Author Topic: "Protected intersections" - the future of safer urban cycling?  (Read 2156 times)

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Offline Simon

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"Protected intersections" - the future of safer urban cycling?
« on: February 21, 2014, 08:34:27 PM »
This video turned up in my Facebook feed today

<a href="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=86721046" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=86721046</a>

This guy has been studying how junctions are designed in Holland to make them safer for cyclists. It's an American video so everyone's on the wrong side of the road, but other than that I quite like it.

More info at http://www.protectedintersection.com/


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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: "Protected intersections" - the future of safer urban cycling?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2014, 11:44:39 PM »

Thanks Simon :)

I've watched the video several times and reflected on it from the different perspectives of car driver, wagon driver, pedestrian and cyclist.  There is little to dislike about the concept although retro-fitting many of our cramped junctions would be problematic unless local authorities are willing and brave enough to effectively make some routes 'through routes' (no left or right turns) for certain types of vehicles until a junction is reached which is large enough to accommodate a protected junction and allow larger vehicles to turn safely within the junction.


Offline Simon

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Re: "Protected intersections" - the future of safer urban cycling?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 08:45:58 PM »
There is little to dislike about the concept although retro-fitting many of our cramped junctions would be problematic unless local authorities are willing and brave enough to effectively make some routes 'through routes' (no left or right turns) for certain types of vehicles until a junction is reached which is large enough to accommodate a protected junction and allow larger vehicles to turn safely within the junction.

Yes, everything seems so much more spaced out on that side of the pond, and it would be difficult to do much with many existing junctions here.
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Offline moley

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Re: "Protected intersections" - the future of safer urban cycling?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 09:35:03 PM »
some of these junctions may be safer for cyclists.. but I'm not sure if they're safer for pedestrians (at least in Amsterdam).  I can see how it works for a fairly straightforwards crossroads, but when you add trams in and are trying to deal with pedestrians + trams + cars + cyclists at a 5 way junction it gets pretty hairy...

Mind you I'm not a hard core cyclist - I try to stick to the cycle paths and keep off the roads (which works well for me in West Swindon).

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Offline Midlander

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Re: "Protected intersections" - the future of safer urban cycling?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2014, 11:26:59 PM »
It looks like a good idea, but I can't see our council doing this when we have so many motorists complaining about there being too many bus lanes. Additionally we'd need something similar for the many mini roundabouts in town

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: "Protected intersections" - the future of safer urban cycling?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 12:33:52 AM »
It looks like a good idea, but I can't see our council doing this when we have so many motorists complaining about there being too many bus lanes. Additionally we'd need something similar for the many mini roundabouts in town

I think the concept is sound but I think we'll only see it employed here in a brand new, Milton Keynes style, town development.


Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: "Protected intersections" - the future of safer urban cycling?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 11:24:41 AM »
Although I have not cycled for years I used to cycle down the North Circular Road in London between Hangar Lane and Kew Bridge in the 1960's and would not be alive today had it not been for my very defensive way of riding.  Happy Days!!

Anyway I like the concept but with the lack of Innovation and Vibrancy in our Highways department where they encourage pinch points on roundabouts and interrupt traffic flow by the use of unnecessary traffic lights I don't think we can hope for anything like it to be introduced any time soon....

which is a pity!
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Re: "Protected intersections" - the future of safer urban cycling?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 01:34:21 PM »
Personally I'm far from convinced. It looks like you are encouraging cyclists to come up the inside of traffic - doing that to commercial vehicles is probably the most stupid and dangerous thing you can do on a cycle.

Offline Simon

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Re: "Protected intersections" - the future of safer urban cycling?
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 10:57:28 PM »
It looks like a good idea, but I can't see our council doing this when we have so many motorists complaining about there being too many bus lanes.

 :agreed: :'(

Additionally we'd need something similar for the many mini roundabouts in town

Not sure I agree on that point. I'm quite happy sharing mini roundabouts with the traffic, because once everyone's slowed down enough to negotiate the roundabout, they're going at more or less the same speed as me.

I appreciate that this is the point of view of a confident and experienced (if rather fair-weather) cyclist, and that newer cyclists, or those who would like to cycle with small children in tow, are going to have a completely different point of view, and personally I'd like to hear from cyclists who are not like me, please tell us what you think :-)
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: "Protected intersections" - the future of safer urban cycling?
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 02:44:32 PM »
Personally I'm far from convinced. It looks like you are encouraging cyclists to come up the inside of traffic - doing that to commercial vehicles is probably the most stupid and dangerous thing you can do on a cycle.

Normally I'd wholeheartedly agree with that view but I think the design illustrated in the video specifies cycle lanes which are separated from the main traffic lanes by a high kerb and cycles stop several yards in front of, and to one side, of the other traffic lanes which is hugely beneficial in terms of cyclists being visible to drivers.  Additionally, I think the idea is that cyclists are given right of way several seconds before other vehicles meaning most, if not all, cyclists may have cleared the junction before other traffic moves and those that haven't cleared the junction entirely are at least moving in the forward vision 'cone' of drivers awareness.

We already have green boxes for cycles at some of our junctions - the ones which encourage/allow cyclists to filter through traffic to the front of the queue and stop in a position which is more visible to drivers and therefore safer for cyclists. I'm really wary of them because some of them are potential death traps for cyclists.  Tonight I'll try and snag a snapshot of a particularly junction which I think is poorly designed.

Overall though, I think the protected intersection looks good but I'd love to see/try a working mock-up.  In fact, if someone had access to a bunch of temporary traffic lights, cones, tape and cyclists....and knew someone well placed at Honda who could loan a wagon, perhaps a couple of cars and some runway space for a few hours, it could make for a fascinating and informative day of clowning around doing & filming :)