15 September 2018

Road design

Various people comment that pedestrian and public transit city design with a side of cycling is much safer; various other people comment that much existing cycling infrastructure in Anglo NorAm looks for all the world as though it was designed to kill cyclists.

Well, yes it is in sober truth of fact meant to kill cyclists.

I don't understand how this can be considered a question.  Long-standing -- from the 1970s burst of cycling enthusiasm -- cycling infrastructure invariably has features meant to slow you down or to force you to dismount more or less as often as it can; any time the cycling path might cross a road or go under a bridge or interact with a pedestrian path.

These bits of infrastructure generally take two forms; a heavy metal gate, or a speed bump.  The heavy metal gate is invariably set a height to throw you off the bicycle forward on to your head if you hit it; just hitting the heavy metal barrier at speed might well kill you, and it's not like the things are signed at all.  It's not hard to go down a hill round a corner and get a surprise.  The speed bump is invariably carefully narrower and more steep (and thus cheaper, for requiring less material) than a car speed bump.  Also sometimes taller, and equally it functions to throw you off your bicycle into traffic.

The purpose of a system is what it does; the bicycle infrastructure is set up with a clear "get off the bicycle or we'll kill you" message.

Pretty much all cycling infrastructure in AngloNorAm is set up this way; it's created to minimize inconvenience to car traffic and to minimize startlement to pedestrians.  It thereby exists to make you get off the bike, and if you won't get off the bike, it'll kill you.

That's what it's for.


Jeff Stana said...

Nursing an owie are you? Hope you're better soon.
- fellow cyclist

Graydon said...

+Jeff Stana Not at the moment! (Hit by cars twice so far.) Encountered one too many "but why would an accredited urban designer sign off on this?" articles today, is all.