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Cycling in Waterloo Region
(05-11-2016, 06:17 PM)Canard Wrote: ...might make a cyclist out of me yet. Wink I'm already plotting out how I can take the iXpress to Cambridge and bike to my office from there.

Back in the fall on one of the free Fridays a friend and I biked to FairviewPark Mall, rode the bus to the Ainslie terminal, then biked along the trail to the Brown Dog Coffee Shoppe in Paris. I highly recommend it. A great ride, and the break in Paris was enough to keep me from getting worn out (I'm fine with going 20-30km, but after around 40 my legs lose all strength).
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As part of the widening of Fischer-Hallman between Ottawa and Bleams, multi-use trails are being added and a roundabout is being installed at Bleams and Fischer-Hallman. There will be no on-street bike lanes. I’m generally in favour of the MUT design in areas where pedestrian/cyclist volume is low. Based on the implementation on Block Line between Strasburg and Homer Watson, I think cyclists are expected to use the right side MUT, so it works somewhat like a separated bike lane.

   

The design where the MUT meets the roundabout is pretty poor for cyclists, though. In this case, there is no provision for cyclists to move from the MUT to the road to use the roundabout. Cyclists are intended to use the crosswalk. I asked city staff a couple of questions of city staff to understand how this is supposed to work:

Q: With respect to crosswalks - do crosswalks that connect MUTs have provision for cyclists (i.e. a crossride), or are cyclists expected to dismount?
A: The Region is exploring crossrides at intersections through monitoring of compliance and collision history. The safety and compliance experience of other municipalities around the province has been mixed. With the legislation removing the prohibition of riding alongside a crosswalk at a signalized intersection, the cyclists can ride beside a crosswalk if they choose not to dismount.

Q: Do cyclists riding beside a crosswalk at a roundabout have priority over vehicles exiting the roundabout (like pedestrians)?
A: Cyclists would not have right-of-way.  Cyclists technically would only receive priority if they dismount and cross as a pedestrian.  The law removing the prohibition about riding alongside a crosswalk only applied to signalized intersections and not at crossovers.  When we install crossovers at roundabouts soon, the law is clear that motorists must yield to pedestrians at crossovers, not both pedestrians and cyclists. The City of Ottawa is trying to change this as they would like to put crossrides in at Level 2 Crossovers at roundabouts.

This seems like it will be confusing for drivers (edited to add: and pedestrians and cyclists). Also, if you have to stop and wait for a gap, you may as well dismount and walk through with right of way.
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I was riding the MUT and I was on my bike waiting to cross at the H-W roundabout, one driver in the closest lane stopped and waved me on and drivers in the other lane kept going but the stopped driver got angry at me for not crossing at their instance, oblivious to the traffic passing by them on their left. I had to actually start riding away from the intersection to get this driver to continue on their way. I would rather wait for my own clear shot than rely on drivers. Crossing the other half of the roundabout is easier since the cars are slowing and possibly stopping for traffic. All in all it wasn't a great experience but I haven't found a decent route to get from south-west Kitchener to downtown.
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A new opinion piece in The Record.

Crux of the argument:
1) Allow side-by-side bicycling
2) Anarchy ensues

http://www.therecord.com/opinion-story/6...-licensed/

Keep in mind that, while side-by-side cycling will be allowed, it is still the law to move out of the way of traffic where possible.

This lays out the author's opinion quite clearly
Quote:Cyclists go slower than other vehicles. If they are riding two abreast it will be much harder to pass them. Motorists will get frustrated. And nothing good ever came out of a frustrated person with a tonne of metal around him or her.

The cyclists are supposed to move over to the side of the road if a vehicle comes up behind them.

But we all know that cyclists are a diverse breed.

Some obey the rules of the road to the letter. A whole lot of others act as if there aren't any rules of the road.

So... you're saying that there is a group of cyclists who are only being kept in check by the side-by-side ban? I'm not sure I follow that people who follow that rule in the first place will suddenly be emboldened by their new freedom and begin to flout other ones.
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What's the backstory here? I confess that I was quite surprised to read about the Region's decision. What is the purpose of riding abreast and who was seeking to do so? It seems to go against everything I ever learned about bicycle safety.
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Quote:Cyclists go slower than other vehicles. If they are riding two abreast it will be much harder to pass them. Motorists will get frustrated. And nothing good ever came out of a frustrated person with a tonne of metal around him or her.

Ugh. This is worded almost as a threat. I get it, as an individual, that I need to protect myself by behaving defensively because someone I don’t know who is operating a car might be unhinged or distracted or anything else, and that could be dangerous to me. Everyone should act defensively, obviously. That’s reality.

