Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Common priority lanes for bicycles and buses ?

Expand Messages
  • Morten Lange
    I would like to introduce quickly this good note from Morten Lange from Reykjavik and suggest that we treat this as another of our discussion topics, as we did
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 10, 2008
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      I would like to introduce quickly this good note from Morten Lange from Reykjavik and suggest that we treat this as another of our discussion topics, as we did so creatively with the helmets issues. So let me give the stage to Morton as he happens up our discussions on this important topic. Eric Britton
      ****************************************************************
      Hi,

      Here in Iceland, politicians are finally awakening slowly and have begun using priority lanes for buses. However, no other vehicles are allowed on those lanes. But, this practice is not yet supported by laws nor sanctions for violations, and this will be changed during the next months.

      The parliamentary committee discussing the law proposal has invited us to present the case for allowing cyclists on these lanes. We have already brought forward the arguments about cycling being a mode that one wants to boost. (Sustainability and health ) + this is feasible, referring to practice in other countries.

      The prime arguments against will be about safety, that cyclists will slow down buses, and that allowing bicycles invites a slippery slope situation. Bicycles and taxis on bus priority lanes ! Electric and methane cars next ? All multi-occupancy vehicles ?

      This issue must be relevant in many cities where cycling is being promoted, by CityBikes / Bikesharing schemes or otherwise.

      Does anyone here have any compelling reports, evaluations, statistics on such shared-use priority lanes ?
      Arguments pro et con?
      Which arguments usually weigh in most heavily ?

      I know shared-use priority lanes have been implemented in London (own experience) , Paris, Oslo and more places. I have a vague sense that they work well, for the most part, but some bus-drivers might think of the cyclists as a nuisance ?


      Best Regards,
      Morten Lange
    • Bruce Rosar
      ... FYI: there are a variety of priority lanes (AKA preferential lanes) for special uses, including: * public transit use (usually by bus) * public taxi use
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 13, 2008
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In WorldCityBike@yahoogroups.com, Morten Lange wrote:
        > ... using priority lanes for buses.

        FYI: there are a variety of priority lanes
        (AKA preferential lanes) for special uses, including:
        * public transit use (usually by bus)
        * public taxi use (cars, vans, etc.)
        * light rail public transit use (trams, trollycars, etc.)

        > ... the case for allowing cyclists on these lanes.

        Unlike the examples given above, "cyclists" is a class of traveler
        (not a use). A cycle can be employed for many different uses,
        including public transit and taxi service.

        > The prime arguments against ... that cyclists will slow
        > down buses, and ... a slippery slope situation.
        > Arguments pro et con?

        Given the lack of reliable and objective data about the results of
        such complicated schemes, I suggest that serious consideration be
        given to the relative simplicity of the shared space design approach
        (especially given the reported decreases in collision rates and
        improved trip times).
        http://discovermagazine.com/2007/may/urban-unplanning

        Bruce Rosar
      • urbanbicyclist
        A few years ago, The Australian Bicycle Council commissioned ARRB Transport Research to develop guidelines for managing interaction between buses and bikes in
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 13, 2008
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          A few years ago, The Australian Bicycle Council commissioned ARRB
          Transport Research to develop guidelines for managing interaction
          between buses and bikes in the road network. The ARRB Project Leader
          was, Ian Ker (iank@...).

          Ian is no longer at ARRB but the report available through the
          Australian Bicycle Council. http://www.austroads.com.au/abc/

          Actually, here is the report!

          http://www.onlinepublications.austroads.com.au/script/Details.asp?docn=AS410786249817

          AP-R266/05 : Bus-Bike Interaction within the Road Network

          Summary
          Buses and Bikes are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of size,
          mass and manoeuvrability but frequently operate in the same road
          space, especially adjacent to the kerb and at intersections. Both
          buses and bicycles are effective alternatives to the private car for
          travel in our towns and cities and are being promoted by governments
          on this basis, but they can come into conflict as well as working
          together.

