Re: Please show your support for the Haverstock Hill cycle lanes


Jean Dollimore
 

Since bus stops seem to be of great interest, if the agenda for the meeting on 19th has room, I will offer a presentation on the three types of bus stop that are possible when you have a cycle lane on a bus route. Since there has been so much interest in details, I will mention the standards that have been published and note whether all of the ones implemented by Camden conform. The standard for bus stop bypasses was developed with the intention that people in wheel chairs could use the bus ramp to get on and off the bus. I promise not to give a long and boring lecture! 

Jean


On 6 Sep 2022, at 07:51, Elena Moynihan <elena.moynihan@...> wrote:

Yes, I believe some members of the committee have regular meetings with the council and TfL to discuss plans etc...of course they take feedback from the main group and the rest of the committee: we have a monthly Zoom meeting when we discuss all things bike, everybody is invited, it's the 3rd Monday of the month !

Regarding the Haverstock lanes, as these are my local lanes I am planning to start a review once they have bedded down, I will share the document of course and hope many people will participate and send ideas and thoughts .

Regarding the bus thing, I tend to agree with Richard:   I am really not a fan of the Northbound one going in between people waiting for the bus, what he says is exactly what happens, people milling around with their headphones on and I feel I am about to run somebody over even at the snail pace I go at.  The Soutbound I thought I'd hate but actually when there's no bus it's totally fine, there is still room to go past and rejoin the segregated lane without getting in the road and I think it works better.  When there's a bus hey-ho, it's no worse than bypassing the white vans invariably parked throughout the lane.  Anyway we will discuss during the review

Best,
Elena

On Mon, 5 Sept 2022 at 22:02, Richard Thomas <richard@...> wrote:
Hi Moy, Jean,

I am under the impression that CCC has a good dialogue with LBC already to feedback on facilities and decide what's possible to design them in the most useful way possible for cyclists, given a whole host of real world constraints. 

I just thought there might be a better way to 'do bus stops', though I fully expected people to tell me why it won't work. 😊

Tonight I came home emvia the main roads so I could pay attention to the bus stops. 

I looked at the northbound stops on Hampstead Road and Chalk Farm Road. Although these have 'proper' islands, I still think they are a bad design with a high risk of collision with pedestrians. People getting off the bus are often focused on getting onto the 'real' pavement and getting away. They are not thinking about cycle lanes. Even when there's no bus people sometimes mill about in the bike lane. So as a cyclist great vigilance is needed. As long there's a gap in the traffic I pull out into the carriageway. 

One stop I go past every day is southbound outside Haberstock school. Normally there's no bus stopped so I can just go straight on through the bus box (as long as the lane beyond is not blocked by builders!) But if there's a bus you need to anticipate early enough to pull out where there's a gap in the wands by the school carpark. I just wondered if it would be better if the wands were removed near the stop and there were clear road markings making it obvious that bikes are going to go round the bus on the outside (where there are no doors) and so cars need to give way. Is that too idealistic?

Best wishes all
Richard



On Sun, 4 Sept 2022, 11:51 Moy El-Bushra via groups.io, <moyelbushra=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hmm... Interesting, Jean.

Now, I'm going to say I much prefer that, to the one whose photo John linked to on the downhill side.

Perhaps it's just the perspective of the photo, but on the downhill one, it looks like the posts / bollards marking the cycle lane, & the line itself, run right up to the back of the bus stop.

I would say I am a confident rider - I ride to assert my rights to ownership of the space, & do not allow myself to get forced into kerbs etc, & I'm constantly looking ahead to position myself to avoid situations where I'm forced to (e.g.) stop & try & nose my way out from behind a bus into traffic.

For that reason, if I was riding behind a bus on the downhill side, I would be starting to pull out into the main traffic flow, & occupying that space / making my presence known, from long before the actual bus stop.

Now, that is likely to prompt outraged shouts of "look at that cyclist not even using the cycle lane" from the Next Door / anti-LTN moral majority. But obviously my priority is my own safety, & I ride as I deem necessary.

