lot of cyclist training. Even the most expierenced cyclist can learn a lot from one of their 1 hour talks.
Also they do some political lobbying. But one of the most important things they do is advise the council engineers on how to design junctions to be more cyclist and pedestrian friendly. This is tedious, difficult, technical work, and sadly the advice is too often ignored by the unelected city officials.


Last edited by eoinmn on Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:11 pm

Fantastic critique of Sustrans here.
"How a grassroots organisation has turned into an unaccoutable corporation".
http://onthelevelblog.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/the-problem-with-sustrans-how-a-grassroots-phenomenon-has-turned-into-a-private-unaccountable-corporation/
One of the criticisms is that Sustrans no longer bother with cycle lane projects which cover just a few km. The focus only on the big projects of 50km+.
That is obviously daft, as a safe and usable cycle lane in a city centre makes a much bigger difference to people's lives than 100km along a rural canal.
Also they went from a group wont to disagree with government policy to one that is funded to implement government policy.
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:12 pm

eoinmn wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
More thoughts on cycle lanes. Green Policy seems a bit confused. They are against "unsafe cycle lanes"
What's confused?
There are a lot of token cycle lanes in this country which are unsafe, and hinder cyclists rather than help them. Also when cyclists do the safe thing and avoid these lanes, motorists get annoyed and complain that cyclists won't use the lanes provided.
What is confusing is the local authorities in favour of cycle lanes, regardless of whether they are fit for use or not.

Perhaps you think the Greens shouldn't push cycle lanes at all?

cactus flower wrote:
The Galway Cycling Campaign publishes some good stuff
We do! Smile
No thanks to me personally, I'm just a new and rather inactive member.

The GCC engages in a lot of cyclist training. Even the most expierenced cyclist can learn a lot from one of their 1 hour talks.
Also they do some political lobbying. But one of the most important things they do is advise the council engineers on how to design junctions to be more cyclist and pedestrian friendly. This is tedious, difficult, technical work, and sadly the advice is too often ignored by the unelected city officials.

Eoinmn, if you read the links you will see that all the evidence of international research is that cycle lanes are substantially more dangerous for cyclists than are roads with no cycle lanes. I think the Greens should stop going on gut instinct and start following the science.
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:24 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Eoinmn, if you read the links you will see that all the evidence of international research is that cycle lanes are substantially more dangerous for cyclists than are roads with no cycle lanes. I think the Greens should stop going on gut instinct and start following the science.
Fair enough, Cactus Flower.
Although earlier you said talked about the danger of one-dimensional thinking.. I think some cycle lanes, if well designed, are useful and safe. I wouldn't go for a blanket ban on them.
Having said that, I agree that in Ireland, there are so few good cycle lanes, that it seems like all lanes are useless. And that when it comes to promoting cycling, build cycle lanes is an expensive option. There are better ways to spend money promoting cycling.
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:24 pm

That's interesting cactus,why is that so?

Is the comparison one between busy roads with cycle lanes and quiet roads without, or what? If that is so I can see why that might be the case.
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:25 pm

[quote="eoinmn"]
cactus flower wrote:
More thoughts on cycle lanes. Green Policy seems a bit confused. They are against "unsafe cycle lanes"
What's confused?
There are a lot of token cycle lanes in this country which are unsafe, and hinder cyclists rather than help them. Also when cyclists do the safe thing and avoid these lanes, motorists get annoyed and complain that cyclists won't use the lanes provided.
What is confusing is the local authorities in favour of cycle lanes, regardless of whether they are fit for use or not.

Perhaps you think the Greens shouldn't push cycle lanes at all?

cactus flower wrote:
The Galway Cycling Campaign publishes some good stuff
We do! Smile
No thanks to me personally, I'm just a new and rather inactive member.

