Friday 18 February 2011

Cycle paths the Dutch won't laugh at

One of our requirements of what pretends to be part of the cycling is "cycle paths the Dutch won't laugh at."

Unlike inner Bristol, there is the space. We know that, because they keep putting up new dual carriageways, new buildings with lots of parking.
If there is room to add a dual carriageway and lots of parking, there is room to add a quality cycle path
If there is not, then the blame has to go on competence or a complete lack of willingness to care.

Such incompetence is unacceptable to the People's Cycling Front of South Gloucestershire, even if the Popular Cycling Front of South Gloucestershire think differently and are happy to accept the shite the council gives us.

We want, as stated before "cycle paths the Dutch won't laugh at."

That means
1. Cycle paths that require cars to give way. Interestingly, this exactly what is going up in the housing estate behind the MoD Abbey Wood site.

2. Cycle paths that connect up to create a network of traffic free routes. Again, the new development paths do this, as here they connect with the existing UWE-Lockleaze route
It also means no fucking drops the height of a wheel between the two paths, ones that do require you be sporting an MTB with 100-120mm worth of travel on the bike along with hydraulic disk brakes because otherwise you aren't going to do the dropoff and reduce speed and turn left or right fast enough not to clip one of the students.
What kind of idiot would do this? Not just design it, but notice, while they were perfectly levelling the new tarmac, that there was 50cm worth of difference between this new tarmac and the existing path? 

At some point in the future, David Hembrow is going to see this. And he'll laugh. At some point Amsterdamize will see this, and they will say "one of those English jokes". Eventually Mikhael from Copenhagenize will see it and say "That monty python humour, I almost get it"

Because whoever did this is one or more of:
  • Utterly incompetent and in need of having their right to design any kind of road or path removed, banned from ever calling themselves a civil engineer again, until they spend a year's apprenticeship in Haarlem or Den Haag.
  • Utterly ignorant of the needs of people trying to get round the city alive by bicycle.
  • Utterly indifferent of whether or not the cycle paths they design and get built can actually be ridden by someone who isn't a mountain biker that thinks 50cm dropoffs are fun.

This is the problem S Gloucs suffers from. It is a problem that means the Cycling Embassy of GB is only going to make progress here if the entire S Gloucs traffic design team die in a bizarre accident involving a white minibus and a snow plow  -and they replace it with one person who has been to mainland Europe at least once since 1972 instead of some apprentice who learned about road design from the old team and A-Z maps of glasgow and leeds.

But before Carlton Reid and Vehicular Cyclists say "Told you so", these are the same fucking idiots who are trying to accomodate bicycles on the roads. You cannot expect the incompetent and indifferent idiots who do things like this to look at the new dual carriageway they are planning and think "how will a family of four on their own bicycles get over this alive". No, they will produce something that will end up with that family of four getting mentioned in a footnote on the evening news, "family of four died", then some fat git will appear on TV and patronise everyone and say "did they have helmets on?".

For everyone who thinks we are some kind of joke. No, the council cycling team are. Which is why anyone who tries to use these paths will be joining the campaign. Contact us via twitter, @cyclingfront. And together, the council will come to fear us or at least feel vaguely self concious about their imcompetence, and note that whenever the say "We are the South Gloucestershire cycle planning team" everyone from Europe will snicker. 

This is why we have to overthrow the council, or at least embarrass them so much they will hire a new traffic planning team.


  1. David hasn't seen this yet as he is out riding his bike :-)

  2. Judy told me about your excellent post.

    I'm not laughing. As you say, it's remarkable that anyone can build such a thing and not notice that they've done something which is (at the least) very silly indeed.

    Perhaps both your planning department and the people who do the actual work have been watching the wrong youtube videos ? It's difficult not to admire the skills of Danny Macaskill, but can I recommend the videos of Mark Wagenbuur instead ?

    Good luck with fermenting revolution !

  3. "sporting an MTB with 100-120mm worth of travel on the bike along with hydraulic disk brakes because otherwise you aren't going to do the dropoff and reduce speed and turn left or right fast enough not to clip one of the students."

    Oooh, now there's a challenge. Could we arrange someone to video it perhaps ;-)

    This would be funny if it weren't real :-(

  4. I think a competition to see who can safely negotiate this bike path would be an excellent event.

  5. Either this was designed and built by people with a sadistic sense of humour (who also hate people who ride bicycles), or it is evidence that they're all on mind-altering drugs.

    I just wish they'd build road junctions like this. The head of whoever is responsible would be on a pike as fast as you can say: 'motorists - now get out and push'.

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  9. @Frank, put up some details online and we'll link to them. Have the council got in touch and asked you to put a pillar up in the middle of the path yet?

  10. @David, go on then tell us what's incorrect.. no on the otherhand don't. We'll guess. You actuall meant to build it like this, it's not a cock-up at all? The path is the border between SouthGlos and Bristol who specified different datum levels? It's not finished yet, the drop off is to be replaced with a 45 degree ramp?
    @Frank. There's only one set of idiots around here.. the idiots who built this path!

  11. @AnalogueAndy. No Gravity is less in Bristol. It's the drugs, see. so we will float onto the new path.

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  14. I have got drawn into this after seeing first the link to bristol traffic, lots of words and vitriol being banded about. (inc me i guess).
    I suspect that this is not a designed slope but a cockup that is being swept under the carpet, that it has been spotted is a good thing and a credit to the cycling peoples front of south gloucestershire (sic), the 'david' a builder representative (?) seems touchy for sure (i would like to see the deleted comments) but there has to be a better way of progressing this issue than rolling it around in the dirt on here. I also get the impression from comments here and on other blogs that it is south glos councils cockup, is it or not?, i wouldn't like them to get a(nother) slagging without just cause. This slope seems very typical of a building site and someone with a hi vis and hard hat being told to put a slope in ..without a design or regard for its use.

  15. Not yet S gloucs council -it's being done on the building site- but this is intended to form part of the north bristol cycle network, so its failure will have consequences later. Best to nip this problem now, before more tarmac is put in and before the path is "handed off" to the council, at which point it will become their problem.