Yesterday I observed the heavily congested road junction between Crwys Rd / City Rd / Albany Rd / Richmond Rd / MacKintosh Pl between 10am and 10:30am. I found that a lot of the secondary research I had undertaken was confirmed, especially the problem associated with HGV’s and buses. In total, I observered 6 cyclists, 3 of which wore helmets.
I have identified the following:
– HGV’s leave little room when turning left
– Cyclists often race off from junctions to get across before traffic catches up to them
– Cyclists usually used the allocated lane in front of the traffic to ensure they set off first
– Buses often maintain a constant speed, with little care to the danger of junctions
– A large proportion of cyclists take chances by weaving between traffic in order to get out of a busy queue
– Cars and Vans often disregard the law and push forwards onto the cycle lane area, stopping cyclists from using them effectively
– Only 50% of cyclists were wearing helmets
– Larger vehicles often cut very close to the curb when taking a left turning
– When buses make turnings, they tend to cut very close to the front cycle lane, especially when turning right
– Cyclists tend to start off before the lights have changed to green, often going beyond the lights out into the junction and sometimes even ignoring the lights altogether
– Pedestrians often cross without the green man signal being displayed, occasionally between traffic and cyclists
– Traffic tends to start of slower if there is a cyclist present, for fear of coming close to the bike
– The size of HGV’s and buses on many of the city streets leaves little room on the side for cyclists
– Traffic almost always close to bumper to bumper, leaving no room for cyclists to change lane position in a queue
– Cyclists tend to stay as far to the left of the lane as possible, especially at junctions, for fear of being hit
– Almost all cyclists speed up significantly at junctions in order to clear them as quickly as possible
I feel this research was invaluable to understanding the problems cyclists face and I found it interesting that some of the facts correlated with experiences I have had whilst cycling in a city.
Whilst I have been cycling around the city, I have also identified the fact that often, cars do not adequately check for cyclists when setting off from being parked at the side of the road. However, I do feel that any cyclist who is paying sufficient attention to the road can easily spot the tell tale signs of this occurring – e.g., Brake lights on, Engine Running & Passengers exiting the vehicle.