          This report reviews the interaction between buses and bicycles within
          the road network and suggests ways in which any adverse impacts on
          cyclists or bus operators and passengers can be minimised. Issues and
          ways of addressing them were identified in consultation with both bus
          and bicycle stakeholders, to ensure that the outcomes reflected a
          balanced view of bus-bike interaction.

          Specific Issues have been addressed in specific 'Information Notes',
          which are included as part of this report. These are also available as
          individual documents, in electronic form, on the website of the
          Australian Bicycle Council (http://www.abc.dotars.gov.au).

          These Information Notes do not replace existing guidelines (for
          example, the Austroads Guides to Traffic Engineering Practice) but are
          intended to complement them, to draw attention to issues that may need
          to be addressed in specific situations and to suggest ways in which
          they can be resolved or, at least, adverse impacts for cyclists and
          bus operators and passengers can be minimised. Users should also refer
          to local State or Territory Guidelines for bicycle facilities.

          The information in these Information Notes should be considered in the
          current review and rewrite of the Austroads Guide to Traffic
          Engineering Practice.


          ---

          As an aside, in Melbourne, bicycles are allowed in some bus lanes
          (Johnson St), but not necessarily others... I have attached some
          photo's of the morning peak inbound bus lane in Victoria Parade, East
          Melbourne.

          Cheers

          Damon Rao


          On Feb 10, 2008 6:03 PM, Morten Lange <morten7an@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > I would like to introduce quickly this good note from Morten Lange from
          > Reykjavik and suggest that we treat this as another of our discussion
          > topics, as we did so creatively with the helmets issues. So let me give the
          > stage to Morton as he happens up our discussions on this important topic.
          > Eric Britton
          > ****************************************************************
          > Hi,
          >
          > Here in Iceland, politicians are finally awakening slowly and have begun
          > using priority lanes for buses. However, no other vehicles are allowed on
          > those lanes. But, this practice is not yet supported by laws nor sanctions
          > for violations, and this will be changed during the next months.
          >
          > The parliamentary committee discussing the law proposal has invited us to
          > present the case for allowing cyclists on these lanes. We have already
          > brought forward the arguments about cycling being a mode that one wants to
          > boost. (Sustainability and health ) + this is feasible, referring to
          > practice in other countries.
          >
          > The prime arguments against will be about safety, that cyclists will slow
          > down buses, and that allowing bicycles invites a slippery slope situation.
          > Bicycles and taxis on bus priority lanes ! Electric and methane cars next ?
          > All multi-occupancy vehicles ?
          >
          > This issue must be relevant in many cities where cycling is being promoted,
          > by CityBikes / Bikesharing schemes or otherwise.
          >
          > Does anyone here have any compelling reports, evaluations, statistics on
          > such shared-use priority lanes ?
          > Arguments pro et con?
          > Which arguments usually weigh in most heavily ?
          >
          > I know shared-use priority lanes have been implemented in London (own
          > experience) , Paris, Oslo and more places. I have a vague sense that they
          > work well, for the most part, but some bus-drivers might think of the
          > cyclists as a nuisance ?
          >
          > Best Regards,
          > Morten Lange
          >

          --
          urbanbicyclist.org
        • Michael Yeates
          The Australian experience is interesting partly because of the numerous interpretations involved (due to a national and multiple state road authorities each
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 13, 2008
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            The Australian experience is "interesting" partly because of the numerous interpretations involved (due to a national and multiple state road authorities each holding different views) but also because the Australian experience is located in a very high speed urban environment. This means that differing views exist ... and these need airing ...!

            But first to the speed environment in urban Australia and a bit of surprisingly recent history.

            The default urban speed limit is 50km/h but this was only achieved by agreement that the generally applicable and former speed limit  for main roads namely 60km/h or higher remain. In some states (eg Queensland with which I am more familiar), it was suggested that the speed limit on these main roads not be increased above 60km/h if the road (lane) widths were inadequate to share with cyclists ie space for motor vehicles to safely overtake ... often described as a wide kerb or shared lane. It emerged that a kind of trade-off or deal had been approved whereby the speed limit on what were described as "residential" streets would be reduced to 50 in exchange for higher than 60 on major arterial roads. In addition, where local authorities had introduced local speed limits of 40km/h in response to local residents concerns about excessive speed (as distinct from speeding ie exceeding the speed limit), the speed limit in those areas that did not strictly conform to the design standards for 40km/h (85% compliance and all that) was required to be raised to 50km/h.

