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Investigating Cycle Route Preferences in the Greater Dublin Area

  • 31-08-2011 10:46am
    #1
    Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,989 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    Attached is the report mention in a Sunday Times article last weekend and The Irish Times yesterday. It's due do be presented tomorrow at this conference (which has some other interesting cycling related papers), but as it given out without restriction and was fairly widely reported, I don't see a problem posting it...

    It was commissioned by Dublin City Council and authored by researchers at AECOM consulting engineers and the School of Engineering in Trinity College.

    Page 1 is PR, the report follows.
    SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
    As outlined at the outset of the current study, the National Cycle Manual guidelines provide robust advise to practioners in the planning and design of cycle networks. The purpose of this research was to add further clarity in relation to individual preference regarding infrastructure and the measures which are most likely to achieve modal shift. In this regard, findings from the current study provide an interesting insight to the variations, and similarities, in preferences among existing cyclists and non cyclists.

    A summary of the findings is as follows:

    • Improvements in infrastructure for cyclists is the most important measure in encouraging a growth in cycling. This is followed by the need for increased bike parking and better facilities for cyclists such as showers and lockers at work;

    • Direct routes with short journey times are the most important variable for existing cyclists and non-cyclists in determining route choice. This is followed by infrastructure type, the number of junctions along the route, traffic speed and cyclist volumes;

    • In terms if infrastructure, regardless of the level of cycling confidence, routes which have ‘no facilities’ or ‘bus/cycle lanes’ are the least favoured cycle route types;

    • There appears to be no direct correlation between cycling confidence and route choice preference with confident cyclists demonstrating a similar preference for the presented infrastructure types as respondents with no cycling confidence;

    • There is, however, a small proportion of very confident cyclists who place high importance on short journey times and direct facilities with low cyclist
    volumes. For these cyclists, type of infrastructure and traffic speeds are of less relevance;

    • Respondents who currently drive or use public transport to travel to work have a poor perception of cycling and demonstrate a greater need for segregation and lower vehicular speeds;

    • Regardless of cycling confidence, there is a similar preference for fewer junctions along cycle routes;

    • Respondents who walk/cycle to work have the greatest value of time for the journey to work; and

    • Cyclists with little or no experience have a greater preference for routes with a high volume of cyclists;

    • The perception of conflict between cyclist and pedestrian shared space is evident with respondents who currently walk to work expressed low favourability for off road cycling facilities and routes through ‘parks/residential areas’.

    RECOMMENDATIONS
    As highlighted at the outset of the current study, challenging targets for a modal shift to cycling have been set. In order to achieve these targets, the current research concludes with the following recommendations:

    • There is a need to prioritise investment in cycling infrastructure. In terms of the type of infrastructure, high quality segregated facilities are likely to be
    most favoured by existing cyclists and encourage a shift to cycling. The second preference is for routes through ‘Parks/quiet residential areas’, which could easily be encouraged with minor investment in signage and infrastructure improvements, assuming the routes provide a direct alternative;

    • Improvement in safety for cyclists at junctions needs to form an integrated element in the provision of any cycling infrastructure;

    • There is a need to reconsider design approach to ‘bus/cycle lanes’ which are negatively viewed by confident and inexperienced cyclists;

    • Investment in infrastructure needs to be supported by improvements in bike parking and facilities in the workplace;

    • There is a strong role for cycle training to bridge the narrow, but consequential gap, between perceptions of cycling safety among existing cyclists and noncyclists,
    particularly among commuters who currently travel by public transport users and by car;

    • To encourage an increase in female cyclists, the results indicate a greater need to invest in segregated infrastructure and introduce lower speed limits. However, it is apparent that there is also a strong role for cycle training, improving facilities in the workplace and improving awareness of local cycle
    routes.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,378 ✭✭✭✭ Lumen


    There is a strong role for cycle training to bridge the narrow, but consequential gap, between perceptions of cycling safety among existing cyclists and noncyclists, particularly among commuters who currently travel by public transport users and by car

    There might be a role for employers here, linked to the CTW scheme. Dead employees aren't very productive.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,056 ✭✭✭✭ BostonB


    There is a need to reconsider design approach to ‘bus/cycle lanes’ which are negatively viewed by confident and inexperienced cyclists;

    That would be one of the major points for me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,378 ✭✭✭✭ Lumen


    BostonB wrote: »
    That would be one of the major points for me.

    What's the practical alternative, say (for example) on the north Quays?

    I quite enjoy drafting buses. Maybe that could be incorporated into the newbie training.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,056 ✭✭✭✭ BostonB


    How about not have them disappear for a start.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,943 ✭✭✭ what_traffic


    From reviewing the "Summary of Findings" and "Recommendations" the survey questions I presume are very "Civil Engineering" based. Not surprising considering the authors. Anybody have a link to the "web based technique" (from page 1 of PDF) questions that where used here?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    From reviewing the "Summary of Findings" and "Recommendations" the survey questions I presume are very "Civil Engineering" based. Not surprising considering the authors. Anybody have a link to the "web based technique" (from page 1 of PDF) questions that where used here?




