CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Debate!

Why do riders refuse to use cycle paths?

(26 posts)

  1. crowriver
    Member

    Why do riders refuse to use cycle paths?
    Thursday, January 05, 2012Exeter Express and EchoFollow
    By Paul Nero, managing director of Exeter FM.

    SO I'm driving through the ridiculous 20 mile-an-hour system that's been designed to stop people going to Topsham when there's a decision to make. Should I knock this ignorant cyclist off his bike, blast my horn so that he is in no doubt about my displeasure, or slow down further so that the tailback that's built up between the rugby ground and the roundabout becomes longer still?

    http://www.thisisexeter.co.uk/riders-refuse-use-cycle-paths/story-14333677-detail/story.html

    WHY? Why do we ride on the road, Paul? Well partly, to p**s off morons like you! That's why!

    As a responsible citizen, I ought to add we are merely exercising our right of way. As long as motorists behave responsibly too then all is well.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  2. Saw that doing the rounds on Twitter. True sub-Clarkson humourless ranting. Apparently, from people who live that way, he's actually wrong about the road layout (the bit he complains about cyclists using the road instead of the cycle path, the cycle path actually ends before it).

    I love the fact that one of his options on coming behind a cyclist is to 'knock him off' to show displeasure. Obviously (hopefully?) he's not genuinely considering that as an option, but to think it and put it down in print.

    Thing is, the paper will LOVE the controversy the story has created. Page clicks = advertising hits = revenue. I should know better, but I always click to read these stories. It's one of the reasons the Daily Wail sticks with the likes of Jan Moir. It's worth the inconvenience of the occasional insincere apology for the number of page hits and the amount of money it creates.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  3. kaputnik
    Moderator

    I refused to use the Broomhouse Road cycle path westbound this morning, as it's not really (safely) possible to get onto it without dismounting and using the pedestrian crossing, and the ridiculous road crossings on it junctions just wind me up. But mainly to p*ss off the Paul Neros of this world as I sail by them in the car lane as they all queue in the bus lane.

    Don't normally go that way, back to my usual beat tomorrow.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  4. Darkerside
    Member

    If anyone fancies a quick vent, you can jump straight to their "send us your feedback" page at http://www.exeter.fm/p/contact. There's an online thingy and everything. The ideal way to release any frustration from a morning chasing an elusive error through code...

    Posted 10 years ago #
  5. crowriver
    Member

    Paul Nero, managing director of Exeter FM

    He's the flippin' boss! He even castigates and humiliates one of his underlings for daring to cycle to work across a bridge.

    Moronic pr**k.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  6. Uberuce
    Member

    My boss talked to me about this with regards to Hollyrood Park last year.

    It was quite a unusual debate since it didn't begin, develop and end with both sides holding exactly the same opinion throughout, except lowering that of each other.

    She wondered why cyclists used the road when there's a 'dedicated path right there, beside the road that they ride down at 20mph when I want to be doing 30.' I was too polite to raise my scepticism of her numbers(two days previously Hilly Tuesday had seen one of us at 38), but I did convince her that the path isn't fit to ride down fast unless you've a beast of a downhill MTB, and isn't dedicated at all - it's shared with ninja joggers so even on a full sus you'd need to crawl down.

    So she came around to sharing my opinion - that path sucks.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  7. Also to descend that particular path you've got to cross the road to get on, and cross the road to get off...

    Posted 10 years ago #
  8. Darkerside
    Member

    I've had some success explaining why cycle lanes in door zones are inappropriate. Possibly assisted by the odd driver presumably thinking "I do occassionally open my door without properly looking and no, I probably don't want said door removed by a recumbent/subsequently angry man combination travelling at speed"

    Posted 10 years ago #
  9. Nelly
    Member

    "I refused to use the Broomhouse Road cycle path westbound this morning, as it's not really (safely) possible to get onto it without dismounting and using the pedestrian crossing"

    and if you go right to the end at Edin Park Station, the lights are out on the bike lane side, but not on the road - so I use the road.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  10. Baldcyclist
    Member

    I can understand the confusion/frustration non cyclists have over cycle lanes/paths. In their minds it must be a bit like - well if we've made a cake, why wouldn't you eat it. - We must all find ourselves at some point criticising something that has been built, and not being used as we see fit, and therefore a waste of money in our perception?