            40km/h can only be introduced under very strict and hard to achieve conditions, and to my knowledge, 30km/h is still not allowed except in exceptional or one-off circumstances. A major trial of 40km/h across a relatively large area in Unley a suburban local authority in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia has still not resulted in relaxations of the 40km/h implementation criteria despite obvious success. A "SHARED ZONE" has a 10km/h speed limit and there is no standard "pedestrian priority" zone or speed limit ...!

            So the road environment is fast ... very fast by world standards and the lane widths are not narrow ... so motorists expect fast traffic ... bus passengers expect fast buses ... and unsurprisingly, when asked how cyclists might fit in such an environment, most "experts" are at best reluctant to promote cycling on such roads.

            So how can cycling be promoted in such conditions becomes the question. Unsurprisingly, off road and separated/segregated facilities are the solution ... or bans on cycling as in the BUS ONLY LANE in the photo Damon sent. The solutions therefore tend to marginalise cyclists (and pedestrians) despite the rhetoric of support (so here I see huge commonalities in the situation in Ireland as described by Simon in another very topical email).

            Against this background and based on excellent conceptual work by James Mackay in Denver, USA, it was accepted back in 1996-7 that in Brisbane, in addition to the engineered facilities, a "Share the Road" approach was not only necessary, it was essential.

            A search of GOOGLE using < yeates BFZ yellow > provides access to the concept and applications including related concepts ... essentially a means to show where cyclists were expected and on what part of the road is needed to show both motorists and cyclists HOW to "Share the Road". It to is not particularly new indeed examples from around the world can be found although not quite as "packaged" as we have tried to achieve.

            This idea of course is sacrilege or is it heretical ... or the equivalent ... to those who believe in engineering solutions. Not surprisingly it has many opponents/critics ... including many cyclists for whom the roads as they are now managed, are too much of a threat. So here we see the politics of critique v division illustrated.

            Could the roads be managed differently to make cycling safer? Why not? Indeed, to refer to Enrique Pendalosa, should a city be safe enough for children to cycle anywhere/everywhere? Should they have to be constrained to excellent bikepaths let alone substandard shared footpaths? What about the urban cyclists who combine training with commuting ... 40-50km/h is not appropriate on a bike on a   footpath shared with novice cyclists, let alone pedestrians? Where do or should they cycle?

            So is this a question of what is possible in road management? If so who is stopping the export and/or implementation of the more (r)evolutionary ideas?

            The question of buses and bikes is very similar. There are multiple solutions for multiple needs. The USA has for example a fleet of some 30-40000 buses with racks on the front ... see < Sportworks > website and others. This is one solution. It works. It even escaped to Brisbane but is now in the process of being closed down.

            Bikes can use bus lanes ... indeed in many ways, there should be no debate about this.

            So where is the debate coming from? The bus operators? Cyclists? Or those who manage the road environment basically for motorists? And how many of those motorists are also cyclists and/or bus passengers? How many of them vary their perspective depending on circumstances and mode of travel at the time?

            The consultation phase, let alone the final versions of the ARRB report did not seem able to include the obviously very closely related issue of speed management.

            The road environment was a given, not a variable. Not surprisingly the report is not very supportive of bikes and buses sharing bus lanes and it achieves that recommendation by a number of means. One is the need for what might be described as requiring optimal conditions eg wider BUS LANEs ... which of course is almost impossible politically and technically.

            But then experience kicks in ... and those in the know, enjoyed it immensely ...!

            For a short while Brisbane had a variable peak flow BUS LANE system on Coronation Drive (see GOOGLE MAP) now handed back to general traffic in a classic example of what Vukan Vuchic and others describe as the HOV or HOT "backslide" problem.

