Category Archives: Ideas

Working with the Metro Mayor on an evidence based approach to investing in cycling

Last night I was able to meet Mayor Tim Bowles and Cllr Tim Warren. I was able to discuss the use of cycle infrastructure as a strategic tool to tackle congestion on the West of England’s Key Road Network as well as present a proposal on how this could be achieved at a national level. I also presented with this document, an edited version of this article.

We discussed setting up MetroCycle, a body on equal footing to MetroRail and MetroBus.  There was little appetite for this. I suspect this is a no go for now.

We also discussed the importance of electric bikes at lowering the barriers to people cycling and how bike hire schemes (e.g. NextBike) really need to upgrade their systems to only use these. Exeter was highlighted as a great example where hire of bikes and particularly travelling to specific high elevation stations is not a problem.

During the meeting this quote was made, and I think it is rather appropriate for what is being proposed.

“In God we trust, all others bring data.” – W. Edwards Demming

What I would say is that this proposal is not *easy*, but if this comes off, the DfT, Combined Authorities, and Local Authorities will have a tool that allows them to use cycle infrastructure to target congestion and get more people cycling to work or to school.

Tim Bowles ask me to do a write-up of the High Return On Investment Routes proposal which I have copied below.

Note that the write-up focuses on the key remit of the Mayor, to tackle congestion. It is a given that tackling congestion by using cycling as a strategic tool provides health benefits through physical and mental well being and reduction in air pollution.


Hi Tim,
Apologies for the long write-up. Not quite the bulleted list you wanted.

The Problem: 

The way we deliver cycle infrastructure is based upon anecdotal evidence and asking people where they want to cycle. This usually delivers ‘nice’ leisure routes or improves infrastructure along existing routes where people are already cycling.
The Solution:
An evidence based approach to identifying High Return On Investment Routes on the Key Road Network enables West of England Combined Authority to utilise cycling as a strategic tool to tackle congestion while delivering significant modal shift from commuting by car to commuting by bicycle.
The Implementation:
  • Create the High Potential Modal Shift Network Map:
    • Use topography to calculate distance calculations equivalent to cycling 20 minutes/and or 20 minutes on an eBike.
    • Use Census 2011 Travel to Work Flow Data (WU03EW) at LSOA area filtered by “only commute to work by car or as car passenger” and “residence within 20 minute cycle/eBike ride of work”
    • Use DfT Traffic Counts for the road network to identify high volume roads.
    • Use School locations on or within (500m) of high traffic counts roads, recognising role of the school run in congestion.
  • Create the High Return On Investment Network Map:
    • Combine the High Potential Modal Shift Network Map with the Propensity To Cycle Network Map available through the DfT sponsored www.pct.bike/m/?r=avon
  • Identify High Return On Investment Routes:
    • Overlay the WECA Key Road Network Map onto the High Return On Investment Network Map to identify routes where investment in cycle infrastructure would have highest impact on congestion.
Suggested way forward:
The team behind the Propensity to Cycle Tool should be engaged via the DfT to expand their work to deliver both the High Potential Modal Shift Network and the combined High Return On Investment Network.
This would enable WECA to overlay the Key Road Network Map onto the High ROI Network Map and identify key investment opportunities within WECA that will significantly tackle congestion. Local Authorities should also be able to leverage this HROI network map to tackle congestion on their road networks.
Further the HROI Network should be something the DfT should take very seriously and provide funding to LAs and CAs to implement cycle infrastructure.
I hope this helps clarify my proposal. It was good meeting you. If you need anything further don’t hesitate to ask.
Regards,
Adam Reynolds
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A better Advanced Stop Line

Over the weekend I made a rather ironic meme:

Blindspotand then tweeted it out:

It did result in a serious discussion and after a lot of thought I redesigned the markings for an ASL using the new deeper ASL standard to give better visual clues to cyclists, but also worked on a set of demands that would significantly improve junction safety.

Continue reading A better Advanced Stop Line

Bath, a city looking to tame the car

The UK has, for decades, been extremely backward looking when it comes to understanding how to build healthy livable cities. There are exceptions, Cambridge comes to mind. However if we really want to understand how we can make our city a healthier, more walkable, bikeable, economically vibrant place, we need to look further afield.

In particular there are two cities that have have had remarkable successes in achieving car free city centres; Pontevedra and Nijmegen. Continue reading Bath, a city looking to tame the car

In support of the Bath Cable Car

Recently I have been working with census data that indicates around 31,000 local car journeys are being made in the city, with around 7000 Bath residents driving to work in Bath and 5000 school children being dropped off and picked up by car. The decision commuters and parents make to use the car is fundamentally down to the choices they feel they have to make those journeys.

For many people living on one side of Bath that work or go to school on the other side of Bath, the lack of good cycle provision, the challenging seven hills of Bath, and the time consuming hub centred bus network requiring you to change buses at the bus station, reduce the choices people feel they can make down to one. Use the car.

Continue reading In support of the Bath Cable Car

Bath Cycle Network Quality Audit

If we’re going to have a conversation about cycling in Bath and North East Somerset we need to be able to know where we are starting from and where we want to end up. More importantly we need a way of talking to individual councillors and asking them, what they are doing about “their” patch.

So something that was started as a project at a Bath Hacked “Celebrate the City” hackathon, has very quickly, over the last couple of days, evolved into something rather powerful:

bath-cycle-network-quality-map-1

Continue reading Bath Cycle Network Quality Audit

London has ruined the perception of cycling in the UK

As “leader” of the cyclists in Bath, my recent trip to London pretty much confirmed my worst fears. All the segregated cycle infrastructure in London is not good. Not good at all. It’s ruining cycling for the rest the UK. I mean seriously.

People are not wearing Lycra!

Where is all the safety gear??!

I had to have it pointed out to me :/

Cycle paths are for cyclists!

Horses WTF?

Wheelchairs? Really?

You can stay…

Oi Joggers, go demand your own infra!

Scooters? Really?

Disgusting lack of red light running!

Phew, normal behaviour at last!

Pedestrians getting outraged by the amount of space given to cyclists.

Yup that road has been ruined by cycle infrastructure…

and this one…

and definitely this one…

We should be giving more space to cars…

and definitely less of this…

THE POINT BEING

The way you design your road infrastructure determines the way people behave. YOU GET THE BEHAVIOUR YOU DESERVE. Building good cycling infrastructure serves SO many other groups. I was amazed at the number of people with disabilities using the space. How safe it was for kids. KIDS. How many women were using it. How, PEOPLE, not “lycra louts”, were all enjoying the space, travelling healthily to work.

London keep up the good work!

 

Thoughts on Cycle City Active City Conference

I was invited to speak at the Cycle City Active City conference on the work I have done with Bath Hacked with the Strava Metro data set and the interactive tool that has been built.

It neatly dove-tailed into a Space For Cycling workshop on the Saturday. Lot’s of deep discussions but I really just wanted to summarise what I took away from both events.

Continue reading Thoughts on Cycle City Active City Conference

Hacking your neighbourhood

London is leading the charge on the provision of great cycle infrastructure. The recent announcement from Transport for London of 18 miles of east west protected cycle super highways and the ongoing successful Space4Cycling campaign are transforming London and the expectations of residents.

Councils are beginning to understand that there is a ‘gold’ standard that cycling infrastructure should be built to and that ‘sharing’ space with pedestrians or painting lines on roads is a horrendous cop-out and will never get parents cycling their children to school.

So what TfL are doing is a massive game changer and is great to watch from afar, but how does this translate into what you can do locally in Bath?

Continue reading Hacking your neighbourhood