Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:39 pm

London Boy wrote:I can understand that. Liability, which turns on provable cause. The minister who got rid of MHL would cop the blame for the first rider who died of a head injury.

Whereas it is difficult to show whether putting fatties on bikes would make them less prone to heart disease, diabetes, strokes and so on. So no minister to blame when some great bloated lump's heart stops beating because their coronary arteries are clogged up with fatty deposits.

:shock: :shock: :evil:

Such an attitude is the greatest failing of our corrupt, litigious and soapie/current affairs driven legal system :roll:
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:02 pm

London Boy wrote:The minister who got rid of MHL would cop the blame for the first rider who died of a head injury..


Which is one reason the more realistic path is to gradually phase in exemptions and phase out strict enforcement until the law is obviously not longer effectual.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:28 am

A thought - for particularly busy intersections where there's a lot of cars turning left and a lot of bicycles (e.g. something like St Kilda Rd/Kings Way), wouldn't the sensible solution be to have a) the bike lane hug the curb all the way up to the intersection, with the left-turning car lane to the right of it then b) traffic lights installed such that the bicycle lane gets its own green light (for bicycles going both straight ahead and turning left), during which the left-turning car lane has a red arrow, alternating with a red light (ideally +green left-turn arrow) for bicycles and a green arrow for the cars? In that particular case in the latest Google Maps photo there's actually no bicycle lane shown at all, and it's definitely one of the most dangerous parts of this supposedly prime bicycle route.

The other alternative is treat bicycles going straight ahead much the same way as pedestrians going straight ahead - i.e. still with the bicycle lane to the left of the left-turning lane, but configured so that the cars must stop far enough back for it to be obvious when it's clear to go (i.e. without having to look behind them). That would rely on faster cyclists having to slow down a little, but it's good deal better than what's there and in similar intersections currently.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby human909 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:15 am

wizdofaus wrote:In that particular case in the latest Google Maps photo there's actually no bicycle lane shown at all, and it's definitely one of the most dangerous parts of this supposedly prime bicycle route.


I would make the opposite claim and say that is one of the SAFEST parts! :D

This is due to the fact that:
-There is no crossing of lanes required.
-There is no bike lane putting you in way of left turners.
-No bike lane putting you into the door lane

Of course that assumes the cyclists has basic roadcraft and occupies the left hand lane! :wink: If the right hand traffic is stopped and there are left turners then I would move into the bike box. Otherwise I would just occupy the left lane and continue straight.

wizdofaus wrote:A thought - for particularly busy intersections where there's a lot of cars turning left and a lot of bicycles (e.g. something like St Kilda Rd/Kings Way), wouldn't the sensible solution be to have a) the bike lane hug the curb all the way up to the intersection, with the left-turning car lane to the right of it then b) traffic lights installed such that the bicycle lane gets its own green light (for bicycles going both straight ahead and turning left), during which the left-turning car lane has a red arrow, alternating with a red light (ideally +green left-turn arrow) for bicycles and a green arrow for the cars?


Correct. Best practice for such intersections would be a separated bicycle path with a separate set of lights. With two left turn lanes it is totally unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists proceeding straight at the same time as left turners. The alternative and cheaper option is what has already been implemented. ie cyclists are required to merge.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:24 am

human909 wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:In that particular case in the latest Google Maps photo there's actually no bicycle lane shown at all, and it's definitely one of the most dangerous parts of this supposedly prime bicycle route.


I would make the opposite claim and say that is one of the SAFEST parts! :D

That's because you're an experienced cyclist.

human909 wrote:This is due to the fact that:
-There is no crossing of lanes required.


You may not be *required* to cross a lane, but the alternative is to sit there waiting for a gap in the traffic, as there are typically vehicles fully occupying that lane by the time you get there. If you can't avoid that, you've lost one of the main attractions of using a bicycle.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:30 am

wizdofaus wrote:The other alternative is treat bicycles going straight ahead much the same way as pedestrians going straight ahead - i.e. still with the bicycle lane to the left of the left-turning lane, but configured so that the cars must stop far enough back for it to be obvious when it's clear to go (i.e. without having to look behind them). That would rely on faster cyclists having to slow down a little, but it's good deal better than what's there and in similar intersections currently.

This is pretty much the sort of design approach that is now being taken with intersections in the Netherlands.

