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Re: retrofitting urban residential streets as carfree

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  • Erik Sandblom
    ... Bicycle safety is a little trickier than it may seem. Most cyclist deaths involve a car. So it s safe to say that the #1 safety issue for pedestrians and
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 4, 2009
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      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Aaron Thomas <aaronkmthomas@...> wrote:
      > The key word is *SEGREGATION
      > *of cycling lanes with other traffic forms (walking, motorised). Lack of
      > segregation in some areas must be the main reason that cycling is not 100%
      > safe here yet.


      Bicycle safety is a little trickier than it may seem. Most cyclist deaths involve a car. So it's safe to say that the #1 safety issue for pedestrians and cyclists is car traffic. See pie graph
      http://www.ecoprofile.se/posts.asp?forum_id=&topic_id=995#5799

      But it doesn't automatically follow that segregated facilites are the only answer. As Ian points out, cyclists need to turn left sometimes. And when motorists turn right, they run over cyclists going straight. There is a lot of research on this:
      http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/digest/research.html

      You mentioned the "Cycling in the Netherlands" report which draws attention to the "safety in numbers" paradox. This says that the more cyclists and pedestrians you have, the fewer deaths and serious injuries there will be. Bicycle lanes can therefore increase safety simply by encouraging people to cycle more, even though they are not really inherently safe.
      http://www.livablestreets.com/streetswiki/safety-in-numbers

      Erik Sandblom
    • Aaron Thomas
      That is a good point about left turns. I think one can still segregate even those, however, with staggered traffic signals, i.e. there is a period when only
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 4, 2009
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        That is a good point about left turns. I think one can still segregate even
        those, however, with staggered traffic signals, i.e. there is a period when
        only the cyclists can be in the intersection. I think this is already
        practiced. Another way to create 100% segregation is to lay out a network of
        cycle paths that are not add-ons to motor roads, and use pedestrian
        crossings instead of the motor crossings when necessary.
        I personally think the naked streets / shared space / no segregation,
        signals or markings idea is an interesting experimental concept but
        extremely dangerous and requires a high level of evidential proof before
        adoption, from locality to locality and culture to culture. Cyclists and
        pedestrians across the world share space with motorised traffic nakedly, and
        the millions of deaths and tens of millions of maimed tell the terrible
        story.

        with good wishes,
        Aaron

        2009/8/4 Ian <ianenvironmental@...>

        >
        >
        >
        > There is a big problem with the argument that segregation makes cycling
        > safer... At some point a cyclist has to make a left turn.
        >
        > Here on the Netherlands, I see more and more three and four wheeled
        > "bicycles" and more that pull trailers which travel slower and consumer
        > greater width of the cycle paths, preventing faster cyclists from passing -
        > and it is "illegal" to cycle on the road!
        >
        > In the Netherlands, segregation is purely for the motorist, to keep
        > children and others out of their way so that they can drive faster to the
        > next queue. Dutch drivers oppose "shared space" streets as they, more than
        > many from less "cycling friendly" countries believe that roads are for
        > motorised vehicles alone.
        >
        > Where motorists and cyclist share the street space, as in parts of Freiburg
        > where there are "naked streets", traffic moves at a safer speed and
        > motorists and cyclists of all ages co-exist safely.
        >
        > In Vauban, Freiburg, there is no segregation and here you will see "car
        > free" streets:
        >
        > http://www.cabe.org.uk/case-studies/vauban?photos=true&viewing=2719
        > http://www.livablestreets.com/streetswiki/vauban-freiburg-germany
        >
        > These are purpose built streets and people choose to live there. Converting
        > existing streets may be more difficult, as people demand parking, but have a
        > look at the ideas behind Woonerfs (Home zones). Unfortunately many, like
        > "Home Zones" in the UK are just car parks with fancy paving... There are
        > examples of houses built with no parking outside in the Netherlands.
        > Commercial builders report that these are more difficult to sell than those
        > with parking outside, however when a group has built its own community, the
        > space saved from parking is utilised for the benefit of all residents as in
        > Vauban.
        >
        > Regards,
        >
        > Ian
        >
        >
        >


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