    Fair point, now that you mention it. AECOM likes to 'showcase its expertise in cycling provision'.

    That said, IMO the findings of this survey tally with other such studies. A significant proportion of cyclists keep asking for segregation, and if that's what they want that's what they should get.

    Cyclists should be pampered, cosseted and cherished.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,141 Doctor Bob


    From reviewing the "Summary of Findings" and "Recommendations" the survey questions I presume are very "Civil Engineering" based. Not surprising considering the authors. Anybody have a link to the "web based technique" (from page 1 of PDF) questions that where used here?

    I think it was done via Survey Monkey, but the link has probably expired.

    If memory serves, there was a mix of questions on socio-economic/demographic stuff, cycling skill level, regularlty of cycling, etc., and then a more visual part with many different 'A or B' scenarios presented as in Fig 1.3 in the PDF.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,815 ✭✭✭ doozerie


    Iwannhurl wrote:
    Cyclists should be pampered, cosseted and cherished.

    It seems to me that this view underlies a number of attitudes that I've encountered regarding cycling and I've never really understood it. Why should cyclists be pampered, cosseted and cherished?


  • Registered Users Posts: 433 ✭✭ mmclo


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    Fair point, now that you mention it. AECOM likes to 'showcase its expertise in cycling provision'.

    That said, IMO the findings of this survey tally with other such studies. A significant proportion of cyclists keep asking for segregation, and if that's what they want that's what they should get.

    Cyclists should be pampered, cosseted and cherished.

    Cycling Super Highways....mmmmmmm


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,246 ✭✭✭ kenmc


    doozerie wrote: »
    Why should cyclists be pampered, cosseted and cherished?
    Cos we're worth it!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 713 ✭✭✭ Mucco


    doozerie wrote: »
    hy should cyclists be pampered, cosseted and cherished?
    Because sticking in a decent bike lane is way cheaper than a Luas or a metro.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    doozerie wrote: »
    It seems to me that this view underlies a number of attitudes that I've encountered regarding cycling and I've never really understood it. Why should cyclists be pampered, cosseted and cherished?



    I'm too lazy to re-type/edit this, so here's a link purely for my own convenience:

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=73664774&postcount=66


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,208 HivemindXX


    I can't understand why people (excluding bus and taxi drivers) are against shared bus/cycle lanes. Surely being able to use the bus lane is better than not being able to use it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,203 ✭✭✭✭ Raam


    HivemindXX wrote: »
    I can't understand why people (excluding bus and taxi drivers) are against shared bus/cycle lanes. Surely being able to use the bus lane is better than not being able to use it.

    I've no particular problem with it. I can only speculate that some people feel hassled or stressed by buses and taxis behind them or trying to over take them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 957 ✭✭✭ rflynnr


    HivemindXX wrote: »
    I can't understand why people (excluding bus and taxi drivers) are against shared bus/cycle lanes. Surely being able to use the bus lane is better than not being able to use it.

    I suspect it's not so much that people are against it but rather that in an ideal world they'd prefer a dedicated cycle lane.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,815 ✭✭✭ doozerie


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    I'm too lazy to re-type/edit this, so here's a link purely for my own convenience:

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=73664774&postcount=66

    Ah, what you mean is that the "needs" of cyclists should be prioritised over the "needs" of motorists. Which is not quite the same thing as simply advocating/promoting cycling - there is an overlap, certainly, but there is a danger when looking at how to reclaim space from cars that you end up building on a poor design to start with. If you were to take cyclists out of the equation you wouldn't find that the existing infrastructure instantly transforms into a much more efficient or safe one (like many people I'm sure, I find driving around Dublin a painful experience for the most part). Personally I'd rather see the road infrastructure fundamentally re-assessed and re-designed to accommodate motorised vehicles and bicycles together, rather than see the likes of cycle lanes be tacked onto existing poorly designed roads.

    No, I don't really think that's going to happen, but even to get planners thinking along those lines might suggest that their mindset has fundamentally shifted from one of seeing cyclists as a hindrance to one of seeing cyclists as valid road users that warrant consideration during planning. That can only be a good thing. That doesn't mean that I think there is no benefit to well-designed bike lanes, I just think that convincing everyone (planners, motorists, current cyclists, potential cyclists, etc.) of the merits of sharing existing road space is a victory that would yield better results in the long run and when expending effort I'd see that as ultimately being a more worthy cause than more painted stretches of road and footpath right now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,815 ✭✭✭ doozerie


    kenmc wrote:
    Cos we're worth it!

    Well, okay, I am, but I'm not sure about the rest of ye... :)

    0507_kenny_indo_620622t.jpg


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 21,750 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CramCycle


    Mucco wrote: »
    Because sticking in a decent bike lane is way cheaper than a Luas or a metro.

