To segregate, or not to segregate?

Some opponents of segregation think that putting in separated facilities would result in cyclists losing their right to use the road.

Well, on A-roads like this, I’m not sure that ‘right’ is worth anything at all.

Incidentally, in case you can’t tell from the video, Hargreaves Services have

a proactive approach to Safety, Health and the Environment, and are committed to the highest practicable standards of safety and health management

And it shows!

Video ’15 cm from death’ from Darrell James Whittle


This entry was posted in Dangerous driving, Infrastructure. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to To segregate, or not to segregate?

  1. Darrell says:

    Interesting to see where my little video is turning up😉

    I have considered myself a vehicular cyclist for most of my life. Having returned to cycling with a passion in the last two or so years and seeing a greater amount of the infrastructure through fresh, mature eyes, I have come more and more to want proper, quality, segregated facilities rather than the piecemeal provision we have now – not particularly for myself but rather to encourage a greater number of ‘non-cyclists’ to start using a bike for some journeys. We live in a truly car-centric society and our over reliance on the internal combustion engine does society no good at all IMO.

    I will be adding your blog to my list of ones to watch. Keep up the good work.

    • stabiliser says:

      Thank you for the add, Darrell. I think you’re my first!

      I’ve also been a ‘vehicularist’, and still am to a large extent (isn’t everyone?). The trouble is, that without even really realizing it, I was getting aggravated while doing something I should enjoy – it stresses me out having to constantly consider how to prevent stupid overtakes, how to not get side-swiped, and so on.

      I had an epiphany – cycling should always be fun. So in the last year or so I’ve fully embraced the joys of being able to hop onto a bicycle in ‘ordinary’ clothes, and just ‘pootle’ to my destination. It’s so much more relaxing. But unfortunately there are a lot of roads, and routes, I can’t relax on. This is even more obvious to me now that I am spending more time being calm on a bike (or at least trying to!).

      And, of course, if cycling, for me, is stressful (as someone who has been regularly cycling on roads for fifteen years), that sheds some light on how unpleasant it might be for someone considering it for the first time.

      That’s the problem.

    • superkaos says:

      Dude, you say you are a vehicular cyclist but the video shows that you really have no idea where to position yourself on the road! you are inviting the cars to pass you that close.

  2. Pingback: ¿Segregar o no segregar? « El carril-bici es el opio del pueblo ciclista

  3. Txarli says:

    Well, I on my part cannot accept with a straight face the opinion about cycling policy by someone who considers remotely normal to ride his bike the way you show in the video.

    You heard about the Darwing Awards? You applying for one, dude.

    • Darrell says:

      “…Darwing Awards?”

      I’ve heard of the Darwin Awards. Are they anything similar?

      As you were not there at the time and are obviously not aware of the more complete picture let me tell you the story.

      There was once a cyclist cycling on a segregated cycle path that ran alongside a busy road. Then the cycle path just disappeared. A bit of a pavement continued for a while then it disappeared too. A wide shoulder continued so the cyclist, who only had a mile or so to go before he could turn off to something more cycle friendly, decided to take his laden touring bike along this shoulder up the hill. He knew the traffic was way too fast to take a primary position but was confident he was highly visible in his bright yellow jacket and was out of the way of the fast cars and lorries. Then the shoulder disappeared too! What was he to do? There was only half a mile of so to safety going either with the traffic flow or retracing his treads. He decided to continue…

      You get the picture?

    • stabiliser says:

      Txarli, perhaps you can enlighten us – what would be the correct way to cycle on this road?

      What position do you suggest?

      • Txarli says:

        This guy had “half a mile or so left to safety”???

        Well, I would walk it.

        What part of “get off your bike and walk a damn half mile” is so hard to understand?

        You see, the point here is not even whether the road was “cyclable” or not, whether Darrell could ride “in primary position or not” or whether he was actually risking his life or just making a fool of himself (or both). Even if this stretch is cyclable (and I should tell from the video that it is), we all know that there are many others that aren’t. But if (big IF) the traffic was “too fast” and if, as Darrell states, the shoulder dissapeared, the right think to conclude is that a proper shoulder is needed: anything beyond that and into the segregationist discourse is, in short, anwarranted ideological bs.

        I myself have made a fool of myself and put my life at risk with my bike in a few occasions, but I would not dare to wield my foolishness as an argument for segregation (or for any other thing, in fact). It speaks volumes of the sad state of the segregationist ideology that you guys feel authorised to do so.

      • stabiliser says:

        @Txarli –

        “But if (big IF) the traffic was “too fast” and if, as Darrell states, the shoulder dissapeared, the right think to conclude is that a proper shoulder is needed: anything beyond that and into the segregationist discourse is, in short, anwarranted ideological bs.”

        I disagree.

        A fully separated cycle path, rather than just a shoulder on the road, would be far safer. This has nothing to do with ‘ideology’ – because cycling on the shoulder is itself a form of separation – and everything to do with making cycling more pleasant and safe.

      • Txarli says:

        “A fully separated cycle path, rather than just a shoulder on the road, would be far safer. ”

        But why stop at “a fully separated cycle path”? Come on, show a bit of ambition, for Cycling’s sake: A barricaded, bunkerized, colorized, light-delimited, electricity-fenced, fully-separated-by-a-mine-field bike path would be far far FAF safer that just a mere “separated cycle path”. Don’t our 8-year and 80-year olds deserve real safety?

        And no, dude: a shoulder is no segregation in any sense of the word: it is just an (probably unsuitable, in my view) attempt at creating space for bikes following the principle that slower vehicles travel closer to the lateral. It is funny that you try to exploit my attempt at compromise to further your ideological (yes: ideologicial) segregationist agenda.

      • stabiliser says:

        @Txarli –

        “But why stop at “a fully separated cycle path”? Come on, show a bit of ambition, for Cycling’s sake: A barricaded, bunkerized, colorized, light-delimited, electricity-fenced, fully-separated-by-a-mine-field bike path would be far far FAF safer that just a mere “separated cycle path”. Don’t our 8-year and 80-year olds deserve real safety?”

        The fact that you have resorted to such a desperate reductio ad absurdum speaks volumes about the paucity of your argument.

        “And no, dude: a shoulder is no segregation in any sense of the word: it is just an (probably unsuitable, in my view) attempt at creating space for bikes following the principle that slower vehicles travel closer to the lateral. It is funny that you try to exploit my attempt at compromise to further your ideological (yes: ideologicial) segregationist agenda.”

        It’s rapidly dawning on me that you are a bit of a lunatic. You fully expect cyclists to take the lane on a high-speed motorway, with speed differentials of 60+ km/h.

        Get a grip.

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