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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:02 am

That sort of intersection would be wonderful...hopefully MCC or some similar council will have the guts to try one out here at some point. Would it require any changes to Australian road rules though?
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:29 am

Love to see 'em but I can't see intersection treatments like that lasting too long. Those divider islands at the apex of each turn would get trashed by (and trash) vehicles cutting the corner over the top of them. I'd give it no more than a month before the RA and other groups are lobbying for the removal of these "hazards".
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:37 am

Follow up video that shows the modified intersections in action. There doesn't seem to be too much trouble with over-runs. Rather large bus at 3:26 gets around it OK, so there's not too much excuse for most drivers. One problem we seem to face here in Australia is the mania for always building kerbs to the minimum 15cm height. Notice how many of the Dutch dividers are really quite low-profile, some just a raised mound




* Guy riding with two bikes at 2:09 :wink: 8)
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:12 am

il padrone wrote:Follow up video that shows the modified intersections in action. There doesn't seem to be too much trouble with over-runs. Rather large bus at 3:26 gets around it OK, so there's not too much excuse for most drivers. One problem we seem to face here in Australia is the mania for always building kerbs to the minimum 15cm height. Notice how many of the Dutch dividers are really quite low-profile, some just a raised mound



Cool, I couldn't find that video at first, even though it was mentioned in the comments. There's even a roadie in that one, first I've seen in any Dutch urban cycling videos. Maybe I will move there after all :-)
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:39 pm

il padrone wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:The other alternative is treat bicycles going straight ahead much the same way as pedestrians going straight ahead - i.e. still with the bicycle lane to the left of the left-turning lane, but configured so that the cars must stop far enough back for it to be obvious when it's clear to go (i.e. without having to look behind them). That would rely on faster cyclists having to slow down a little, but it's good deal better than what's there and in similar intersections currently.

This is pretty much the sort of design approach that is now being taken with intersections in the Netherlands.



I am most often on paths from which I cross the road. And this design looks a litle like the layout some of the ramping from path to raod, but without the pinch-point ramping.

The design makes a cyclist about to cross at the point that he is first exposed to errant motorists coming through have to twist his neck well behind his shoulder the shoulder. Which is a difficult move to do with stability while moving and maintining a precise line (that is not even straight in this case).

If you are not able to do that then that requirement for a little extra trust on motorists NOT doing the wrong thing is not a nice feeling.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:57 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:I am most often on paths from which I cross the road. And this design looks a litle like the layout some of the ramping from path to raod, but without the pinch-point ramping.

The design makes a cyclist about to cross at the point that he is first exposed to errant motorists coming through have to twist his neck well behind his shoulder the shoulder. Which is a difficult move to do with stability while moving and maintining a precise line (that is not even straight in this case).

I'm not sure whether you looked at the videos of the Dutch design. I'd doubt that there are any intersections laid out like this in the whole of Australia - certainly not a deliberate design.

1. Cyclists stop line is well in front of the motor vehicle stop line.
2. Altered kerb line makes motorists turn wider
3. Both cyclist and motorist are looking forward of 90 degrees to see each other, not over the shoulder
4. The applications of this at large intersections are light-controlled and often with a separate phase for cyclists.

Also, there is no 'ramping' of the bike lane - cyclists ride a level path. So as the narrator said, "By the time the cars get to the crossing the bikes are usually long gone".

Image
Corner islands provide a physical barrier automobiles must travel around when making a left turn, which allows bicyclists to be removed from automobiles at intersections. This also pushes the bicyclist out farther from the curb. This, in combination with a pushed back stop line for automobiles, allows the visibility between the entities to be greatly increased. Now, the automobile can see the bicyclists on its right with much less effort. This increased distance between the bicyclist and the automobile also gives the bicyclist a better chance of crossing the intersection before the automobile approaches to turn.

This “right hook” issue can also be lessened with strong pavement markings for the cycle track through the intersection. The shark’s teeth and elephant’s feet markings go a long way to alerting automobiles of the possibility that a bicyclist will be crossing there. Staggered traffic signal phasing between the bicyclists and automobiles will also allow the bicyclists more time in crossing before a conflict can arise.

From http://wiki.coe.neu.edu/groups/nl2011tr ... ba51e/107/

I must admit your needs are more critical Colin, but hardly anything like the norm, or even fairly common. Not to say they're not important, just more tricky to allow for. The Dutch do have a slightly more rigorous expectation that turning cars must give way to cyclists. We have the same towards pedestrians on all crossings whether marked or not. It's simply that police and other authorities don't enforce this nearly enough, and our driving culture ignores it most often. It'd be a very simple rule change to clearly require drivers turning to give way to cyclists in bike lanes.