A less confident rider, however, might tend to follow that cycle lane all the way, right up to the back of the bus, then be forced to nose their way out into the traffic from a much more acute angle, thus increasing their risks. And the painted bicycle on the outside of the bus box is only likely to reinforce the idea that that is what they are meant to do, & might even give the impression that it confers some sort of priority, or some magical additional safety. Said cyclist then getting mullered....

But the one on the uphill side looks much better to me - as long as there is no bus in front of me, then it continues past the bus stop as a proper protected section of cycle lane. And if there is a bus ahead, it seems like there's much less "guiding" the innocent into that higher risk situation of being caught right behind it, then having to nose out into traffic.

I haven't actually ridden past the uphill ones yet, but I definitely don't particularly like the downhill ones. In addition to what I've said above, when I do decide to pull out from the cycle lane earlier, into the traffic, then the posts of the cycle lane mean I'm forced to make a sharper, more "slalom-like" turn out in between 2 posts, rather than just sliding out smoothly. All in all, I don't feel that downhill section going past the bus stop is very well designed at all.

Do you understand Camden's logic as to why they have installed one type going up & the other going down?

I really would appreciate an opportunity to sit down with Camden's planners to help them understand the realities of some of the poorly designed infrastructure they've installed. 

If it compromises my safety then it's quite simple - I won't use it. Which then, as I've said, provides ammunition for the anti cycling brigade when they see cyclists not using it.

Unfortunately, there is a heck of a lot of poorly designed cycling infrastructure.

For example, cycle lanes (probably about 50% of them at least, that are barely the width of your handlebars, leaving one at risk of getting shoved into the kerb. Or bike boxes at traffic lights that have no lead in to them, so the only way into them is round the outside of the cars waiting for the lights, putting one at great risk if one happens to be coming in between the car at the front, & the central reservation, just when the lights go green & the driver doesn't check their wing mirrors. Or cycle lanes directly on the offside of rows of parked cars, which there's no way I'm going to ride in, putting myself 2 inches away from some idiot opening their door without looking. Etc...

Is there some avenue for dialogue directly with the people at Camden who design this stuff? 

Thanks,

Moy

 
On Sunday, 4 September 2022 at 11:01:44 BST, Jean Dollimore <jean@...> wrote:


I’d like to put in a word for ‘bus stop bypasses’ which, as John says, are our preferred solution.

The bus shelter and the flag are on an island so that’s where people wait to get on the bus and land when getting off the bus. The cycle track mounts a ramp and runs round behind the bus shelter and there’s a clearly marked zebra crossing on which pedestrians have priority. 

Camden Council has built 19 of these on the cycle routes (e.g. 5 on Prince of Wales Road, 4 on Chalk Fram road and H Hill south of PoW. 7 on Gray’s Inn Road), 

But the island has to be 2.5 m wide, so you do need some extra road space to fit them in; that space isn’t available on Haverstock Hill north of PoW nor on York Way.

-------------


Richard, you say: "It seems to me that the hierarchy of peds/buses first, then cycles, then motor vehicles is not respected in the recently implemented solution. Cycles are forced into the peds' natural space instead of being given priority over cars.” That doesn’t seem to me to be the case with bus stop bypasses. Are you referring to the SUBBs (shared use bus boarders) on the uphill side of Haverstock Hill? e.g. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52301052025_5f3de36cf0_k.jpg


Jean


On 3 Sep 2022, at 21:45, Richard Thomas <richard@...> wrote:

Thanks for asking the question Moy. I cycle past a lot of bus stops and think there might be a better solution. 

That's actually a great bus stop. As well as having enough space so conflict with peds is less likely, there's never any problem staying in the carriageway. There's a clearly marked lane up to and beyond the bus cage and northbound traffic volumes are low, so it's easy to pass buses on the outside. I rarely (almost never) use the lane inside the stop.

In the lane up from Camden town to Prince of Wales Road passed Chalk Farm, for example,  it can be harder to cut into the traffic and sometimes I'm forced to use the lane past the small island boarders. These rightly have a hump and a zebra and I'm very cautious. 

