Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Advanced stop lines (ASL) or Bike boxes look like a good idea because they give the cyclist pole position. However they do not work very well and they are a 1970s Dutch idea that the Dutch are phasing out and replacing with better solutions for good reason.
Why do they not work?
They create conflict with motor vehicles encouraging cyclist to filter past a queue of frustrated stationary vehicles and stand in front of them. When the lights change cyclists then have to race off in front of the vehicles who try to then overtake them. This leads to conflict. A lot of drivers position themselves in the box to stop this conflict happening which aggravates the situation even more. They also encourage a lot of cyclists to filter when, for their own safety, they really should not:
Advanced riders in the UK (where there are a lot of ASLs) decide to use them based of some well developed logic. The danger of large trucks to cyclists means if you do not have a good understanding of that logic you could easily be then next victim to die a very horrible death.
So they are not good for inexperienced cyclists and they are not particularly good for experienced cyclists. Who are they good for? I worry that they are good for politicians, incompetent traffic planners and frustrated cyclist groups who like and need cheap quick paint on solutions that look like a good idea and can be marketed as such.
We do not have many bike boxes in Vienna but I worry this will change and we will copy poor infrastructure solutions that keep cycling modal share in the UK very low despite the best possible marketing while ignoring 40 years of research and development because...??????