Incidentally, a question. On a unicycle are you legally classed as a vehicle or a pedestrian? In Victoria I believe it must be as a pedestrian.

Victorian Road Rules wrote:bicycle means a vehicle with 2 or more wheels that is built to be propelled by human power through a belt, chain or gears
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:50 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:If you are not able to do that then that requirement for a little extra trust on motorists NOT doing the wrong thing is not a nice feeling.


I can't think of any way in which such an intersection design would make it more likely for motorists to go ploughing into cyclists (accidentally or otherwise). In fact if our streets were laid out with this sort of thought and consideration, I doubt I'd bother with head-checks for *cars* at all, though if I were a cycling particularly slowly for whatever reason I'd certainly want to do a few such checks for other riders.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wellington_street » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:06 pm

il padrone wrote:4. The applications of this at large intersections are light-controlled and often with a separate phase for cyclists.


Which we know how this ends in Australia - roads authorities runs stupidly high cycle times and cyclists just ignore the red lights resulting in crashes. That's one reason why I much prefer having drivers merge across the cycle lane into left turn lanes before the junction, with the cycle lane continuing through the junction.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:19 pm

wellington_street wrote:Which we know how this ends in Australia - roads authorities runs stupidly high cycle times and cyclists just ignore the red lights resulting in crashes. That's one reason why I much prefer having drivers merge across the cycle lane into left turn lanes before the junction, with the cycle lane continuing through the junction.


Even as an experienced cyclist with little fear of mixing it with cars I don't really care for that arrangement because of the too-many-times you get held up by cars merging into the lane (often having to brake quite quickly as cars try to merge right in front of you when there's inadequate room for them to actually make it fully into the turning lane), plus the potential confusion you cause drivers when you're turning left yourself.

What's an example in Melbourne of dedicated bicycle traffic lights with "stupidly high cycle times"?
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wellington_street » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:34 pm

wizdofaus wrote:Even as an experienced cyclist with little fear of mixing it with cars I don't really care for that arrangement because of the too-many-times you get held up by cars merging into the lane (often having to brake quite quickly as cars try to merge right in front of you when there's inadequate room for them to actually make it fully into the turning lane), plus the potential confusion you cause drivers when you're turning left yourself.


So instead you sit at a red light and be delayed by that?

wizdofaus wrote:What's an example in Melbourne of dedicated bicycle traffic lights with "stupidly high cycle times"?


Not sure for Melbourne but there was a couple of videos of these arrangements posted from Brisbane in either the Dumb Ped/Cycle thread or Moron Motorists thread.

Most major intersections in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth also run on long cycle times (i.e. minimum 2 minutes, sometimes even over 3 minutes) so it's a long wait for pedestrians and cyclists using the paths. Add to this the fact that these parallel crossings are not automatically activated every cycle - someone has to press a button to activate them - you are almost certainly assured of never having a clear run through, which you get now on through routes with synchronised green waves.

So essentially, in the Australian context, you go from moving as part of traffic and having the same priority, to moving as a pedestrian and having low to no priority. It's extremely wishful thinking that this sort of arrangement is going to be prioritised for cyclists anywhere in Australia, let alone outside of the handful of high bicycle volume routes in the inner city.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:42 pm

Ahh, yes the poor light cycle times are an issue in Melbourne. All a symptom of the lurgy of "must not slow down the car-drivers".

A long one? Capital City Trail crossing Brunswick St - a good 3 mins to trigger a change...... on a quiet Sunday morning :x
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:19 pm

wellington_street wrote:So essentially, in the Australian context, you go from moving as part of traffic and having the same priority, to moving as a pedestrian and having low to no priority. It's extremely wishful thinking that this sort of arrangement is going to be prioritised for cyclists anywhere in Australia, let alone outside of the handful of high bicycle volume routes in the inner city.

I was simply demonstrating something that could be regarded as "world's best practice"....... something to push our roads authorities to aim for.

If you don't have anything to aim for as the ideal, what then? We just put up with the dross? :| :roll:
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:11 pm

wellington_street wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:Even as an experienced cyclist with little fear of mixing it with cars I don't really care for that arrangement because of the too-many-times you get held up by cars merging into the lane (often having to brake quite quickly as cars try to merge right in front of you when there's inadequate room for them to actually make it fully into the turning lane), plus the potential confusion you cause drivers when you're turning left yourself.


