Imagine a street that carries 14,000 cyclists a day, on the street itself. That equates to around 1,500 people cycling along the street per hour, or 25 every minute.
Imagine driving down that street. Surely a nightmare for any self-respecting driver who wants to make progress. A miserable experience. You’d never be able to overtake, what with all the cyclists trundling in front of you, often two or three abreast, taking up the whole road.
Well… no. Actually overtaking in a car on this street is pretty easy.
How on earth can it be easy to overtake when there are so many bloody cyclists in the middle of the road?
The answer is quite simple – the reason drivers can overtake easily is because there aren’t many other drivers using this street.
Take a look at the photographs again. There isn’t oncoming motor traffic to prevent an overtake. There’s also limited on-street parking (just one set of bays, on one side of the road, in designed bays) meaning the road itself is not obstructed by parked vehicles.
Quite clearly it is other motor vehicles – both moving and stationary – that makes overtaking difficult, because a vast amount of cyclists ‘clogging’ a road doesn’t necessarily represent an impediment to motoring progress.
To compare with a British example – struggling to overtake a cyclist heading away from the camera here?
That’ll be because of the large amount of oncoming motor traffic, preventing you from moving out into the opposing lane, and the amount of parking on both sides of the street, greatly reducing the available width of what is, in reality, a very wide road.
Really, how could it be otherwise? How can a human being two feet wide, on a road that is 35 feet wide, …
In reality, hell is other drivers – not other people people cycling.