    But for some reason those ****ty red excuses for bike lanes that councils keep laying down seem to cost about the same or far more per person using.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,056 ✭✭✭✭ BostonB


    That because they don't know what they are doing.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,989 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    Some of what the NTA's Cycle Manual allows for is a good reason against segregated cycle lanes / tracks.

    Have they learned anything from the nonsense which has already been built?

    Fully segregated roundabouts
    Cyclists and walkers should also be segregated.

    5615_RA-04_2D.jpg

    Shared surfaces and crossing like these. Crazy that cyclists going along the road are told to yield and share space when motorists are not (ie it's different on a shared street)... I'm really unsure about these examples under the uncontrolled crossings, here. And the use of bollards on a crossing which is supposed to fit both cyclists and people on foot...

    5615_JT-5_2D.jpg


    5615_JT-6_2D.jpg


    It says this junction design -- "Cyclist Deflection, in truck-intensive areas" --is not suitable for "main cycle routes", I would content it's not suitable anywhere. And the same design is listed elsewhere as "side roads for HGVs" in without any warning about not being used on "main cycle routes" what ever they are.

    5615_SY10_3DDetail.jpg

    5615_SY-10_2D.jpg

    And this is more off the wall stuff for where a two-way cycle track meets a side road:

    5615_SY_16_2D.jpg


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 21,750 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CramCycle


    Are those pictures from the NTA? It seems they would be promoting cycling on sidewalks as you approach the junctions, so in fact, they would seem to be promoting either breaking the law or walking, not sure which.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,203 ✭✭✭✭ Raam


    The road looks safer to me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,244 ✭✭✭✭ seamus


    CramCycle wrote: »
    Are those pictures from the NTA? It seems they would be promoting cycling on sidewalks as you approach the junctions, so in fact, they would seem to be promoting either breaking the law or walking, not sure which.
    The design is such that the non-cycle, non-roadway area is "shared space". However the digital example image shows that there is no signage or markings anywhere to indicate what is and isn't shared space and presumably therefore they consider it OK for cyclists to ride on the footpath where a cycle track doesn't exist.

    I'm with Raam. They're all perfect examples of cycle facilities that I don't/wouldn't use.


  • Registered Users Posts: 393 ✭✭ -K2-


    Bike lanes which dump cyclists onto footpaths or into junctions are a recipe for conflict with other road users, both in a physical and argumentative sense.


  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭ munsterleinster


    +1 on much less hassle to just stay on the road an not use the cycle paths.

    For example, heading from Fairview towards Sutton.. Have to avoid overhanding onto the cycle path opposite Vernon avenue.. then imediately a shared footpath and then a few hundred meters and off again at the wooden bridge to dollymount to try and cross back onto the road again.

    It's considered one of the best cycle lanes in the city and it's too much hassle when commuting (fabulous facility for kids and famalies though)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,056 ✭✭✭✭ BostonB


    Jeez how much did all that crud cost....


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,031 ✭✭✭ kuro_man


    Cycle lanes shown seem to be more about keep bikes from annoying motorists, so they won't work. They hardly mentioned driver training!

    Rule #1: the single best thing for cycle safety is increase the number of cyclists.

    Loosing right-of-way (and dodging pedestrians) at junctions breaks the rule #1.

    There was a stretch of road between Ballsbridge and Merrion Gates that was resurfaced and for a while have no markings at all. It was the safest stretch to cycle - cars overtook with greater gaps and kept to a reasonable speed and the surface was excellent.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,031 ✭✭✭ kuro_man


    Segregation is not the answer. The more they segregate, they more the advertise that CYCLING WITH TRAFFIC IS VERY DANGEROUS, putting people off cycling.

    But it isn't and shouldn't be dangerous.


  • Registered Users Posts: 713 ✭✭✭ Mucco


    You have to remember that most people say that it's lack of lanes that stops them cycling - they are being put off by lack of segregation. Therefore, to get the safety in numbers, we have to build lanes.
    And while it may be better for experienced cyclists to stick to the road; it's getting non-cyclists onto their bikes that matters. I tend to think that experienced cyclists can look after themselves.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,787 ✭✭✭✭ Dónal


    seamus wrote: »
    I'm with Raam. They're all perfect examples of cycle facilities that I don't/wouldn't use.

    It's also assuming a good bit that all other road users will only use the space allocated to them. Having a kerbed segregated lane is pretty useless when there's someone parked in it.

    On the roundabout with what looks like zebra crossings, the first thing that comes to mind are roundabouts with a traffic light straight after. You'll inevitably see cars jamming on the brakes as they exit the roundabout, and that's with red lights.

    I don't see myself using any of this, but as has been mentioned I suppose this isn't aimed at present cyclists.

    Bigger lanes is what I want.


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