Cycle Lanes (mini rant)

Posted on June 20, 2012


I don’t know who designs cycle lanes. But one thing is for sure: they aren’t cyclists. This thought struck me as I waited on the “cycle path”, conveniently situated in the middle of a double lane of traffic, waiting for a gap in the roaring wall death coming from the two lanes either side of me, and a statistically improbable corresponding gap in the matching wall of oncoming traffic on the far side of the road, in order to join the continuation of this “cycle path” which magically reappears on the far side of the intersection.

This seems to be a common disease in cycle path design. Road planners paint some paths down a straight section of road. This is satisfying, makes them look good and, above all, costs next to nothing and is incredibly easy. Then when it gets to the hard bits, the complicated intersections with cars going everywhere, their motivation disappears. Yes, they COULD try to figure out a way to get vulnerable cyclist bodies through the melee of cars and trucks, but its hard! So, the paint the cycle route right up to the intersection on one side and continue it on the other side, and leave the actual crossing up to Fate. That’s how I know they aren’t cyclists: they haven’t felt the fear of oncoming death while you try to navigate an impossible intersection.

These kinds of intersection are my number one reason for jumping red lights, or swerving onto pedestrian crossings and footpaths: you have to get creative, combining pedestrian and car routes to get you where you need to be in one piece. Anyone who complains about this behaviour can go fuck themselves. No, better yet: they can get on a bike at rush hour and try to navigate one of these car maelstroms and then see how they like it!

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