            But while we had that BUS LANE, it was possible to cycle with virtually NO TRAFFIC in the lane ... because of the headway and travel speed relationships while moving and the platooning effect of the traffic lights. It was great to have a 3.3-3.5m lane to cycle in... with stationary traffic wishing it could also use the lane.

            But convincing cyclists to use it was almost impossible, not least because the connections to the "normal" cycling network, the bikepaths, were dreadful to the point of being almost a impossible to use.      

            In fact most suburban buses (other than expresses and long "jump stop" buses) travel at about the same AVERAGE speed as an urban cyclist ... even in a BUS LANE.

            Our BUS LANEs allow cyclists, taxis, registered 'luxury' limos, and emergency vehicles as well of course as buses.

            I have attached a couple of photos ... and there are some "bad" examples at http://www.bicycledriving.com/bfz/bikelane.htm which show what can and does happen with relying on bike lanes and assuming they are safe.

            But the question really is and it applies to almost all innovations based on previous experience somewhere else), is it political or technical matters that decide where cities and towns end up? In my view far too many technical experts are afraid to apply their technical expertise to counter dominant political views ... and the problem of bikes sharing the BUS LANEs with buses is just one example.

            I have photos of BUS+BIKE LANEs in Germany and France from the 1995-7 period ... so nothing new about the idea ... and the evidence is that these are fine ...!

            So is the problem of sharing the road including with buses in BUS LANEs really based on false perceptions and/or the predict and provide approach whereby if more cyclists were encouraged on the road, there would be more KSIs ? The answer is yes. Would changes to road management make a difference? Yes?

            However, in practice Australia remains so dangerous that many well known people have refused to cycle on the roads here ... and paradoxically, it is this behaviour which not only ensures that the Australian road safety performance for pedestrians and cyclists appears good despite the threat/risk of high speed urban traffic because exposure ie participation is so low that almost nobody gets killed cycling or walking but it also tends to support the use of off-road and segregated/separated facilities ... and THIS does nothing to reduce the CAUSE of the risk/threat ...

            Indeed the main cycling advocacy/lobbying groups publicly support separation and off road facilities here ... and those who promote these ideas are very welcome. Others not so?

            One of the major (false)? perceptions of these causes of threat/risk is the "need" for buses to travel at 60 or 70km/h ... same as the cars. But by use of BUS LANEs, there is no need for that sort of speed between bus stops ... even better when bus priority which also benefits cyclists and taxis is implemented.

            Of my visits to many European cities, I found the example of Edinburgh and its extensive conversion of kerbside lanes to green BUS LANEs to be an excellent example in principle although not without some problems ... but THAT is no reason to not pursue the model but fix the problems.

            So yes, of course buses and bikes can share an ordinary lane width BUS LANE ... especially if/when bus stops are in locations that suit cyclists and bus passengers rather than the through traffic capacity of intersections ...!

            Can that be improved, of course. How? It does not matter much as long as the cyclists are on the road ...!

            Michael Yeates
            Convenor
            Cyclists Urban Speedlimit Taskforce
            Australia ...

            At 06:25 AM 14/02/2008, urbanbicyclist wrote:

            A few years ago, The Australian Bicycle Council commissioned ARRB
            Transport Research to develop guidelines for managing interaction
            between buses and bikes in the road network. The ARRB Project Leader
            was, Ian Ker (iank@...).

            Ian is no longer at ARRB but the report available through the
            Australian Bicycle Council. http://www.austroads.com.au/abc/

            Actually, here is the report!

            http://www.onlinepublications.austroads.com.au/script/Details.asp?docn=AS410786249817

            AP-R266/05 : Bus-Bike Interaction within the Road Network

            Summary
            Buses and Bikes are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of size,
            mass and manoeuvrability but frequently operate in the same road
            space, especially adjacent to the kerb and at intersections. Both
            buses and bicycles are effective alternatives to the private car for
            travel in our towns and cities and are being promoted by governments
            on this basis, but they can come into conflict as well as working
            together.

            This report reviews the interaction between buses and bicycles within
            the road network and suggests ways in which any adverse impacts on
            cyclists or bus operators and passengers can be minimised. Issues and
            ways of addressing them were identified in consultation with both bus
            and bicycle stakeholders, to ensure that the outcomes reflected a
            balanced view of bus-bike interaction.