    I tend to use cycle/bus lanes, rather than the main carriageway if available, on my route they are mostly ok.

    If however I am going somewhere, and there is a choice between the road, and a shared use path with no cycle/bus lanes available, the road wins most times. I personally don't feel comfortable going more than say 12mph on a shared use path in-case I come into contact with dogs or walkers, who in my mind have every right to walk the path without fear of cyclists whizzing past them at 20mph without warning! Although that said if I do fancy a 10mph daunder (can't think of an appropriate adjective for going slow on a bike?) I will use a shared use path.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  11. minus six
    Member

    I see cyclists using the cosmetic gutter-side cycle lanes in built up areas, and wonder that they don't seem to realise how dangerous they are.

    It only takes a pedestrian to step out into the gutter momentarily due to pavement congestion, for the cyclist to potentially be sent tumbling sideways into the real road carriageway, and the traffic coming from behind won't have time to react.

    Never use them, its asking for trouble.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  12. 'daunder' = 'pootle' ;)

    Posted 10 years ago #
  13. Dave
    Member

    Periodically someone will ask me a question like this, and since generally they aren't interested in a detailed debate, I tell them that the reason people ride on the road instead of on cycle paths is because the road is better than the path, taking into account all issues (including moron motorists).

    It's not rocket science. If riding on the path was better, people wouldn't put themselves out by riding on the road - they just wouldn't. I tell them they should be angry that money has been wasted on a path that is worse than the road, not angry with people for choosing the best option available to them.

    "You think that people *want* to be on the road when they could be using a good path? No way. So why did the council spend all that money on a path that is worse than the road? That's this government for you, etc."

    This is a good way to frame a lot of debate, IMHO.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  14. ExcitableBoy
    Member

    One thing that irritates me, is the lack of understanding from drivers, that they hinder the progress of cyclists far more than cyclists do of them!
    The way I see it is, when a car has to sit behind a bike for probably 10 to 20 seconds it soon catches back up with the vehicle in front - hence no real delay. However, we cyclists are often restricted by cars, but that time is lost to us. Not to mention the time spent at traffic lights (and pelican crossings etc as a pedestrian) that would not be required if not for the cars they drive.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  15. TwoWheels
    Member

    I'm glad to see you have "those people" over there as well.

    I'm thinking hard about making a return visit in a few years. It'll be nice to feel at home.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  16. Smudge
    Member

    I'll use all available cycle lanes when all car drivers stay out of them (including parking!).

    ;-)

    Posted 10 years ago #
  17. Uberuce
    Member

    I think I'll start shouting at 4x4 drivers. "Why aren't you using the fields?"

    Posted 10 years ago #
  18. Smudge
    Member

    Don't forget to shout at the EV/low emission car drivers that they shouldn't be on the road getting in your way 'cause they don't even pay road tax ;-)

    Posted 10 years ago #
  19. Arellcat
    Moderator

    can't think of an appropriate adjective for going slow on a bike?

    'daunder' = 'pootle'

    Depends how far and how slow. AIUI, pootling is slower and shorter distance than bimbling, while pottering has the slowness of pootling but an increased randomness of direction. If you like, a potter is the scalar quantity to a pootle's vector.

    As Dave and Kaputnik accurately put it, an off road cycle path is only preferable if it meets the standards of a road, scaled and engineered to the unique needs of a bicycle (and by extension, 10 foot-long recumbent tandem tricycles, pannier-laden monstrousbikes, and velomobiles). The cycle expressway that runs parallel with Stenhouse Drive, Broomhouse Drive and Bankhead Drive could be so much better if it:

    • didn't require stopping at every road junction
    • wasn't an obstacle course of lampposts and bus shelters
    • had access points other than the road junctions and an occasional building site entrance
    • wasn't rerouted at the whim of said building sites with 90 degree turns and no escape routes with dropped kerbs
    • had been built in tandem with the busway tramway to avoid road junctions

