Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Nelson Street: Not too pretty, please

54 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Heh. Between lanes, we need ||.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • kris_b,

    Connect it, open it. Getting it in use is vastly more important than making it pretty in the short term.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2012 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey, in reply to Russell Brown,

    How about these for slow and fast markings respectively?

    How about including a pause button too?

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Alice Ronald, in reply to Oliver Roberts - AKLCouncil,

    Frankly, NZers are pretty terrible at keeping left when moving slow/sharing spaces. Go to a mall & watch the escalators for a few minutes. I'd include some kind of marker or signage.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Roger Lacey,

    How about including a pause button too?

    Let's leave out the eject, though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to Oliver Roberts - AKLCouncil,

    Do people need to be so explicitly told what to do… or with enough width and decent sight lines, can they just be left to get on with it?

    I'm with Alice above... So far we've been pretty bad at "sorting it out for ourselves' and seeing as this flyover has more width than any other shared path I know of... lets try something new...

    It may come as a surprise to some non-cyclists just how fast a not-racing but keen to get somewhere cyclist can be going... 30km/h on the flat requires only moderate fitness, 40-50km/h with some hill assist does not require any great level of fitness... whereas walkers are usually doing 5-10km/h, and non-urgent/social riders 10-20 km/h. And kids and dogs can be un-predictable or have a leash long-enough to block 3 or 4 metres of lane-width...

    We may not need physically divided barriers for each... but at-least some visual indication of expected behaviour in different zones would be helpful for not just those who want to go quick, but also those who don't want to get bowled over...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 887 posts Report Reply

  • JessicaRose, in reply to Roger Lacey,

    I know this isn't facebook, but can I just 'like' that comment? Play, FF and pause painted logos are a fantastic idea. Fast and cheap installation, easy to understand symbols.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2011 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to FletcherB,

    I'd wiggle your numbers a little bit (try walking at 10km/h!), but the point stands - a bike is usually going about 4 times faster than someone walking, and can easily be 10 times faster. It's similar to the gripe that many motorists have about bicycles. Just because you think you're ripping along at 40km/h on your bike doesn't mean you're not holding up people using the a vehicle in an entirely different class, and collisions between them are definitely best to avoid. So lane separation is kind of necessary.

    Pedestrians can also be runners, who can be surprisingly fast (I've been researching cursorial hunting and it turns out that humans are amongst the elite animals for distance running - even now a reasonably fit runner could run down most kinds of land animals on foot given enough time and ability to follow). Speeds in the 10-20km/h range for prolonged flat surface efforts. But footpaths do seem to be sufficient for the numbers of people who run, since they can stop, start and turn much faster, and collisions between runners and pedestrians are probably an order of magnitude less dangerous than between cyclists and pedestrians.

    ETA: Also, runners can't treble their speed going downhill...well not if they want to live.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Those look great. Intuitive and simple.

    Just please don't use slippery paint for the markings.

    Some kind of dividing line between fast and slow, but it shouldn't be anything like a curb. At the most a speed bump every 5 metres or so. The last thing you want is anything riders could slip on or wobble on.

    Not sure about the division between opposing directions, it needs to be clear but again can't be anything you slip on or crash over.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Not sure about the division between opposing directions, it needs to be clear but again can’t be anything you slip on or crash over.

    A double white line ? Or double yellow if there is restricted visibility anywhere ?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    t the most a speed bump every 5 metres or so.

    Tricky question there. Do we really want/need to slow cyclists down? The more you make a cycleway like the horrible one on Tamaki Drive, the less cyclists will actually use it. At least not for transport, but only for dawdly leisure.