I also use buses, often with a big suitcase (that's why I'm on the bus), and getting off can be quite tricky - stressful even. I don't think disembarking passengers should have to negotiate a cycle lane. 

It seems to me that the hierarchy of peds/buses first, then cycles, then motor vehicles is not respected in the recently implemented solution. Cycles are forced into the peds' natural space instead of being given priority over cars. 

Referring to John's earlier comment, with the right markings (e.g. a short gap in a coloured lane) it could be clear the bus has priority and that bikes should give way to buses pulling in and out, but that cars should move out to make way for cycles and if not enough room should wait behind the bus until oncoming traffic permits. 

I'm not sure if I've ever seen this, but I still think it might work. Maybe someone has seen something similar in another country?

Thanks again for discussing, Richard 

On Sat, 3 Sept 2022, 21:07 John Chamberlain, <john@...> wrote:

Moy is right, this is the preferred solution, but unfortunately this requires space that is not available on some of Camden's roads without severely cutting back the footway. In this case the options are either a shared bus-boarder/cycle lane (as on the uphill side of Haverstock Hill), or a cycle lane that stops at the bus stop.



John 


On 03/09/22 20:59, Moy El-Bushra via groups.io wrote:
Richard,

I'm not sure if you're aware of these, but there is already a solution to the issue of how to get cycle lanes to bypass bus stops - the cycle lane is diverted behind the bus stop, so cyclists are neither forced out into the traffic to get past a bus that's just pulled in, nor scrunched into the kerb by the bus because there's nowhere to go to the left (see attached photo).

Personally, I find these to be quite a good idea. Of course,  it can happen that a careless pedestrian steps into the cycle lane, but then that can happen anywhere. 

And I think if there were more of these around, pedestrians would become more aware of the need to look first.

The problem is that they are not very commonly implemented, but I think they should become the norm.

Or is that you are aware of these, but you're suggesting that there are better solutions?

Kind regards,

Moy







On Sat, 3 Sep 2022 at 14:37, John Chamberlain
<john@...> wrote:

Richard's suggestion is pretty much what Camden have done on the downhill bus stops here (and in some other places where road space is very constrained). See

https://www.flickr.com/photos/camdencyclists/52287796633/in/album-72177720297763239/

The difference is that the route around the outside of the bus cage is not marked other than with a cycle logo (preferably more than one).

The difficulties I see with marking a lane are:

  1. The bus has to cross it to get into and out of the stop. Would buses always give way to cycles? If not, it might lead cyclists into a false sense of security.
  2. Likewise with regard to motor traffic coming from behind.
But I think it might be worth discussing with Camden officers, particularly as schemes come up to their annual review.
 


John Chamberlain

 
 
On 03/09/22 12:35, Richard Thomas wrote:
Hi Jean

Thanks for sharing these links.  I've supported on commonplace.

Does anyone know why this solution can't be trialled for bus stops to reduce risk of cyclist-pedestrian conflict?
 - Coloured tarmac cycling lane going round outside of bus cage, taking cyclists into traffic passing bus on outside but with clear lane priority.
 - Alternate advisory (dashed marking) cycle lane through bus cage.  Buses can stop in lane, but if no bus cyclist goes straight on unimpeded.

Advantages I perceive:
 - Cyclists not confident to move into traffic to pass a waiting bus would have to wait behind it, but that's what you need to do now because it is dangerous to pass bus on inside when passengers are getting on or off because they naturally step into cycle lane and in any case have zebra priority.
 - Cyclists wanting to pass bus on the outside would have road markings to show that they are entitled to do so (which they are already, but likely to suffer close pass or abuse).

Thanks for any comments
Richard



On Tue, 30 Aug 2022 at 10:31, Jean Dollimore <jean@...> wrote:
The cycle lanes on Haverstock Hill are almost complete and Camden Council is now collecting feedback via Commonplace.

If you haven’t yet been there to try them out, we have some photos here:




Please go here and give your positive response:



If you have time, please look at the comments from other people and say you ‘agree’ to comments put there by other supporters.


Jean







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