Cycling - Daft Cycle Lanes
We’ve all seen examples of bad and ridiculous cycle lanes. We’ve all seen the websites dedicated to highlighting them and bringing them to the public’s attention. This is by no means a replica of those sites, it’s just yet another one!
I am actively working to try to prevent these monstrosities getting built. My personal opinion of cycle lanes is that the majority are not needed. As cyclists we are capable of, and allowed to, cycle on the road network. Major roads that are unpleasant to cycle on can be bypassed with cycle lanes, but that still leaves the noise and pollution, so it’s much better to not bother with the cycle path at all but to choose an alternative road route.
Some people say that dedicated cycle infrastructure is essential in order to encourage cycling. It is my opinion (and the opinion of others I talk to) that
- the majority of cycling infrastructure we see simply encourages dangerous and irresponsible cycling practices, such as pavement riding.
- creating facilities off of the carriageway gives the incorrect message to drivers that cyclists shouldn’t be on the road (I have been subjected to abuse when cycling in the road rather than using a nearby dangerous cycle path).
- creating facilities gives the message to novice cyclists that they cannot cycle unless a cycle path exists. I see too many people driving to cycling “locations” with the purpose of “going for a bike ride”. These people won’t ride from home though because of the lack of facilities, even though they live on quiet residential estates. The net result is that these facilities increase traffic and car parking, rather than reducing it.
I find it amusing, but worrying, that whenever I am on the Tandem with my wife (a driver and a new but not keen cyclist) and take a cycle path to avoid a major junction for her sake, all I hear from her is “This is why drivers hate cyclists, why are you on the pavement?” I have to explain to her that I am actually on a cycle path. Her attitude is that as cyclists we should be in the road and riding responsibly as vehicles. I agree with her. I also find it interesting that as a new cyclist she prefers to use the roads than to use a stop-start low quality path.
I do appreciate that some paths can be beneficial in creating short cuts across parks or linking roads; but if they are to actually be of use they must be built to a high quality, not to the standards we see here. If cycle paths are constructed they should be built to make a cyclists journey shorter and more convenient, not simply built for the sake of creating a cycle path and meeting a council target.
If you have any sites that need highlighting, please either send me a link to the website, or a photo and detailed description for me to include here.
You can email me through the link on the Who am I? page.
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