Why cyclists don’t like cycle lanes – part 1 of many

By Alastair McDermott | November 17th, 2006

Cycle lanes , cycle paths , cycle routes – call them what you like – many cyclists , myself included, hate using them! Surprised? This guy seemed to be. This thread is a perfect example of the gulf dividing the everyday cyclist and the occasional or completely non cyclist.

Why would somebody wearing a high vis vest, high vis bands all over his body and a helmet be cycling in a bus lane which runs parallel to a perfectly good cycle lane? And I don’t mean one of those ‘cycle lanes’ that have parked cars every 2m, I mean a long open stretch of cycle lane…. This cycle lane was in excellent condition: no leaves, no branches, no obstacles, no pot holes.

In reply, he got some great answers. Here is just a couple of quotes:

From Bunnyhopper:

Why? In short, because he decided it was safer… it’s probable that he had made a judgement that he was safer off the cycle lane than on it. Choosing to cycle in a bus lane rather than a cycle lane is surely not something that many safety-conscious cyclists would do if they considered the cycle lane to be “perfectly good”.

From rubadub:

That cycle track is terrible, I am on it every day… Even on a MTB it is very harsh. Littered with glass. In the morning cops pull cars in and have them park on it. Cars pull up onto it to let kids out, or pull into the bus lane and have doors fly open onto the cycletrack. I only tolerate it since the manic bus men have endangered my life one too many times. I know the “route” I must take on it by now, constantly swerving in and out avoiding the potholes and kerbs. It is full of wandering pedestrians… Bus drivers pull in anywhere they want and let people off buses who wander straight onto the lane oblivious. The new bus shelters have these ridges begging for accidents unless you can go perfectly straight through the ridge. Cars are always parked on it, or pull in and have to wait to open the gates to their house.

And finally blorg, well this says it all:

I cycled along that way at lunchtime… in the interests of science…

(1) Bus parked in bus stop makes getting on to lane difficult in the first place (note: he was parked, not stopped, there is no driver in the bus.) (2) the Foxrock church bus stop; not so bad now (although the fallen leaves aren’t great) but awful in the morning with lots of pedestrians. Note roadworks on cycle lane ahead and van blocking. (3) Pine Avenue crossing. Car blocking cyclist path (note stop line behind him.) This is the notorious kerb; in fairness it has just been replaced by the roadworks for one that is NOT so bad. Note roadworks on lane just beyond the car. (4) A van was parked here on the lane and was completely blocking it with an open door. Note car blocking lane in distance much like previous one. (5) General condition coming up to Leopardstown Road. (6) Quick look on the other side, yes, there’s a van parked there. Believe it or not there was a car parked _right beside_ this van half in the lane half in the bus lane but I didn’t get a photo on time. (7) No way for cyclists to continue on N11, you are swept around onto Leopardstown Road. (8) Closer view of surface.

Was also swiped by a car who went past in the bus lane and turned sharply into Kilgobbin Lane (or whatever it’s called) in front of me. The continuation into Leopardstown is worse:

Yes, cycle path goes up an absurd embankment (complete with oncoming cyclist), then there is a car parked right in the middle of it, and then it just twists around and terminates suddenly. Further on it goes into bumpy driveway mode with a vengance.

breadmonkey- why did you post a question here if you are not willing to listen to polite and considered replies from people trying to actually explain why cyclists don’t use certain lanes? The lane may be suitable for _you_ as an occasional cyclist but it is not for people whose bike is their main mode of transport. A very simple rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t expect someone to drive on it, don’t expect someone to cycle on it.

That’s why I don’t like to cycle in cycle lanes, ok?

I’m sure I’m going to rant about this subject again in future, hence the subject line.

Comments

Well, I tell ya, it’s good to know that even though y’all drive on the wrong side of the road, and all, your Bike Lanes can be just as ill planned, and ill kept, as some of ours here in the Colonies. ;-D

And some of the Motorists just as ignorant, and dangerous, too! ;-D

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