    No cycleway we've got anywhere yet actually has speed humps (aimed at cyclists), does it? Even the ones that are completely shared with pedestrians. And yet I haven't heard tales of terrible incidents involving collisions so far. You can go a tremendous speed down many stretches of the North Western cycleway - think of the drop-off just off the end of Takau St - I can easily go 50km/h down that and coast at 40km/h for a km or so. Similarly beside Chamberlain Park, and even more so down beside Unitec, and coming off the bridge onto the causeway. Then there's the crazy arse one going down from Upper Queen St through Grafton Gully...I haven't even tried to bomb that one yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if speeds over 70km/h are possible. But I obviously never do that if there's oblivious pedestrians or dogs or children around, or even just a cyclist coming the other way. My own life is at stake as well as theirs. Nor have I ever seen anyone else do it.

    If we're talking about an actual separated cycleway that's an opportunity to make something that is a second-to-none experience for cyclists, and that isn't smashing into a sharp speed hump every 5 meters on a completely empty cycleway.

    To make the fast areas safer, better engineering of the separation seems like a good idea. Rails along the footpath, or a dense hedge? Maybe even widening - the uphill side can be correspondingly narrowed since gravity will be slowing the cyclists down on its own! Considering that pedestrians can walk in both directions on a footpath, and there are no intersections on this bridge, the ability for pedestrians to cross doesn't need to be 100% - there could be some no-crossing stretches.

    But then again, perhaps the idea of placing the order of right of way firmly in favour of the slowest travelers is better. It depends on whether you want it to resemble a street mall or Tamaki Drive, or a good European cycleway with excellent adjacent pedestrian facilities. Fundamentally we're talking about a bridge here, a very rare resource, built for transport. No one is going to be living on this road, or setting up a shop.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to BenWilson,

    the most a speed bump every 5 metres or so.

    Tricky question there. Do we really want/need to slow cyclists down?

    Gah. I mispoke. I meant the little bump thingies they use you let drivers feel the lane not the dirty great big stupid things they put on the Dominion rd parallel cycle route.

    Catseye-like

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to BenWilson,

    No cycleway we’ve got anywhere yet actually has speed humps (aimed at cyclists)

    Not intentionally… but the regular stretches of bumpy asphalt over tree-roots of the otherwise much smoother (but less than perfect) patchy concrete on the Gt North Rd/ Waterview stretch do a pretty good job of it if you are on a bike with skinny high-pressure tyres :)

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 887 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I meant the little bump thingies they use you let drivers feel the lane

    Ah, OK, that makes more sense for cyclists. Although from memory they’re extremely inconvenient to skaters, which seems a bit mean. They’re one of the groups I see most frequently on the Grafton Gully slope. They don’t seem to impede cyclists at all, being very maneuverable. All the more need for some soft bushes tho :-).

    the regular stretches of bumpy asphalt over tree-roots of the otherwise much smoother (but less than perfect) patchy concrete on the Gt North Rd/ Waterview stretch do a pretty good job of it if you are on a bike with skinny high-pressure tyres :)

    Tell me about! Gt North Rd going down from Blockhouse Bay has become a real ’mare, when it used to be one of the highlights of my rides. Being forced onto that patchwork of asphalt, tar seal, cracked concrete, tree roots, dropped fruits and nuts and those spikey ball things, leaves, gravel, driveway crossings, low hanging branches and so on, when I used to be able to just use the damned road to get onto the causeway, and easily keep up with the traffic, taking the whole lane for myself…that is a sorry excuse for a cycleway. I love how the traffic signage divert bikes just before the bottom – onto a staircase over a kerb, with no signal assistance at all – you have to just stop in the middle of Great North Rd and wait for a gap in two lanes of traffic including a motorway offramp so you can then ride to a kerb, quickly jump off, lift up your bike and carry it over the kerb and then down a flight of stairs. Only if you are in the know will you realize you should switch across to said shitty cycleway 500m before that point – I tend to ride along the median stripes waiting for a chance to dart into a driveway, because that is safer, believe it or not. I know the tunnel is important, but dear God how hard is it just to leave a gap in the fence at the bottom of the hill so people can enter the cycleway without having to cross the road and then use the bridge to get back to where they actually wanted to go?