The GCC engages in a lot of cyclist training. Even the most expierenced cyclist can learn a lot from one of their 1 hour talks.
Also they do some political lobbying. But one of the most important things they do is advise the council engineers on how to design junctions to be more cyclist and pedestrian friendly. This is tedious, difficult, technical work, and sadly the advice is too often ignored by the unelected city officials.[/
quote]

This is very important - look at the quote from the GCC in my post. Would you be able to influence the Green Party to change national road design standards? Smile Please?
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:28 pm

evercloserunion wrote:
That's interesting cactus,why is that so?

Is the comparison one between busy roads with cycle lanes and quiet roads without, or what? If that is so I can see why that might be the case.

Its explained here:

http://home.connect.ie/dcc/docs/stats/junc1.html

http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/digest/research.html

Its partly to do with the problem of junctions, where most injuries to cyclists take place.

I am trying to find a link to a town in Denmark that has very high, very safe cycle use, with "naked streets" and entirely shared road space.

Urban speeds need to be brought down to 30 k max. Average urban speeds are much lower than that anyway. The present limit only allows people to put the foot down here and there, it doesnt decrease their journey times.
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:36 pm

cactus flower wrote:
This is very important - look at the quote from the GCC in my post.
Eh, I wrote that..

cactus flower wrote:
Would you be able to influence the Green Party to change national road design standards? Smile Please?
I think there was progress on this in the govt's new "Smart Travel" policy. It promises..
Quote :

• National and Strategic Roads and the Planning
System (draft in preparation for public consultation
in early 2009), which will discourage development
patterns that promote rising car usage
and dependency
• A “Design Manual for Streets”, which will
outline practical design measures to support
and encourage more sustainable travel options in urban areas
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:42 pm

eoinmn wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
This is very important - look at the quote from the GCC in my post.
Eh, I wrote that..

cactus flower wrote:
Would you be able to influence the Green Party to change national road design standards? Smile Please?
I think there was progress on this in the govt's new "Smart Travel" policy. It promises..
Quote :

• National and Strategic Roads and the Planning
System (draft in preparation for public consultation
in early 2009), which will discourage development
patterns that promote rising car usage
and dependency
• A “Design Manual for Streets”, which will
outline practical design measures to support
and encourage more sustainable travel options in urban areas

Congratulations eoinmn, its very good. There is a design manual for streets at the moment that's prehistoric.

The current Traffic Management Guidelines look for cycle lanes - this is seen by old style engineers as a handy way of pushing cyclists off the road/building even wider roads. There is a need for a radical revision of the road design manuals so that the roads are safe for all road users. Perhaps a Smart Travel thread would be nice.
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:53 pm

cactus flower wrote:
eoinmn wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
This is very important - look at the quote from the GCC in my post.
Eh, I wrote that..
Congratulations eoinmn, its very good. There is a design manual for streets at the moment that's prehistoric.
Ooops, sorry, I must be getting my wires crossed..
I was referring to this part in bold..

Quote :
The GCC engages in a lot of cyclist training. Even the most expierenced cyclist can learn a lot from one of their 1 hour talks. Also they do some political lobbying. But one of the most important things they do is advise the council engineers on how to design junctions to be more cyclist and pedestrian friendly. This is tedious, difficult, technical work, and sadly the advice is too often ignored by the unelected city officials.

I wrote that, not the paragraph about design guidelines!
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PostSubject: Re: Low Tech: Irish Cycle Lanes   Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:57 pm

eoinmn wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
eoinmn wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
This is very important - look at the quote from the GCC in my post.
Eh, I wrote that..
Congratulations eoinmn, its very good. There is a design manual for streets at the moment that's prehistoric.
Ooops, sorry, I must be getting my wires crossed..
I was referring to this part in bold..

Quote :
The GCC engages in a lot of cyclist training. Even the most expierenced cyclist can learn a lot from one of their 1 hour talks. Also they do some political lobbying. But one of the most important things they do is advise the council engineers on how to design junctions to be more cyclist and pedestrian friendly. This is tedious, difficult, technical work, and sadly the advice is too often ignored by the unelected city officials.

I wrote that, not the paragraph about design guidelines!

All good. Have you been tempted to try using a tyre lever on the city officials?
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