So instead you sit at a red light and be delayed by that?


Yes, I'd much prefer that - there's clear waiting zone where cars expect you to be, you know how long you'll have to wait, and it's clear when it's safe to go. And as I understand the way the light cycles work in those Dutch intersections (as opposed to my original suggestion), you never have to wait for anything other than traffic going in the crossways direction.

wellington_street wrote:Most major intersections in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth also run on long cycle times (i.e. minimum 2 minutes, sometimes even over 3 minutes) so it's a long wait for pedestrians and cyclists using the paths. Add to this the fact that these parallel crossings are not automatically activated every cycle - someone has to press a button to activate them - you are almost certainly assured of never having a clear run through, which you get now on through routes with synchronised green waves.


Which is a relatively cheap and simple problem to fix, provided you can convince the authorities of the benefits!

As for the wishful thinking part, I bet if anyone had said 15 years ago we would have Copenhagen-style lanes in Melbourne within 10 years you would have told them they're dreaming. And the inner-city areas realistically are going to be the only areas where there's enough bicycles to justify major junction reconfigurations for some time yet, but it has to start somewhere.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:13 pm

il padrone wrote:Ahh, yes the poor light cycle times are an issue in Melbourne. All a symptom of the lurgy of "must not slow down the car-drivers".

A long one? Capital City Trail crossing Brunswick St - a good 3 mins to trigger a change...... on a quiet Sunday morning :x


Whereas here in Kensington most of the pedestrian crossing buttons cause the traffic lights to change *instantly* even in peak hour. I was quite taken aback the first time it happened but given it's the norm here, there's no reason we can't get other councils to adopt it for other pedestrian and bicycle crossings.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby human909 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:49 pm

wizdofaus wrote:Whereas here in Kensington most of the pedestrian crossing buttons cause the traffic lights to change *instantly* even in peak hour. I was quite taken aback the first time it happened but given it's the norm here, there's no reason we can't get other councils to adopt it for other pedestrian and bicycle crossings.


That is how it should be! In fact ALL minor roads should have instant trigger subject to an appropriate cool down period.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:12 pm

wizdofaus wrote:What's an example in Melbourne of dedicated bicycle traffic lights with "stupidly high cycle times"?


Crossing Footscray Rd at Dudley St. IIRC, it's threes seperate sets to get across and you have to wait the whole multidirectional cycle to cross each leg.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wellington_street » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:18 pm

il padrone wrote:
wellington_street wrote:So essentially, in the Australian context, you go from moving as part of traffic and having the same priority, to moving as a pedestrian and having low to no priority. It's extremely wishful thinking that this sort of arrangement is going to be prioritised for cyclists anywhere in Australia, let alone outside of the handful of high bicycle volume routes in the inner city.

I was simply demonstrating something that could be regarded as "world's best practice"....... something to push our roads authorities to aim for.

If you don't have anything to aim for as the ideal, what then? We just put up with the dross? :| :roll:


Don't disagree with you il padrone :) I was just bringing a slice of unfortunate reality to the discussion.

I think given the Australian context I'd rather have existing Australian best practice treatments as it means it's a lot more likely I'll get a green light and be able to maintain my speed in line with traffic. I don't like the idea of facing a red man at every crossing (or else I'd be on the path) or relying on cars to give way in the equivalent of a zebra crossing situation. I have enough troubles as a ped in that situation - on a bike I'd prefer to be on the right or in front/behind a left turner, not coming up on their left and expecting them to give way.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:55 pm

wellington_street wrote:I think given the Australian context I'd rather have existing Australian best practice treatments as it means it's a lot more likely I'll get a green light and be able to maintain my speed in line with traffic. I don't like the idea of facing a red man at every crossing (or else I'd be on the path) or relying on cars to give way in the equivalent of a zebra crossing situation. I have enough troubles as a ped in that situation - on a bike I'd prefer to be on the right or in front/behind a left turner, not coming up on their left and expecting them to give way.


You might rather it, and personally I'm fine either way, but what we should care about is what's going to work for the significant percentage of people out there that would consider using their bikes if they believed it was safe to do so.
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Re: Cars turning left over a bicycle only lane

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:29 pm

More and more it is a case of encouraging more people back to the bike by providing bike lanes, even the separated lanes. If we want to do this it is much wiser to provide the lane protection at the intersections as it is in these locations, more-so than mid-block, that most of the urban cycle collisions occur.
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