Cycle Lane Separators – Your Feedback Wanted

You may recall an earlier post introducing a trial of cycle lane separators to be installed at a couple of Christchurch locations. Well those trials have been going for a couple of months now and, as well as collecting videoed observation data, the study team would like to hear some feedback from actual users of these facilities.

UPDATE: Results of Trials now presented (April ’13)

To recap, two sites have been trialled:

  • Kotare St, near Clyde Rd in Ilam, where motorists often cut the corner of a fairly tight lefthand corner. Small raised “rumble” separators were placed around the inside cycle lane, and then a vertical post was also added later.

Kotare St trial

  • Strickland St, at Brougham St in Sydenham, where left-turning motorists often squeeze into a cycle lane before turning at the traffic lights. Again, small raised separators were placed there first and just this week some vertical posts have also been added.

Strickland St trial

ViaStrada are now undertaking a survey seeking feedback from those who have used the new facilities. If you have experienced either or both of these sites, please take the time to provide some feedback (you’re welcome to also comment here, but please complete the survey too!). You can undertake the online survey via their webpage – feel free to pass it on to anyone else who might be interested.

Remember that these are just trials of a particular treatment at a particular location. It doesn’t imply that these will be the only type of treatment used in Christchurch, especially for new cycle facilities.

What do you think? Do the separators help improve driver behaviour? Do they add to your riding comfort?

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30 thoughts on “Cycle Lane Separators – Your Feedback Wanted

  1. Kotare St one is pointless as cyclists use Medbury Tce and do NOT turn left here. Cyclists heading to town have no problems and I find the separators an extra hazard. However, they would work better on Clyde Rd either west or east.at this same intersection. I am constantly cut off by turning cars who use the cycle lane as a turning lane.

    • Hello Kathy, I’m not sure that I can follow your feedback. The Kotare Street trial has nothing to do with cyclists turning left. The research is being done to find out whether we can stop drivers from cutting through the cycle lane when going round that bend.

  2. They are an improvement as the physical barriers accentuate the cycle lane and give a sense of legitimacy, both for ourselves and for drivers. Physical separation was one of the key things shown in a study undertaken for NZTA that would prompt non-cyclists to make the switch to cycling. I can’t imagine that this infrastructure would satisfy what they had in mind in terms of traffic separation, though it is a step in the right direction

  3. Good idea and quite cheap to put in place. As pointed by others, it is a step in the right direction. However, it is a tiny step and a lot more is required to ensure the safety of cyclists i.e. cyclists really need separate lanes all across the city and must not be forced to share lanes with buses.

  4. Kotare st one is good, this is a classic “get squeezed” corner and the marker has stopped this to some extent. There are many places around Christchurch that these would help. It is quite common to be given no room at intersections due to a variety of reasons (i.e. not seen, not enough room for cars). I think these are a marvelous idea. I only use a bike for travel and regularly commute 200 km’s a week so anything that helps is quickly noticeable. Make more trails! Some suggestions;

    London st, the end of Bealey when you head over bridge, the bridge on Kilmarnock. If you would like some places highlighted on a map please let me know. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for the suggestions, Shane. I know all the locations that you list (although you presumably mean the bridge over the Avon on Kahu Rd). Your feedback should go to Christchurch City Council (CCC), though; as a researcher, there is nothing that I can do to initiate further measures. For your information, my time doing this research is paid for by VicRoads (the state roading authority for Victoria) – bless the Australians for their interest in this! If you’d like to get in touch with relevant CCC staff, get in touch with me and I’ll give your their details.

  5. As both cyclist and driver, I think the Strickland/Brougham additions are pretty good. The bollards especially, do indeed make the presence of cyclists seem more legitimate

  6. I have not used these trialled roads, as I don’t bike on those particular streets, but these lane separators remind me of a similar solution we had back home in Belgium. However, there the separators were concrete and about 20cm high, cars would never cross them. And the cycle lane was also a different colour.

  7. I use Strickland Street and have found the lane separater helpful. I think it not only stops motorists cutting off the corner but also alerts them to the fact cyclists are coming up on their inside left as they approach the lights which is always a vulnerable time for cyclists, so many motorists do not indicate their intentions at intersections.

  8. I use Kotare street nearly every day. I very much like the separater. I get less cars swinging into me. I dont always cut through Medbury street. My main problem is the shops at Fendalton Mall. When cars come out they see an invisible sign that says “park in the bike lane”! Cars are squeezing into one lane from two at this point and it is so dangerous.

  9. I would like to see to see these used at the Sawyers Arms Road/ Greers Road where many cars cut the corner and drive on the cycle path. A lane separator would definitely help here!!