            Specific Issues have been addressed in specific 'Information Notes',
            which are included as part of this report. These are also available as
            individual documents, in electronic form, on the website of the
            Australian Bicycle Council (http://www.abc.dotars.gov.au ).

            These Information Notes do not replace existing guidelines (for
            example, the Austroads Guides to Traffic Engineering Practice) but are
            intended to complement them, to draw attention to issues that may need
            to be addressed in specific situations and to suggest ways in which
            they can be resolved or, at least, adverse impacts for cyclists and
            bus operators and passengers can be minimised. Users should also refer
            to local State or Territory Guidelines for bicycle facilities.

            The information in these Information Notes should be considered in the
            current review and rewrite of the Austroads Guide to Traffic
            Engineering Practice.

            ---

            As an aside, in Melbourne, bicycles are allowed in some bus lanes
            (Johnson St), but not necessarily others... I have attached some
            photo's of the morning peak inbound bus lane in Victoria Parade, East
            Melbourne.

            Cheers

            Damon Rao

            On Feb 10, 2008 6:03 PM, Morten Lange <morten7an@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > I would like to introduce quickly this good note from Morten Lange from
            > Reykjavik and suggest that we treat this as another of our discussion
            > topics, as we did so creatively with the helmets issues. So let me give the
            > stage to Morton as he happens up our discussions on this important topic.
            > Eric Britton
            > ****************************************************************
            > Hi,
            >
            > Here in Iceland, politicians are finally awakening slowly and have begun
            > using priority lanes for buses. However, no other vehicles are allowed on
            > those lanes. But, this practice is not yet supported by laws nor sanctions
            > for violations, and this will be changed during the next months.
            >
            > The parliamentary committee discussing the law proposal has invited us to
            > present the case for allowing cyclists on these lanes. We have already
            > brought forward the arguments about cycling being a mode that one wants to
            > boost. (Sustainability and health ) + this is feasible, referring to
            > practice in other countries.
            >
            > The prime arguments against will be about safety, that cyclists will slow
            > down buses, and that allowing bicycles invites a slippery slope situation.
            > Bicycles and taxis on bus priority lanes ! Electric and methane cars next ?
            > All multi-occupancy vehicles ?
            >
            > This issue must be relevant in many cities where cycling is being promoted,
            > by CityBikes / Bikesharing schemes or otherwise.
            >
            > Does anyone here have any compelling reports, evaluations, statistics on
            > such shared-use priority lanes ?
            > Arguments pro et con?
            > Which arguments usually weigh in most heavily ?
            >
            > I know shared-use priority lanes have been implemented in London (own
            > experience) , Paris, Oslo and more places. I have a vague sense that they
            > work well, for the most part, but some bus-drivers might think of the
            > cyclists as a nuisance ?
            >
            > Best Regards,
            > Morten Lange
            >

            --
            urbanbicyclist.org

            X-Attachment-Id: f_fcmby9ey0
            Content-Type: image/jpeg; name=IMG_5407.JPG
            Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=IMG_5407.JPG


            X-Attachment-Id: f_fcmbyj4s1
            Content-Type: image/jpeg; name=IMG_5411.JPG
            Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=IMG_5411.JPG


            No virus found in this incoming message.
            Checked by AVG Free Edition.
            Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.20.4/1275 - Release Date: 12/02/2008 3:20 PM
          • eric.britton
            After Michael Yeates excellent piece this morning on our topic from an Australia (and beyond) perspective, I would like to urge others of you out there with
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 13, 2008
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              Common priority lanes for bicycles and buses ?

              After Michael Yeates excellent piece this morning on our topic from an Australia (and beyond) perspective, I would like to urge others of you out there with an interest and background on this topic to pitch in likewise with your comments and references. And then in a week or so, I shall try to sit down as do as we did with helmets, write up all of these together with my own experience and observations and see if we can together produce something along the lines of a common understanding of this important topic.  Ne more building block

              We build knowledge and community together.

