Thursday, 24 October 2013

Dual Network.

The London Cycling Campaign had what I think could be a ground breaking AGM. If think Motion 3 (When do we need protected space for cycling?) and 5 (Uniformity of cycling provision and suitability for all-ability groups) are critical to future successful campaigning. They define numerically (not subjectively) when to mix and when to separate. They also end the failing dual network approach to cycling infrastructure.

Vienna to my dismay and disbelief appears to be going backwards.

Is this really Modern cycle planning and freedom of choice or is this total and utter crap?

In Vienna as in every city there is limited space so we have to be very efficient with it. A dual solution takes up a lot of space so it is the opposite of what we should define as a good space use strategy.

In Vienna we have very very poor junction design with very unclear rights of way. The junctions that have a dual solution will be much more complex, confusing, have longer waiting times and lead to much more conflict as cyclists use a combination of the 2 sets of infrastructure to find their path of least resistance.

There is not a city in the world that has made a dual network approach to cycling infrastructure work and there are many many examples of where this approach has failed and lead to compromise that is not good for any type of cyclist.

This might not be the worst bit of cycling infrastructure in Vienna but it is not a template for a modern pleasant cycling city.  It is total and utter crap designed by selfish arrogant cyclists who think they belong on the road because they are advanced and beginners should train on the footpath until they are confident enough to graduate to the road like them. If you guys are reading this Fuck you.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

An inspiring film and presentation.

I get very frustrated when I seem to make no progress communicating what I consider to be the blatantly obvious. Luckily there are people out there that are much better at this, so if you have time please listen to them.

Street films produced a fantastic film about Groningen that explains how they facilitate cycling with traffic planning and infrastructure.

The Movement for Liveable London has some great presentations on their website. This presentation is an inspirational incite into Sustrans DIY Streets, which allows communities to develop affordable solutions to make their streets safer and more attractive places to live.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

What should you do here?

So you are riding along on your bike in VeloCity 2013 and you approach this with a motor vehicle approaching fast from behind.  What do you do?

Here are some helpful tips to consider before you make a split second decision.

It is illegal to ride up the curb on to the footpath.
If you continue over the bridge and get rammed from behind it is your fault.
If you leave the cycle lane early to take the lane you have a developed good coping strategy so lets hope the driver has not developed a good contra-strategy.
If you get hit by a motor vehicle it will hurt you more than its driver.
You are totally reliant on the good will of the driver who will have to slow from 50 plus to 20 kmph and be stuck behind you as a reward for their behaviour.
If you stop and wait for the road to clear you loose all your hard earned momentum as a reward for your behaviour.

So what is the correct answer?

Well the most aggressive road user will win here and the other will be punished for backing down. So get a big aggressive motor vehicle and drive it fast and you will be fine.

In next weeks quiz we will be asking: how do we get a better "miteinander culture" to develop on Vienna's roads, and how do we get Austrian drivers to be as considerate toward cyclists as the Dutch?  Is it

A: Culture (whatever that means),
B: Fight the Nazis,
C: Reduction of engineered conflict that rewards aggressive behaviour, or
D: Some other load of made up random bullshit that explains why the Dutch are different and therefore we can not copy them?

Please send your made up random bullshit to and you may win a special prise of  useless paint.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Godwin's Law

After my last post about this terrible road design I have received various well meant advice and comment that the cyclists is at fault for not taking the lane.

Cyclists are expected to block this 50kmph busy road to stop motor traffic overtaking as a strategy of  coping with it.  They are also expected to endure the aggressive contra-strategies from the impatient motorists.  This advice tends to come from the same groups who fights against the compulsory use of the cycle paths because they do not want to be held up by "beginner cyclists".  Expecting others to be patient and considerate so I do not have to be is called "miteinander (together) culture".  At the same time cyclists are surprised why so many people hate them and they get such bad press.

To me this seems like a recipe for conflict if ever there was one.  If only there was a solution. 

Luckily our Vienna Bike Representative has been talking to the cycle lobby and presented Vienna's first attempt at the solution to all our infrastructure problems the Sharrow. A sharrow is placed in the center of a travel lane to indicate that a bicyclist may use the full lane.  This is more correctly referred to as useless paint.  None the less it is an attempt to improve conditions for cyclists so I present Vienna's first attempt at a sharrow.

You my notice the cycle marking that is there to give cyclists authority in the center of the road has been placed at the side to indicate they should get out the way.  You may also notice the black Audi breaking the law by crossing the white line in order to give the cyclist space.  You may also notice the high amount of motor traffic on this 50kmph through road that cyclists are expected to take the lane from.

For a long time I have been trying to communicate that Dutch style road design could reduce conflict and improve safety and conditions for cyclists.  Mark's excellent Video was inspirational to me and it frequently gets posted in cycle forums by others who also think there maybe better ways to design our roads.  This normally gets dismissed with a barrage of we are different comments.  Why on earth would some existing cyclists be so anti these ideas that clearly work well in the Netherlands?

This video seems to be the convincing argument that dictates cycling strategy in Vienna. It is utterly flawed but lets not worry about details. Separation is Nazi oppression and dangerous, so we need to integrate cycles with the motor traffic for their own safety at Junctions.

Godwin's Law states "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison to Hitler (or Nazis) approaches 1."

This debate has gone on far far too long and we have arrived at the Nazi argument.  It would be funny but we are getting worse and worse infrastructure that induces even more conflict.  If you mention that this is uncomfortable a large portion of the reply is it is your fault for not using it right.  I am tired and fed up of these discussions and I know there are people out there that are very very tired of hearing it.  If we want to move cycling forward in Vienna to be a more mainstream activity we have to stop listening to cyclists and consider that when confronted with the idea of "talking the lane" the vast majority will choose to "take the car" and do not care why you are getting in their fucking way.

etc... etc... etc...

Allocation of road space for cycling, and traffic reduction needs main stream support so we need these people on our side.