    ETA: In case your route is down Gt North Rd to Waterview, onto the cycleway, I recommend actually staying on the road all the way to Carrington Rd and then doing a hook turn to get back to the cycleway. Preferable to attempting to turn right using the right turning lane on a three lane road going uphill. Hook turns are a bloody good thing to have in the arsenal. Also saves you having to use the pedestrian crossing on Carrington Rd, just to stay on the cycleway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    I'm not sure about the shared cycle & walkway concept. The NW cycle lane feels to me like it's going to collide a cyclist with a pedestrian in a way that's gonna hurt.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Are the cycles that use this going to be equipped with brakes, or are they as unfashionable as the bell these days?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    The NW cycle lane feels to me like it’s going to collide a cyclist with a pedestrian in a way that’s gonna hurt.

    I think "it's gonna hurt" is part of the reason that it also doesn't happen much. Cyclists can't casually kill someone through inattention or recklessness without also risking their own lives. Collisions, even when they do happen, are likely to be low energy, and the cyclist falls from a greater height, probably onto their upper body so their risk of damage is greater.

    Are the cycles that use this going to be equipped with brakes, or are they as unfashionable as the bell these days?

    Indeed. Cyclists slow down when near pedestrians, who are unpredictable. Slamming on brakes is a last resort, following several prior failures: Failure to keep to a speed at which you can see hazards in time to stop. Failure to see hazard. Failure to respond to hazard by slowing and/or signalling. Failure to make yourself visible/audible. Failure to control vehicle even in emergency, to minimize collision likelihood and/or severity.

    But! In this quite unusual case, there is room to spare to make possible something unique in Auckland, a well-designed high-speed section of cycleway, without taking away quite a considerable walkway. If well designed, it's located to become a preferred route for cyclists in the Western Suburbs. It could easily cut traveling times (and effort) significantly, whilst increasing safety. Worth considering.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    Collisions, even when they do happen, are likely to be low energy, and the cyclist falls from a greater height, probably onto their upper body so their risk of damage is greater.

    I had an embarrassing non-injury accident last weekend. In preference to the rat-run that is the temporary eastbound lane through the St Luke’s interchange I hopped up onto the Motat tram path. I was ambling along not really thinking about riding, my front wheel caught a wet rail and after a second or two of trying to get back to vertical, went down and over the handlebars.

    I landed on the grass and forward-rolled like a McKinney cop straight up to my feet to see a whole lot of people with looking at me with concerned and sympathetic faces. Ahem.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to BenWilson,

    If we're talking about an actual separated cycleway that's an opportunity to make something that is a second-to-none experience for cyclists

    On the Manakau Bridge underslung path and in Christchurch what they (used to?) do is have a grade separation of a couple of centimetres. It's enough that you see it and feel it, and it gives people the idea that there's a separation. And it's easy enough to do, an extra layer of whatever material they're laying down works. Or just the "green bike lane" stuff.

    I used to ride the Darling Harbour Bridge every day on my commute and I can testify to the non-workingness of a major commute route for both pedestrians and cyclists that's wide and unmarked. Darling Harbour has tourists as well to mix things up. Their solution is a 10kph speed limit, which as you might expect is ignored by all (including the joggers). The contrary experience around Docklands in Melbourne was a wide off-road bike path next to a wide footpath. That worked really well until some muppet decided to put rumble strips for 20 metres each side of every pedestrian access to the bikes path (about every 100m), which meant a lot of cyclists switched to the adjacent road that didn't have them. Much to the anger of many motorists.

    For the on-ramp conversion just green-laning a strip up the middle and putting a centre line on it would seem to be enough. And ideally a "pedestrians cross here" marking at each end to hint that wandering aimlessly around on the green bit is a bad idea.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    I guess tram tracks are so uncommon here that it's not common knowledge?

    If you grow up in Melbourne you get told at primary school--- beware the tram-tracks on your bike..

    Any wet metal has no grip and is thus a braking/steering hazard... but the really bad hazard of the tram-track is if your front wheel drops into the slot...