    Consequently, I do use the expressway when I ride to the Gyle from the middle of town, but I find the road better on every count (except quality of surface) until halfway along Bankhead Drive, by which time it's arguably pointless to join the path anyway. The current works at Edinburgh Park have made access to Cultins Road and beyond almost impossible for anything beyond a standard bike. I will have to investigate the alternatives such as Lochside Avenue, as I don't necessarily mind a slightly longer trip if I don't have to continually stop to dismount or bump down kerbs and ride across cobbles and negotiate barriers and so on.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  20. Uberuce
    Member

    I go to work early enough in the morning that the junctions and need to cross oncoming lane are much less of an issue, so the better surface swings it. I return on the path, but now that I think of it, that's just force of habit; I frequently wish I'd taken the road.

    Better surface except for the depression leading to one of the lampposts; I confess I had a close pass to a pedestrian as I crossed round to their side once. I wish I'd turned round and apologised for misjudging his position and explained why it'd be better for pedestrians to cross onto the cyclist side at that lamppost, but instead just took my understandable being-sworn-at on the chin.

    More recently I got a bemused look from two cops as they saw me daintily swing round that lamppost as they walked their beat up it towards me. They didn't say anything, though.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  21. gembo
    Member

    I use both [though mostly on the road]. For instance I don't mind using the path in Holyrood to go up the hill, I am going more slowly, it ends at the roundabout etc. The Roseburn and Trinity paths are TREE-mendous. I sometimes use the Stenhouse path [but agree with Kapps description of its shortcomings] - the road through Stenhouse is also rubbish [road surface, badly configured lights, bad drivers, bad boys, bad girls, bad dogs].

    I don't think our correct entitlement to use the road should blind us from the possibility that dedicated paths are actually quite good sometimes. Cracking one out at S Queensferry, locals often have a BBQ in the middle of it in summer, but it is wide enough for most eventualities.

    Cycle lanes on roads I agree are often parked in etc so no use.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  22. Nelly
    Member

    Arellcat, if you dont mind dropping on to the road, going through the (for cars) no entry bit, up a rubbish temporary ramp, down a mix of tarmac and crud, you reach the lovely new underpass at Edin Park station - its a 30 foot nirvana of unblemished new tarmac plus some (as yet untested) drainage.

    If I make it through without falling off due to frost tomorrow, it will have passed test no. 1

    Posted 10 years ago #
  23. LaidBack
    Member

    down a mix of tarmac and crud, you reach the lovely new underpass at Edin Park station - its a 30 foot nirvana of unblemished new tarmac plus some (as yet untested) drainage.

    Sounds like what I found on the Penicuik Path thread. On my outing there I met three other cyclists in 12 miles out and back(?). Path was best used by dog walkers. Middle of day though.

    One thing is the worry of entering a path which gets worse and worse. On some old railways you can't get off so easily.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  24. Claggy Cog
    Member

    Every time I have used the B'rigg, Rosewell, Penicuik path it has always been the same, lots of dog walkers, and on occasion kids on quad bikes/motocross bikes out of Rosewell but they have always been accommodating and even polite, getting out of the way...unlike some in Niddrie/Craigmillar who have buzzed me, shouting loudly and generally being intimidating and sprayed me with gravel doing wheelie type of things or skidding, charm school graduates that they are!!

    Posted 10 years ago #
  25. gembo
    Member

    On Friday I went to work via Long Dalmahoy [tarmac, ice and slurry], Heriot Watt dirt track then path then road, Hermiston [road and cycle path on pavement], canal towpath, Cultins Road, the long stretch of main road passed the car salerooms, Bankhead to Stenhouse, then due to a fluke in the traffic light configuration I went on to the cycle path at a stretch where the roads surface is bad and then back on to the road at a point where the surface improved.

    New tarmac at Edinburgh Park on the road. Might not last, that section has been dug up more than once for trams. Looks like they are getting busy again with the tram line

    Posted 10 years ago #
  26. Nelly
    Member

    ......because broomhouse path was all sparkly, whereas the road had been gritted this morning.

    Easy choice today.

    Posted 10 years ago #

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