But this person is writing in a newspaper, trying to be a thought leader, trying to influence policy. And he’s saying that the policy should be a certain way because, otherwise, motorists might get frustrated and act dangerously because of their frustration. Maybe we should get serious about people who let their frustration influence the way they operate a motor vehicle. If someone’s getting “frustrated” because it’s taking a few seconds too long to pass a bicycle, and does something “no good,” that person shouldn’t have a driver’s license.

Sorry for going on…
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Quote:One of those concerns is that, if a driver comes over the brow of a hill and encounters two side-by-side cyclists, neither the driver nor the cyclists will have enough time to react.

If that is the case, it means that either the driver, the cyclists, or both are driving too fast. I can guess which one it probably is.

Regardless, even if it is illegal to ride side by side now, I don't think it is a well-enforced rule.

Quote:Police rarely stop cyclists from breaking the law, in my experience. Often that is because there is no way to identify them. Cyclists don't have to have a licence or any identification with them.

I find this hard to believe. Whether you carry any sort of identification card or not, police can enforce the laws. And you can be identified without an identification card. It seems like the justification for requiring a licence is so that you have another piece of ID to carry to assist in enforcement of the law.

Regardless, the presumption that allowing cyclists to ride two abreast on Regional roads is going to result in anarchy is ridiculous.
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As a cyclist, I would never, ever ride 2 abreast. Totally unsafe feeling and rude to those who also use the road (including other cyclists).

As a driver, I hate when cyclists ride 2 abreast (especially in the country). They never move over.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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(05-26-2016, 03:13 PM)Canard Wrote: As a cyclist, I would never, ever ride 2 abreast. Totally unsafe feeling and rude to those who also use the road (including other cyclists).

As a driver, I hate when cyclists ride 2 abreast (especially in the country). They never move over.

I have personally observed cyclists moving over. So it's not "never."

I also don't really understand why someone would want to ride abreast of someone else. But, if they want to, why not. They have to move over just like someone bicycling on his own.
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If the road is generally quiet, and you want to converse with your cycle mate, I can see why you may want to do so. It's a rare enough need, and I think all this discussion is blowing things way out of proportion.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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The best case I can think of is a large group of cyclists travelling together. Riding two abreast makes the line half as long (and it takes half as long to pass), and also makes it easier for cyclists to reposition themselves in the group. I think this sort of riding would be more applicable in the countryside than in the city. Many regional roads are not "big arterial roads, like Weber Street and Victoria Street".

I appreciate bringing Regional by-laws in line with the HTA. Unfortunately, it looks like the townships may not all follow suit.
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(05-26-2016, 03:13 PM)Canard Wrote: As a cyclist, I would never, ever ride 2 abreast. Totally unsafe feeling and rude to those who also use the road (including other cyclists).

As a driver, I hate when cyclists ride 2 abreast (especially in the country). They never move over.

I once did a long road trip with some buddies. We started cycling in single file along country roads but were forced by drivers sneaking past us (sometimes with just a few inches to spare) to cycle in the middle of the road, sometimes two abreast. This way they would do a proper pass. Needless to say, if the road had a wide paved shoulder we would cycle on the shoulder single file.
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(05-26-2016, 03:30 PM)KevinL Wrote: If the road is generally quiet, and you want to converse with your cycle mate, I can see why you may want to do so. It's a rare enough need, and I think all this discussion is blowing things way out of proportion.

This.  The media thrives on pitching stories in such a way to get people stirred up.  This is like, ultimate feeding time for them.

I wonder who will be first to try this on Victoria, though? That'll be fun!
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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(05-26-2016, 03:42 PM)timc Wrote: The best case I can think of is a large group of cyclists travelling together. Riding two abreast makes the line half as long (and it takes half as long to pass), and also makes it easier for cyclists to reposition themselves in the group. I think this sort of riding would be more applicable in the countryside than in the city.

This. When we go cycling in a large group (> 15 riders) responsible drivers have to wait for a very wide gap to overtake a 15 cyclist long lane. If, on the other hand you allow the group to ride as a peloton it can be safely overtaken in a single standard passing move.
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Lousia D'amato was particularly ridiculous in today's paper calling for the licensing of cyclists if they are going to be riding side by side. I've done plenty of riding side by side on country roads and at a brisk pace we're going at speeds close to those of a slow tractor so it's not like it's something any regular country driver isn't used to encountering.

I don't think I'd try doing it on any busy city streets but I've done it with my friends on side streets since I was little gaffer so I really don't see why it's a huge deal... the traffic jams are almost always 'cos of other cars in the city, certainly not a few cyclists. Most people avoid cycling on Victoria Street in single file so I really doubt anyone will be taking the WCC paceline down Victoria anytime soon.
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