    Separated cycle lanes are the way forward but separators can be a very cost efficient and effective way of increasing safety for cyclists on some existing lanes.

  10. I’m wondering if we’re going to this sort of trouble, maybe it would be better to replace them with a raised kerb for a bit of extra protection. Like I believe I’ve seen in the new city plan.

    with a kerb, 100mm wide and 150mm high, the cars could still get you if they are really determined, but it would probably cost them a tyre/wishbone/track rod end or similar, so they may think twice…
    Plus, there’d be no drifting into the cycle lanes from any other vehicles.

  11. This is a great idea, cheap and effective. If it would actually encourage more people to cycle more, it’s even better!

  12. I am only an occasional cyclist but I very much support any measure that makes it easier for me as a car driver to be aware of cyclists, I particularly find that at intersections when your concentration is on giving way and turning cars it is easy to miss a cyclist overtaking you legitimately in the cycle lane, so the more protection the better.

  13. Big obvious lane markers have got to be a good thing. More the better.

    The main problem with cycle lanes is that, just as you get to the intersection, they tend to just “disappear” – as the cars divide into multiple lanes, suddenly there is no space for the cyclists who are just not a priority to traffic planners.

    Ultimately the answer is more dedicated separate cycle arterial routes, (like beside the northern railway), all over town linking main malls, workplaces and recreational areas. Then people will feel safe on their bikes.

  14. Great idea and really needed in many places. I drive up Stricland street occasionally and it certainly keeps me off the bike lane.
    Two other classic places where they would be useful where I bike often are on the west side of the Middleton road and Ilam road intersection heading west and the same for Lyttelton street -Lincoln road. In both these places a cyclist gets the squeeze as they go through the intersection

  15. The Kotare St separator is good for me. I occasionally turn right from Clyde Road into Kotare St and it makes me feel a lot safer. Great, and well done!

  16. Hi

    I am commenting as a driver that regularly uses the Brougham st intersection. I find it is no problem to swing around the vertical post and my awareness of cyclists is certainly raised because of these additions

  17. I think it’s a great idea even though I don’t use those streets for my commute.
    The big thing will be to keep them clean and free of detritus. That is one of the big put offs when using designated cycle lanes. There’s nothing worse than glass, nails and dead cats in the cycle lanes EXCEPT FOR ROADWORK SIGNS! There are plenty instances of signs or cones blocking the cycle lane which puts the cyclist straight in to traffic and more abuse for not using the designated cycle lanes…

  18. I think it’s a great idea in those particular situations. I guess cyclists who rode those intersections before and since they’ve been installed would be able to offer the best feedback.

  19. I happened upon these separators for the first time last week (on Kotare Street), and I thought they were great. Okay, I might have hit them given I wasn’t expecting to see them there, but I felt safer knowing that cars were less likely to cut me off. I like them.

  20. These are awesome. Strickland was always a frustrating intersection commuting for me, now much safer. Lincoln rd corner with Whiteleigh Avenue is a trouble intersection prone to accidents now it has a major volume of traffic. Cars often cue up in the cycle lane along Whiteleigh Avenue. I believe it would help with safety

  21. The separators are great, these should be all over Christchurch. I reckon I could get the company I work for to sponsor the installation of some of these if the council isn’t already onto it. Barclays bank in the UK sponsors cycling lanes in London we should do it here in Chrischurch. Can somebody supply me with some costs etc and who to contact in regards to getting more installed.

    Johno

    • Ho Johno, I gather that the Council are quite keen to start to look for other places to install them, now that the trials have proven successful. So we probably will see a roll-out over the next couple of years. However there’s never enough money, so I don’t see why we couldn’t have corporate sponsorship to help push things along; will talk to you offline about it.

  22. These are a great idea. I have not travelled these routes but I commute regularly and can see how practical they are.
    Looking forward to seeing more around town and great idea re sponsorship.

  23. I regularly cycle down Strickland street and these dividers make that intersection much safer for cyclists. There are two hazards there that they help prevent. 1 – drivers using the cycle lane as a turning lane leaving nowhere for the cyclist to go and 2 – if the light turns green just before the cyclist gets there there is the danger that the drivers cut off the cyclist without looking. With the dividers the drivers are more aware of cyclists and have to take a wider turn. I think they are great and would like to see more.

  24. the separators on Strickland street seem to work well. In a city where cycle lanes are a convenient place to park your car while on the cell phone, place your road signage or just use as a extra ‘lane’, these put the statement loud and clear as to what they are for

    give us more!

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