Return to Chch: Cycle lane separators on curves

Another thing I have noticed since getting back to Christchurch is the installation of some more vertical separators on existing cycle lanes. We have previously shown you some of the ones that have been popping up at intersections, but they are also being used on winding routes where motorists are tempted to cut the corner into the cycle lane.

Something new on Kotare St

Something new on Kotare St

One such route is Kahu Rd – Kotare St from Riccarton out to Canterbury University. A popular cycling route for destinations in both directions, it also features quite a number of curves along its length. Now cycling is a little bit easier along here, thanks to the installation of some green surfacing and separator posts on the inside of the most problematic spots.

A bit of colour and posts to keep your distance

A bit of colour and posts to keep your distance

The separators have also appeared in other locations, e.g. North Parade, Ferry Rd. I can think of a number of other winding routes around Christchurch that would also benefit from them, including Centaurus Rd near Bowenvale, Wairakei Rd in Bryndwr, Burlington St in Sydenham, New Brighton Rd in Burwood.

This left turn at Ferry / St Asaph also gets the treatment

This left turn at Ferry / St Asaph also gets the treatment

It’s a simple enough treatment, and no-one would pretend that it is the same as a fully separated cycleway. But as a quick, low-cost improvement, I think this is a great way to extend the appeal of the humble cycle lane.

Room for everyone...

Room for everyone…

What do you think of these separators on curves? Where else would you like to see them?

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15 Comments

  • Adam Lines
    6 August 2015, 9:47 pm

    They’re great! Another intersection where they’ve popped up is the Moorhouse/Ferry intersection, which is a great spot as the buses and other large vehicles used to pass over. Also, another location is on Ferry Rd just over the Ferrymead Bridge.

    REPLY
  • Stephen Judd
    6 August 2015, 9:50 pm

    So I was heading up Antigua Street towards Brougham the other night, with a bright LED headlamp. There was a red light as I approached the intersection, and a car waiting and indicating left. I was slowing down as the light turned green, and the car started moving, just skirted the barrier, and cut me off. The grey haired driver looked me in the eye and glared at me as I came to a stop to avoid hitting his passenger door.

    Make of that what you will.

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    • Criggie@Stephen Judd
      6 August 2015, 9:57 pm

      It means you’re riding defensively and looking out for whats coming, so well done.

      On the other hand, octodriver never realised they’re now turning from the second leftmost lane, and the Leftmost lane could be straight ahead.

      Road rules say “when turning give way to all traffic not turning” but what if the straight through is passing on your left? Who’s actually at fault? Remember passing on the left is only permitted where completely separated lanes exist.

      Sad thing is, no matter who is in the right and who is in the wrong, the cyclist always comes off worst.

      REPLY
  • cycling purple dragon
    7 August 2015, 6:47 am

    They’ve been installed (and from the look of them, hit many times) on the left turn slip lane from Main Road onto Ferry Road on the west of the bridge in Ferrymead. The original design facilitated a higher speed turn for cars (left turning cyclists already have a separated facility which is great) but cyclist heading straight up to Linwood were very vulnerable (as demonstrated in many videos I sent to companies who’s drivers nearly took me out, including as could of police reports). The retrofitted posts provide a low cost way to make what was an unsafe design much safer, even if cars have to slow a little bit before turning left.

    REPLY
  • Dave P
    7 August 2015, 1:07 pm

    The separators on Kahu and Kotare roads are good but I feel they could still improve the route further. The modifications I would suggest are:

    Place separators on the bridge near Riccarton bush as the cycleway over the bridge is very narrow and cars can sometimes encroach into the cycle lanes.
    Secondly, I would love it if they could place a separator right at the start of the left turning lane from Creyke road to Clyde road (see below):

    https://www.google.co.nz/maps/@-43.522255,172.588802,3a,75y,83.39h,65.9t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1slApuSzZ7P7P7rKwuzSguEw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    The reason I would love to see this done is that this is a frequent point where cars which are backed up queuing at lights (who want to turn left on to Clyde road) wait sitting to the left and blocking the cycleway (despite being too far back to actually start turning or moving). A separator placed immediately before the turning lane veers off would force them to wait in the middle of the road (where they should be anyway) rather than hugging left and blocking the cycleway while they wait.

    Finally, why have they not put a separator on this bend slightly further up the road?

    https://www.google.co.nz/maps/@-43.519754,172.582224,3a,75y,304.77h,67.15t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sFrY7-zm4WHQKAqAkoy0gWw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    Cars seem to routinely cut this corner despite the fact cyclists are present! Simple things that could further improve this road.