               ____________________________

                Eric Britton

                    New Mobility Partnerships  

                8, rue Joseph Bara    75006 Paris France

                T: 331 4326 1323 www.newmobility.org

            • Morten Lange
              Hi again, Our meeting with the parliamentary committee here in Reykjavik was short, but not too discouraging. I think we managed to get some good points
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 19, 2008
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi again,

                Our meeting with the parliamentary committee here in Reykjavik was short, but
                not too discouraging. I think we managed to get some good points across,
                especially about the need for opening them for cyclists on stretches were space
                is very limited. Also that safety is increased by because visibility improves
                when there is more space around the cyclists.


                In my preparations I came across a helpful web-doc from the ADFC, translated
                from English and available et

                http://www.bikexprt.com/bikepol/facil/lanes/adfcbus.htm

                Introduction and translation by John S Allen

                The material following this introduction is a translation of a page in German
                on the Web site of the Allgemeiner deutscher Fahrrad-Club (German Cycling
                Federation ADFC).

                Some observations about the German approach as described in this article:

                * This discussion generally recommends that bicyclists simply be
                allowed to travel in the bus lanes, without any special provisions other than
                adequate lane width.
                * There is also a strong recommendation that there not be a separate
                bus lane and bike lane -- avoiding the issue of bicyclists' overtaking buses on
                the curb side. The implication (though not stated here) is that no exception
                is made under German law for bicyclists to leave a bike lane to overtake buses,
                or for buses to merge into one at bus stops.
                * The possibility of placing the bike lane on the street side of the
                bus lane is disparaged, though this configuration has been shown to be workable
                -- for example, in Madison,Wisconsin, USA -- if the buses, on their fixed
                route, do not turn across the bike lane and if the bus lane, bike lane and
                adjacent travel lane carry same-direction traffic.
                * The page recommends against allowing other types of traffic, such as
                taxis or trucks, in the bus lane, consistent with the purpose of a bus lane,
                but there is no discussion of whether vehicles must merge into the bus lane to
                turn -- though turning across a bus lane is hardly advisable.
                * Shared lanes are apparently not permitted where there is a separate,
                designated sidepath -- a type of facility which the ADFC opposes.
                * There is much discussion here of technical details about signage and
                implementation procedures. This reflects the ADFC's role in making its members
                aware of how to conduct advocacy, in the light of various opportunities
                presented by German law and traffic control devices. Some of the "alternatives"
                suggested, particularly those requiring a stack of three signs, appear a bit
                strained, despite the role of the Ministry of Transportation in preparation of
                the document.

                There are some "further reading references", but they aee in German, not
                available online, and no hints are provided as to which one of them would be
                most helpful. ....



                Best Regards,
                Morten

                P.S. I just found out that according to Norwegian a bylaw on traffic
                regulations quite a large group of users are allowed on the priority lanes:
                http://www.lovdata.no/cgi-wift/ldles?doc=/sf/sf/sf-19860321-0747.html

                Signage provides the main rule, but despite them electric- or hydrogen- cars,
                twowheeled motorbikes ad mopeds, bicycles and properly marked emergency
                vehicles
                may use the priority lanes.

                So the slippery slop argument might hold a tiny bit of validity.


                --- "eric.britton" <eric.britton@...> wrote:

                > After Michael Yeates' excellent piece this morning on our topic from an
                > Australia (and beyond) perspective, I would like to urge others of you out
                > there with an interest and background on this topic to pitch in likewise
                > with your comments and references. And then in a week or so, I shall try to
                > sit down as do as we did with helmets, write up all of these together with
                > my own experience and observations and see if we can together produce
                > something along the lines of a common understanding of this important topic.
                > Ne more building block
                >
                > We build knowledge and community together.
                >
                >
                > ____________________________
                > Eric Britton
                > New Mobility Partnerships
                >
                > 8, rue Joseph Bara - 75006 Paris France
                > T: 331 4326 1323 - www.newmobility.org
                >
                >
                >
                >



                __________________________________________________________
                Sent from Yahoo! Mail - a smarter inbox http://uk.mail.yahoo.com
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.