Sunday 5 May 2013

Inside the mind of a highway robber

How to design for pavement cycling

Just check out the drawing's portrayal of the cyclist. I sidle with Prof Phil Goodwin and John Dales, page 38 of Get Britain Cycling
Designers who do not cycle, of which there are many of course,often do not appreciate the type of facilities that would be genuinely beneficial for cycling. Hence, for example, strips of coloured surfacing that hug the gutter and are poorly enforced and maintained.
followed by 
Designers who do cycle have often failed to appreciate the concerns and requirements of those who do not. They have therefore tended to design for the ‘vehicular cyclist’ (someone who is confident to claim their place in the middle of a lane.)
No-one wins under the current system. Especially the long-term conclusions drawn for our towns and cities look increasingly grim. Cars aren't here forever and for everyone or every journey. A complete rethink of space and who it's for is needed.


  1. If your designing a car, for instance, automotive designers look at their competitors and reuse their ideas. You will find piles of competitors brochures in a design studio. Take the design and make it better.
    I find it hard to call these people who design roads designers.

    1. Nor is it the experience of a scientist in the commercial world (i.e. me). We are at most usually only a couple of years behind knowing what our competitors are doing in detail - they will publish or give a presentation at conferences; we mostly apply similar general techniques - the ones that demonstrably work; and we pretty rapidly dump methods that are failing. And this is in a global sense. Do these UK designers not read technical journals or attend conferences? How on earth can UK designers who do cycle not cross-fertilise ideas with UK designers who do not? Must be a very strange world they live in - but the real problem is that rest of us have to live with the consequences of this apparent isolationism.

  2. How about

    "designers who cycle and desperately want to do a proper job, but are constantly knocked back by car centric politicians and senior managers who pander to those same politicians".

    Any highway engineer with a bit of skill can design proper cycle friendly layouts, even within UK rules. It is the politicians who need to change most. If they did, the simpering senior managers will do what they are told and the lowly highways guys can get on with it.

    Unless the political spectrum changes at the local councillor level where most decisions are taken, nothing will change.