    The way you actually stay upright on a bike is by constantly falling to one side, steering into it until you are falling the other-way, and then steering back the other way...... Anyone who doesn't believe this needs to try riding a bike with the steering locked in the straight ahead position.

    If your tyre is skinny enough to fall in- once your front wheel is in the tram-track slot, you ARE going to fall off. (Ok, if you are REALLY quick, you might be able to hop it out?). If you have a wider tyre than the slot, or your rear gets slotted, your chances can be better but you could still easily not be able to overcome the loss of steerability....

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 887 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Styley! I think there's bonus points if you keep your feet together on the landing. Smile for the judge with crucifix arms, then exit stage right for bone-setting and physio.

    Did your helmet help or hinder the rolling?

    For the on-ramp conversion just green-laning a strip up the middle and putting a centre line on it would seem to be enough.

    It's a good start, especially if it's that green stuff that's like sandpaper.

    Another thought, just for the leftfieldness of it. This business of organizing high speed from the inside-out as we do with roads could be inverted. The middle of the road could be the slow bit, and then the lanes could get faster toward the outside. That way you don't have the fastest moving vehicles travelling in opposite directions right next to each other, and pedestrian don't need to cross at all. In other words, the bicycle carriageways are separated by a single wide pedestrian way. So the middle of the road becomes the safest place, and there is less need for central barriers at all. The outside has to have barriers, of course, because it's high in the air. If you want to turn around on your bike you have to slow down and cross the pedestrian way, giving all right of way to them. Seems like a better situation for pedestrians like that, not being separated by impassable barriers and dangerous roads.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    my front wheel caught a wet rail

    We were ambling around the new waterfront pathway and found ourselves all the way around the marina near the yacht club - it turns out the marina wasn't designed for bikes and the gap between the planks is big enough to swallow a wheel!

    Fortunately, it was very low speed and mostly just embarrassing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to BenWilson,

    the lanes could get faster toward the outside

    The problem is going to be the desire to stop and look at the views.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    The problem is going to be the desire to stop and look at the views.

    Yes. Thinking how to engineer a solution to that. Some ideas:

    1. Have viewing bays, disconnected from each other so you can't walk/ride along.
    2. Make it perspex right from the ground so the view is just as good from the footpath in the middle. Could be a bit scary to ride alongside though :-)
    3. Make it opaque to riders in the fast lane with 2m blank wall, visible to slow riders by elevating them a meter, and the best view for pedestrians by elevating them another meter. So fast riders have nothing to do but watch the road, as they should, slow riders can look out, but if they want to stop and admire the view or take photos or whatever, they pull into the center. Kinda futuristic.
    4. Building on that idea the whole thing could be like a dual carriageway half-pipe. The skaters would love it. So the path of least resistance is along one of the two dips, each of which has a direction (although this idea is less necessary for uphill travel), and you can let people pass with kinetic to potential energy swaps the way skiers do. Angle more downhill to speed up, or up the slope to slow down and build potential energy. On the top of the ridge between is where the pedestrians walk, with all the best views. Dreamworld stuff there - the world's biggest free skating and biking half-pipe with a natural pedestrian/spectator way built in. Heh. Yeah, right. Even if it cost a 20th of what the equivalent length of road would, it still ain't never gonna happen.

    Which means I can let my imagination run wild. Add giant slides at several points for children, going hundreds of meters but never particularly fast. Have a festival event wherein the halfpipe is lined with plastic and irrigated, soaped up and all comers can slide all the way down to Western Springs in their knickers/togs, while spectators attempt to hit them with water balloons. Put exercise equipment all the way down, and water fountains. Let people hire out luges, bikes, skateboards, inline skates, rides back to the top, etc. Turn it into something that's not just functional but an outright tourist attraction.

    Or...make it into a path....sigh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to FletcherB,

    Any wet metal has no grip and is thus a braking/steering hazard… but the really bad hazard of the tram-track is if your front wheel drops into the slot…

    I am in a position to confirm this.

    Thanks for explanation of what happened!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.