I’ve noticed that subtly, people are starting to label me as a cyclist: family bought me cycling based gifts, for example. I’m not actually that much of a cyclist- I cycle short distances around 5 times a week, depending on weather- and that probably makes me “not a proper cyclist” amongst certain members of the community.
Of course, the whole labelling thing is dangerous, it makes me uncomfortable. I’m a driver, a cyclist, a pedestrian, and a public transport user, and all of these groups can be (and are) labelled:
1) All car drivers use their mobiles when driving
2) All cyclists jump red lights
3) All pedestrians walk out without looking
4) All Public transport users cannot afford a car, or they’d have one.
just for example, to pick four statements I know to be untrue.
I’ve seen something while in Cardiff that did, however, awaken the millitant cyclist in me, and also make me think about the ineptitude of road planners, indulging in a bit of box-ticking.
Cyclists will campaign for seperate infrastructure. A cycle path physically seperated from the road. This seems like a good idea. Let’s see that in action.
This is LLoyd George Avenue, linking the city to the bay. I walked down it several times, noting the totally unused cycle path to my left, and a few cyclists coming past on the main carriageway.
Bloody cyclists, eh? Provide that lane, and they don’t use it.
Let’s look at it from the ground.
In the pic, the road is to my right. I’m on the footpath, and the cycle path is to my left. In front of me is a side road, with a set of traffic lights to stop traffic on the main road, and a pelican crossing I can operate to cross (though in practice, the side road is so quiet, you don’t need to, and the delay on the lights changing is ridiculous, so you won’t bother).
You’ll notice that the cycle lane comes to an abrupt halt at a barrier.
So, yes, the designers thought that it was a good idea to make cyclists stop every few hundred yards, dismount, push a button, wait for a crossing to change, walk over, get back on the bike, and rinse and repeat.
What the very fuck?
That’s why all the cyclists are on the A470, and the cycle lane is unused.
Why on earth the cycle lane wasn’t built alongside the road, sharing priority over the side roads, is beyond me. It could still be seperate- in fact, just swapping position of the footpath & cycle way and reconfiguring the junctions a little would seem to have achieved that to me: The cyclists would get space, and have equal priority to cars, the pedestrians would be isolated from the cylists.
People are *paid* to do this.