    REPLY
    • Dave P@Dave P
      7 August 2015, 1:15 pm

      Funnily enough, I just realized a google street view photo of that last corner I mentioned from slightly up the road captures the exact problem! The car in the photo illustrates my point perfectly!

      https://www.google.co.nz/maps/@-43.5196,172.581881,3a,75y,137.33h,61.36t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sgXN8PmOQaw0WhZPmDGpURw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

      REPLY
      • Velocipede@Dave P
        7 August 2015, 8:11 pm

        A perfect though unfortunate illustration of the problem. I ride that route as often as I ride anywhere and its a VERY common occurrence along that specific curve – while preparing oneself for the melee that can be going straight through the intersection with Ilam Rd in the face of left turning traffic even though separators are present. Not only are motorists breaking the law by cutting across lanes like this, they are also breaking the first law of the road which says drive to the conditions at all times: as far as I see it, if a driver has to cut a lane like this then they are driving too fast. Anyways, another place to add some separators.

        REPLY
      • Dave P@Velocipede
        8 August 2015, 11:52 am

        My first post appears to be missing unfortunately.

        The Kahu Rd bridge (Riccarton bush) is an obvious choice where there should be separators – I was very surprised they didn’t do this with the other work as that was a very obvious choice.

        I’d also love to see a lane separator just before the left turning lane splits to try and prevent cars from blocking the cycleway as they wait to enter the left turning lane (as they sit to the left blocking the cycle lane despite being quite far back from the turnoff).

        https://www.google.co.nz/maps/@-43.5222555,172.5888017,3a,75y,81.12h,62.06t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1slApuSzZ7P7P7rKwuzSguEw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

        REPLY
      • LennyBoy@Dave P
        8 August 2015, 2:40 pm

        Sorry, any post with more than one web link gets moderated first, to make sure it’s not spam.

        REPLY
      • Dave P@Dave P
        9 August 2015, 3:45 pm

        @LennyBoy

        Ah, I see. Do you know if they’re planning to put more separators along these roads? Is there some way we could go about recommending further separators to the council?

        REPLY
      • LennyBoy@Dave P
        9 August 2015, 4:48 pm

        Actually the Council already has a nice long list of sites, thanks to the previous feedback provided on this website. But you’re welcome to suggest more locations; contact Michael.Ferigo[at]ccc.govt.nz. Hopefully the Council will continue to have a few spare cycleway dollars to keep rolling these out.

        REPLY
      • Adriel@Dave P
        17 September 2015, 12:41 pm

        I ride that corner every day and find myself sharing the bike lane with a car at least once a week. Monday this week it was a police car.
        The other danger corner for me and every other cyclist is around the corner on Waimairi.
        https://www.google.co.nz/maps/@-43.510749,172.5710165,3a,75y,336h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sA34IvTcQ-ZwxjzIiWihcuA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

        Personally as a driver, I’d be embarrassed and ashamed at my lack of ability if I needed to cut these corners, at any time let alone when there’s a cyclist in the bike lane!

        REPLY
  • Velocipede
    7 August 2015, 8:04 pm

    They are good and I’ll love to see a whole lot more of them. They have to be well placed around the curve to work as intended, however. When they are not well placed as they aren’t at the inside curve of the intersection of Kahu Rd. and Kotare St., for example, as soon as most motorists have negotiated the sole poorly placed divider they only go on to cut the cycle lane as they ever have.

    When they are not present even on this generally well divided route such as at the curve cresting the Kahu Rd. bridge (west side adjacent to Putaringamotu/Riccarton Bush) the cycle lane remains fair game as they almost always are everywhere else. They do not appear to be functioning as the “driver educational device” about how to interact with cycle LANES in general (by keeping out of them) they could be. At least not yet.

    Similarly, cycle lane separators at intersections do not appear to be working as “driver education devices” either. The road rules may be a little ambiguous about passing on the left and not in a separate lane if no one is turning right, but they are abundantly clear about not crossing a cycle lane in the path of a cyclist if they are going straight through an intersection, even if the cyclist is coming from behind. In my experience driver compliance of this rule is only 20-30% and compliance, therefore, can never be expected. Indication of the intention to turn may only be 50%. Cycle lane separators at intersections do not appear to be making a difference with either of these abysmal statistics. At least not yet.

    With MUCH greater ubiquity, appropriate signage (like, “give way to cyclists” – as if “extreme care, cyclists merging” at any number of roadwork sites where usurping the cycle lane as part of a construction zone is way too common appears to make much difference, now that I think about it) and driver education cycle lane separators might just help motorists up their game when sharing the road with cyclists at the most dangerous points on the road in a way getting cyclists completely off the road and onto dedicated cycleways cannot?

    REPLY

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